Feature Article

June 26, 2013

Say Cheese! A Snapshot into the Latest Photo Apps

It’s no secret that members of the Millennial generation love to document their entire lives. That’s due in part to the ease of taking, editing and assembling photos thanks to smartphone apps. Having embraced the photo-taking fad myself, here are my thoughts on a few of the latest photo apps.

The first two focus on your role as photographer, designed with the act of taking photos in mind.


When I first downloaded Snapchat, I was doubtful. Sending a picture that disappears in a few seconds anyway? Dumb. Well actually, that just so happens to be the best part! Snapchat is a picture sharing app in which users take a photo and adjust the time they would like friends to be able to view it before it disappears forever. By tapping the photo, a small text box appears letting you type a message within a 65 character limit. Snapchat also lets you explore your creativity with a color wheel that allows you to draw on the photo. And in case you doubt your artistic capabilities, when you go to delete your photo Snapchat kindly asks if you’re sure you’d like to delete your “masterpiece.” Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, my mind was blown when Snapchat introduced the up-to-10 second video feature.

“Snapchatting” is very addicting. It’s so addicting that I’m waiting for the creation of Snapchatter’s Anonymous.  It’s also incredibly simple. Sending photos is a fun, entertaining way to communicate with friends. I get much more excited upon receiving a snapchat than a text, even with emoticons. In fact, I’ve been known to have entire conversations over Snapchat. The best part is that you can send the ugliest or silliest photo of yourself with the peace of mind that it’s not here to stay. Even if others think they’ve outsmarted the system by taking a screenshot, Snapchat also informs users when a friend has such violated the holy laws of the app. So you can properly send an angry Snapchat in response, of course.

Plus, there’s nothing like Snapchat to help you master the art of a selfie.


This new app is only available on Android devices, so while I haven’t had the opportunity to test it out, my guess is this will be pretty successful. The idea behind CallSnap is to offer you an innovative solution when you receive a call at an inopportune time. Instead of bluntly hitting the “Ignore” button, CallSnap lets you respond with a photo, so the caller can see exactly why you’re busy. Upon receiving a call, just swipe the CallSnap option, which automatically sends the caller a message, “Busy right now…CallSnap photo on the way.” Then snap a photo of your surroundings. You can also save the photo to use for other calls.

CallSnap is great because it takes away the inconvenience of feeling obligated to respond with the “Sorry can’t talk now…” text to avoid the “Why didn’t you answer my call?” complaint later. So you’re not being rude, and it’s an easy, fun solution. The one problem: in an age of e-mail, texting and social media, I unfortunately don’t get to hear my Downton Abbey Theme ringtone very often. With the very few calls I actually receive, I don’t think I would end up using the app a lot. Also, unless you want to send an insulting photo of yourself lazing around on the couch watching television, CallSnap doesn’t give you an excuse to avoid people you simply don’t want to talk to right now. But perhaps that’s a bad habit you should kick anyway. CallSnap is free through July so if you want to give it a try, download it soon! Slide. Snap. Share.

Once you have a full camera roll, the next step is to enhance. With that these next two apps deal with the photo editing process. 

Pic Stitch

Why use one photo, when you can use many? That’s the idea behind Pic Stitch, an app that lets users combine photos into custom collages in seconds. With over 200 different layouts, photo filters and effects, the free app is available on both iPhone and Android. Select up to six photos (on the free app) from your camera roll or Facebook, or take new pics. Make some edits, add a few stickers or text and voila! You then have the option to export the finished product to sites like Instagram, Dropbox, Facebook or Twitter. You can even send it to be printed at Walgreens! Don’t like it? Shake your phone to clear your work and try again!

Forget the hassle of scissors and glue, Pic Stitch lets you “stitch” together your favorite photos in no time. While sometimes an overload of effects, frames and edit options can be overwhelming, Pic Stitch makes it amazingly simple for those of us who can only strive to reach the level of “artsy.” But, boy you wouldn’t know it from the end result. As a Pic Stitch newbie, I must admit that I was pretty impressed with my collages after the first few attempts. The editing features are like a mini Photoshop without the exorbitant price. My favorite part? The endless list of stickers that you can resize and shape to add that extra pizzazz to your photo.  

Word Swag

With swag in the name, you know this app has to be cool. And it is! Word Swag is an app that allows users to design text on their pictures. Including over 20 stylish fonts and a variety of layouts and colored backgrounds, there are tons of possibilities. Don’t trust yourself to come up with a clever quip to accompany your photo? No problem. Word Swag includes preloaded phrases and quotes for you to choose from. The results are some strikingly beautiful photos with words to match!

Word Swag photos look extremely professional when it’s done right. That’s just it. It has to be done right. Word Swag editing requires a lot more thought and artistic consideration than some of the other apps out there. Not just anything looks good. This is a great, sought-after quality, if you have the time and creative energy to play with different looks. But for those of us just looking for a quick fix, Word Swag may not be the best option. The tipping-point toward the negative? Regardless of the eye-catching fonts and effects, with a 1.99 price for us iPhone users, the free, standard Times New Roman captions look that much more appealing. Clearly I don’t have enough swag. 

Whether you decide to try the apps out or not, hardly anyone leaves their photos untouched these days. And when you’re uploading everything to Facebook and Twitter, you’ll want to dazzle your friends with some beautiful pictures that showcase your editing skills!

So go ahead, strike a pose.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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