How to identify a color with the camera of the mobile

The Pantone catalog has more than 10,000 colors. Some of them difficult to differentiate from each other. But the camera of your mobile will help you identify all the colors you find in your day to day thanks to these color recognition apps

Colors Rainbow Mobile Phone RGB

More than 10,000 colors. It is said soon. The Pantone catalogue is a benchmark for designers, interior designers, architects and professionals who must deal with colors. If in school we settled for 12, 24 or 36 colored pencils, today, image and design applications offer millions of shades and variants practically impossible to differentiate by the human eye.

But where the eye does not reach, the camera of your mobile arrives. Thanks to your phone you can know what color you are seeing, what it is called and its different codes to be able to reproduce them exactly on your computer or other electronic device. We have the hexadecimal code, the RGB code, the HSL, the HTML code… Thanks to them you can choose an exact color that you have seen in a magazine, on the TV screen or on a piece of clothing. Something like scanning colors with the camera as we do with a paper document or an old photograph.

How to know the exact color of an object with your mobile

Little by little we are getting used to our phones telling us what we have in front of the camera. Thanks to Google Lens, for example, you can get additional information about an image or photograph. Where is a place, the breed of a dog, the characteristics of a product … And what about Google Translate. It translates in real time the text you focus on with the phone’s camera. Both signage signs and the menu of a restaurant or what it puts on the tattoo of a friend.

The same goes for colors. If you need to identify the color of an object, thing or living being that you have in front of you, you can help yourself from the camera of your mobile and your mobile itself to obtain the necessary color code to reproduce it in a design tool or photo retouching. Whether it’s Pantone’s standard code or any of the employees in the design industry.

The best Android apps to recognize colors

The best way to identify colors with your mobile is by using specialized applications. There are a good amount on Google Play that will tell us the color of an image or what you approach with the camera in real time. Let’s look at the most interesting, practical and efficient.

  • Color Grab

First recommendation, Color Grab, from Loomatix. There are several apps with that name, so it’s easy to confuse them with each other. This in particular recognizes the colors that you scan with the camera or that you recover from the photo gallery of your mobile. You can use the rear or front camerailluminate the scene with your phone’s flash, and choose which color you want to identify from the composition.

Loomatix Color Grab for Android
Loomatix Color Grab for Android

The detection is immediate and comes in hexadecimal code, RGB, HSV and a long etcetera. This way it will be very easy for you to use that color on monitors, screens, design applications … You can even get the entire list of colors that appear in a photograph and collect the colors you’ve detected before. As if all this were not enough, it also has complementary tools such as a color combiner. This way you will know which colors fit best with each other to use together.

  • Color Picker

Another good recommendation to identify colors on the fly is Color PickerFrom a photograph that you have saved or that you take at the moment, the app makes a color palette. In addition, you can stop at one of the specific colors to identify it separately. And in its live mode it also detects colors in objects or elements that you focus on with your camera.

Color Picker Color Palette for Android
Color Picker Color Palette for Android

In addition. If you need to create a color palette that looks good with each other from a single main color, the application generates it instantly. Not only that. It also allows you to generate light and dark themes from a palette, see colors that fit together harmoniously… And finally, it has its own color editor to reproduce a particular one from its RGB or HSL code. Or, directly, playing with the values of these codes.

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    1. A useful feature, but there are a lot of flaws in it. In the end, everything depends on the technicality of the camera of your mobile phone, but it can not always perceive the color in reality as it is. As a graphic designer and interior designer, I can say that sometimes it can be super convenient and useful, but you should not rely on such applications 100%, as the color may turn out to be completely different and this can greatly let you down in the project.