Nik Software’s Snapseed has been released for Android devices and the updated iOS version, previously a $4.99 paid app, is now free. Google acquired Nik Software back in September after Facebook announced their acquisition of the popular photo sharing service Instagram. Many saw the move as Google’s attempt to make Google+ more attractive to mobile users. Snapseed won Apple’s iPad App Of The Year award in 2011 and the acquisition by Google raised hopes for an Android version. Today, Snapseed made its appearance in the Google Play store. The updated iOS app for is now free while the desktop version for Windows and Mac is $19.99.
As a company owned by Google, Nik Software features the Google+ share button prominently in the Snapseed app right between the save and open icons. To share with other services, users can the devices’ common options button. The iOS version is even more limiting allowing only easy sharing via Google+ and Twitter. To share with other services on the iOS version, the modified photo must be saved and shared via that particular app.
Snapseed goes further than Instagram with image retouching options taking precedence over preset filters. The list of preset filters is not as extensive as the eighteen filters from Instagram. They include B&W, Vintage, Drama, Grunge, Center Focus, Tilt-Shift, Retrolux (iOS only), and Frames. Retouching options include Automatic, Selective Adjust, Tune Image, Straighten, Crop, and Details. The app is easy to use and offers tips on-screen. During testing of both the iOS version and Android version on the Samsung Note, the app was stable and responsive even when working with 8 megapixel images. However, when loading a 3,858 x 2,904 image, the app resized it to 1,929 x1,452 before allowing any edits.
It’s too early to say if Snapseed will have any effect on Instagram. Those using Instagram are unlikely to jump ship. Snapseed appeals to more serious mobile photographers who desire a bit more retouching control over their images.