These days online content has very short shelf life and life span, which is why the urgency get them published is critical. While it is important to apply some additional touch to pictures and videos, constantly moving content between laptops to be edited and back to mobile devices to be uploaded is extremely annoying.
Since the mobile powerhouses we have in our pockets are already more advanced than the computers used to launch mankind to the moon, surely we can do better at something as simple as edit photos and videos. Thankfully, we are starting to see a maturity in both mobile devices operating systems and applications converging to allow for some solid content creation.
Images and videos to be posted on social media just require simple touch ups and tweaks before they are ‘Insta-worthy’, so GPU-demanding editing software need not apply. Here are the top 4 mobile apps you can have in your devices to add some spark to your content.
VSCO is a classic and all-time favorite photo editing app especially among elite photographers. While its social photograph sharing side of the platform is not as successful as initially expected, the photo edit element is a raving success.
Open up the app and you will be greeted by the social layer that resembles Instagram, where users share their edited images completed with relevant hashtags. Hitting the bottom middle button will lead you to a library where you can add photos from your device to be edited.
There are two layers of customisation in VSCO, first being a good supply of beautiful presents that do not destroy your images. Like Instagram, hitting the filter button twice will pull up the intensity bar that enables further tweaking.
The second layer is an array of editing tools like skew, crop, colour correction, grain, and exposure. This section takes you down a rabbit hole of advanced editing where you will find it almost impossible to get right. If you find yourself about to give up on the complexity of VSCO’s advanced editing tools, do not fret for the Internet is there to help you out. Google up ‘VSCO Cam Filter Settings’ and you will find a tonne of settings you can apply for magical images.
VSCO is available on both Android and iOS for free. Upgrades to VSCO X is available as a steep price of US$ 19.99 per year for the first 2 years. The only part of VSCO X that could be worth the investment is its ability to apply filters to videos, something very few other mobile app in the market can truly master at this time.
Snapseed by Google Inc is by far the most powerful photo editing app in App Stores today. Unlike VSCO, Snapseed does not have a social platform where users can share their works. This could be the reason why VSCO managed to create a cultish following where Snapseed could not.
Opening the app, you will be greeted with an option to Open an existing image from the top left, and its functions below. Their range of standard presets are a far cry from that of VSCO, so one would be sure to just avoid this function completely.
The Tools section, however, is impressive. Not only does it have the usual color correction tools, it also opens up the histogram so you can manually adjust the curves in the highlight, midtone and shadow regions. It also has brush and healing tools so you can go deep into the image and fix blemishes and remove spots.
But what is most impressive in this app is a function called Head Pose, where Snapseed automatically finds the head of the subject in an image, and with a little AI work you are able to slightly change where the head is facing. On top of that, you can also change eye pupil size, give your subject a little more or less smile, and also adjust focal length to make the face slimmer.
Granted, the functions may not be as fool-proof as their computer counterparts, but what more can we ask from a free mobile app? Snapseed is available on both Android and iOS.
Powerdirector Video Editor
When video editors are concerns, many good apps in the market provide competent features that reduce the effort of creating a nice video with as little taps as possible. But few is able to bring the complexity of desktop video editors and transform it into a really usable and powerful tool, until the Powerdirector Video Editor.
Cyberlink Powerdirector users from desktop will feel immediately at home with this mobile version. In fact it is reassuring to see that Cyberlink did not insult its users, and did not dumb the app down like what others have done.
The iOS and Android apps start at a low fee of Free, Powerdirector lets you create videos with a full suite of functions with an added watermark. But what makes this app the top choice for video editing is it’s simple pricing plan that reflects honesty in business practices.
Unlike other video editing apps that charge monthly fees, Powerdirector unlocks almost all premium content for a one-time fee of RM 19.00 only. The only thing you will not be getting are selected premium templates that are, frankly, not required if you are a serious video maker.
Adobe Spark Post
The Spark Post is Adobe’s attempt to finally accept that mobile users do not want something as complicated as Photoshop or InDesign compacted into a 6-inch touch screen device. What lies behind this yellow app icon is a masterpiece that only Adobe can deliver.
You have what looks like a million designs categorised by theme. Each design template comes with a Remix option for further customizability. Tap on options under ‘Design’ and see the designs move about, providing endless options. Hit the Palette option and be greeted with a long list of possible color swatches. The Layout option splits all the image’s contents however you like.
And once you’re almost done, Resize it to fit any social media platform you want to use it for. This function feels intuitive because we do not have to commit to one image dimension before beginning out edits. And if we change our minds on where to post the image halfway through the design stage, Spark Post doesn’t force us to restart. Adobe Spark Post is free on iOS and Android.
Have all 4 of these epic applications in your device, and you will surely be astounding your followers and friends with dramatic pictures and videos.
Applications on mobile devices is quickly replacing heavy duty PC and Mac versions because consumers are moving from high resolution and well-coiffed visuals to quick and DIY alternatives. As the hardware and software capabilities of mobile devices improve, creative applications will also get better.
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