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Mobile news for photographers: HTC One, Sony Xperia Z, image-centric apps

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Do the impressive specs of the Sony Xperia Z measure up when it comes to camera capabilties?

Smartphone camera reviews

Mobile photography enthusiasts won't want to miss our full camera reviews of both the HTC One and the Sony Xperia Z. Our thorough smartphone reviews are written with the needs of photographers in mind. We focus on camera features, performance, and image quality.

Mobile photography accessories

For a few dollars' worth of hardware and magnets, you can make a case that stands up on its own, has a tripod mount and accepts other lenses.

This week we also showed you how to make your own smartphone case that addresses nearly every shortcoming of even the best mobile devices. For $7.38, you can build your own smartphone stand/tripod-mount/lens-mount case using an old phone case, some rare-earth magnets, a few washers and bolts and some Krazy Glue.  

Apps for photographers 

Another week, another wave of software news for photography enthusiasts. In addition to Apple's preview of iOS 7, numerous image-centric apps also caught our attention.

We've noticed some third party app developers looking to mimic popular iOS and Android apps that have been dragging their feet with Windows Phone 8 development. Meanwhile, Twitter has updated its official Windows Phone 8 app and YouTube has started rolling out ads on its Windows app.

On the Android and iOS side of operating system news, Google has released an app to improve printing from Android devices, Photoforge and Kitcam have left the iOS App Store and PhotoToaster got a major update.

Twitter updates its Windows Phone 8 app

An update to Twitter's Windows Phone 8 app includes filters for photos.

Twitter introduced some major improvements to its Windows Phone 8 app. As of last week, users can now apply filters and effects to their photos, watch Vine videos from their timeline and integrate their Twitter feed into its home screen live tile. The app still has some glitches. Users have taken to the Twitter's reviews section in Windows Phone Store to complain about its tendency to log in and out, tweet, and post photos. 

Third-party developers release "off-brand" versions of Vine and Snapchat

Swapchat mimics the popular iOS and Android app Snapchat.
Viner for Windows Phone 8 lets users view 6-second videos.

Much like the store-brand items that line the shelves of your local grocery store, the Windows Phone Store has dozens of imitators of popular iOS and Android apps. Most recently, Swapchat ($1.29) aims to satisfy your craving for disposable messages. Meanwhile, Viner ($.99) will let you view videos from Twitter's six-second video service; but before you spend your hard-earned dollar, know that you cannot yet upload any videos through Viner.  

YouTube starts advertising on Windows Phone 8

Well, it was nice while it lasted. YouTube has started to play ads on its official Windows Phone 8 app. Last Month, Google demanded the removal of the new app from the Windows Store, citing a lack of ads. An update to the app soon after the issue was raised claimed that it included ads but as Windows Phone Daily noted earlier this week, YouTube has just begun to play ads on its Windows Phone 8 app. 

Google Releases Cloud Print for Android

Cloud Print for Android will print from any compatible Android device to any Google Cloud Print connected printer.

Avid Google users know how convenient Google's Cloud Print service is. The services allows users to print to their home or office printers from anywhere and share their printers like a Google Doc. Now users can print from their phone with Google's official Cloud Print app for Android. Read more from Android Central.

Photo Toaster removes in-app purchases and adds a focus brush

Photo Toaster for iOS removed all in-app purchases and introduced new features.

When you've been around the App Store as long as Photo Toaster, it can be hard to keep things fresh. Many photo apps try to squeeze out more profit from their users by introducing additional in-app purchase options. Photo Toaster has gone in the opposite direction and removed in-app purchases all together. In its latest new update, Photo Toaster also added a new effects brush to create areas of color or focus. Along with the new masking-like effects brush, Photo Toaster added brightness and blur adjustments. Version 5.0 of Photo Toaster is available in the iOS App Store for $1.99.

PhotoForge, KitCam and PhotoForge 2 gone from the App Store

It was nice knowing you, PhotoForge.

I'd like to take a moment of silence for GhostBird Software's iOS apps. Since Yahoo's acquisition of the photo app company earlier this week, its popular apps PhotoForge, KitCam and PhotoForge 2 are no longer available in the iOS App Store. If you already had the apps on your device, they will continue to work but you will no longer see updates. I'm looking forward to what Yahoo will do with the apps, but in the meantime, I'll be here.

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