One of the most popular photo apps on iOS has shown up on Android after a lengthy beta test. VSCO Cam promises to produce better images on any phone than the stock camera app that came with your device. This app has an extremely bare bones interface and emphasizes its robust set of filters and editing tools. So, how does it work?
If all you want to do is snap pictures without fiddling around, VSCO Cam might be your best friend. This app doesn't include a lot of settings in the camera interface—you just tap to focus and snap the picture. There are flash controls and grid overlays to help compose your shot, and that's it. Whatever magic algorithms VSCO Cam uses, it does produce nice shots, and the viewfinder is the correct 4:3 aspect ratio.
Just taking "nice" pictures isn't why you come to VSCO Cam — plenty of phones can already do that with the stock apps. VSCO Cam comes with its own built-in gallery and image editing tools that are about as robust as the ones included in Android's native Gallery app these days. Then there are the filters — oh my are there filters.
You get a fair number of filters free in the app, but most of the additional packs will cost you a few bucks via an in-app purchase. When you're adding filters of making edits, the image is only available in the VSCO Cam gallery. When you get something you like, it can be added the the Android Gallery or shared to Google+, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
The app itself is very responsive and the gallery does a good job of adding hipster-y filters to pictures (if that's your thing). The only real issue is the learning curve. None of the buttons in VSCO Cam have labels—it's all icon-based. Some of them you can figure out, but others you have to guess at until you get used to it. VSCO Cam is free to use, so take it for a spin.