Windows Phone Central App Roundup: Photography
Windows Phone Central App Roundup: More Photo Apps

With this week's Windows Phone Central app roundup we re-visit an old favorite, Windows Phone photography apps. The camera has quickly become an influential feature on our Windows Phone and having supportive apps is an equally important point of interest.

Luckily, the Windows Phone Store has an abundance of quality photo apps ranging from camera software alternatives to photo-editing to photo sharing apps. We've pooled together a handful of the standouts photography apps for this week's roundup and it was tough to narrow it down to just a few.

Fotor

Fotor (free): Fotor is a clean looking, feature rich photo editor for your Windows Phone 8 device. You can edit photos that are already sitting in your Pictures Hub or launch the camera and capture new photos to edit.

Editing tools include a one-tap enhance to automatically adjust exposure, contrast saturation, etc., cropping tool with preset proportions or free-hand cropping, special effects that include analog, lomo, neon, retro, art, vintage, black & white, scratch and old picture filters (if my count is right, 76 filters in total), picture borders, tilt shift controls, and manual edit controls (brightness, contrast, saturation, and sharpness).

Edited images can be shared through any source your Windows Phone can share images to (Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, Messaging, etc.). Best of all, images are saved at their original resolution (no down-sizing).

There are a number of quality photo editors available for our Windows Phones and Fotor ranks right up there with the best of them. Fotor is a free app for your Windows Phone 8 device that you can find here in the Windows Phone Store.

Photo Weather

Photo Weather (free): Photo Weather is a simple Windows Phone app that lets you place a weather template on your photos that highlights the current conditions for your current location. Much like the Windows Phone app Ciel and Photo Weather Pro does.

You can launch the camera from within Photo Weather to capture a new photo to use or pick an existing photo from your Pictures Hub to use. From there, you frame up your photo in the square crop and choose a template style.

There are ten templates that position the weather information in various locations on the photo. The weather information varies from a weather icon with your location to the current temperature, your location and the day's forecast.

Once you've chosen a template you can save the image to your Pictures Hub and/or share it on Twitter or Facebook. The only downside to Photo Weather is that you can't switch from Celsius to Fahrenheit.

Photo Weather is a free app for your Windows Phone 8 and 7.x device that you can find here in the Windows Phone Store.

PhotoFunia

PhotoFunia (free): If you're looking for a healthy supply of photo effects filters that don't take up much room on your Windows Phone, PhotoFunia is something to consider.

PhotoFunia has about 353 effects ranging from filters to borders to film types to magazine covers. All of which are cloud-based and you only download the effect when you are ready to apply it to a photo.

PhotoFunia has a categories page that breaks everything down into eighteen categories of effects. You also have pages that highlight new effects, any effects tagged as favorites, and the most popular effects.

Once you find an effect you like, you can capture a new image or pull an image from your Pictures Hub. While the collection of effects can add a bit of creativity to your photos, the only downside is that you'll need a data connection to download the effects.

PhotoFunia is a free, ad-supported app for your Windows 8 or 7.x device. You can get rid of the ads for $3.99 through an in-app purchase. You can find PhotoFunia here in the Windows Phone Store.

Camera360

Camera360 (free): Camera360 isn't new to mobile photography having an established presence on other smartphone platforms. The Windows Phone version has been around for a short time and is really impressive. It isn't as high octane as ProShot but Camera360 will give you a nice amount of control over your camera operations and photo management.

Camera360 is part camera interface, part photo editor, and part photo management. The camera interface utilizes a Creative Compass Tool that gives you access to six camera modes. You also have controls over the flash, exposure compensation and manual focus. The photo editor has tools to crop, rotate, add frames and add a wide variety of effects filters to your images.

The photo management arranges your images by date in a weekly photo diary and monthly photo calendar. Images can be shared directly through Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, SinaWeibo, TencentWeibo, QZONE, Renren, Evernote, Kaixin, and Huaban.

All totaled, Camera360 is a quality camera app for your Windows Phone 8 device. It's a free app that you can find here in the Windows Phone Store.

Instance

Instance (free/$1.49): Choosing an Instagram client app was tough. If my count is right, there are three functional (where you can upload photos to Instagram) apps available in the Windows Phone Store. You have #2InstaWithMassiveLove, Instagraph, and Instance.

Instagraph was a ground breaker and continues to makes strides in integrating other Windows Phone photography apps, such as MetroGram, that expands the app's capabilities. #2InstaWithMassiveLove is the app with the really long title and bare knuckles approach. But Instance has the most functionality and smoothest interface of the bunch and nudges out the competition because of the full functionality.

With Instance you can register with Instagram, upload images, comment on images, follow members, find your Facebook friends, modify your profile, like images, and have access to the Instagram filters. You can pin your favorite hashtags and users to the app's homescreen to keep track of them easier, change your password, and swap between timeline and grid views.

The layout is clean and easy to navigate around. In many respects, Instance is more appealing than the official Instagram app we've seen on other platforms.

Again, which "unofficial" Instagram app is the best is a tough question to answer. Each app has either a free version or a trial to let you try things out and decide for yourself. All, with the exception of Instance, are available for both Windows Phone 8 and 7.x devices.

There are two versions of Instance in the Windows Phone Store. There is a $1.49 paid version (with trial version) of Instance and a free, ad-supported version of Instance available.

And for those curious, Instagraph has a trial version with the full version running $.99 and you can find it here in the Windows Phone Store. #2InstaWithMassiveLove has two versions, a $.99 paid version (with trial) and a free, ad-supported version.


I learned two things in building this week's roundup. First, there are a ton of... dare I say really nice... photography related apps in the Windows Phone Store and second, I have way too many of them installed on my Windows Phone.

From HDR Photo Camera to Thumba to Flickr to Photosynth to Blink, there is an abundance of quality photography apps at our fingertips and it's really tough to pick just a few to highlight. This roundup barely scratches the surface on what's available and if we missed your favorite photo app, sound off in the comments with your app recommendation.