This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Learn more

The Best Photo Editing Apps

The Best Photo Editing Apps

The Best Photo Editing Apps

Now that almost everyone has a five mega pixel point-and-shoot device stashed in their jeans, the internet is rapidly becoming a giant photo album of holiday snaps, cappuccino worship and wretched, wretched selfies. 

But what happens when the Valencia filter isn't quite working for you? How do you get the best out of your excessive cocktail session? 

From elaborate retouching to tap-and-go editing, these are the photo apps every budding mobile photographer should have on their phone.


Best for: Community

Well obviously - think of it as a jumping off point. When Facebook bought Instagram for an unseemly sum of $1 billion in 2012, there were fears that it would spell the end of the app's reign as the go-to photo editor. Two years on and it still boasts the largest photo sharing community in the world, with 200 million users as of March this year, sharing 60 million photos a day. Simple features, easy to use - there's a reason it's got such a large user base. If you're looking to harvest some new followers and don't mind playing the tedious hashtag game, Instagram is the place to start your cult.

Price: Free

Available on: Android, iOS, Windows


Best for: Ease of use

Cyberlink has long rivalled the likes of Photoshop with its PhotoDirector editing software, and it's finally brought its desktop experience to the world of mobile. Features include super-simple object removal, skin smoothing tools and a raft of customisable HDR effects - but it's the easy interface that gives this the edge over rival photo editing apps. If you're not looking to dig through miles of menus, this is the one for you.

Price: Free

Available on: Android, iOS, Windows


Best forCreating your next album cover

No, we didn't know we were fans of prismatic art either, until we started playing around with Fragment. Drop an angular prism or series of circles into the middle of your chosen photo and watch in wonder as the scenery changes and distorts to match the lines of the shape. Best used with landscape shots and crowds, you can create some pretty special images with this tool.

Price: £1.20 Android, £1.49 iOS

Available on: Android, iOS

Photo Editor Pro

Best for: Wealth of tools

Cropping, rotating, sharpening, adding splashes, taking away splashes, drawing, writing, enhancing - the number of tools offered by Photo Editor Pro borders on excessive. If you've been furiously snapping away and looking for an app with which to refine your best moments, this is the one that's going to help you perfect the "shot of the band when the singer definitely pointed at you". However, it must be said that the pop up ads and request for ratings is detrimental to the overall experience. 

Cost: Free

Available for: Android

Adobe Photoshop Express

Best for: Editing purists

Adobe was removing skin blemishes from Hollywood A-listers back when we were learning to colour in between the lines. Exaggerations aside, Adobe is seen by many professional designers and photographers as the only software worth touching for touch ups. The app experience is a trimmed down version of their usual editing software, more suited for removing imperfections rather than creating layer-upon-layer of edits. 

Price: Free

Available on: Android, iOS, Windows


Best for: Auto correct

Rather than having to flick through an array of filters before making a random decision based on you're-not-quite-sure-what, Snapseed helps you perfect your photo with its single tap Auto Correct function, adjusting for just the right level of colour and exposure. It's one of the better editors to put your photo through before uploading it to a community-focused app like Instagram or Facebook. 

Price: Free

Available on: Android, iOS (though currently experiencing some annoying software issues, awaiting an immanent update)


Best for: Your inner hipster

Instawho? VSCO Cam is where the coolest kids go to take, edit and share their photos of urban landscapes and unlaced boots. But seriously, with a little fiddling this app can make your photos look glorious. There's also a growing community using VSCO that aren't into hashtags or latte art, but genuinely cool photographs. Whether you're looking to find some inspiration or perfect that shot of the sunset disappearing into a wheelie bin. 

Price: Free (in-app purchases)

Available on: Android, iOS