Mars Landing - an abstract image in glitch

Glitch! An Update To The Definitive List Of Android Apps

  • What In Tarnation Is Glicth and Glitch Art?

Glitch is awesome. Intentional distortions, pulverized imagery, a Yiddishism turned art form. You can read about the origin of the word here and here.

And the art? Well, I’ll leave it to Andy Warhol to simply show you. Andy doing some early glitch comes in at about 15 minutes, 45 seconds in the video.

To get more people involved in glitch on Android, this update to the Definitive List will focus on apps that distort, destroy, decimate, alter, crunch and otherwise intentionally pulverize images to bits.

  • The List Of Glitch Apps for Android

I have included some apps that while not glitch in the sense of destruction or bugs, have some heavy modifying effects on images. Among these are a few apps that appear in the previous updates to the list because of their image modifying capabilities. If there is a free or paid (unlocked) version of an app, I invariably link to the paid, unlocked or full version to support the developers.

Glitch!Glitch! – This app comes first, as it is the app on Android that does glitch and does it well. It has numerous effects, and can glitch images and create glitched gif and mp4 files. The app can also glitch videos, which makes it a robust piece of software for destroying your images and videos. I’ve used this app in numerous ways to create both still and moving glitch. It comes highly recommended. Here is one of my more notable pieces using the app.

The Moon In All Its Phases - Glitch Art

Photo VivaPhotoViva – PhotoViva is more of a painterly app. It has a large selection of brushes, and stroke styles to turn ordinary images into paintings. It has some layering effects which add to the variety. That isn’t really on the glitch side of things, but it has one feature that does do some image distortion, called “Liquify”. What a beautiful tool that is. Two sliders control the oscillation of an image, and the strength of the warp. The first is continuous, so that one end of the slider ripples into the other end, creating the illusion of the surface of water on any image. The second adjusts the strength of the warp, adding as little or as much distortion to the image as you like. I created both of the following images by saving separate variations of an image, and putting them together as a .gif file in Photo Editor.


Surface Tension

SuperPhoto FullSuperPhoto Full – is an app packed with hundreds of different modifying, distorting, and layered effects for transforming images into unrecognizable and warped pictures. It doesn’t do much else, but the full version does quite a lot for the money. The free version has numerous effects as well. I’ve used this app to create many an effect, though these usually don’t get used as is. It is a great app for creating effects for further development.

Journey to the Edge of Forever

Decim8Decim8 – This app has a reputation that precedes it. A quality app designed and created by artist Kris collins to destroy and abstractify your images in heavy or light doses, right at your fingertips. This is a must have for any Android editor who enjoys image crunching and picture pulverizing. The app can back up after having glitched an image, or it can reglitch the new glitched image. This makes it a great tool for creating .gif files, should you want to create iterations of the same image or a developing sequence.

Iterations - Glitch Art

RepixRepix – This is a tool for artists, rather than photographers. Save resolution is a poor 3.1 megapixels, but I can live with that given the fact that its many brushes have a variety of different results. For instance, the paint splash brush has numerous splash patterns, so that it never feels like you are repeating that same old stencil you’ve seen a dozen times after a few uses. That makes for wide use. The main drawback of the app is that the brushes have no intensity or opacity adjustments, which are much needed. The paid version unlocks a number of good brushes. It has a number of VSCO like presets, comes with a basic suite of photo adjustments like brightness and contrast, cropping tools, and a handful of frames. Overall, a fun new addition to the tools of the creative individual.

Rose Garden

Imagica+Imagica+ – Though the app saves at a fairly low resolution, the effects it provides are great, though they are few. I use them regularly. Run images through this app to produce some good layering effects to apply to higher resolution images. Here’s an example of the effects it can do. I won a small contest with this image, using its ripple effect in conjunction with DecoSketch (mentioned below).

Beneath the Surface

FragmentFragment – Fragment is a wonderful tool, adding abstract variety to your images. It combines a smart set of tools to add shapes, colors, blur, distortions and reflective layers to an image. Within the scope of what it does, it has almost infinite possibility. There are numerous in-app purchases to add different fragment shapes to your palette.

Stress Fracture - Glitch Art

MeldMeld – Meld is a layering app designed from scratch for both Android and iOS which has a wide potential for the creative mobilographer and artist. The app has come a long way from when it started in beta, and later when released for public download. It has 11 layering design packs for adding variety to your images. Imported images with transparency (in png format) maintain that transparency, adding further to what can be created. While not genuinely an app that actually glitches or creates bugs in your images, it does help abstractify and modify them through layering, and so, is worth mentioning here.

See my review of Meld here.

TrimaginatorTrimaginator – Trimaginator is a fantastic app that specializes in what it sounds like: triangles. Run an image through this app to get triangulated images of a wide variety. The tool set allows you to change the look and feel of the results, so that you can emphasize lines, shapes, the original image, etc. You can even add points to your images to increase how many triangles there are. Unlike Decim8 and some other apps, you can’t re-triangulate images, so that it makes the process of creating increasing abstraction cumbersome. It requires loading a newly triangulated image. Otherwise, worth having!

DecoSketchDecoSketch – I use this app like crazy. It is one of my favorites. A review is coming.

DecoSketch is a refined and well thought out app, designed for creative image editing. It offers a wide arrange of vector and shape tools for adding texture and geometry to one’s images. The app packs over 120 different brush types, which can all be adjusted in numerous different ways. Combined with your specific brush strokes makes for unlimited potential within the bounds of the app itself. The settings and adjustments one can control are also quite numerous, from brush angle and spacing, and opacity to grid snapping and drawing speed effects. Despite being focussed alone on vector geometry, and despite its lower resolution saves, this app maintains a strong place in my bag of tricks. See some of my work related to this app here.

The Changing Colors of Autumn

Processor - a glitch appProcessor – this app has some unique abstract and glitch effects. It’s a great set of tools to augment those in your bag-o-tricks. what I especially like about the app, and which adds another layer of uniqueness to it, is its programmability. The app gives you access to a portion of the code to the actual effects available, meaning if you’ve got some code skills, you can dive in and twist things this way and that. If only other apps allowed for this modification!

Dream Deeply - A Deep Dream glitch appDeep Dream (Dream Deeply) – what happens when computers dream? Well, Dream Deeply happens. This was Google X’s experiment in image abstractification. Google released the backend code to the software, and since then, a number of apps have cropped up providing the functions of this app. I work with this particular variant because it has a good user interface and fewer bugs than the other apps out there. Although this app works with Android software and isn’t available for iOS, there is a workaround. There are a few bots on Twitter that will deep dream your images of you tag them with an image.

Alien Tapestry

AndrPhotoAndrPhoto – a minor app that has numerous glitch effects. Though it is fairly simplistic, it shouldn’t be overlooked, as it has quite a plethora of unique effects not found elsewhere. This makes it great for combining with more robust apps. Be sure to check it out.

Voice Changer with EffectsVoice Changer with Effects – This is obviously not an imagery app, but is a good compliment to imagery. Sometimes I do video, and I like to add some sound effects. This distorts sound. There are several apps that do the same as this, but I simply use this one as it seems to be without bugs.

  • More Glitch

For more glitch imagery, at least of the moving sort, you can find my full Google+ collection here. I have numerous still glitch works piecemeal and mixed with other forms of abstract in this collection as well.

  • Previous Updates

The List is the largest of its kind, not exhaustive, but definitive, and covers an extensive number of apps available on Android. You can see previous updates here:

The Definitive List (the starting place for all photo editing apps on the Android platform)

Update 01 (focusing on lossless image saves)

Update 02 (focusing on DoF, blur and out of focus mobile photography)

Update 03 (focusing on image layering)

Update 04 (The Definitive List of Camera Apps for Android)

Update 05 (you are here)

  • Disclaimer

A note that I have had requests from some for an update to the definitive list involving RAW images. Unfortunately, I don’t own a phone that can shoot in RAW format. I know of a number of apps that can shoot and handle RAW files, but until I can test them myself, I won’t presume to speak on which is best to use. No rush. The list only contains those apps I have personally tested. Quality control is needed for the list, and my next phone will have RAW capability. A shame Samsung couldn’t bring its flagship phones over into RAW.