Snapseed, the creation of 17-year-old Nik software, launched on iOS a little over a year ago. During the past year, the app has seen a whopping 9.5 million downloads and the company was acquired by Google.
“Before we released Snapseed we were primarily focused on [software for] professionals or advanced amateur photographers -– the folks that are buying digital SLRs,” Josh Haftel, product manager at Google, and previously Nik Software, told Mashable. “The application has been really successful for us.”
Along with the launch of the Android application Thursday, Google is knocking the price of the iOS version down from $4.99 to free.
Nik announced it was working on Snapseed for Android in January of this year at CES. Originally slated to launch on a limited number of devices (specifically NVIDA tablets), Nik's acquisition by Google delayed the launch a bit, but also made it so the app will be compatible with more phones and tablets. Thursday’s release is compatible with all phones and tablets running Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean.
“Our goal was to take a lot of the technologies that professionals around the world have relied on, and make them accessible to anybody,” says Haftel.
Not your average mobile photo editor, the app includes a number of filters and features you won’t find in other photo editing apps. Edits can each be customized to meet your own personal needs. So, you can apply just the right amount of that “Vintage Filter,” or adjust the center point for a particular effect.
“Our goal was to make a tool that would enable you to come up with a creative and customized enhancement,” says Haftel. “Whereas some of the competitive applications out there might just have some predesigned enhancements that you would only be able to do with a single click and not modify it, or conversely have pretty much every tool in the world shoved into a tablet device or a phone, we tried to pick a path in the middle.”
Snapseed has a number of different built-in enhancement options that let you do everything from crop and straighten an image to adjust the focus, many offering choices you might expect to find in a professional photo editor. The Black and White tool, for instance, is the same tool used in Nik’s professional photo editing software. Adjustments are made by simply sliding your finger across the screen to add more or less of whatever you might be working with.
“It’s very simple and straightforward, and also very powerful,” says Haftel. Each enhancement you select can be fine-tuned to the photo you’re working with. So, for instance, if you’re editing a photo of a friend who has a shadow on his face from wearing a baseball cap, you can brighten just his face in the photo rather than the entire image.
When you’re done editing a photo you can save it to the camera roll on your phone, or share it via Google+, Email, Facebook, or Twitter.
“We really love the application,” says Haftel. “We’re really happy to see it getting out there on the Android platform."
Snapseed for Android will be available Thursday in Google Play. Let us know what you think about the photo editor in the comments.