Photo editing apps are a must for businesses that use smartphones or tablets to take photos.
Smartphone and tablet cameras are better than ever, turning Average Joes into instant professional photographers. Still, smartphone and tablet snapshots are far from perfect. Photos can come out looking flat, dull or otherwise lifeless. Whether you share photos on social media or use them on your website or online store, a quick editing session with a photo editing app can make a world of difference in attracting customers with beautiful works of art.
To help you wade through the sea of photo editing apps available at app stores, here are some of the best for iOS and Android.
Sometimes, your shot is picture perfect — except for that one little blemish, glare or unwanted object. If you simply need to touch-up a photo, check out TouchRetouch.
TouchRetouch lets you quickly and easily remove all sorts of elements from a photo, such as shadows, lights, people, buildings, wires, spots in the sky, backgrounds and more. All you have to do is highlight areas you want eliminated by tracing it with your finger, and then tap Start. TouchRetouch does all the hard work for you.
The app also lets you perfect faces by retouching imperfections, evening out skin tones and smoothing the skin's surface. And unlike many retouching apps that distort images post-edit, TouchRetouch maintains the quality of your photos so it's not obvious that they have been edited.
Other features include a clone stamp tool to fill in any gaps, match backgrounds or duplicate elements, as well as unlimited undo and redo, 1:1 view and social media sharing via Facebook, Twitter, Picasa and Flickr. In-app video tutorials are also available to help you use and get the most out of the app.
Ask any Instagram power user or iPhone photographer and Snapseed is likely on the top of their list. Snapseed, by Google, is a free iOS and Android app that offers a slew of professional-level photo editing features.
To polish photos, the Auto Correct feature enhances colors, exposure and contrast in a single tap. The Tune Image feature tweaks brightness, ambience, highlights, shadows, saturation and other effects, and the Selective Adjust feature also lets you highlight and focus specific areas. Other features include frames, texture and tone adjustment, and sharing via email, Google+ and more.
Another great feature is the Brush tool, which lets you selectively edit different parts of a photo, for instance, manually adjust the saturation or exposure of a single object in a frame and not the entire photo.
The app also comes with several filters and effects to give your photos a unique look and feel. This includes classic Black & White, Vintage, Drama, Grunge and Retrolux, which adds scratches, film styles and other embellishments to give your photos a retro vibe.
VSCO is another favorite photo editing app amongst for iPhone photographers. VSCO — which stands for Visual Supply Company — is an all-in-one camera and photo editing app.
VSCO's main draw are its wide range of filters. The app lets you adjust the strength of each filter manually by using a slider, giving you full control over its intensity. In addition to filters, you can further edit photos by fine tuning its exposure, contrast, sharpness, saturation, highlights, tin, temperature and fade.
In addition to editing tools, VSCO comes with a neat Sync & Edit feature that syncs your workflow across devices. For instance, you can take a photo and start editing it on your iPhone, and then finish your work on your iPad. VSCO also maintains the quality of your images by keeping high-resolution versions of your photos even after many rounds of editing on different devices.
VSCO also offers a robust organization system using its Photo Library. There you have the choice of displaying photos you've taken using the VSCO camera, photos you've edited and your favorite photos, as well as add existing photos from your phone's native photo gallery.
If you’re more of the creative type, Mextures is right in your wheel house. This photo editing app lets you apply all types of textures to photos, such as grains, light leaks and gradients. There are more than 150 original textures to choose from, and it also comes with an unlimited number of layers for easy editing and blending of effects.
For fast editing, Mextures also comes with 200 “formulas” to instantly apply premade edits to other photos in just one click. Users can also save their own edits as formulas for future use.
In addition to textures, Mextures also offers basic editing tools, such as exposure, contrast, highlights and shadows, sharpness, saturation, tint, black and white, fade and other adjustments.
5. Adobe Photoshop Express
Adobe Photoshop Express takes the basic photo editing features of Adobe Photoshop and packs them into a mobile app.
Designed for on-the-go photo editing, Adobe Photoshop Express is an entry-level photo editing app that offers a handful of features for quick edits and automatic fixes. Basic editing tools include crop, rotate, flip and red eye removal. You can also enhance photos using slide controls to adjust clarity, contrast, tint, exposure, temperature and more.
The app also supports panoramic photo editing, has social media integration, and comes with frames, borders and more than 20 filters to add special effects.
Adobe Photoshop Express can be downloaded for free at the Apple App Store and Google Play marketplace. In-app purchases deliver additional features, such as the Looks pack for additional filters and the Nose Reduction pack to remove grains and speckling.
If you're looking to mainly add text to your photos and also be able to edit them, PicLab has you covered.
PicLab lets you easily get the message across with three easy-to-use tools. You can add text simply by tapping the text tool and start typing — and then choose from dozens of fonts — or by "writing" on photos with your finger or stylus. You can also choose from PicLab's collection of pre-made messages, which include greetings, quotes, stickers and more.
Like other phot editing apps, PicLab also offers plenty of options to enhance your photos. Adjustments include brightness, contrast, blur, exposure, saturation, temperature and tint. There are also a ton of overlays available, such as borders, shapes, light effects, textures and patterns to change the look and feel of your photos.
A popular alternative to iOS cameras, Camera+ does more than let users take photos like a pro. It is also a powerful photo editing app equipped with several tools to transform images into works of art.
One of Camera+'s standout features is the Clarity function — in one tap, Clarity corrects colors, adjusts contrast and brightness, and enhances details to bring life to dull, washed-out photos.
Other features include digital flash to brighten dark photos; scene modes to create true-to-life photos based on your environment; brushing and layered effects; and borders and captions to for a personalized touch. Camera+ also comes with standard photo editing tools, such as rotation and cropping.
The iPad app offers advanced editing tools to correct tone, remove red eyes, straighten crooked shots, change white balance, adjust sharpness, and create vignettes to add faded edges.
Camera+ also syncs with iCloud, so you can easily take and edit photos between iCloud-enabled devices.
Need to add a little pizazz to your photos? Repix lets you "remix" photos using a host of brushes that turns an iPhone, iPad or Android device into your own personal canvas. Using the tip of your finger, Repix's series of brushes lets you paint various decorations, effects, colors and artistic touches onto your images. Own a Samsung Galaxy Note? Repix for Android comes with S Pen support, so you can use your stylus to create your masterpiece.
In addition to style brushes, Repix features over a dozen design filters and a collection of frames to finish off your designs.
Repix is also built with the user in mind: It has an intuitive interface, fast adjustment and cropping tools, and "zero-friction" design to easily switch between tools without additional steps. Repix also has social media integration, enabling users to directly share photos on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Flickr and Tumblr, as well as email.