Make Sweet Photo Edits From Your Phone: 4 Awesome Apps

Posted on Aug 27 2013 - 11:01am by Miles Young

With smartphones and social media, everyone is an amateur photographer. But for those that want to stand out among the photo-taking throngs, ditch the desktop and consider these advanced editing apps to get creative, share an experience, and get some recognition for your stellar skills at your fingertips spot.

1. Adobe Photoshop Touch-For Photoshop Loyalists and Pros


Photo Credit: Flickr/See-ming Lee

Adobe Photoshop Touch takes the professionally minded Adobe Photoshop desktop system and translates it to the small touch-screen of phones or tablets. As expected, what results is high-performance, full-blown editing capabilities like layering, selection tools to retouch, perfect, combine photos, and many filters. An added plus, the app won’t downsize your photos for editing.

At one of the steeper prices for photo-editing apps, the users willing to pay the $9.99 should be the Photoshop savvy. As Best Photo-Editing Apps 2013 warns, foreigners to the program should not expect a zippy photo edit-to-social media upload experience. Still, for the patient or professional, this app is worth the investment.

2. Adobe Photoshop Express-The Simple Alternative

In case the Touch version left you overwhelmed, Adobe Photoshop Express offers this free, basic app for general editing. You can crop, resize, remove red-eye, and enhance photo clarity.

Neglecting the glitz and opting for a direct, to-the-point layout, this app has entertaining image enhancements and access to Adobe-hosted online galleries to make sharing simple. Also, every time you first try a feature, helpful tip overlays come to the rescue.

However, as PCMag’s Review of the app notes, some of the best features are only available through an in-app upgrade ($4.99). But don’t disregard this tool too quickly. For basic editing tools and a worthy image to show-off, this app is still a contender.

3. Aviary Photo Editor-Basic Edits and Beyond

This app allows users to add meme text on the sacred food photo. Truly, the best part of the Aviary photo editor app is its integration of fun, people-pleasing tools to the simple image editing features.

Not only are basic needs like cropping, sharpening, and enhancing photos quickly implemented, but the app has great image effects and frames (some available via free extra download), as well as teeth whitening, red-eye removal, and blemish eraser tools to make portraits flawless (great for selfie lovers). The app immediately integrates your phone’s gallery, Google Gallery, or Dropbox photos for edit, but also has its own camera function, which is great if your phone’s camera is lacking. The tools are easy to understand and often in a simple scroll format, but some tasks are as easy as dragging or touching, like adding color in a black-and-white photo, or cropping.

Things to keep in mind are that there is no “undo” button in the app (you’ll have to use your phone’s on-screen button to reverse any unwanted edits), all photos are locked into portrait when the app is first opened, cropping a landscape into a portrait is not an option, and cropped image resolution is not user controlled.

In all, for editors who want a free, interactive, easy to handle, small-screen friendly editor app with both practical and entertaining features, Aviary is a reasonable option that takes simple to the next level.

4. Snapseed Mobile-The Award Winning Touch


Photo Credit: Flickr/gabrielsaldana

Truly an all-star in the photo editing app domain, the free Snapseed Mobile app received both PCMag’s and Laptop’s Editors’ Choice award and stands above Adobe Photoshop Touch in Best Photo Editing Apps for the Samsung Galaxy s4. As such, Snapseed is at the top of the list for phones with basic cameras or those with more progressive camera technology like the new Galaxy S4 from T-Mobile.

The photo experts of Nik software took photo editing and perfected it to the touch-screen format with a clear design complemented by large tool icons, a huge array of effects, filters, and frames, effective auto-correct,  and user-friendly control. With a swipe, users can adjust basics like brightness, color, and contrast. Or if you want the easy way out, let the app take care of that for you. If you don’t like an edit, an ever-present icon allows original-to-edited comparison, and the original will never be destroyed or permanently replaced with the edited version.

Snapseed takes cropping skills to the next level, with zero resolution flaws as noted in the Aviary Photo Editor. With control points, higher saving abilities of up to 16 megapixels, multiple network sharing choices, and large variety in filters, Snapseed creates the perfect balance between navigability and professional grade software.

Whether you’re a photography connoisseur, or just a fan of snapping a good memory, make sure you add editing apps to your smart phone to make your picture’s all the better. From basic to extensive, these apps will keep you a one device operator to share your photos and impress your friends. Who knew you were so artsy?

About the Author

Miles Young is a freelance writer, tech geek and world traveler. When he's not conquering the world he's reading Apple rumors or taking his dog to the beach. You can follow him on Twitter @MrMilesYoung.