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Get started with Android 4.4 KitKat's advanced photo editor

By Sharon Vaknin2013-11-07

Get to know KitKat's robust photo editor, which includes advanced tools for fine-tuning and even creating your own filters.

One of the most impressive features new to Android 4.4 KitKat went unannounced at the launch of Google's new operating system. Tucked away in the Gallery app is a robust photo editor reminiscent of Photoshop tools, and a touch of Snapseed.

If you want to apply a simple filter, the editor can do that. But, if you need to crop, transform, adjust hue, contrast, exposure, spot-adjust, and much more, it can do that, too. And it does it pretty darn well.

Take a tour of KitKat's photo editor, and find out which tools can make your photos pop.

To help you get started, here are a few tips:

Make your own preset filter. In the first tab, default filters let you make multiple, preset adjustments to a photo with just one tap. Swipe the row all the way to the left, and there's also an option to create your very own filter.

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To create your preset, edit a photo with any adjustments you'd like to include. Then, head back to the filters tab, swipe left, and tap the + symbol to turn your adjustments into a preset. Give it a name, and it'll be saved alongside the default filters.

Show applied effects. Any time you'd like to see which effects you've applied to a photo, tap the menu button in the upper-right corner and select "Show applied effects." They'll appear above the bottom navigation bar; tapping on one allows you to readjust the effect, or remove it entirely.

Use the Local tool to fine-tune a specific part of a photo.

Local fine-tuning. Sometimes, only a specific part of a photo needs to be brightened, or even saturated.

In those cases, use the Local tool. In the adjustments tab (the fourth one), find the local tool. A dot will appear on the image. Pinch to increase or shrink the local area, and tap the center dot to move it around.

You can even make adjustments to multiple areas at once -- just tap the + symbol to the left of the adjustment bar. To remove a local area, tap it, then hit the trash can icon.

Two ways to save. There are two ways to save your edited photo. The most obvious is by tapping the save icon in the upper-left corner of the editor. Doing so will override the original photo, but preserve the adjustments, should you decide to reopen it in the editor.

Your second (better) option is to export the photo. This option saves the photo as a new image, and even allows you to choose the image quality and resolution. To export an edited photo, tap the menu button (upper-left corner), and select "Export."

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