In the fast-paced world of photography, the saying “the best camera is the one you have with you” resonates more than ever. With smartphones boasting advanced cameras, capturing moments has become effortless. However, the journey from a raw image to a stunning visual narrative often requires the touch of a skilled editor. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the realm of mobile photo editing, uncovering the six best photo editing apps for both iPhone and Android users in 2024. From powerful professional tools to intuitive free options, this guide explores the features, pros, and cons of each app to help you elevate your mobile photography game.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom: The Gold Standard for Professional Editing
Among the myriad of photo editing apps available, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom stands tall as the gold standard for professional mobile photo editing. With a career spanning over a decade in photography, our expert, Harry Guinness, rigorously tested more than 30 top iPhone and Android photo editors, and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom emerged as the top choice.
Shockingly great free plan
Super powerful editing features
Best-in-class for professional and hobbyist photographers
Comprehensive image cataloging and organization
Confusing pricing structure
Learning curve for beginners
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom offers a robust set of tools, including curves, local adjustments, and presets, making it ideal for users at any skill level. While the pricing structure may be a tad confusing, the app’s usability and features make it an indispensable tool for serious photographers.
Snapseed: Free and Powerful Editing at Your Fingertips
Snapseed, a powerhouse acquired by Google, remains a standout choice for users seeking a free and powerful mobile editing app. Although not Google’s top priority for updates, Snapseed packs essential tools and a unique selective adjustment system, making it a favorite among mobile photographers.
Completely free with no hidden fees
Great local adjustments system
Intermittent updates from Google
Limited repeatability features
Snapseed’s simplicity and functionality make it an excellent choice for those wanting a free yet powerful editing tool. While it may lack certain advanced features found in premium apps, its ease of use and comprehensive set of tools make it a reliable companion for casual and enthusiast photographers alike.
VSCO: Elevating Your Photography with Thoughtful Filters
VSCO, a pioneer in the world of filters, takes center stage as the best filter-based photo editing app for iPhone and Android. Initially known for its Lightroom presets emulating film stock, VSCO has evolved into a sophisticated filter-forward photo editor with a plethora of thoughtful presets.
Intuitive editor with smart grouping of presets
Additional pro touches like dodging and burning
Limited free plan
Relatively pricey monthly subscription
While VSCO’s extensive filter library may initially overwhelm users, its intuitive editor and additional pro features, such as dodging and burning, set it apart. With a bit of time invested in navigation, users can unlock the true potential of VSCO’s unique aesthetic offerings.
Apple Photos: Seamless and Free Editing for iPhone Users
For iPhone users seeking a seamless and free editing experience, Apple Photos emerges as the go-to choice. Integrated into the iPhone’s camera roll, Apple Photos provides essential tools and filters for quick and easy edits.
Integrated with the iPhone’s camera roll
Free with no additional costs
Basic editing features
May be too simplistic for advanced users
While Apple Photos may lack the advanced features of some third-party apps, its seamless integration with the iPhone and straightforward interface make it an attractive option for users looking to make quick edits on the go.
Google Photos: Android’s Pre-installed Editing Powerhouse
Pre-installed on Android devices, Google Photos offers a compelling free photo editing solution. With a focus on AI-powered auto adjustments, Google Photos provides users with suggested edits for quick enhancements.
Great AI-powered auto adjust
Integrated with Android devices
Free and included with your phone
Basic editing features
May not be suitable for advanced editing
Google Photos excels in providing a user-friendly platform for quick edits, especially for Android users. Its AI-powered auto adjustments offer a hassle-free way to enhance images without delving into intricate editing tools.
Lensa: AI-Powered Excellence in Photo Editing
Lensa, renowned for its AI-powered features, earns its spot as the best AI-powered photo editing app for both iPhone and Android. With innovative tools for portrait and landscape editing, Lensa offers a unique editing experience.
Solid AI-powered editing tools
Almost the same set of adjustments as Lightroom
Free plan for testing
Some questionable AI features
Relatively expensive subscription plans
Lensa’s AI-powered editing tools extend beyond the typical filters, providing users with portrait and landscape-specific adjustments. The free plan allows users to explore the app’s capabilities before committing to subscription plans, making it an excellent choice for those seeking advanced AI editing features.
In the ever-evolving landscape of mobile photography, the right photo editing app can transform your captures into masterpieces. Whether you prioritize professional-grade editing, free and powerful tools, or innovative AI features, the diverse array of apps presented in this guide caters to all preferences. Elevate your mobile photography journey in 2024 with these six standout photo editing apps, each offering a unique set of features to unleash your creativity.