Let’s be honest, most if not all of your Instagram photos are edited in some way. Even though these pictures are not a true reflection of who we are, we edit them anyway. Do you want to look a bit tanner? Just use filters. Your teeth aren’t looking as white as you’d want them to? Use some touch-up effects. Want to Instagram a photo but a friend whom you had a falling-out with is in it? Crop her out.
Photo editing apps are all the rage right now, particularly because they make people feel and look amazing. On the flipside, they make those admiring your Instagram photos feel insecure. But unless we all agree to stop editing our photos, these apps are here to stay. We have rounded up the best apps for editing photos.
Photo Editing Apps for Android
This is an excellent app that puts most desktop photo editors to shame with the myriad of features it provides. And the good thing is that all these tools are user-friendly, which makes for a less intimidating experience for individuals who aren’t familiar with photo editing.
Apart from the usual cropping and rotation capabilities, Google’s Snapseed allows users to alter the depth of field, brightness and perspective- which comes in handy when you want to compensate for the distortion brought about by your android camera’s fixed lens.
A key highlight of this app is Expand- a tool that calculates the area surrounding the main subject. This data is useful when one wants to make a larger canvas. Expand is very similar to Photoshop’s Content Aware Fill. But because of this tool’s design, it works best on plain or abstract backgrounds as opposed to pictures taken out on the street.
Snapseed also helps you take great-looking selfies without using too much effort. It has a handy tool that identifies faces in pictures, allowing you to subtly change the direction they’re facing. This app can also brighten faces automatically.
With all these features at your disposal, it would be hard not to rank Snapseed among the best apps for editing photos.
The Adobe Express combines all of Adobe’s best editing tools into one simple app, which is easy to navigate even on small-sized touchscreens.
But before you can enjoy any of these perks, you should sign up for a free Adobe ID using either your email address, Google or Facebook accounts. By signing up, you’ll be able to use this ID to access other Adobe products later. If you already have an Adobe ID, you can just use that here.
Once you are through with this step, you can move on to choosing the photo you wish to edit. Or, you can take a new photo with your camera or even pick an image from the Adobe Creative Cloud.
With Adobe Express, you can access all the basic photo editing tools like rotating, cropping and red-eye correction. So what makes this app really stand out? Well, it has a selection of smart filters. These ones are designed in such a way that they can correct common problems like color temperature and fogging. What’s more, you also get a range of borders and artistic effects, which can all be adjusted using simple sliders.
When you are through with editing, you can save the final picture to your device or Adobe Creative Cloud. You can also share it any social media apps that you have.
If you’re the kind of person who is always taking selfies, and are looking to transform them to Insta-worthy pics, then you should make Facetune your best friend.
Facetune is arguably, one of the most popular photo editing apps. Its popularity boils down to the way it makes it child’s play to modify images with better precision than Snapchat filters but with less sophistication than professional editing tools like Photoshop.
With just a couple of taps, you can adjust color, whiten teeth, hide any imperfections and change the shape of your face. All you need to do us choose the feature you want to use, swipe through the guide (or ignore it if you’re familiar with the app), then apply your preferred effect directly on the photo using your finger. It couldn’t get any easier.
This app also allows you to compare the before and after photos. When you’re done tweaking your photo, just share it on social media or save in your device.
This is a feature-packed photo editing app available on both Android and iOS devices. Some apps are designed in such a way that they only focus on a specific aspect such as incorporating effects or cropping. With Afterlight, you get all these tools under one roof.
The first tab you’ll see in this app helps you make adjustments relating to light, saturation and hue. Each feature has a slider for fine tuning. The tools include brightness, contrast, saturation, expose, shadows, face and more.
The next tab offers you 74 different filters classified in various categories. You can modify the strength of each filter based on your taste.
Photo Editing Apps for iOS
VSCO Cam is the perfect photo editing app for iOS. It may not have all the beautifying tools present in other apps, but it makes up for these shortcomings by providing highly-detailed photo editing tools. These features range from preset filters ideal for quick selfie-snappers to its capability in modifying aspect ratios, shadows, and more!
Do you like the way you’ve edited a specific picture but don’t want to go through the trouble of editing all other apps? There’s a one-step technique to go about this. Just tap the photo, from which you want to copy the edits and select “copy”. Next, tap another photo and “paste”. When you finish, you can save the picture or upload it to social media.
Also, if you are using VSCO for the first time, you will be offered a seven-day trial of VSCO X that includes tons of presets and tools, which are usually available at an extra cost. However, keep in mind that you’ll be asked to provide your payment details. When the trial period elapses, you will automatically be charged if you don’t cancel the subscription. To be safe, you can skip this step and use the free version.
This app is a favorite for many celebrities, and it’s easy to see why. KiraKira is designed to add glimmering sparkles of different sizes to your photos, making it perfect for those who take Rihanna’s “shine bright like a diamond” lyrics literally.
Invented by the Japanese developer Kentaro Yama, this app can enhance the shine of just about anything. KiraKira has seven different filters ranging from bright sparkles to multicolored shine. These filters are Twinkle, Airly, Shine, Color, Blare, Bling-bling and the titular Kirakira. Like with Snapchat, all you have to do is swipe left or right to change the filter.
But that’s not all; Kirakira also lets adjust the intensity of the sparkle. With objects that are already light-reflective- like sequin clothing or jewelry- the best thing is to tone down the filter so that it’s not too overwhelming. But if you’re working with finer, smaller surfaces that are more difficult to pick up light, you can add an extra boost.
When installed on macOS, the Serif Affinity Photo is an effective photoshop killer. On an iPad Pro, this app is fantastic!
Serif works particularly well on Apple’s flagship tablets – and more so when there’s an Apple pencil that you can use for accurate retouching. Although the underlying app is the Mac version, the developer restructured each tool, panel and palette for the iPad.
But this photo editing app is not without a few drawbacks. For one, it’s not compatible with legacy iPads. Secondly, it crashes at times and it’s overkill for fixing issues like red-eye. Still, it’s an app worth downloading. It gives nearly the same power as a desktop editing software and it’s easy to use when you’re on a shoot or on the go. Also, it does not require any subscriptions.
It is not surprising that another offering from Adobe has made it to our list of the best apps for editing photos. The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is perfect for users who need quick pro adjustments. With this app, you can swiftly and efficiently catalogue, find and edit a large collection of photos.
If you are already an Adobe Creative Cloud subscriber, then you’ll have access to selective edits, lovely presets and a range of sliders that let you adjust light, color, detail and grain. This app works with RAW, making it easy to organize, rate and manage pictures.
And even if you’re not a subscriber of any of Adobe products, Lightroom is worth a shot. On the free version, you won’t access web galleries, Adobe Sensei or selective editing. But, you will still have access to high-quality tools for editing your photos.
This is an upgrade on the legendary desktop photo editor. As its name would lead you to believe, this app is equipped with features that help you fix common problems with phots.
The most outstanding tool is the Face-Aware Liquify, which lets you alter facial features. Once you select “liquefy” from the main set of tools, you’ll see an effect called “Face”. This feature is meant to identify those parts of your face that it can alter by placing small circles on them. When you tap on a circle, it reveals several options for widening, shrinking, smiling among others.
Healing is another incredible tool that this app offers. True to its literal translation, this feature simply “heals” any aspect that has ruined a perfect shot. This is where you’ll find all the Patch, Spot Heal, Clone Stamp and Red Eye tools. Each one of these is very easy to use just as it is with the desktop version. There are a ton of other photo-editing tools present in this app such as defocus, paint, color and light.
The Bottom Line
Editing photos can be likened to adding the final touches to a painting. The photos posted in social media platforms and websites wouldn’t look as good as they do if they didn’t have those finishing touches. And the good thing is, there’s a myriad of apps to help make your photos look incredible. They include: Snapseed, Facetune, Adobe Photoshop Fix and VSCO.