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Home / Tips and Tricks / 8 of the best photo editing apps for your phone (for iPhone and Android)

8 of the best photo editing apps for your phone (for iPhone and Android)

bazaart editing app

Edited in Bazaart.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Whether you spend more time at home thanks to the coronavirus Lockdown and missing photos, or you just have a gallery app full of images you haven̵

7;t looked at for years, some creative image editing can be a great way to get more out of your photos. And it doesn’t matter whether you use the new iPhone 12 Pro Max, the Galaxy S21 Ultra or an older, cheaper phone; the iPhone App Store on iOS and Google Play Store on Android are full of powerful apps that can give your existing photos a whole new look, all from the comfort of your home.

I’ve collected a selection of my favorites, so read it, make a cup of tea, and settle in for an evening montage. You can even turn your favorite photos into a photo book while they are in quarantine

You can also view these ads ideas for flexing your photography muscles at home if you want to photograph and edit something new.

snapseed edit app

Edited in Snapseed.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

1. Snapseed

Free on iOS and Android.

Owned by Google, Snapseed offers a wide variety of lighting and color tools to adjust your images, but also has tons of filter options, from vintage styles to modern, punchy HDR looks. You can layer the effects to make some interesting edits to your image. Best of all, it’s completely free.

lightroom edit app

Edited in Lightroom mobile.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

2. Lightroom

iOS and Android, some features are available for free, or $ 4.99 per month for full access.

Adobe Lightroom remains an industry standard for professional photographers and the mobile version is much the same. You won’t find stickers, animations, or emoji here, but you do get fine grain control over your image and the same set of tools you’d find in Lightroom on desktop. It’s the app I use most to edit my own images on my iPhone and iPad, not least because the images are synced in the cloud, allowing me to launch on one device and continue on another .

photoshop express editing app

Edited in Photoshop Express.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

3. Adobe Photoshop Express

Free on iOS and Android.

Photoshop Express has many of the same features you’d find in Lightroom, including exposure, contrast, and color editing options, but removes some of the professional tools and cloud sync and, crucially, scraps the subscription fee. It’s a great tool for adjusting your images to show off their best, but you’ll also find a decent selection of filters and overlay textures, as well as tools to make cool collages from your images.

It’s not quite as open to wild creativity as other options on this list, but it’s a solid editing app at a price that’s hard to argue about.

prism editing app

Edited in Prisma.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

4. Prism

iOS and Android, $ 7.99 a month or $ 30 a year.

Prisma is not concerned with subtle filters and basic image corrections. Instead, the trippy filters transform your images into often outlandish artistic creations. The results have a painterly effect and indeed many filters are inspired by artists such as Salvador Dali and Picasso. The filters are strong and while you can adjust them, not every filter will work with every image. I found some filters more suitable for portraits, while others worked best with landscapes.

But it’s a lot of fun to experiment with and if you find a picture that works, it is really to work.

bazaart editing app

Edited in Bazaart.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

5. Bazaart

IOS only, $ 7.99 per month or $ 48 per year.

Bazaart’s montage and collage tools let you combine multiple different elements – from photos to text and graphics – and merge them all together to create a finished work of art. It has tools that allow you to instantly erase the background from behind a portrait subject (I was amazed at how well it worked!) To insert a new background or layer multiple effects. It also has a huge variety of templates to create beautiful Instagram story collages too.

There are so many different ways you can try to stitch different images together that the only limit comes down to how creative you feel. Head over to Bazaart’s Instagram page for some inspiration.

photofox edit app

Edited in Photofox.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

6. Photofox

only iOS

Like Bazaart, Photofox has powerful background removal tools that allow you to create compositions in new backgrounds or apply amazing effects. I particularly like Photofox’s dispersion effect, which makes it look like your subject is bursting into particles (trust me, it’s cool), as well as the glitch effects and the double exposure that overlays two images.

As with Bazaart, there are endless possibilities of what you can do by layering and composing different kinds of images and applying different effects to each.

vsco-edit app

Edited in VSCO.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET


iOS and Android, free limited features or $ 19.99 per year with a seven-day free trial.

VSCO started creating color correction presets for Lightroom, and the roots are evident in the app today. Rather than offering stickers and animated GIFs for Snapchat enthusiasts, VSCO is all about the more artsy cinematic color filters. The app has a huge range of presets available, including looks designed to recreate classic rolls of film from Fujifilm, Kodak and Ilford.

It also has a great selection of black and white filters, making it a great choice to experiment with if you like your moody black and white photos.


Edited in PicsArt.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

8. PicsArt

iOS and Android, limited features for free, or $ 48 per year for the entire suite.

PicsArt has a huge range of editing tools at your disposal, from basic adjustments such as exposure and contrast to cinematic color correction and dramatic filters that transform your images into picturesque works of art. There are many options for both the tone and shape of your face for selfies. I won’t go into the ethics of using these tools for ‘beauty’ purposes, but I enjoyed using the tools to purposely convert my functions into bizarre proportions.

There is also a very Instagram-esque social sharing element in PicsArt, if you’re interested in that. Personally, I was mainly interested in the editing options.

Make sure to check out my guide to creative photo projects at home, see our entire catalog of great tips and tricks for better phone photos or watch the iPhone 11 Pro capture the beauty of Scotland on my epic road trip.

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