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Top 5 Photo Editing Apps

Photo Editing Apps
Allianz - Photo Editing Apps

It wasn’t long ago that smartphone photographers marveled at the ability to rotate, crop or touch up images right then and there before sharing them with their family and friends on social media.

But just in the last decade alone, the capabilities of smartphone photo editing apps — even free options — place a digital darkroom in the palm of your hand. Even the photo editing apps that come included with today’s iOS and Android phones are overflowing with features. But if you want access to the full spectrum of editing tools, there are plenty of options.

Whether you’re a travel photographer or simply looking to document your trip in truly memorable ways, today’s advancements in photo editing capabilities have a number of benefits, from leaving that bulky camera bag (or laptop for editing) at home, to the instant gratification of producing (and sharing) truly spectacular photography on the fly. Here is a snapshot of some of the photo editing apps you might consider downloading before your next getaway…


  • Compatibility: iOS & Android
  • Cost: Free

Originally launched in 2011, Snapseed tends to find a place near the top of the myriad of photo editing app reviews as it continues to evolve its capabilities. The Google-developed app boasts more than 29 tools and filters including “Face Enhance,” which adds focus to the eyes and face-specific lighting, as well as the ability to smoothen skin. There’s also “Face Pose,” which will correct the pose of portraits based on a library of 3D models. Pretty cool and cutting edge, huh?1

Not only is Snapseed chock full of features, including numerous preset effects, but it’s also user-friendly (or a “snap”), which is a big deal when you’re on the clock to get your photo of the Grand Canyon up on Instagram before your travel mates.2


  • Compatibility: iOS
  • Cost: $2.99

While many photo editing apps have simply grown and adapted to stay on the cutting edge, Camera+ took a different approach: reboot from scratch. Nearly a decade after the original app helped amateur photographers level up their work, Camera+ 2 has arrived with a new suite of features and functions. This includes the ability to browse, store and edit in your own library or the app’s Lightbox environment. Choose from manual shooting that puts total control at your fingertips, or choose from one-touch filters to produce the desired effects. And with Portrait and Depth Capture, your vacation selfie game will never be better. Finally, visit The Lab to dial in all the finishing touches to transform your “pretty good” photos into instant masterpieces.3

Photoshop Express

  • Compatibility: iOS, Android and Windows 8
  • Cost: Free

You’ve probably heard of Photoshop, the popular desktop photo editing software suite, even if you’re not a graphic designer by trade. Another photo editing app that’s been got some miles on it, Photoshop Express’ big new feature is TEXT, which allows users to add text to images to create memes and other custom shareable creations. The app works hard to make sharing a cinch with 1-tap share functionality to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Fickr, and WhatsApp. You can also easily crop images to optimally fit each platform’s required dimensions. And with the nifty Pop Color feature, you can highlight a single color in an image to give it some, you know, pop! Add all the standard photo editing features, and Photoshop Express is an apt choice for seeing the world — and then getting the world to see your images.4


  • Compatibility: iOS and Android
  • Cost: $19.99 for annual VSCO X membership

VSCO, formerly VSCO Cam, is more than a photo editing app. It’s also a community of sorts, where members can both access curated stories and work designed to inspire their own efforts. Additionally, members can connect, view each other’s work and engage with one another via private messaging. We should mention that the film filters and stocks (such as Fuji Pro 400H and Kodak Portra 160 and 400) and pre-sets offered by VSCO are widely lauded for being uniquely elegant and easy to use when compared with other apps. The question is whether these coupled with a social component is enough to get you to spend $20 vs. downloading free photo editing apps.5

YouCam Perfect

  • Compatibility:
  • Cost: Free to download (with optional in-app charges)

Are you a selfie taker? Do you like making great portraits (or self-portraits) even more glamorous with just a few keystrokes? Then whammy, YouCam Perfect is an ideal app for touching up pics in a jiffy. With features including a Face Reshaper, Eye Bag Remover, and Body Slimmer, your traveling party and newfound friends will never look better. It’s a makeover, a crash diet and more — and will have everyone thinking you found the Fountain of Youth.6


With today’s photo editing apps, you can confidently point and shoot bucket list destinations ranging from the pyramids to the Parthenon. And with a quick filter application here and red-eye removal there, you’ll have a gallery of postcard-worthy images to share with friends and family before you even make it home.

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