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If you’ve ever opened the App Store or Play Store looking for a photo editing app, you’ve seen how daunting the selections can be. There are far too many options for editing apps, and each offers the same general editing tools.

Almost every app you download will allow you to crop a photo, add a filter, and reduce red-eye. If that’s all you want, then any photo editing app will likely serve your purpose.

If you want to edit your photos a bit more, though, you need an app that caters toward more serious photographers. Thankfully, some free and paid apps do just that.

Adobe Photoshop Express

Adobe Photoshop Express for Smartphones

Photo credit to Forbes

Adobe Photoshop Express brings the famous editing power of Adobe Photoshop to smartphones and tablets.

Where Photoshop takes a few established editing skills to understand for the first time, Photoshop Express is extremely intuitive and easy to understand. You’ll be able to get editing right away, even if you’ve never touched a photo editor before.

Sign into the app through the signup page, or link an existing Google or Facebook account to your profile. After that, all you have to do is take a picture and start editing. There are also a ton of photos already in the Adobe database if you want to try your hand at editing an existing picture.

Photoshop Express allows you to correct red eyes, crop photos, adjust the brightness, and ad two photos side-by-side, as any photo editing app allows you to do. The reason we included it first on this list is the tools that don’t come standard in other photo editors you’ll find in the App Store and Play Store.

You can adjust the lighting, shadows, and color pallet of a picture to correct photography mistakes and make the photo more appealing. Making these adjustments is quite easy as well. You don’t have to have any previous experience with editing software to make the most of this one.

When you’re finished, you can download your picture to the Adobe cloud or choose to add a few stickers to the picture. The stickers lend themselves to social media rather than serious photography, but that’s the application most people will want in the first place.

From there, what you do with your picture is up to you. You can upload it to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or decide to keep it for yourself. If you don’t like the changes you made to the photo, you can always revert them. Photoshop Express isn’t a one-way street for your edits.

  • Available for: Android and iOS
  • Price: Free

Google Snapseed

Google Snapseed for Smartphones

Photo credit to iDownloadBlog

Google Snapseed is a strong contender for the best photo editing app on any platform, due to the depth of possibilities the app offers. Snapseed isn’t like other photo editing apps you’ll find on Android and iOS. It’s more like the paid subscription editors you purchase for your PC.

Of course, Snapseed offers the range of traditional photo editing app abilities like cropping, red-eye correction, and rotation, but that’s only scratching the surface. To get the most out of Snapseed, you have to delve a bit deeper.

Editing photos and adding effects is as easy as a few taps, pinches, and swipes. Google developers designed the whole interface to work on smartphones while other apps try to transfer their PC user interface to mobile.

You can add filters and color correction to your photos, which is common with top-level photo editing apps. Where Snapseed sets itself apart from the rest of the pack is in the expand and portrait features.

Snapseed will expand the background of an existing photo for you by guessing the rest of what’s there. If you’re editing a picture of yourself on a beach, for instance, you’ll be able to expand the photo while Snapseed fills in the details as if they were there all along.

This feature also allows you to create brilliant portrait-style photos without having to worry about framing the photo correctly every time.

Another feature that differentiates Snapseed from other editing apps is its ability to recognize faces. You can even alter the faces in your photos a bit. If one person is looking slightly in one direction, you can edit their face, so it’s looking directly at the camera.

If all of this seems a bit overwhelming, don’t worry. You can check out a few video tutorials that Snapseed provides after signup. If you still think this app is too in-depth, try out one of the more casual options we have listed.

  • Available for: Android and iOS
  • Price: Free

Picsart

Picsart for Smartphones

Photo credit to T6TechWorld

While Google Snapseed is one of the best photo editing apps for serious photographers, Picsart might be a better choice for people who want to edit and share their casual photography. Picsart still offers a healthy variety of options, but it isn’t as in-depth as some of the more serious photo editing apps out there.

Like all of the other editing apps on this list, Picsart allows you to edit the basics of a photograph with cropping, red-eye reduction, etc. You can also add multiple pictures to one canvas and create a collage that’s ready for you to share on social media.

The filters and sticker are what give the most customization options to Picsart users. You can create a wholly new picture out of a photograph you took, complete with a sticker that looks like you completed the professional graphic design yourself.

If you want to create a sticker of your own, you can do so and share it with other Picsart users. Pretty soon, you might see your design on someone else’s photograph.

Collages on Picsart are far more intricate than they are with simpler photo editing apps. There is a variety of ways you can splice your photos together, and no limit to what you can create once you’re inside the app.

Picsart presents a happy medium between simple editing tools and more complex options like Snapseed. If you’re a casual social media photographer and want an editing software that’s easy to understand, Picseed might have what you’re looking for.

  • Available for: Android and iOS
  • Price: Free

VSCO

VSCO for Smartphones

Photo credit to Tom’s Guide

VSCO is as much of a social media platform and photo sharing app as it is a photo editing app. If you’re familiar with the Instagram interface, VSCO will likely feel comfortable to you.

Like Instagram, you can link your Facebook account to your profile and connect with your friends who use the app. Unlike Instagram, not as many people use VSCO, so you probably don’t have too many close friends who log in very often.

Other than that, VSCO is a relatively basic photo editing app. It doesn’t offer some of the advanced options like Google Snapseed or Photoshop Express, but it will cater to your need is you’re looking for an app to give you the basics in an easy-to-understand interface.

The best feature VSCO offers is its filter selection. There are far more filters on VSCO than you’ll find on Instagram, and they give you a wider range of unique options.

After you’ve finished editing and cropping your photo, you can share it directly to Facebook or another social media platform. You will also upload it to the VSCO server, where you can email it to yourself to save the final product.

The downside of this system is that you can’t save the photo directly to your phone. You’ll have to get it from one of your social media profiles or the VSCO cloud platform.

The iPhone version of VSCO is much more optimized than the Android version. Many of the options are still the same, but VSCO gets a much better rating on the iOS side of things.

  • Available for: Android and iOS
  • Price: Free

Facetune

Facetune for Smartphones

Photo credit to Phone Arena

Facetune is more of a niche app than some of the others we covered above. Facetune isn’t directed at photographers and instead focuses on people who love to take a lot of selfies.

If you’re a selfie machine and wish there was an editing software that could touch you up a bit, then Facetune might be what you’ve always wanted.

In Facetune, you can remove imperfections, add a bit of color distortion, and whiten your teeth to show your followers the best version of you. You can warp shapes a bit as well, just in case you want a bit more editing in your selfies.

Facetune also gives you the ability to toggle between the original and edited photo. If you notice any glaring differences, you can change them, so it isn’t obvious you edited the selfie. Once you’ve finished, Facetune allows you to save the image to your phone or upload it directly to your favorite social media profile.

This is the only editing app on this list that charges you money. It’s $5.99 on all platforms, so you should consider how much you plan on using the app before you commit to downloading it.

  • Available for: Android and iOS
  • Price: $5.99

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