The art of destroying a photo: 4 of the best photo glitch apps for iPhone

Glitch art is kind of a weird movement. It utilizes visual artifacts, bugs, or other analog errors, which would otherwise be deemed undesired, and turns them into an aesthetic, an adornment which gives a picture a special kind of look. Be it due to the nostalgic effect these images may have on those of us that remember the VHS era, or just because they unlock a new, mostly unexplored frontier of creativity and expression, glitch effects are certainly here to stay, despite the fact that they are a bit of a niche art at the moment.

If you've been thinking about adding a special oomph (more like a hiccup or a stagger) to your photos, you've probably thought about testing out the odd image glitch app in the App Store. As can be expected, there are a ton of them out there, most not as good as one might hope, while a small number are creative, well thought-out pieces of software. We dug through the glitch photos that the App Store gave us after a search query and plucked out 4 of the best ones. Check them out below!

Glitch Wizard

Price: $1.99

If you want to enter the deep rabbit hole of photo glitching, Glitch Wizard is probably one of the best places to start. The app offers 30 filters that will distort your image in a specific way, most of which can have their intensity set by a user-manipulated slider. Each time you use a new filter, the app automatically creates a new frame. At the end, you can either export all the images as a looping GIF animation, or just pick your favorite frame and export it as a picture. Deleting frames from the timeline is easy, too – just swipe them upwards. The app is in dire need of an "undo" button, however.


Price: $0.99

As the name suggests, this app has the power to turn your pictures into unrecognizable heaps of pixel mush. It offers 27 different glitch filters, all of which can be applied at the same time, if the user so requires. The effects will work in successive order, so it's important to layer them with some thought (OK, or just do like us and experiment until something semi-good comes out) and each of them has tweakable parameters. If you get overburdened – there are a couple of “randomize” buttons, which may just give you a surprisingly good result if you hit them enough times. The good news is that once you find a glitch combination you like, you can save it as a preset!


Price: $0.99

Easily among our favorite image editing apps, Glitché offers a lot of high quality distortion effects, which you will certainly have a blast exploring. There are even a couple of impressive filters, which can make a 3D grid out of your 2D photo, or recreate your photo entirely with emoji. Unfortunately, you can only use one effect at a time, so that's a bit of a downside, but none the less – $1 well spent for anyone who is into tinkering with their photos beyond the average filter / contrast touch-up.


Price: $1.99

Hyperspektiv offers 27 really trippy glitch filters. The unique thing in this app is that the viewfinder acts as a X / Y parameter control for the filter effects – slide your finger to the right and the filter will move faster, slide upwards and the effect will become more intense. You can use this to your advantage and play with the glitch while recording a video, getting a much more dynamic clip at the end. You can also snap pictures with the app, but it was obviously not the developer's focus to use it for that. Unfortunately, you can't pull old clips and images from your gallery and apply effects on top of them — at least not for now — Hyperspektiv currently works only as a camera app.

Recommended Stories

Loading Comments...
FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless