Photographs we take on our smartphones often turn out good, but with a few touches here and there they can become great. Luckily, you have all the tools you need to make this work on your smartphone - from basic apps that auto-enhance images adding punchy colors and more contrast, to filters and finally to more advanced photo editing apps where you can manually change the way the image looks.
Which apps are greatest for that? Google Play has more than a dozen, but some really stood out the test of time and got our whole-hearted recommendation. Check them out below.
Best Android camera apps: photo editing
1. Quick fixes and filters: VSCO Cam - Free
VSCO Cam is an app by the Visual Supply Company, a firm known for developing some of the best film-emulation filters for Adobe Lightroom, and it’s no surprise that this expertise has resulted in a collection of some amazing filters that you can get in VSCO Cam. The beauty of VSCO’s filters (or presets rather) is in the subtle measure of the artistic effects that will help you get a sense of the right amount of touch-ups needed for a photo, and also help you avoid overediting your images.
The full preset pack costs $5.99, and while you have some free presets, the app starts to truly shine when you unlock the potential of all the presets. VSCO Cam also allows you to edit the strength of each filter, as well as edit all aspects of an image non-destructively. Apart from its filters and effects, VSCO Cam also comes with a ‘journal’ with ideas for shooting, and the apps gets the job done as a camera replacement.
2. All-around image editing: Snapseed - Free
Snapseed stands out with its extremely intuitive and touch-friendly interface, allowing you to tweak every aspect of an image with a precision and ease that no other mobile image editor can offer. It’s easier to point out the things it cannot do, rather than what it can: there’s no way to zoom in on an image when you do your edits and it cannot selective blur parts of an image.
Regardless of those minute shortcomings, it remains the most feature-rich editor out there and it’s completely free, unspoiled by any kind of in-app purchases or other bloat.
3. Advanced photo editing: Photoshop Touch for phone - $4.99
With masks, layers, and a lot of the beautiful complexity of the Photoshop you know for desktop, this app is an excellent tool to bring some of that advanced photo manipulation to your mobile device.
Having the option to do some of the work someone would usually do tied to their desktop on the go is definitely great. The hefty price tag of $4.99 is justified with no annoying ads, and a nicely optimized interface, tailor-made for touchscreens.
4. Filters go social: Instagram - Free
Instagram is an app that needs no introduction - it’s one of the most popular image sharing platforms out there, used by celebrities, photographers, and other influentials as much as by less camera-exposed people.
The bread and butter of Instagram are its filters, most of which turn your photo into a cool, vintage-looking piece of art that you can share with the world. Like, comment, and follow your favorites, to make Instagram more than just an image editing application for you.
5. An alternative all-around editor: Photo Editor by Aviary - Free
Aviary’s Photo Editor has gathered a wide following for a good reason - it strikes the right balance between feature richness and simplicity in use. It is also regularly updated, with sleek visual style, and large image previews that allow you to have a good look of your edits as you do them.
It has some unique capabilities too - you can remove blemishes from faces for better portraits, whiten teeth, add fun memes to your shots as well as stickers. On the downside, it’s an app that throws in-app purchases right in your face at the beginning, and it takes some getting used to the menus.
6. Paint effects on photographs like an artist: RePix - Free
RePix comes with its own approach to editing, using brushes to literally paint effects over an image. The approach is similar to the one of an artist painting, and the goal seems to be to help you create a true masterpiece.
Keep in mind, though, that some of the best brushes are only available via in-app purchases, but for its unique approach and convenient user interface, RePix definitely deserves a mention here.
7. Options galore: Pixlr Express - Free
Pixlr Express is a powerful photo editor allowing you to tweak basically every aspect of an image, but it lacks the precision and convenience of the interface of an app like say Snapseed. The richness of available settings to tweak, however, is hugely appreciated and the quick operation of the app adds to the positive impressions.