Google Nexus 7 tablet

Nexus 7 photography apps

Written by Gail Bjork

Consider these popular apps for the Google Nexus 7 tablet if you want to do minor edits and add special effects to your photographs.

Let’s face it. The Google Nexus 7 is certainly not a good choice for those who would even fancy to notion of using a tablet for taking photos. It has no rear-facing camera and the 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, quite frankly, sucks.

However, the Nexus 7 has a brilliant, 1280 x 800 high-resolution screen that is terrific for viewing photos that have been uploaded online, downloaded or transferred to the tablet, or are marked for off-line viewing. Occasionally you might want to spruce up a picture before sending it to a friend.

Here are some of the best camera and photo editing apps for the Nexus 7. Some are free, some cost a few dollars. They offer a lot of the same features, but the approach may vary. Give them a try and see which ones work best for you.

Pixlr Express

Rated five-stars, Pixlr Express if one of the best photo editing and enhancing apps for the Nexus 7. This free app has more than 600 effects, overlays, and borders to personalize any image. Share photos directly through any of your favorite sharing apps, or just save them back to your gallery. Pixlr Express is very easy to use, even if you’ve never edited an image before.  Read our full review!

Camera Launcher for Nexus 7

Camera Launcher actually lets you access the built-in camera enabling you to take a snapshot, record video or capture a panorama. But the process is can be very awkward.

To take a photo of something other than yourself or something behind you, you must turn the tablet around, peek at the front of the camera to try to frame a shot, then make an attempt to tap the virtual release shutter button. This usually results in an off-kilter shot, or a photo of something other than your intended subject. If the app had a self-timer, you might be able to eek out a mediocre snapshot (PicsArt Photo Studio mentioned below has a timer). Still, you never know when you might want to take a snapshot so Camera Launcher is worth installing.

With the app, you can manually zoom the camera, though the already poor image quality degrades even more as you zoom in. You can adjust Exposure Compensation (+2 to -2, in one step increments) and White Balance (there are four white balance settings, including auto). The app also has video mode with selectable time lap intervals and a few silly Faces and Background effects. The panorama mode is automatic.

Photo Editor

Photo Editor is a simple and easy-to-use application for photo manipulation. It lets you adjust color, add effects, rotate, crop, resize, frame, and draw on your photos. The app offers a large number of adjustment options and effects, some surprisingly sophisticated (eg. gamma correction, curves, auto contrast, auto tone, blur, sharpen, oil paint, sketch and black & white). You can save the final result to your gallery, as wallpaper, or to the tablet itself. You can also share photos using any of the services on your device such as e-mail, Picasa, Facebook and Twitter.

PicSay Pro

If you like to create novelty photos, this app is for you. This award winning photo editor has a multitude of tools to spice up your pictures. They include sharpen, red eye removal, crop & straighten, distort, insert cutouts of other pictures, paint, make color splash out of black-and-white pictures, add text and word balloons. Some of the many effects include Cross Process, Lomo, Vignette, faux HDR, Tilt-shift and Pencil Sketch.

PicsArt – Photo Studio

This app offers a large variety of photo manipulation tools including masks, collages, frames, borders, clipart graphics, callouts, crop, rotate and color adjust. Magic Effects lets you add artistic effects such as a stenciler, cartoonizer, sketcher, Orton, Lomo, vintage, HDR, watercolor, contours, smart blur, face fix and color splash. The list goes on. It offers many drawing effects including sticker mode, callouts, artistic brushes and text styles. Share your work with others directly from the program via email, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Picasa and Dropbox, to name a few. You can access the built-in camera through this app, which includes a self-timer, burst mode and several camera effects.

Pixlr-o-matic

Add retro effects to create vintage-looking photos. There are more then 100 effects, 280 overlays and almost 200 different borders allowing more than 5,000,000 possible finishes. It even includes a randomizer where the app automatically selects an effect, overlay and border. As of this writing, the popular Instagram app is not compatible with the Google Nexus 7, so Pixlr-o-matic is a great choice if you want to achieve similar effects.

Illuminate a subject with your tablet light

Tiny Flashlight, or similar app, can be used to illuminate a small subject, or even used as flash fill outside in a pinch. A tablet case with built-in stand can be used as a tripod. Outside, a friend can hold the tablet near the subject while you take the photo. You may need to adjust your white balance settings. When using the app, swiping the screen up, down or to the side changes the color or intensity of the light, depending on which type of light is selected. There are a variety of warm and cool colors, plus white.

Have a favorite photo app that you use on your Google Nexus 7 tablet? If so, tell us about it in the commenting section below.

About the author

Gail Bjork

Gail Bjork, who is passionate about digital photography, is the owner and editor of Digicamhelp.Gail is the author of three illustrated ebooks about digital photography. A number of her photos and digital photography related articles appear at other websites.In 2006, a series of her photos, People in the Louvre, were exhibited at the Underground Photo Gallery
in Iisalmi Finland. Eight of her photos taken in the Florida scrub are on permanent exhibition at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Florida.Gail served twelve years as an elected member of The School Board of Palm Beach County, Florida, one of the largest school districts in the U.S. She has also been the editor of a small town newspaper and a free-lance writer. Gail and her husband owned and ran several small businesses.