If you spend a lot of time on your phone, there’s a good chance that you aren’t interested in moving all your photos to a laptop or desktop to edit them. For minor fixes, there are the filters and basic adjustment tools you get with Twitter, Facebook and other major social apps, but anyone who’s serious about their images needs a little more. These dedicated photo editing apps give you the ability to do more the more delicate adjustments necessary to make your images look their best.
This Android and iPhone app offers a natural-feeling, intuitive interface for post processing photographs. You can make small, localised adjustments using the standard pinch gesture, while bigger effects use horizontal and vertical finger swipes. This app is best for adjusting the quality of your image, since it doesn’t include a large archive of filters. This app’s clean, easy-to-understand categorisation makes it easy to find just about anything you need.
This free editor comes from Adobe, makers of the professional standard in image editing. It comes in two formats, only one of which is compatible with smartphones, but its fast processing speed makes up for the potential confusion. Like its more robust cousin, Photoshop Express includes all the important tools and filters you need to fine-tune an image. Undo and redo functions are easy to find and use, making it simple to try out an edit before committing. This app is ideal if you’re already a Photoshop user, since it offers seamless compatibility with other Adobe programs.
Instagram is a classic app for applying photo filters and it still holds up. It offers a number of social functions and a variety of vintage-look filters via an easy-to-use interface. Instagram may not be ideal for you if you don’t want to crop all your images to a square format or if you need to do more correction than filtering. For a significant percentage of smartphone users, however, Instagram is the default way to edit and share images.
This free photo app works only on Android phones, but it offers a wide range of effects. Each filter or effect in CameraMX comes with a slider to allow you to adjust its intensity, which prevents you from overpowering your images. You also get access to all the standard adjustment, including saturation, contrast and colour balance. A live preview makes it easy to ensure you’re applying the right corrections. Unfortunately, CameraMX has a slightly cramped user interface and requires registration to use some of its filters, but it’s an excellent free option for Android users.
Perfectly Clear is a great app for anyone who wants to correct photos without applying too many artistic filters. This clean, attractive tool is available for both Android and iPhone users and offers a wide range of practical adjustments. If you’d like to smooth skin, remove photographic artifacts, clean up colours and otherwise improve the look of your images, Perfectly Clear may be the right choice for you.
Chris Bilson is a Professional Photographer from Sydney, Australia. He says that many people that shoot with their phone or compact digital cameras prefer to edit their photos with easy-to-use Apps instead of complicated computer programs, and says that these five are the best.