With the rise of smartphone photography, mobile photo editors have become more and more popular. Not content with the original photos, lots of people are now turning to photo editing apps before sharing their photos on social media. And of course, better photos mean better photo products.
The range of apps is astounding but we´ve picked out 12 of the best that all offer different features. Straighten horizons, blur backgrounds and even cover up bald patches (yes, really).
PicsArt provides you with everything you need to make amazing photo edits, artistic camera shoots, photo collages and create digital drawings. You can even communicate with 250 million other creative users. Expect powerful image editing and photo montages, using hundreds of tools and effects that you can usually only find in professional photo editing programs.
- A global community of creatives
- Hundreds of photo editing tools
- Customisable filters and effects
- Text, sticker, and image overlays
- Drawing and painting tools with layers
Specialising in basic photo processing techniques, Snapseed can sharpen, crop, straighten and enhance the colour and exposure of your photos. There are also lots of creative filters that you can use to give your photos a different mood, like black and white, textures and blurred effects.
- Exposure, color and sharpening adjustments
- Crop, rotate, straighten, correct perspective
- Selective adjustments, brushes, healing tool
- Vignette, filters, HDR, black and white
- Frames and text
Adobe Photoshop Express
The app of choice for lots of professional photographers, this is the mobile photo editor from Adobe Photoshop. It can fix common photo problems fast with features like red-eye removal and cropping and it also has a range of borders and frames you can add to your images. No need to be a Photoshop expert either. This is very intuitive and easy to use.
- Fast touch-up features
- Straighten and crop
- Control of hue, brightness, white balance
- Borders, frames and collages
- Additional features available to purchase as packs
Using the AirBrush app is like having a professional photo editor edit your selfies. Perfect for quick fixes like removing blemishes, teeth whitening, eye brightening and reshaping. There are also plenty of filters to choose from. Easy to use, it also has a pro option that you pay for to unlock lots more features.
- Smooth your skin
- Whiten teeth
- Brighten your eyes
- Reshape and resize
- Lots of filters
Do you consider your photos to be works of art? Well now they really can be with the Prisma app. This clever app transforms your photos into works of art in the style of famous artists like Van Gogh, Picasso and Levitan. This is a good photo editor if you like your images to look a little different.
- Modern art filters
- Photo effects
- Fast sharing to social media
PhotoDirector is one of the top photo apps for manual enhancements. You have lots of features that are targeted at photographers with good technical knowledge as well as some simpler capabilities like tone, brightness, darkness, exposure, and contrast. It’s a bit different to the other mobile photo editors as there isn’t a focus on filters.
- Adjustment tools
- Adjust RGB colour channels
- White balance correction
- Tone adjustment
- Skin smoother to enhance portraits
You can remove unwanted elements from photos with a lot of apps now, but TouchRetouch is one of the easiest to use. You can quickly and easily highlight the objects that you want to remove with your finger and the app automatically removes the selection, replacing that area with pixels from the surrounding area.
- Easily select objects you want to remove
- The app automatically replaces it with surrounding pixels
- Removes dust spots and wires from sky or other backgrounds
- Remove people and other objects
- Duplicate objects using the clone tool
One of the best photo editing apps for straightening lines is SKRWT. The powerful features allow you to fix problems like lens distortion and perspective as well as straightening lines to make them look more symmetrical. Perfect for editing straight facades such as buildings because you can straighten up converging lines that often appear when you shoot upwards.
For more ideas on photographing cityscapes, take a look at our urban photography tips.
- Correct horizontal and vertical perspective distortion
- Straighten converging lines
- Fix distortion from wide-angle and other lenses
- Crop, straighten and rotate
Get the results of an SLR camera with just your phone. This mobile photo editor has been specially designed to imitate the shallow depth of field effect (the blurred backgrounds and in-focus subject) that can typically only be achieved with a really good camera. Simply use your finger to mark the foreground and background areas, then the app automatically blurs the background.
You can even add a natural-looking bokeh effect (see our bokeh photography tips). AfterFocus will give you professional looking photos on your phone.
- Blur backgrounds
- Choose from various aperture styles
- Control the amount of blur
- Use the motion blur effect to create a sense of movement
- Enhance your image with a variety of filter effects
The photo editing app of choice for lots of people, the perennially popular VSCO (pronounced visco) app also functions as a camera and a photo sharing platform. It has a rich collection of natural-looking filters and editing tools, which is why lots of people favour editing their photos in here over Instagram. VSCO’s filters emulate classic and modern analog films with a soft, slightly faded look and the strength of each filter can be adjusted to suit your photo.
- Beautiful and subtle filters
- Adjustable filter strength
- Lots of downloadable presets
- Image adjustment tools for exposure, colour and other enhancements
- Integrated camera and photo sharing platform
FaceTune is a good photo editor for selfies and portraits. Widen smiles, brighten your teeth and whiten your eyes. You can even get rid of spots and blemishes. It doesn’t stop there though. There’s no end to FaceTune’s editing capabilities – replace grey hairs with a different colour, fill in bald patches, refine jawlines, reshape noses and add color to your lips.
Your selfies will never look the same again.
- Widen or refine your smile
- Smooth your skin
- Brighten dark circles
- Remove blemishes, pimples and scars
- Fill bald patches
- Reshape or refine jaw lines
Quite different to the other top photo apps that we’ve mentioned, Word Swag is all about, you guessed it, words! Place type over your image or choose standalone patterns that you can use as backgrounds for typographical creations. The text is available in an assortment of fonts and decorative badges and a separate workspace lets you write a message or choose from a series of quotes to add to your image.
- Create thought-provoking quotes
- Make graphics for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr
- Create graphics for blogs
- Caption your photos
- Create announcements and flyers
Once you’ve downloaded one (or maybe all) of these apps, you’ll be ready to step up your smartphone photography to the next level. And don’t forget to download our app too, so you can easily turn your smartphone photos into beautiful photo products.
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