Daily App Review: Creative Studio (Lumia 800 And 710)In the era of Instagram and Flickr, a photo editing app is among the first that many download to their camera phones. So you can bet that Windows Phone users--or at least those that have a Nokia Lumia 800 or Lumia 710--will be delighted at the news that Nokia has released a free image tweaking app for them.
Called Creative Studio, the app combines some basic image tweaking with some neat functions and--drum roll!--filters. There is the normal combination of steady editing options like Crop, Rotate, Contrast, Exposure, and a few others, but the two features that we reckon are going to get pulses racing are the filters and the panorama shot feature. And before you ask, yes, you can use the camera from within the app itself. The panorama app works simply enough--you choose the "from a panorama" option and then press the camera button and move the phone over the area you want covered. The camera takes four shots and stitches them into a single panorama, and what we really like is the smoothness with which it works--we just kept moving the phone and the camera snapped images along the way, without any intervention needed from us (a welcome change from the "when-it-fits-the-frame-please-click" features seen in some handsets). And we do not know it is the 1 GHz processors that power the Lumias or the software that does it, but the stitching together process happens really fast. The results really depend on what you are shooting, but in most cases, we found the panoramas come out well.
Which brings us to the feature that we think is going to grab the most attention--the effects and filters. Or Face Warps and Live Styles, to use developer speak. While the former are super for those twisty-turny effects that you want to bring into a person's face or any other object, the latter are more on the lines of the kind of filters you can get from an Instagram. There are six of each, and best of all, they work in live mode--so you can actually see the kind of change a Warp or Style would have before you click an image.
You can also add effects after you have taken a picture--there are ten of them here, ranging from relatively simple ones like "auto enhance" to nostalgic ones like "back to '76" and more complex ones like "watercolour", "cartoon" and "sketch". Speaking personally, we loved "watercolour" best of all, as it added an entirely different dimension to our pictures and occasionally tempted us to frame up the shots--to be used with scenic landscape shots, we say. Once again, we were impressed at the speed at which the app worked--similar tweaks on Android devices can tend to bring on the lags more often than not. And of course, it comes with social network connectivity so you can share your tweaked images on Facebook and Twitter!
No, it does not really have as many bells and whistles as an Instagram or a a Pixl-r-omatic at the moment in the filter department, but we really think that Creative Studio does more than enough to make itself a must-download for everyone who owns a Lumia. This brings us to the biggest quibble we have about it--it does not work with all Windows Phone devices at the moment, although some of our developer friends have got it running on a HTC Radar, with a little bit of tweaking. We do hope it will become officially available for all Windows Phone devices in the coming days, though, and also get more filters and effects. Nokia could be on to an appy win here--we are already using it more than the default camera app on our Lumia 800, which is saying something as the default app packs quite a punch in its own right! Available from: Windows Phone Marketplace (only for Nokia Lumia 800 and Lumia 710)Price: FreeNote:
Getting the app on
your device has proved to be a bit of a problem for some people. In most
cases, you can get it by going to Windows Marketplace on your Lumia
device and looking at the Nokia collection of apps. Alternately, just
search for "Nokia Corporation" in the Markerplace--the app will show up
in the list. --Nimish Dubey