Did you ever imagine that there would come a day where all you would really need to create beautiful pictures is nothing but a mobile phone? With inbuilt HD cameras and an ample number of editing apps to choose from, the possibility of crafting viral worthy content on our everyday pocket devices is nearly endless today.
If you have seen the before and after images that I often share on my Instagram account, then you might already know about how editing applications can transform ordinary pictures into dreamy, likeable content in a matter of a few clicks and taps.
From removing people in the background, to adding artistic filters, using retouching tools and many other tweaks; there’s so much that we, as creators, can do to enhance our pictures. In order to help you achieve that and much more, I am finally sharing the 15 best photo editing apps that I personally have on my phone and use regularly. So, get ready to download already!
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1. Adobe Lightroom
Talk about starting with a bang! Adobe Lightroom is probably the only editing app that I cannot imagine my Instagram growth being possible without. It is something that I use almost every single day and recommend to everyone.
Lightroom is a complete package where you can fix your photo angles, crop for Instagram, create your own photo presets (or filters), colour correct and what not. Other than the easy sliders interface for most of its features, I am also a big fan of Lightroom’s premium tools that allow you to do selective editing to any particular part of your photo.
As if all of these aren’t enough reasons to get Lightroom today, the fact that most of its features are available for free definitely is. I personally started my creative journey by playing around with this app and honestly think that it is one of the best photo editing apps available for mobile right now.
CG’s tip: For instances when you don’t have your DSLR handy, Lightroom’s mobile app is also useful to shoot RAW images from your phone.
Adobe Lightroom is available for both iOS and Android.
If you are not an avid user of Lightroom yet, then chances are that Google’s Snapseed is your go to app instead. With professional-grade tools like tone curves, selective editing, perspectives and presets; it undoubtedly deserves to be recognised amongst the best photo editing apps for mobile out there.
One of my favourite things about having used Snapseed is that not only is it free to use, but also completely ad free. The interface consists of sliders that are easy to get a hang of, making it equally good for amateur photographers as well.
Snapseed is available for both iOS and Android.
Similar to Lightroom and Snapseed, VSCO is another mobile editing app that offers one click edits with the help of presets. It comes with plenty of free filters to choose from, but if you like, there is also a library consisting of different collections for particular styles that you can purchase additionally.
The main difference of using VSCO over the other apps is that most of the filters available here are designed for a film aesthetic. I also like that VSCO has educational content within the app; something that can be useful for both novices and professionals alike.
Last but not the least, VSCO offers a yearly membership program known as VSCO X where users can edit videos as well. I personally haven’t had an opportunity to try that feature of the app yet, but it can definitely be useful if you like your videos and photos to have similar colours and appeal.
VSCO is available for both iOS and Android.
4. Tezza App
Tezza and Cole’s photography and editing has been one of my all-time favourites on Instagram. So, if you are looking for an app that provides you with beautiful one-click filters and templates for both pictures and videos, then the Tezza App is for you.
It is a freemium app where filters are available only with a subscription, but you can still do manual settings for free. You can preview the filters before committing to a plan and/or get a free one month trial to see if it would be worth your investment (what I did initially).
CG’s tip: My personal favourite filter from the Tezza app is Flower (subscription only). Most of my Instagram stories and videos are edited using this.
Tezza App is available for both iOS and Android.
5. Enlight Quickshot
Let’s admit it. Regardless of how experienced of a photographer someone may be, there are always days where people are stuck with an overcast or a grey sky in images. And even though Photoshop is amazing to amend that as per your will, not everyone has the time or expertise to invest in it.
Enlight Quickshot is one of the best photo editing apps for mobile because it lets you change the sky in your pictures with just a click of a button. From dreamy sunset colours to bright blue skies, you can expect to find plenty of options at your fingertips here.
CG’s tip: Although the edited skies look wonderful most of the time, please try to not overdo the edit. Instead go for a subtler colour for more of a believable look.
Enlight Quickshot is available for both iOS and Android.
I only came across PicsArt earlier this year and have been a constant user of the app ever since. From cloning and curves, to resize, lens flare, artistic effects and much more; I love how there is a huge variety of tools that are bundled up in just this one app.
If you use Instagram as much as I do, then lately you might have come across pictures with a creative sketch graphic on them. PicsArt is the app where you can apply that and many more similar effects with a mere click or two.
It is again a freemium app. Most of the tools are available in the free download, but there is also a monthly or yearly subscription to further expand your options. Other than to get rid of the ads that can sometimes be a bit too much, I personally don’t feel the need for a subscription for myself yet.
CG’s tip: In case you are interested, there is a free 7-day trial for the pro version though.
PicsArt is available for both iOS and Android.
Tired of photo bombers, telephone booths, electricity and other wires in your pictures? Not anymore!
TouchRetouch is a mobile editing app that can be best described as the ultimate remover, with the help of which, users can erase elements that they don’t desire in their content. From deleting small objects to faraway people in the background, it is one of the quickest mediums to clean your pictures as preferred.
Even though the app comes with a small one-time fee, I truly feel that it is worth the investment if you aren’t as familiar with Photoshop and/or need a quick eraser for mobile photo editing anyway. With the help of the various tutorials available on the app itself, it is fairly easy to understand how everything works and get a grip on all the different features.
My personal favourite feature in TouchRetouch is the single flick line removal tool that helps a user select a part of a line (for e.g.: electricity wire) and then automatically gets rids of everything else smartly. If you want to have more control, there are also other tools that you could use to customise what to replace as well.
TouchRetouch is available for both iOS and Android.
8. Lens Distortions
Looking to add natural elements like sun flares, fog, rain or snow to your pictures? Lens Distortions (LD) is my favourite one stop solution that allows you to add all of these with just a simple click or two.
LD is free to use and the interface allows people to not only add these visual techniques in only a few seconds, but also lets its users adjust the said effects to their own liking. You can use just one of them or add several layers on top of each other- the possibilities are nearly endless!
CG’s tip: I personally use a combination of both, classic and principle light hits to create a desired flare of my preference.
Lens Distortions is available for both iOS and Android.
9. Adobe Photoshop Express
Adobe Photoshop Express is a mobile photo editor that has a variety of tools that you can use to enhance your pictures. If you have ever used or looked at Photoshop’s desktop version, then you will find this a little bit similar. You can think of it as a one-stop app where users can use some of Photoshop’s tools on mobile for free.
Other than filters that are adjustable to your liking, extensive crop tool, and text overlay; you can also create collages and custom stickers on this app. One of my favourite features to use here is the vertical and horizontal perspective.
If I am ever editing on the go, then I can just change the perspective of my pictures in Photoshop Express for free (compared to it being a paid feature in Lightroom mobile). The app also allows you to save your edits as PNG files, which can always be handy in design.
Adobe Photoshop Express is available for both iOS and Android.
10. Adobe Photoshop Mix
If you ever find yourself wanting to combine two or more photos into one, then Adobe Photoshop Mix is the best app to merge them in.
A lot of the best photo editing apps for mobile mentioned above have a clone tool that you can use to copy paste certain elements within a picture, but if you want to use another photo as a sample point, then this is what you would need.
I love using Adobe Photoshop Mix in instances where I feel that the background looks better in one picture, whereas I prefer my pose in another image. It is also wonderful to copy elements like birds from one picture onto the other too.
Adobe Photoshop Mix is available for both iOS and Android.
11. Adobe Photoshop Fix
Photoshop Fix is another great mobile editing app by Adobe. As the name correctly indicates, this app is ideal to fix your pictures by using the content aware healing tool to remove objects or artefacts from a frame. You can download this and use it as a free alternative to TouchRetouch.
Photoshop Fix can also be useful in enhancing your images. I love using the selective lighten, darken, saturate and desaturate tools that allow you to only change the particular parts that you prefer. And if you are interested, there is also another feature in this app that lets you sculpt shapes, which I personally find quite fun to experiment with.
CG’s tip: Depending on what particular feature(s) of Photoshop you are interested in, you can go through all the three aforementioned apps and decide which ones to download. I personally find myself using all for different purposes from time to time.
Adobe Photoshop Fix is available for both iOS and Android.
Ever since the early days of my Instagram journey, Instasize has always been one of the best apps for picture formatting for me. I must have used it to make my pictures fit Instagram’s ratio on numerous occasions, but today, there is so much more that Instasize offers.
From a free photo editor that comes with presets, to everyday tools such as exposure, tint, highlights and shadows; there is a lot that you can use Instasize for. Within the app, there is also a premium video editor that allows to edit and format videos as per any platform’s size and is based on a yearly subscription model.
I, myself am also a fan of the various (about 100+) borders and collage options that are available on Instasize. If you are looking to make a graphic, there are a few unique fonts that are free to use as well.
Instasize is available for both iOS and Android.
Have you ever seen the glitter effect on Instagram that has been gaining popularity for a while? It is something that is usually added to images using Photoshop layers, but there is an easy alternative for those who might not be as savvy with it yet.
Meitu is one of the best photo editing apps to quickly add the glitter effect from just your mobile phone. It consists of multiple other tools, but I personally have only used it for the glitter effect as of yet. All you need to do to add it to your images is: Go to the edit mode in Meitu, choose the mosaic tool and apply the glitter effect and make the adjustments as preferred.
Meitu is available for both iOS and Android. However, please note that it is currently banned in India. If you too are unable to download it anymore, then Picsart’s brush tool can be used as a good alternative as well.
14. Foodie- Camera for life
I downloaded this app specifically for food photos and was left amazed by everything else that I didn’t expect to find on it. Foodie-camera for life comes with a variety of free filters that are designed and grouped together in categories such as food, indoor, scenery and selfie. Each of these categories have plenty of options to choose within and the best thing is that all are further customisable as well.
Some of my favourite filters in Foodie are ME2, BQ1, YU2, IN1. I love how they enhance my food (and other) photos with just a single tap. Another great thing about this app is that there are also presets that you can find from other creators within the app and save as a recipe without any additional charge. You can also create your own and quickly apply them by just a click of a button the next time as well.
Foodie- Camera for life is available for both iOS and Android.
ImgPlay is usually a go-to GIF maker, but my list of the best photo editing apps for mobile couldn’t be complete without it. I love using this app to easily merge my photos and create gifs with just my fingertips.
Along with combing pictures, this app is also ideal for converting, splitting and editing videos as well as gifs. Everything is highly customisable and the best thing that the app can be downloaded for free.
ImgPlay is available for both iOS and Android.
I hope that you liked reading this blogpost about the best photo editing apps for mobile and found some new ones from my recommendations above. In case you have any questions or requests for me to write another favourites list like this, then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below and let me know!
Want to keep reading? You might also like “How To Start A Travel Blog: A Complete Step-By-Step Guide” and “10+ Things That Might Be Harming Your Instagram Growth“.
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This Post Has 8 Comments
What a great selection of apps. Thank you for introducing me to so many new ones, I just downloaded like 10!
That is amazing. I am really happy that you found so many new ones, Suman!
Thanks for sharing this list Charu. Never knew about the last few. ImgPlay sounds like a superfun one to try. 🙂
You’re welcome, Swathi! ImgPlay is my go to app to create GIFs, I hope you like using it too. It sure is superfun to play around with!
Foodie app is my favorite! I actually use it a lot for my travel photos and they really helps create a theme to my feed. I do initials edit there and then take to LR for specific touches.
That is so interesting, Shayan! I love how everyone has their own way of editing a picture and combining apps, thank you for sharing yours with me.
Lightroom is usually where I do most of my editing using self-made presets, but the ones available on Foodie are quite nice and easy to use too!
Thanks for the tips Charu! I haven’t tried so many of these, I will be downloading them today!!
My pleasure, Katie! I am so happy that you discovered some new apps from this article. Looking forward to seeing you use them x