How many photo-apps do we need?

With more than 10,000 photo-related apps available (and many more in development), clearly the old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” still rings true with many smartphone users. With the recent partnership of Instagram and Hipstamatic (31 million users between them) we’re asking, why are these applications so popular and in such a crowded marketplace, is there space for anymore?

To get an idea of just how popular these apps are, it’s worth noting that both Hipstamatic and Instagram were awarded Apple’s iPhone app of the year award in 2010 and in 2011 respectively. A poll done by http://www.iphoneography.com asked its visitors how many photography apps they had on their iPhone, 40% of respondents had 25 or more but some of the subsequent comments, admitted to over 90. Yes, ninety photo apps.

So what is driving this enthusiastic uptake of photo-apps? Obviously the technological advances in the smartphone industry means more people are carrying high-resolution cameras with them and consequently have the ability to take a photo at any time. Keeping the apps simple and features limited, creates an easy user experience while the use of filters, retro lens simulators and colour adjusting tools means nearly everyone can turn a pretty average image into something more memorable. Add the immediate publishing and sharing options and your mobile consumer is hooked.

Some more serious MoPhos (mobile photographers) dismiss the instantaneous tricks of Hipstamatic and the social streaming of Instagram but fact is, there is a huge variety of photo-apps available and people use their photo-apps for different reasons. If you want a Polaroid-style app, check out Shakeit for iPhone or Roidizer for Android; for toycam, fisheye or a Warhol feature, download FxCamera; YouGottaSeethis is an app that creates artistic collages; MagicShutter mimics the effects of shooting at slow shutter speeds and so the list goes on.  iPhoneography has evolved because of this variety of apps and the different handling of them. Many people use several apps for shooting and processing (and sharing) and of course, the novelty of a new look (whether Polarized, vintage etc) is always welcome.

With so many different users out there with different phones, needs and wants, there is an photo app that fulfils individual needs. So whether you aspire to be the next Ansel Adams or Annie Leibovitz or you just want to share your favourite pet picture with your best friend, there will be an app (or several) made just for you.

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