Nov 12th, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

Color Grab Captures Real Life Colors On The Fly

If you work in the design field in any way, you’re likely to use colors and be pretty particular on the ones you choose. I do a little design work here and there and often I’ll see a certain hue that strikes. That’s how people in the industry talk.

Color Grab uses the camera to grab the closest color in the focus area. Now, I’ve used similar apps before; the difference with Color Grab is that it actually works. As its name implies, Color Grab lets you quickly sample something to get its color. Unlike other apps that make you take a photo and then select the color, Color Grab can do this on the fly — showing you the color name, HEX, RGB and HSV codes. To “grab” a color, one merely needs to tap the center of the screen.

Color Grab can pull a color code on the fly.

The best part of Color Grab is its palette view, which shows you all of your selected colors in a simple list format.

Color Grab's Palette view make it easy to see what color you have.


I love the idea of Color Grab, especially because I’m not the best at describing colors. The only real problem with this app is that it often doesn’t get those colors correct. Surprisingly, I wouldn’t necessarily blame the app itself. The first issue is that there are too many different Android phones for something like this to be accurate — every camera is going to capture images slightly differently, which means it’s a real shit-shoot for capturing accurate colors. Second, because color is (totes not making this up) dependent on light, this app has a hard time capturing the colors of things that aren’t brightly lit. Again, it’s only guesstimating what it looks like to you.

For example, I own a pumpkin. ‘Tis the season. It has a nice orange color. I’d like to use that color in something design-y. But Color Grab couldn’t get the color because it was in the corner of my room where is was rather dark (in fact, that’s why I put the pumpkin there — to brighten up the space). I rest my case.

Color Grab did an okay job on my pumpkin, but it has a much darker look than it does in real life.

Wrap Up

I don’t want to throw out Color Grab as a bad app — it’s just a technology issue. On a brightly colored day and with a good camera, this app is still the best that I’ve seen for pulling colors. Plus, Color Grab is not only completely free but doesn’t have those obtrusive ads that eat way precious screen space.

I’d love to hear some other impressions of this app and if you guys have had any success with it.


Android Static Rating
Out Of 5

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