Top Photo Editing Apps for iOS

Sep 8, 2016

Having photos liked is a necessity in the current age of digital social identities. With countless hours spent towards tweaking and optimizing photos before sharing, the photo-editing apps that are available on the market make it easier than ever to enhance, crop, remove blemishes, add effects, and apply filters for stunning photos. As the quantity of photos increases in the digital space, photo-editing apps have become immensely popular with the young and old alike for post-processing of images. In this list article, we explore the top overall photo-editing apps for iOS by analyzing different metrics including interface, navigation, photo-editing tools, and sharing options for editing photos while on-the-go.

Filterstorm Neue

Filterstorm Neue offers much editing control of more powerful desktop applications such as Lightroom and Photoshop, but in a mobile-friendly format. In addition to all of the typical photo editing tools for adjusting color, exposure, and cropping, Filterstorm Neue includes one of the best mobile implementations of a powerful Curves control for fine-tuning brightness and contrast. Another feature that differentiates Filterstorm Neue from competing photo editors is the ability to selectively apply adjustments through a number of tools including a powerful masking brush as well as radial and linear gradient filters. For users looking to move beyond basic image editing abilities with the iPhone, Filterstorm Neue is one the most accessible photo editing apps available on the App Store.


For those who are more experienced with photography and photo editing, advanced experimentation with textures and other creative effects requires more firepower than stock photo editors. While there are many apps for doing this, the one that is often mentioned by mobile artists is Mextures. Beyond offering a wide range of textures, grains, and light leaks, the app allows for each of these to be fully adjustable and users can combine as many as they want through an easy-to-use layering feature. While grasping the usage of the app can be more difficult in order to take full advantage of Mextures’ features, users can quickly get started by using the convenient preset “formulas” to enhance their images. The creative options available in Mextures are endless, making it an extremely applicable photo editing apps for those who are more experienced in the photo editing realm.

Mextures 2.0

This is “Mextures 2.0” by on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.


Combining simplicity with a powerful suite of tools, Snapseed is one of the most popular photo editing apps for the iPhone for good reason. While it is made to be incredibly easy to use, the app also offers a powerful collection of photo editing features that excel in all basic photo processing techniques including exposure, colour, sharpening, cropping, and straightening. Snapseed offers further advanced editing features such as selective adjustments and a healing tool for removing unwanted objects. In addition, there is a selection of creative filters that enable users to convert photos to black and white, apply textures, add blur effects, and enhance the mood of their images. Perfect for aspiring photographers, Snapseed provides a strong foundation for more difficult photo editing apps.

Snapseed Introduction

Uploaded by Snapseed on 2015-04-09.


AfterFocus is a specialty app designed to imitate the shallow depth of field effect that can typically only be achieved with a DSLR or close-up photography. Shallow depth of field is extremely popular and is when only the main subject is in focus while the background appears blurred. AfterFocus provides a very user-friendly way of achieving this without the costs of a professional camera or years of photography experience. Users simply use their fingers to mark the foreground and background areas for the app to automatically blur the background. Users can further add other effects such as having the background highlights rendered as soft circles or hexagons. AfterFocus is particularly useful for drawing the viewer’s attention to a main subject if the background is busy and even has a motion blur option to create the appearance of movement, making it ideal for adding focus to certain objects in a photo.

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Lens Distortions

While there are many apps that allow users to add lighting effects and textures to their photos, Lens Distortions is one of the best in adding authentic effects. What differentiates Lens Distortions from other similar apps is that all of the filters/overlays are created from actual photos of those same elements including actual sunlight (Light Hits collection), haze (Fog collection), fragments of glass (Legacy collection), as well as a unique “Shimmer” collection. Despite these complex features, the app is very intuitive in adding these elements to photographs. With its wide range of effects, users can frame shots with beautiful shards of glass, draw attention with organic light hits, or create atmospheric depth with glistening particles of light and fog. Available for free on the App Store, Lens Distortions comes with a basic collection of effects and additional effects are available as in-app purchases for even more ways to enhance photographs.

Adobe Photoshop Express

Adobe Photoshop Express is not Photoshop on your iPhone.  You’re not going to be able to use those amazing computer-based features to spruce your photos. But the app brings several useful effects and can make nifty edits to the photos you take with your iPhone. It also syncs registered Photoshop users to their online account. The app’s opening screen lets you select a photo from your camera roll or take a new one. Once the photograph is open, you can crop, rotate or flip it; correct exposure and saturation with a slide of your finger across the screen, apply tinting, or change the photo to black-and-white. You can apply a cool sketch effect or soften the focus, and adjust the effect with a swipe. Other effects include “vibrant,” “pop” (turns your photo into a Warhol painting), “vignette blur,” “warm vintage” and “rainbow.”  You can also apply a white border around the photograph. If you’re a Photoshop user, you’ll likely find Adobe Photoshop Express invaluable. If you don’t, you’ll still find great tools to use with this free app.

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With the countless photography apps available on the market, the photo editing apps listed in this article offer features that are ideal for those new to iPhone photography or professionals simply looking for a new app to add to their “camera bag”. Successful post-processing often requires the use of several photo editing apps which makes our list the ideal combination of simple and complex processes to optimize photographs. With the power of desktop photo editing tools available right on the mobile device, the ability to enhance photographs at a professional level for a fraction of traditional prices makes these apps essential for mobile photographers.

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Kevin Chau

Following my passion in the realm of business and entrepreneurship, I am always eager to develop skills that enable me to learn, build, and grow. My previous projects, both academic and personal, reflect my dedication towards expanding and applying my theoretical knowledge for practical results in these fields.

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