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Mike Olsen: Snapseed Review and How To Use it to Max Out Your Smartphone Pics

Snapseed Homescreen
Written by Mike Olsen

Bored with Instagram’s filters? Who isn’t? Enter Snapseed. A fresh new way to quickly and powerfully take your smartphone pics up a notch with powerful, but easy to use tools. Snapseed review with how-to gallery inside. Available for Apple iOS and Google Android devices.

aNewDomain.net — If you are bored with Instagram’s filters or looking to create professional-quality photos using your smartphone, you have a ton of options. Snapseed for Apple iOS and Google Android stands head and shoulders above the crowd with its powerful tools — packaged into one tight, easy-to-use, intuitive user interface. I did a Snapseed review for here and I was so impressed, I combined it with a How To piece on how you’ll get the most from it.

Snapseed is a free photo editing app from Nik Software, a company Google bought last September. It’s available for both Apple iOS and Google Android – and it works on both phones and tablets. The Android version requires Android 4.0 or higher. Take a look.

Snapseed Homescreen Snapseed Home Screen

Image credits: Mike Olsen

When processing photos, if you prefer to just use filters, Snapseed offers plenty. Within each set of filters, Snapseed has several variations of that filter — they’re called styles. Here’s an image I snapped of its black and white filter.

Snapseed Black and White

Press the star to pop up a submenu.

Snapseed Styles
From there you can select different styles of the black and white filter — an example is this, below. Film.

Snapseed Film Style

The customization goes even further as you choose various adjustments available for each style. Swipe you finger up and down the stream to select what you want to adjust. Below is an image I snapped of one of the Drama styles.

Snapseed Selections

After deciding what to adjust, swiping left or right will increase or decrease the level of your selection. The result, as you see below, is the ability to get vastly different results from just one filter style. Nice.

Texture Adjusting Texture

Adjusting Style Strength Adjusting Style Strength

Adjusting Brightness Adjusting Brightness

As I see it, the real power and fun of Snapseed is that it allows you to skip filters together and head directly to the image adjusting tools.  Check this before and after comparison. I started with the image below. And, using the intuitive up/down/side-to-side gestures, I transformed it into the image below that one.

Snapseed Before Photo Before

Pretty impressive before and after, don’t you think?

Snapseed After Photo After Snapseed

This is just the tip of the iceberg of what you can do with Snapseed. To see more great photos processed using Snapseed, head over to the Smartphone Photographers Community on Google+ hosted by aNewDomain.net’s very own Ant Pruitt.

For aNewDomain.net, I’m Mike Olsen. Email me at MikeO@aNewDomain.net or follow me on Google + with tips and review ideas — just drop them on my Google+ stream.

About the author

Mike Olsen

Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Michael Olsen is a tech enthusiast and part-time freelance journalist. When not obsessing about technology, he is a staff manager at The University of Michigan. Catch his blog at http://www.techimprovement.com, email him at mikeo@anewdomain.net, follow him on Twitter @olsenmike and Google+ at http://goo.gl/EthtP.

  • http://dispersedthoughts.wordpress.com/ Robert Knight

    Cool write up Mike. Snapseed is definitely a very powerful and I’m impressed with what it can do with it’s built in tools.

  • anonymous aNewDomain reader

    I’ve been using Snapseed for a little while and I will vouch for this software. Once through the brief tutorials, edits are quick and intuitive. It was one of the first apps I reinstalled on my Note2.

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