The best graphics and photo-editing apps for your smartwatch.
Taking a good photo is about more than just pointing and clicking: even the simplest picture can be transformed into a work of photographic art with the right mix of graphics and editing apps. Playing with the exposure, adjusting the gradient and even retouching your subjects’ red eyes are all possible thanks to an ever-growing selection of user-friendly applications.
What are graphic and design apps?
Not all smartwatches feature integrated cameras, but the most recent models have crisp, high-quality screens on which you can browse through your photo roll in full-colour clarity. In most cases, you’ll have to do the retouching on your phone and then access the finished product on your smartwatch via a Bluetooth connection.
Certain photo apps allow your smartwatch to act as a remote control for your phone’s camera, which can include controlling the flash function and toggling between reverse and forward-facing mode for video and picture-taking. This way you can feature in your own photos without asking strangers to do you the favour!
The most recent wearables like the Samsung Gear 2 feature an integrated camera. This allows you to take photos directly with the Gear 2, edit them on your wrist and then view them as a roll or even a slideshow.
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Whether to edit photos or redesign your smartwatch face, here are five must-have photo-editing apps to have on your wrist.
|Graphics and Design Apps||About the app||Compatibility|
|CameraAce for Gear 2||Freshly updated for the Samsung Gear 2, this app is tailored to the smartwatch’s integrated picture-taking capabilities. This app allows you to organise and edit photos right on your smartwatch. Add filters, play with colour gradients, sort them into folders, view them as a slideshow and share them across your Android devices. CameraAce for Gear 2 is compatible with Android devices||Available for download from Android Wear for Android, Tizen.|
|Street Art watch face||Driven by Google’s Street Art project, this app was released as their first Android Wear watch face. Every time the paintings rotate, a little card pops up with the artist’s name and information on the painting. The face can be set to display in Minimal, Analog or Digital format. This is a great way to keep your watch’s face fresh and get to know some extremely talented street artists. Street Art Watch Face is compatible with Android devices.||Available on Android Wear for Android.|
|MagicPix Pro Camera HD||More than just a remote control for your smartphone’s camera, this app allows you to preview photos on your smartwatch and to zoom in and out with pinch control. Adjust flash settings, choose rear or front camera for video and photos, edit photos with several built-in features and then share across email and your social-network accounts. MagicPix Pro Camera HD is compatible with Android smartwatches.||Available on Android Wear for Android.|
|Wear for Instagram||As the name suggests, this app allows you to wear Instagram on your wrist. Interact as you would on your smartphone by 'liking' friends’ posts and comments: a series of single taps, long taps, double taps and swipes keeps you in touch without having to look at your phone. The smartwatch version of this app doesn’t allow for direct editing, but you still stay on top of your news feed.||Available on Android Wear for Android.|
|PicsArt Photo Studio for Smartwatch||This app already enjoys a positive reputation among smartphone photography enthusiasts. It’s functional, easy to use and - best of all - free. If you’re not happy with merely viewing the finished product on your wrist, this version allows you to edit pictures directly on your smartwatch. Exchange with other users, share your work, enter contests - besides simply editing, this app connects artists around the globe. PicsArt Photo Studio is compatible with Android smartwatches.||Available for download for Android Wear for Android.|
Frequently asked questions
Is it better to install a remote-control app or buy a smartwatch with an integrated camera?
The remote-control feature is useful for taking timed photos and it’s a great alternative to always taking selfies. The Samsung Gear 2 with its integrated camera is a first attempt at adding picture-taking capabilities to a smartwatch. Things like clarity and resolution may not be ideal just yet, so it’s a good idea to wait until they’ve ironed out the kinks, or for other contenders to introduce alternatives to the market.