Going Android at work part 4: Photo editing and PDFs

The simply titled Photo Editor is a free and excellent tool for pro-level photo editing in Android.

It’s been about a week since my last post on going Android at work. So far much of my time spent work on Android has been a lot more productive than I even suspected. I’ve talked about hardware here a little — I’ve essentially used the two best Android devices available in the Asus Transformer Infinity and the Nexus 7. But the real power behind Android has been the software. I’ve found the perfect office suite and the almost perfect file browser.

The other significant thing I need to do for work in addition to the regular office duties (documents and email) is handling images — from resizing and adjusting jpeg images to downloading and marking up PDFs. Image handling on Android is definitely not as slick or seamless as it is on a desktop system, however, for a mobile device, it is surprisingly easy and efficient.

Photo Editor

While Android is definitely a more powerful and flexible mobile OS than Apple’s iOS, it does not enjoy the real rich selection of multimedia and creative applications iOS has. If you want to edit videos or audio, you’re not going to find many suitable options in Android.

Android does have pretty good photo editing apps and one I found with the attractive price tag of free in the Android market is simply titled Photo Editor.

I tried a number of other options for editing photos: PicSay Pro, Photoshop Express, Aviary and PicsArt. None are as robust or as powerful as Photo Editor. (I did not give Photoshop Touch a try for two reasons. First, it’s $10. Second, it did not receive favorable reviews from other Infinity or Nexus 7 reviewers)

Photo Editor has the basic file handling anyone who edits images would need. It opens image files right from email, it can save edited images locally and can easily upload those images to just about any cloud file system you can throw at it.

Also, Photo Editor gives you very sophisticated and granular control over any photo, from resizing images to cropping and adjusting color and exposure. All of these adjustments can be done to the pixel with great manual controls that are as good as what you’d get from software that’s much more powerful.

Finally, Photo Editor also has a number of preset effects to give you instant editing of all your photos. It also allows you to draw and/or add text to images, thought it doesn’t have very many font options. For drawing or adding text, I’d recommend PicSay Pro or Evernote’s Stitch. They both get the job done well, but making web memes is not something I’m all that into (though I love a good meme).

In fact, the only real issue I have with Photo Editor is that I wish it had a paid version to get rid of the ads. The ads it has are non-intrusive, but I’d gladly pay a few dollars to support the developers and ensure that the application stays as great as it is now.

Adobe Reader

This is a no brainer. Adobe’s PDF reader for Android manages PDFs and allows or quick and easy markup. You can open PDFs and add notes in the form of freehand drawing and with the addition of text.

In my work, I use PDFs to sketch up a general layout map of the weekly print version of the paper where I work. I often just sketch up printed copies, but last week, I needed to go to a meeting for work and asked to have the PDF emailed to me. I was able to open the document, sketched my layout plan over it, saved it and emailed it back to the design department. In that application, the tablet provided me a level of flexibility that was much easier than it would have been on a laptop.

In my next post, I’ll talk about some of the challenges to working online, some of the stuff that’s just not “up to snuff.” And as always, I’m happy to have suggestions and comments.


Going Android at work part 4: Photo editing and PDFs
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