There are many impressive features on a Samsung Galaxy Note 2, but just like any other smartphone on the market, the most used one is the camera. How many times did you take a picture today? Or admire all the selfies in your gallery? Or upload a video to Instagram, Vine, or Snapchat?
That's what I thought.
However, if you're not softModding your Note 2, you're just touching the surface of mobile photography and what your camera can do for you. Below are 11 apps and mods that will maximize your Note 2's camera, improve your Instagram, Vine, and Shapchat experience, and help you be a stealthier photographer.
If your socks are mysteriously disappearing in the middle of the night, chances are you may have a sock gnome, or just a really weird roommate.
To find out what's going on, you don't need an expensive security system, just a free app called Motion Detector by jastrzab. When you go to bed, just hide your phone with the camera pointed at the target area and it will snap photos when any movement occurs and save them to the app.
This is not a night-vision camera, so you will need to make sure the target area is lit well enough to capture the sock thief in the act.
There's nothing like a "No Pictures" sign to bring out the photographer in you. If you want to lessen your chances of getting caught taking pictures when you're not supposed to, an app like Spy Camera OS might do the trick.
Created by Jimmy Halim, this free spy camera makes taking pictures less noticeable by shrinking the viewfinder's display to a tiny screen so people looking over your shoulder have a hard time telling what you're doing.
This way, you can still see what you're taking photos of, which is better than shooting blind. However, sometimes the only way to take pics in high-security areas is to have the screen completely off. In that case, the previous Motion Detector app will let you snap photos with the display off, but you'll have a lot of images to sort through after the fact.
Where do you go after you've mastered the art of selfies? One way is with Face2Gif: Animated GIF Creator by Yu Chen Hou. This free app lets you supercharge your selfies into animated GIF files, which you can then upload to any GIF-supporting social site.
Note that in the video, it states you can only use the front-facing camera, but the app has since been updated to also support the rear one.
By now, nearly everyone has hopped on the Instagram bandwagon, but some of you have stayed away due to its limiting square-only pics. However, there is an easy way around that square. Sorta...
#Square from Sergio Otro lets you upload uncropped photos onto Instagram by adding borders on either the sides or the tops of the image to meet the square requirements. The end result is still a square, but the actual image is just how you wanted it.
The newest Android 4.3 is out right now on certain Google Nexus devices, but what about the Galaxy Note 2? It's still running on the earlier 4.1.2 Jelly Bean! Sadly, there's still no official statement about when (and if) 4.3 will hit the Note 2, but it's expected to be shortly after the Samsung Unpacked event schedule for Sept 4th, where they'll most likely unveil the new Galaxy Note 3 (which will have 4.3 installed).
If you can't wait or don't believe the rumors, you can still enjoy the benefits of the new Camera and Gallery apps—without getting rid of your 4.1.2 Camera and Gallery apps. Best of all, no root is required. Just enable Unknown Sources and install the APK file, courtesy of developer A N D Y.
If you previously installed the 4.2 Camera and Gallery apps, you will need to uninstall them first before getting the 4.3 ones.
If you aren't protecting your Note 2 with a pattern, PIN, or password, then it's pretty easy to access the camera by swiping the icon on the lock screen or by using an app like Twisty to just flick it open. However, those options require you to have swipe to unlock enabled, which basically means no security.
This mod does require you to be rooted and have the Xposed Framework installed, but if you want instant access to your camera app, iOS style, then it's definitely worth the hassle.
Tired of always seeing your arm in your selfies? A self-timer should do the trick. Instagram and Vine do not offer this feature, even though they should, but there is a way to incorporate your own into their apps.
RepetiTouch Free by Erwin Goslawski is an app that lets you record touch-based actions on your phone, much like Android Bot Maker does, but much, much simpler—and it works fantastic on Instagram and Vine. The free version doesn't allow multi-touch actions, but you only need one touch for a self-timer.
The free version also limits you to 60 seconds recording time, but that's more than enough to set a self-timer. If you're using Instagram with this, then you can essentially set a 45 second timer if you want to record a full 15 second video. If you want more time, or want to record time-lapse Instagrams or Vines (multi-touches), then RepetiTouch Pro ($3.49) is great.
If you take a lot of scandalous pictures, it's probably a good idea to keep your Note 2 locked. But what if one of your friends wants to check an email or update their Facebook status on your device? You may want to consider password-protecting your Gallery app itself, to keep their over-curious eyes out.
One way to do this is with an app called HI App Lock. There are plenty of apps out there that let you password-protect individual apps, but this one makes it a little less noticeable by creating a fake error message when prying eyes try to open the app. It will look like the app crashed instead of making it known that you're protecting it, which makes it obvious that you have secrets.
If you're obsessed with the self-destructing style of Snapchat, but would like to get a little more out of it, these next 3 mods are for you.
The allure of Snapchat is that none of the images or videos can be saved, but sometimes you just want a repeat, so for that there's Keepchat. This mod, like Enable Camera on Lockscreen above, requires root access and the Xposed Framework, but it's well worth it if you want to keep a backup of every single Snapchat you're sent.
This app was originally developed by Sturmen, and during that time all pictures and videos that were automatically saved were reported to the senders. The new version of Keepchat is being maintained by Sebastian Stammler, who has disabled the reporting feature so you can save Snapchats undetected.
You will need to uninstall the original Snapchat app in order to install this one, which is not available on Google Play, so make sure to enable Unknown Sources before trying to install it.
Hate how you're forced to take pictures and videos using Snapchat's own camera? This last Snapchat mod lets you bypass that restriction so you can upload any photo or video in your gallery as a self-destructing Snapchat. It's called Snapshare, and it's created by the same Stammler who took over Keepchat.
This mod is just like Keepchat in that it requires root and the Xposed Framework, so make sure you've got those before attempting to install.
Check out our Samsung Galaxy Note 2 softModder playlist on YouTube, and subscribe to our softModder YouTube channel to stay up to date on the latest and greatest ways to unlock your Android's full potential.
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