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Which is the Best Photo Editing App for You? A Comprehensive Review to Help You Choose

If there’s one thing that separates good photos and great photos, it’s editing. Not only does it correct any imperfections and enhance your photos, editing is also the way to put your ‘stamp’ on your photos. Your editing style can set you apart from the others, and when used consistently, it can be your trademark.

After talking about the basics of smartphone photography and how to create pro-quality travel photos with a smartphone, now is the time to talk about the next important process: photo editing. Thanks to the plethora of apps out there with various features and tools, editing with mobile apps can produce amazing results. But how do you pick the best photo editing app?

We have gathered some of the most popular ones and reviewed them for you. Catch what’s good and bad about every app and pick the best ones that suit your photography.


1. SnapSeed

best photo editing app - photojaanic (1)A friendly new app for anyone who loves a glow filter on their photos, SnapSeed possesses a diverse set of editing tools that range from brightness to different geometric adjustments that make for an interesting editing experience. The selective adjustment is definitely one of its strongest features, allowing for partial blurring of the photo as desired. There are advanced filters in the app which seem appealing to the millennial curious cat, and some of these are glamour glow, lens blur, grunge, HDR scape, Noir, and frames.

The good news:  The SnapSeed app allows for a faster processing of all media file formats.

The bad news:  Beginners find its interface a tad complicated and skittish to experiment with.

2. VSCO

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A grunge app that is a perfect phone wallpaper maker. The VSCO camera provides amazing tools and filters for those traditional photography corrections and adjustments that Instagrammers love to toy with. A free app that can be used by both Android and iOS users, this app is an excellent editing tool for dark, cloudy effects that make for excellent photos.

The good news:

  • Excellent tools and filters for editing purposes.
  • Useful asset-management options for photographers.
  • Social sharing made easier for people on Flickr people.

The bad news:

  • The Android camera feature is not as robust as the iOS version.
  • You cannot share photos simultaneously on iOS.
  • No frames, text or funky special effects.
  • Crop tool works only with preset aspect ratios.

3. A Color Story

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This aesthetic new app was invented to brighten whites and add a pop to colors without making the photo look too edited. A subtle filter is all you need, according to the creators of this app. The app focuses on brightening and enhancing the natural color of photos, and for the photographer who does not want to do much to their photos, this app is perfect.

The feature that most separates this new up and coming app from its competitors is that, through combining certain filters with lighting and color preferences, one can create and save their own, personalised filters. Some of the many features you can use to filter and edit are adjusting tools such as Curves, Clarity, Contrast, Bright, Saturation, Temperature, Tint, Hue Shift, High Color Adjuster, Midtone Color Adjuster, Shadow Color Adjuster, Exposure, Sharpen, Blur, Grain, and Vignette. A lot, right?

The good news:

  • There are over 100 filters that you can access
  • The features Light Flares, Light Leaks, and Color Fogs can be added to your photos.
  • You can save all your editing steps and create a custom filter

The bad news:

  • With way too many features, you could get lost in the numerous filters and effects.
  • It’s constantly promoting itself, asking for a rating and offering in-app purchases.

4. Photoshop Express

best photo editing app - photojaanic (5)The main page of Photoshop Express Mobile gives you an unambiguous starting point: an uncluttered screen with only three (or four) large icons to choose your photo source. The Editing window has six icons on the bottom of the screen: Looks, Crop, Corrections, Redeye, Borders and Healing Brush, and you can also add text to your photo.

The good news:

  • Clean, clear interface.
  • Good control over image adjustment.
  • Fun photo enhancements.
  • Integrated online galleries.

The bad news:

  • Too many actions pop up ads.
  • Limited sharing, unless you first upload photos to Photoshop.com.

5. Photoshop Mix

best photo editing app - photojaanic (6)Photoshop Mix is an app designed by the editing software giant to offer editing options on a touchscreen device. With ‘Photoshop’ right in the name, most users automatically assume it’s a good app, and they’re mostly right.

Photoshop Mix is designed specifically for creating mixes, or simple composites of two photos. The touchscreen allows you to trace around the object to create a new layer with a single object on it. Ideally, this would be easier than outlining an object with the mouse on your computer, but it’s vastly different based on what kind of touchscreen device you are using.

The good news:

  • Photoshop Mix allows you to edit with layers.
  • It’s a good app for creating composite images on a smartphone or tablet

The bad news:

  • Layers are more limited than in the fully-fledged Photoshop.

6. Lightroom Mobile

best photo editing app - photojaanic (4)This iOS app is most commonly used by professional photographers on their Macs and laptops. There are a variety of sophisticated features on this app that you can use to edit and retouch your photos. Lightroom Mobile isn’t the first iPad app that can edit raw files, but it’s the most interesting option simply due to its association with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, the popular raw workflow application for desktop computers. But that association also creates high expectations for Lightroom Mobile to fulfill.

The good news:

  • Automatic synchronization of edits between Lightroom Mobile and desktop Lightroom
  • High-quality raw editing controls
  • Uses multi-touch gestures well.

The bad news:

  • Can’t import raw files directly from attached cameras or cards, iPad only.
  • Syncing requires Creative Cloud subscription
  • Very limited metadata support, no custom presets.

7. Afterlight

best photo editing app - photojaanic (7)Afterlight is a third-generation application that is programmed to help users edit images quickly using powerful tools in seconds. Once you download the app, you will get free monthly app updates and content to help you continue to derive maximum utility from the application. Afterlight offers filters that can be layered onto the photo, but perhaps its most attractive feature is the light leaks. The strength and colour of these light leaks can be adjusted to your preference, and it’s definitely a feature many Instagrammers will find useful. 

The good news:

  • A wide variety of tools to help you edit photos.
  • Has 78 different textures to edit with.
  • Its user-friendly interface that is very responsive and easy to navigate.

The bad news:

  • The app is only available in English

8. Pixlr

best photo editing app - photojaanic (8)Pixlr is definitely one of the strong contenders for the best editing app. Simple and easy to use, even beginners will be able to master this with no difficulties. It has similar tools to Photoshop, so if you’re already familiar with Photoshop, navigating Pixlr wouldn’t be hard. With this app, you can easily use a wide variety of overlays, blemish removal tools, and cosmetic adjustments. Selective editing is easy to do with the blur feature and brush tools, and these can really step up your editing game.

The good news:

  • The app comes with a free and paid version
  • Easy to use and navigate, especially for beginners
  • There is a powerful feature set

The bad news:

  • Tutorials of the app and user groups can be hard to find

9. Enlight

best photo editing app - photojaanic (10)Enlight is an app that offers artistic filters that allow you to make a photo look like a watercolor, oil painting, or sketch. There are also options to draw on photos, add text, add shapes, and more.

You can also perform simple operations such as cropping, adjusting colors, and even healing photos. You can apply borders and frames to your photos, add vignette lighting, and use vintage filters to add sepia or to desaturate colors. It also has a full palette of tools for turning your photos into black and white.

Enlight lets you save your sessions while you’re working if you want to take a break, and you can export photos in JPEG, PNG, or TIFF. You can create collages of multiple photos, save them to your Photos library, share them on social media, and Enlight never changes your originals, so you can always go back to them.

Enlight won’t replace pro apps for those who know how to use them, but it’s refreshing to be able to tweak photos by tapping and dragging.

The good news:

  • Intuitive interface
  • Non-destructive editing
  • Nice selection of filters

The bad news:

  • Not a replacement for a pro app.

10. PicTapGo

For a complete beginner, this is another photo editing app which will help you to do a lot more with the photos. Simple and user-friendly, the photo editing process is pretty straightforward with many effects to choose from, with features that allow you to play with the strength and clarity of each effect. It’s also equipped with features for basic editing, such as white balance, contrast, exposure etc.

The good news:

  • This is an easy-to-use app.
  • It offers a lot of filters that make the photo look incredible.

The bad news:

  • It’s really basic, so it’s not that great for a professional use.

11. Prisma

best photo editing app - photojaanic (9)Prisma is not designed for photo editing purposes for phones, but rather for creating unique graphic artwork with your photos. You can have fun with its range of artistic filters to turn your photos into works of art. Many of the filters mimic the artwork style of famous painters, such as Mondrian, van Gogh, Degas, and many more. The filters are not limited to painting-like effects, as there are vintage, comics, and many more styles you can choose.

The good news:

  • A fun and interesting option if you wish to develop artistic imagery for your photos
  • Fun and creative oriented editing options

 The bad news:

  • Can work only specific devices
  • It is not a complete editing platform.

12. Lumyer

Lumyer is an app that offers a new and unique way to communicate using photos, a sound place to start for the aspiring cinematographer. The app enables its users to apply animated effects to their mobile photos by adding a moving layer, and to customise and share them using its platform. The options vary from wildlife to weather effect, and experimenting with these effects can be a great fun.

The good news:

  • It allows its users to edit and animate photos with contextual animated effects and filters.
  • Pictures can be saved as live photos or shared on social networks.

The bad news:

  • Infamous for its high power usage.
  • The effects can seem unrealistic.

Do you have any go-to photo editing apps that you always use? Let us know in the comments below!


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