With smartphone cameras improving all the time, the photographic possibilities offered by your mobile device have never been greater. But it’s not just new hardware that can help you create amazing images.
Photo software is getting more and more sophisticated and intelligent, as you can see in our rundown of the best photo apps . But time doesn’t stand still, so below we’ve brought together 10 new apps for 2016 that can help boost your photographic powers. And best of all, they’re all completely free.
Have we missed out your favourite free photo app of 2016? Then please share it with the community in the comments below.
01. Cardboard Camera
Take VR photos with your phone using Cardboard Camera Cardboard Camera is a free photo app from Google for iOS and Android. It lets you take what it calls “VR photos”; essentially 3D panoramas that rotate through 360 degrees. You can view these photos using the Google Cardboard viewer, or a similar phone-based VR headset.
To use it, you just open up the app, tap the Capture button and then move your device around in a full 360-degree circle. Cardboard Camera also lets you record sound while you’re taking your VR photo, and makes it easy to share it with friends.
02. Polaroid Swing
Take ‘moving photos’ with Polaroid Swing Another app expanding our definition of what a ‘photo’ can be, Polaroid Swing was launched as a partnership between Polaroid and Twitter founder Biz Stone. It essentially takes a succession of 60 rapid-fire photos in a single second, then stitches them together into a single frame to create a ‘moving photo’.
This enables you to advance or reverse time as you view the image by dragging your finger across the screen, or by tilting your phone from side to side.
The effect is similar, then, to Apple’s Live Photos or Instagram’s Boomerang, but transitioning between frames in much smoother than with either app. Polaroid Swing is available free for iOS and an Android version is apparently “on its way”.