With advances in AI, there’s never been a better time to update your photo-editing software. We’ve picked out the best tools for a variety of budgets and operating systems from both paid-for and free options – both on-the-go and built-in.
1. PicsArt (Android, iOS)
PicsArt is one of the world’s most popular photo-editing apps. It provides lots of creative control while keeping everything fun and lively. Ads for PicsArt premium pop up frequently (and annoyingly) in the middle of editing processes, so you have to buy a subscription. By April 2015, Picsart had seen 250 million downloads for its iOS and Android apps. In March 2019, the company reached 130 million monthly active users. The company was ranked as the #4 top grossing social photo and video editing app, after Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube.
Snapseed isn’t for the casual user, but rather serious photographers. It has a full array of editing tools, including selective edit brushes and film-related filters. The editing is non-destructive; you can always go into the Stack ( layers of edits) and adjust or eliminate any edit. Snapseed is a photo-editing application for iOS and Android. It enables users to enhance photos and apply digital filters.
Snapseed was created by Nik Software and is now owned by Google. Users can edit pictures using swiping gestures to select different effects and enhancements.
3. Adobe Photoshop Camera
Adobe Photoshop Camera is one of the best photo editing apps. It uses AI to automatically identify the type of photo and creates masks for key aspects, such as a face or the sky. Some lenses have “sprites” that can be pinched, zoomed and moved within an area. PS Camera is a delightful app that is essentially push-button photography. As such it will appeal more to fun-loving photographers, rather than pros.
Adobe promises that it will add new lenses (all free) on a regular basis. The app is free and there is no premium version. Photoshop has limited abilities to edit or render text and vector graphics. Its feature set can be expanded by plug-ins. Photoshop CS3 through CS6 were also distributed in two different editions: Standard and Extended. As of November 2019, Adobe has also released a full version of Photoshop for the iPad.
Pixlr has a variety of easy-to-use photo adjustment tools, without overwhelming you with choices. The intuitive interface is easy to master, so you can get right into the fun of playing with your pictures. Quickly create collages, using preset layouts or designed templates. Pixlr was founded in 2008 by Ola Sevandersson, a Swedish developer. The platform rebranded itself in 2019 by introducing Pixlr X, Pixlr E and Pixlr M. Its virtual collection consists of 10,000 NFT artworks generated by AI.
5. Adobe Lightroom
Adobe Lightroom Mobile is a great learning platform. Its ever-growing library of interactive tutorials will teach you to edit your images like a pro. The vast majority of edits involve slider controls, with quick responsiveness so you know exactly how the adjustment affects your picture. Adobe Lightroom is a non-destructive editing software that keeps the original image separate from any in-program edits, saving the edited image as a new file. In 2017, Adobe released a brand new variant of Lightroom called Lightroom CC to be more cohesive with their mobile software.
Instagram was founded in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and later acquired by Facebook. Its focus on the quick, uncomplicated sharing of photos and videos is a winning formula. Recently added features include tools for gauging and improving your engagement rate. Instagram was originally launched for iOS in October 2010. Facebook Inc. acquired Instagram in April 2012 for approximately US$1 billion in cash and stock.
As of October 2015, over 40 billion photos had been uploaded to the photo-sharing app. The service has been criticized for negatively affecting teens’ mental health.
7. Google Photos
Google Photos is the only photo app that we consider a must-have for any mobile device. It organizes photos and videos, offers easy sharing and backs up your entire library to the cloud. Just bear in mind that it no longer offers unlimited storage: any photos you upload count against your free 15GB Google Drive limit. Google announced updates to Google Photos in May 2017. Users can search for anything in photos, with the service returning results from three categories: People, Places, and Things. The computer vision of Google Photos recognizes faces (not only those of humans, but pets as well), grouping similar ones together.
Prisma is one of the best photo-editing apps for Android and iOS. It’s built around a massive library of over 300 filters, many of which are inspired by real artists.