Selfie apps that let you edit photos to change your ears, eyes, skin and outfit are growing popular with Generation S.

I remember using my first augmented reality software on my PC when I was still in college. It was long ago, I think 2003. The game was a simple basketball game that recognized body movement using the PC “web” camera and let you shoot in a digital basket on the screen. I would spend hours moving my hands in front of the PC to shoot the ball into the basket.

Then a few years after, when I was a journalist @dna, I recall using another AR app to create giant mushrooms on the streets of Mumbai’s infamous waterlogged Lower Parel. With that kind of water, mushrooms were perfect for the scene being photographed. The app would superimpose digital mushrooms in real time on scenes being captured on the phone camera.

Photo taken with Sony Xperia Z1’s augmented reality app

And now in 2016, it seems Snapchat is making this very technology of ‘mixed or augmented’ reality popular again by mixing it with selfies, that well, many MANY people love to take.

What they let you do:

Take a photo of yourself and superimpose a digital nose, eyes, tattoo, painting, headgear, ears, mustache, hat, goggles, hair, mask on it. Some make you look prettier, some make you look funnier and some make you look plain hideous. Those who already love to take selfies are hooked to these apps cause they add some variety to an otherwise monotonous self-photo.

Some of the apps also add sound and other special  effects to the selfie videos – or selvies or velfies, as some like to call them. So if an app lets you add a dog’s tongue and ears, it also lets you bark like one with a bow-wow sound every time you open your mouth. Another example is a dracula avatar that makes your mouth drool with blood every time you raise your eyebrows.

I tried out a few selfie editing apps, here are my favourites with sample selfies I’ve taken using the apps.

1. Snapchat: Chatting app with selfie features. Popular for its geo tags and news snaps.
Available on the App Store and Google Play.


2. Camera 360: Photography app with a very large database of selfie filters.
Available on the App Store, Google Play and Microsoft Store.

My favorite


3. YouMask: Face filters in live video
Available on the App Store and Google Play.

4. TagMe: Tag faces with fun digital masks – live, in real-time!
Available on the App Store and Google Play.