Gone were the days when advanced photo editing was exclusive to desktop computers and laptops. Now, not only can you capture high-quality photos on your phone, but you can also edit them straight after the picture has been taken! Although the screen size might pale in comparison, there are a host of features to aid in your photo editing journey! From cropping to adding filters, the only limit is your creativity.
Once you’re satisfied with your masterpiece, you’re one step closer to posting these stunning photos on your social media platform! With that, here are the 8 best free photo editing apps for you to check out.
Note: This list is strictly not in order.
Best for: Advanced photo editing
With a host of features as well as an intuitive surface, Snapseed enables you to enhance even the most ordinary-looking photos. Besides providing a range of preset filters, Snapseed also gives room for you to create your own filters from scratch! Once you’ve created an ideal filter based on your preferences, simply save it for future use. This app also has the basics covered – and yes, we’re talking about the standard cropping, straightening, frames, texts and more.
Even though it’s completely free, Snapseed does not hold back on its unique features! Take their ‘Selective Adjust’ tool, as an example. In this case, you can select a specific part of your image to edit its saturation, contrast and brightness, instead of the whole picture – and that’s not all! From ‘Face Enhance’ to ‘Glamour Glow’, Snapseed contains many unique and advanced features for you to discover.
Best for: Creating filters and getting in touch with an online community
VSCO offers a camera, editing tools, and an online community – perfect for mobile photography enthusiasts! But the main reason why VSCO stands out is because of their beautifully-curated array of filters. No matter the type of photo you take, there’s bound to be a filter that’ll add a touch of class to it perfectly. These soft and subtle filters are also adjustable via a slider.
Filters aside, VSCO also carries the standard editing tools, such as adjustments, cropping, skew, contrast, borders and vignettes. You can even mimic analogue film effects by adjusting the grain and fade settings. Upon downloading this app, you’ll have access to 10 free VSCO filter presets. Before you decide to join the membership, give it a try for seven days first! With the VSCO membership, you can unlock over 200 stunning presets and other advanced photo editing tools.
Best for: Increasing the visual appeal of your food photos
Take a picture, it’ll last longer. Maybe, that’s what most of us are trying to achieve whenever we take a picture of our food! With Foodie, you can take your food photos to a whole new level. While most apps provide filters suitable for any kinds of pictures, Foodie’s 30 filters are created with food in mind. When you take a flat lay food photo with the app, they’ll provide guides so you can attain the perfect shot.
Besides, as any food enthusiast would know – the taste of food is important. But when you’re sharing the pictures to an online community, the only way for you to capture your viewer’s attention is through its looks. So, anytime you take a bland-looking shot, fret not! The Foodie app allows you to enhance your photos so it’ll look like delectable masterpieces. The bottom line is, if you love taking pictures of food, then you’ll definitely need this app!
4. Adobe Lightroom
Best for: Making quick fixes or touch-ups with professional tools
Bring your creative vision to life with Adobe Lightroom. Besides working with Lightroom on your laptop, you can now finesse the littlest details and make selective adjustments from your mobile screen! Lightroom is one of the best free photo editing apps for both Android and iOS users. With sliders, you can control your photo’s properties easily and retouch them to make it pop!
Have you ever taken a great photo, only to notice that there’s something or someone “photobombing” it? With Lightroom, you can remove almost anything with the ‘Healing Brush’! You don’t need prior technical knowledge on how to work the software. At the same time, one of the many key features of Lightroom is the camera. It gives you the ability to adjust focus point, ISO settings and shutter speed. All that’s left for you to do is point and shoot your camera for a great photo to appear!
Best for: Abstract-looking photo edits and artistic expressions
Photofox aims to support your quest to expressing yourself through photos, via the latest technologies! Get a selection of effects and artistic filters that you can see from all over the Internet, on just one app. When you open the app for the first time, the menu items and sub-items might seem somewhat confusing. However, pop-up tips will appear on the entire display to guide you through your inaugural experience.
With Photofox, you can create beautiful double exposures easily. Start by choosing the main photo, followed by the overlay, then let Photofox’s built-in AI system work their magic. You can also choose to edit the layers individually, erase objects from the background, modify the transparency and more. Feel free to explore the different functions. And anytime you’re unsatisfied with a new change, the app allows you to undo the last modification. At your fingertips, you’ll get to unleash your creativity with Photofox.
Price: Free; Offers In-App Purchases
Available on: App Store
Best for: Mimicking photos from Polaroid and film cameras through various features
If you don’t have a Polaroid camera, then you can leverage on Afterlight! It has borders that mimic the classic white frames of a Polaroid film. Though it may not carry the same sentiment as the actual film, it comes close. Aside from that, you can also explore the different filters, film textures and precise editing tools available. The options to add text on your photos are pretty vast too, with over 120 fonts, which are easily customisable with drop shadows and colour options.
Altogether, you can create unique photos that stand out with Afterlight. While they carry the essential tools, Afterlight also has over 20 advanced tools. As such, you can edit your pictures with the utmost precision! Of course, certain features will be restricted unless you obtain Afterlight’s membership. As they offer a free 7-day trial, you can try that out before deciding if you’re satisfied with what the app has to provide you with.
Best for: Taking your photos to the next level through several tools
With an intuitive interface, PicsArt offers many useful tools to aid in image processing. There are settings to adjust transparency rates and turn off layers display. If you’ve ever worked in Photoshop and other similar software, then you might find PicsArt familiar to work with. In real time, you can also add photos from your gallery onto your current image as a new layer. After, you can experiment with multi-exposures, collages and others.
You can also get in touch with your artistic side by illustrating your own pieces to overlay over your photos. Likewise, there are many presets from other artists that you can incorporate in your picture. As you can tell, PicsArt is a space that encourages artists, photographers and illustrators to share their craft. If you’re experiencing an art block, seek inspiration from the endless pool of creators on PicsArt!
Best for: Resizing photos to upload on Instagram
Instasize positions itself as both a photo editing app as well as a software that helps you upload pictures on Instagram without compromising its quality. As you know, Instagram tends to compress images during the uploading process. This often results in a photo that is of a significantly lower quality than the original picture. With Instasize’s photo crop tool, you won’t have to worry about that anymore – the same goes to videos as well!
In fact, you can do more than cropping your image and video. With over 100 borders available, you’re free to play around until you find the ideal design to frame your photo or video. And anytime you need to combine multiple images into one, you’ll have just as many layout options to choose from! For a free photo editing app, you’ll undoubtedly get the most value out of it in the form of editing toolkits!
When looking for the ideal photo editing app, we understand how overwhelming it can get. With this list of the 8 best free photo editing apps, we hope it can aid in your decision! Have fun as you explore what these apps have in store for you, as you work your way to finding the perfect photo editing app.