Smartphone cameras have improved constantly, at a flabbergasting rate. With a little bit of enhancement from one of the many specialized photo editing apps we have now, the photos these cameras are capable of taking can become even better – a gorgeous work of art, may be?
The app store markets are currently pretty full of photo editing apps available for both iOS and Android. This naturally makes figuring out which app is right for the occasion rather challenging.
You may be looking for an app that’s just the mobile equivalent of a desktop photo editor to carry in your pocket. Or you would just want a simple tool to enhance selfies before sharing them on Facebook or Instagram. Here’s a list of the best photo editing apps, regardless of what your specific needs are.
Google’s Snapseed puts many desktop photo editors to shame with the sheer amount of features that are packed inside.
Obviously there are the usual cropping and rotation tools. Snapseed also features options that allow you to modify the depth of field, perspective (ideal for compensating for distortion created by your phone camera’s fixed lens), curves and brightness.
Snapseed’s most interesting tool is called Expand. Expand calculates what the area surrounding the subject probably looks like. It then uses this data to make the canvas larger, which is kind of like Photoshop’s Content Aware Fill.
Adobe Photoshop Express
Adobe Photoshop Express brings in a selection of Adobe’s best photo editing tools together in a streamlined app that’s also very easy to use. Even on a tiny touchscreen.
But before you do anything with these tools, you’ll need to sign up for an Adobe ID using your email, or a Facebook account. You can also use this ID to use other Adobe products and services later on. Or, if you already have an Adobe ID, of course, you can just use that here.
However, once that’s out of the way, you can select a photo to edit from your mobile device or take a new photo with the camera. You can even use images from the Adobe Creative Cloud. This is useful to streamline your workflow and makes all your pictures available on whatever device you happen to be using.
You may be skeptical about some photo editing apps that claim to replicate artistic styles,. That makes sense – the ‘drawing’ and ‘painting’ filters that are included in many photo editors are downright terrible. Prisma is however, an exception. And once you’ve tried it, you’ll be convinced.
Although additional filters are still available as in-app purchases, there’s a very generous selection included which is free of charge.
VSCO is an app store veteran. It’s been available in various flavors for over five years now. During this period it has built a great community of like-minded snappers who wish to share their shots and support one another.
The app’s interface could be a little too minimal for everyone’s taste. But it provides easy access to some really useful features which include a whole bunch of one-tap presets and adjustable filters.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom app shares its DNA with the desktop app of the very same name. It has got an extraordinarily powerful tool for importing, editing and sharing images as well.
However, even though the app itself is free, the more powerful features are only available with a Creative Cloud subscription. Without it, you can’t use many of the headline photo editing features including import/editing of RAW images and local adjustments, which apply to selected areas rather than the entire image.