Whether you’re on iOS or Android, their respective app stores are flooded with different types of photo editing, collage, and photography-based solutions to give us an array of options when it comes to tweaking our pictures. But which photo editing and production apps are worth looking at? Some are just flat-out junk, so we did the research for you. When deciding on a photo editing app for you, there will be a few factors to keep in mind. Just like video editing apps and even music making apps, there will be apps designed to one specific feature and others with a combination of many, so it’s going to depend on what exactly you’re looking for.
Do you want to just change a few brightness or gamma settings? Apply some filters and emoji? Or perhaps something even more professional, such as changing the entire photo to your liking (removing red eye, other touch-ups, background removal, lens correction, etc.)? Also, are you willing to spend a few bucks on your app, or do you want to try a free trial before you unlock some other features that are offered within? Regardless of the answers you’ll have to these questions, we found the top 10 best photo editing apps to not only give you some options, but perhaps give you more than one that you’d like to keep handy on your device. Let’s get into it.
The best photo editing apps
Up first, we have one of our favorite photo editor apps due to it’s numerous technical functions and overall capabilities. Made by Google, Snapseed is a free, considered by many (thousands upon thousands of reviews as you’ll see) professional editing app that’s available for both iOS and Android users. This app is pretty simple to use despite a few of it’s advanced features, so if you’re new to editing photos or have a difficult time navigating through applications, then this will be a great one for you. Some of our favorite features of Snapseed include 29 tools and filters (a few include HDR, perspective, healing, brush, and structure), the ability to open JPG and DNG files (yes, raw), adjust white balance, vignettes to add a soft darkness to corners (like in wide-aperture photos), traditional cropping, adding text, and more. Its design was made for mobile use which makes it simple to swipe left and right to find the perfect feature or the perfect brightness and color level for your picture. Combine the advanced features that Snapseed uses along with it’s easy to sharing to other mobile apps such as Instagram and Facebook, and minimalist interface, and you’ve got in our opinion one of the best photo editing apps in the market today. It’s made by Google after all.
Adobe Photoshop Express
Adobe Photoshop has been around for quite sometime, and there’s a pretty slim chance you haven’t heard this name at least once, right? This is another one of the best photo editing apps and despite it’s well-renowned name, it’s free of charge. Adobe Photoshop Express has unique features that allow you to edit your photos in several different ways. A few that are rare to this one include easy ‘Photoshop mix’ (cut out and combine certain elements from different images all into one), ‘Photoshop fix’ (edit face features, liquify, etc.), touch-ups, quick sharing (makes it easy to share your newly edited pictures to your family via text message or email and share to your favorite social media websites in a jiffy), and simple capture. The simple capture feature in particular is where you can begin and snap a picture right from the app as opposed to switching in and out of your original camera app. Aside from the standouts, you’ll also be covered in the traditional photo editing necessities, such as cropping, simple rotating, flipping, removing red eyes, add borders, and adjusting the photo’s overall color (RGB, brightness, etc.). Aside from the name to give us confidence and numerous user reviews out there, the overall functionality of Photoshop Express makes it’s way as second on our best photo editing and production app guide.
Picsart is a different spin to a photography app when compared to our previous two pics, and many would consider this one a more “fun and glitzy” type of app as opposed to an “editor”. This app has over 1,000 different ways to edit your photos and the best part is that it’s free. This simple design allows you to make collages, add stickers and clip art, draw on photos, share your work with other Picsart users, and even enter your pictures into contest held on the app (you can create your own contests, too). It also has a unique feature where you can use double exposures with different layers which most other photo editing apps don’t use surprisingly. With these unique features and different spin to your smart device, it has made Picsart into the number one used photo editing app in the app store with over 400 million downloads. This may even be an app that you download alongside a more professional editing app so you can use each depending on your mood. Try this one out, it’s quite fun to use if you’re in a creative mood. This was a recommended solution by Android Authority, too.
The next best photo editing app pick we have is Enlight, an app that’s been around since we could last remember (think we first downloaded this back in 2011?). This application is similar to most of the other photo editing apps and is in the medium price-range, and unfortunately only available to iOS users at the moment. The cool thing about Enlight is the design of the app itself. It has a simple modern look and is super easy to use when it comes to freshening up your pictures or trying to find a certain mood you’re looking to portray. Some of the standout tools this app has are analog and duo filters (classic camera and vintage film feel, light leaks and retro-types of pictures), decorative touches (such as decals and special effects, drawing and writing on the photos), photo enhancement (cropping, repairing under or over-exposed photos), and the ability to reshape objects within the picture. Standing the test of time, Enlight has been around for many years to give us confidence in it’s capabilities, and we especially like this one for finding that “mood” you want to turn a picture into.
As we near the middle-point of our guide already, let’s check out a more in-pointed app that’s focused on image transformation to get that creativity going, particularly for perspective and lens correction (for those who are into tweaking symmetry and making some surrealism in their photos, with many loving architecture for this). This photo app was ranked one of the best apps for photo editing back in 2014 and it still holds value today since they regularly update it. SKRWT is mostly known for its high-precision mirror effects, 4PNTS feature (tweak perspective so you can manually work corner points of the image to really manipulate it to your liking, although it’s an in-app purchase so be aware), and all-purpose lens correction. With its low-cost you get several different features that can create one of a kind images if you’re into tweaking photos a little differently than others. We recommend giving it a try regardless.
Deep Art Effects
This particular app was designed for the more artistic-focused crowd when it comes to what you do with your images. If you find yourself as the type of person who enjoys drawing or painting then Deep Art Effects may land as the best photo app for you. It has tons of different ways to change a standard photo you take right from your phone or tablet and transform it into a masterpiece. Some standouts here include 40 different filters, prisma filters, encrypted data transfer (to help with privacy and they also state that photos or trademarks aren’t stored on servers), as well as tweaking the style filter’s intensity. The finished product will come out in 1080px to share online or you have the choice of buying a finished product from an arts dealer that comes out to a whopping 3480px with no watermarks (you’ll need to buy the premium version). Overall the capabilities of this one are great in the creativity realm, so if you find yourself wanting to have a ton of control over your images, then Deep Art Effects is going to be the best photo editing and production app available for you today.
Up next, Pixelmator is an iOS-only app that has at least 15 different sections built into the app to weak and edit as you wish. Although it has a price-range higher than most of the other apps in this guide, you’re definitely going to get some bang-for-your-buck if you’re concerned with having as many features as possible. Some of the best highlights this app offers are its move tool, painting section, selection tools, retouching, color adjustment, and its other advanced technologies (such as selection tool using a content-aware algorithm, live preview of your finished product, magnetic selection tool, and snap-to-layers). The move tool allows you to grab an image from a photo and place it to a different section of the photo. The selection portion of the app you can easily select any part of your picture and then refine your image by applying different color adjustments, adding special effects, moving images, or simply delete them if you don’t like the way it looks. The painting section is similar to most other apps and thanks to Pixelmator’s engine it gives you the sense that you’re actually drawing on a canvas. These are just a few of the awesome features that makes Pixelmator one of the premier photo editing apps if you don’t mind spending a few bucks on yours.
Polarr is a high-end app on this list with a bit of a cost, but if you’re willing to spend a few bucks on some in-app purchases you’re going to be getting what you pay for. Polarr allows you to go into an advanced auto-enhancer mode and change very small details of your image. The adjustments with this one are awesome, and you can tweak faces (smooth, whiten, reshape), the color’s temperature, tint and saturation, customize the lens (distort, horizontal, vertical perspective), as well as local adjustments such as gradient, radial, brushing and color masking. It also uses some sophisticated filters to bring out what you feel is necessary for that particular photo, and with their new auto detect tool you are now able to edit multiple faces and use a revamped color system along side it all. This app also shares many similarities to the other competitors out there such as one of a kind filters, filter panels, and a curve tool. Overall, Polarr has great reviews from people using it and is one of the best photo editing apps available if have a few dollars to spare.
VSCO is free to use and has both positives and negatives. Some of the positives is that it has a variety of different filters to navigate through as well as a nice vintage, film based feel to it. After personally using this app however we have found that it is difficult to navigate through some of the features on it but if you’re willing to be patient you can start to get the hang of it after a while. Most of the reviews regarding VSCO have also found that although it has some cool filters it’s ultimately very difficult to navigate through the app and complete an edited photo. At the end of the day, there are definitely better photo editing apps on the market, however if you’re OK with a slightly less user-friendly interface, the capabilities of this one still gives it rank in our list. This was also in The Guardian’s photo app picks.
Last but not least, we have AfterFocus, a photography app created for both Android and iOS users. With a low-cost this app has some great functions that come along with it, such as smart focus area, background blur effect, filter effect, and double photo area. The smart focus feature of the app starts you out on a photo and by simply drawing lines it will automatically focus on the selected section. After that if you wish you can use the background blur effect, it will take a center point of your photo and blur everything else behind it for that affect we’ve seen frequently in the photography game. If you wish to continue further then AfterFocus will take you step by step and you can add more visual edits to your images, or merely upload a picture to weak it and add a few filters to finalize it before you upload to your Insta page. With quite a few different options that come with this app, it is the last one of the best photo editing apps we’ll recommend for you today.