Oh snap: Google acquires Apple’s favorite iPad app

Apple is a huge fan of Snapseed, the mobile photo editor for iPad and iPhone from Nik Software. So much so, in fact, that Apple(s AAPL) named it the 2011 “iPad App of the Year.” But Snapseed has an even bigger admirer in Google,(s GOOG) which just bought the German company behind the app, according to a report by¬†The Verge.

Apple’s iPhone has long been a haven for mobile photographers. For years it was the most popular camera used on Flickr(s YHOO) photos. When Instagram arrived with its easy-to-apply faux-vintage filters, it was an almost-instant sensation for mobile, social photography, and it was iPhone-only. The app has since expanded to Google’s Android OS, and of course, was acquired by Facebook(s FB). But Instagram’s quick success illustrated the importance of simple, high-quality photo-editing apps to mobile users, on smartphones and tablets.

So as amusing as it is, Google’s purchase of the company behind Snapseed, an Apple staff favorite, is not just Google trolling Apple. It’s several things. It’s Google understanding the necessity of offering high-quality photo editing within its overall ecosystem; aiming to improve its own current offerings like Picasa; and boosting the fast-growing photography community within Google+.