Take It from Photo to Art: Best Photo Editing Apps for iOS & Android
To say there are a lot of photo editors out there, might be a bit of an understatement. When I typed the words “photo editor” into my App Store search bar, it came back with 6,779 results. Woah there, developers, slow your roll. It can be a bit of a slog to figure out which ones are really worth your time, and which aren’t. If, for example, you really want to hyper-pixelate all your images, then sure, Pixelwakker is just what you’re looking for. Or maybe you want to replace your sister’s face with a shark head in all your family reunion photos? Well then, better throw down that $0.99 and download “Animal Head Photo Mashup” (for real, guys, that’s what it’s called). But assuming you’re interested in a more all-encompassing photo-editor, let’s delve into the list below and discuss a few heavy-hitters in the world of photo editing. And, bonus alert –every item on this list is compatible with both iOs and Android.
Adobe Photoshop Touch
If you’re going to talk about photo editing, chances are Photoshop will feature in the conversation at some point. Compatible with iOS and Android phones and tablets for $9.99, this ain’t your grandma’s “oh look, I pressed a button and now everything’s sepia tone!” But for those of you skilled in the ways of Photoshop magic, Photoshop Touch is the perfect way to have a vast array of editing capabilities at your fingertips. Though it certainly doesn’t contain all the features of the desktop version, if is one of the most advanced photo editing apps out there (though some features can be a but cumbersome on smaller screens). And, for those of you looking for a more accessible, easy to use app, there is also Photoshop Express –for free!
Snapseed is a great blend of technical proficiency and accessibility. For the average user it is much more accessible than, say, Photoshop; however, it still host a variety of features for those looking for a heavy hitting editing app. Other bonuses include it’s excellent control –using the touch capabilities are very tactile and easy to use, as well as the ability to save images of up to 16 megapixels. And, though some complain about lack of explanation for the use of certain features, Snapseed does have a website that offers lots of helpful tips and tutorials. And at the eye catching price of $0.00, you really can’t go wrong.
I’m sure there are a few of you out there, right now, who are all “enough of this artsy-fartsy photo editing stuff, I need help making my selfies more like-worthy for my bomb-ass instagram account!” Well, here is an app for you. Facetune focuses solely on editing portraits and group photos. It offers 10 different pic-improving tools like whitening, reshaping, smoothing, and erasing red eye. It can be a bit tricky to get the hang of all the features as first; however Facetune does a great job of offering in-app tutorials on each feature, complete with videos so you can see exactly how the experts do it. At $3.99 the price ain’t bad, though my biggest complaint is that it’s not a universal app, meaning you’ll have to buy it twice if you want it on your phone and tablet (that’s where they getcha).
VSCO has been a go-to option for shutterbugs who steer clear of power-players like Photoshop, and also has a following for the most pedestrian users, as well. With it’s all-inclusive design, you can snap the photo, edit it, and share it all at once. Much like instagram, it comes with filters you can place on your pictures; however, VSCO improves upon this idea by giving you a sliding scale for each one, allowing more fine-tuning in your filter-choosing processes. VSCO also curates it’s own picture hosting platform called The Grid, though this is far from it’s best feature. VSCO is a great choice for anyone who wants an easy to use app with more capabilities than the typical photo-editor.
Though you can use Repix for all the typical “choose a filter, crop the picture” type stuff, what it’s really useful for is turning photos into art. With a great selection of brushes (even more options through in-app purchases), you can apply a variety of visual effects to your pictures. And though you can’t use just press a button and have the effect added to the whole picture, the fact that it forces you to actually create your own changes is kind of the whole point –and way more fun. The app also supports the S-Pen, giving you even more control of your artwork on your Galaxy Note device. This free app also let’s you upload pictures from your camera roll, iCloud, Facebook, etc., as well as allows you to share your newly art-ified pics on just about any platform out there.
Pixlr is a real heavy-hitter in the world of photo editing apps. With over 600 editing features, you basically have everything you could ever want or need when it comes to improving your photos. With so many features, you might think this app would be a bit of a mess, but in fact, it’s a breeze to use. The effects are split into four categories – adjustments, effects, overlays, and borders -which certainly helps its ease of use. With its endless abilities and great design, this app can keep you entertained for hours, and certainly deliver some beautiful images.
Let us know which of these apps is your go-to favorite, or do you have a few different ones you use for different projects? Or maybe Animal Head Mashup Surprise (or whatever it’s called) is really and truly the best editor out there. I’m reasonable, make your case.