Snapseed – An Intuitive Mobile Photo Editor With Touch Gestures

When it comes to photo editors for Android, the choices are vast, and most of them are free and come with the same features that are present on many other apps; so as a way to stand out, an app must have unique features such as powerful photo editing capacity while being fairly simple to use and intuitive, and this is where Snapseed by Google comes in. The app started out as an indie development app for the Apple iPad gaining awards such as app of the year 2011 before catching the attention of search giant Google and the rest is history.

Snapseed - An Intuitive Mobile Photo Editor With Touch Gestures

Gesture Controls in Snapseed Adds a Bit of Tactility to the Entire User Experience

The popularity of Snapseed comes from its powerful suite of editing tools but before that, a powerful suite of tools might sound intimidating; that’s where the app’s simple to use UI comes into play. Overall, the user interface is clean and simple; in fact, it’s very straightforward. Upon opening the app you don’t get any option except an “open photo” button and that’s it, pressing this will allow you to browse your files for your item of choice. Once you’ve chosen the file the photo editing view is ready and it’s presented as clean with only the edit button on the lower right, a histogram button on the lower left as well as file options and saving options on the top row. The UI gets more advanced once you open the editing tools button but it’s part of the learning process and gets intuitive once you use it a couple of times.

Talking about features, you get 11 tools for photo editing such as a general “tune image” tool that lets you adjust the basics such as brightness and contrast. Snapseed for Android’s more advanced tools are a perspective tool, a brush tool, and even a healing tool; perfect for fine tuning minute details or removing blemishes and even creating your own style. Below the set of tools are 13 options for various filters each with its own unique effect on the image. Once you select a tool or filter you’re brought back to the editing view where the gestures will come into play. Gestures may vary per tool but the general idea is to swipe up and down to choose specifics such as brightness or contrast, then swiping left or right to adjust the intensity. Other tools such as the crop and perspective tools are straightforward and is easy to work with.

Snapseed combines power and simplicity but with a few learning curve hurdles because of the lack of an intro tutorial about the gestures, but when you get used to how the user interface works, editing on the app becomes second nature and you’re soon doing quick edits with powerful results in seconds or minutes.


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