In amongst all of the Google I/O news towards the end of last week was the launch of Lenka for Android, a popular black & white photo app that had previously been the reserve of iPhone users for a long, long time. If you’re one of those users that happens to spend time with both iOS and Android, then you might’ve even heard of Lenka before. if not, it’s basically a photography app designed for those that just love black & white photography. Rather than being yet another retro photo app, Lenka is all about black & white. It displays black & white in the viewfinder in real time, it captures black & white and that’s mostly all there is to it, although there are some settings you can tweak, too.
There’s a bulb button, note that’s a bulb and not a flash, along with two sliders. One of which will allow you to adjust the tone of the image, one way gets you warmer, the other cooler. The slider farthest to the right offers you a way to drastically change the amount of shadow in your shot. Together, the two sliders offer you a simple and effective way to create some very nice black and white shots. There is an element of Instagram here, definitely, but this is more about getting out there and taking a shot in black & white in the moment, rather than fiddling around with filters and sliders to create something artificial and forced. For lovers of b/w photography, this could be the Android app that they’ve all been waiting for.
Lenka has been a long time coming to Android, and it appears to have been worth the wait, while the app is a little underwhelming, it certainly gets the job done. These feel like photos that were taken to be represented sans color, not the other way around. The app is completely free to download, and if you’re having trouble with your device, send them an email and hopefully they can resolve things quickly. We’ve attached some test shots in the gallery below.