Photo & Video - Mobile App Holiday Gift Guide 2012

Tools

Our three favorites:

Pixlr-o-maticPixlr-o-matic 
(Developed by Autodesk)
Available for: iOSAndroid
Released: August
Price: Free

Photo-editing applications are as common as ants at a picnic, but Pixlr-o-matic stands out from the pack. Extending Autodesk's Pixlr online photo editor to the iOS and Android platforms, the retro-themed app is notable for both its simplicity and its scope--it boasts an intuitive interface that makes effective use of touchscreen capabilities, and there are so many filtering, lighting and border options that Autodesk promises more than 2 million possible combinations for any image. Pixlr-o-matic's range of color filters is particularly impressive, enabling users to add saturation effects, more muted tones and surreal touches that breathe life into even the most humdrum photos. The app also integrates a wide range of lighting effects that further expand the parameters of how the image looks and what it says about the subject and the photographer.

SpottahSpottah 
(Developed by Spottah)
Available for: iOS
Released: July
Price: Free

Attend any event and there will be multiple guests snapping photos with their smartphone. Each image captures a different moment from a different perspective, and brought together, they offer a comprehensive portrait of the celebration and the people in attendance. The problem is that all those photos are rarely assembled into a collective whole; instead, they're spread across any number of different Facebook pages and Flickr accounts. Spottah solves the problem once and for all: Users create albums based around any subject they choose, then invite family and friends to add their own images to the collection, building and preserving shared memories for all to enjoy. Spottah users can add captions and comments to all photos, post images to Facebook and Twitter, and share them via email; in addition, the app geo-tags all images.  

VycloneVyclone 
(Developed by Vyclone)
Available for: iOS
Released: July
Price: Free

Vyclone leverages GPS to bring together footage of the same event shot by multiple iPhone users, creating truly panoramic video views. Imagine an army of Vyclone-equipped devices filming a sporting event or live concert, and the app's value and ingenuity become crystal clear: Each user becomes part of a crowdsourced camera crew, shooting different facets of the action from a host of perspectives. Vyclone automatically synchronizes and edits each participant's raw footage, assembling a final cut featuring video from all available angles. Users also can access all the available footage to stitch together their own director's cut, and all videos may be shared via Facebook and Twitter. There's still a long way to go before users start creating mobile videos with the depth and polish of Hollywood blockbusters, but Vyclone represents another significant step towards making every smartphone a miniature movie camera.