David Papp Blog

Best Free and Paid Photo Editing Apps for iPhone and Android

Cameras on phones have come a long way from where they once were. What started as cheap discount cameras, the latest models of Android, Google, and iPhone cameras pack enough power that’s comparable to DSLR cameras.

It makes sense that people want to be taking more pictures with these cameras. However, a lot of those pictures get buried deep in the galleries of those phones eventually. It’s to the point people forget about them entirely.

When thinking of ways to make these pictures of wonderful moments stand out, photo editing is the first to come to mind. Through this tool, it’s possible to get more out of photography and make something memorable.

Fortunately, there are several editing apps available for iPhone and Android. These apps don’t require users to have the latest in tech either. These editors are filled with free and paid photo editing features that can give existing pictures an entirely different look!


Free on iOS and Android.

Owned by Google, Snapseed is an editor that provides a wide range of exposure and colour tools to make tweaks to any picture. It also provides standard filters like vintage styles and modern looks. And like other editors, this offers additional layers so users can create interesting edits.

Adobe Lightroom

iOS and Android, some functions available for free, or $5 per month for full access.

Adobe is the company that brought photo editing to the forefront. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that their photo editing app is also a standard for professional photographers that are on the go. While this app doesn’t have stickers, animations or emojis, the app provides a nice call back to traditional photo editing in that users have fine grain control over the entire image.

The tools available are also the same as the desktop version of this app too. Furthermore, it has the same sync capabilities, allowing users to edit on mobile and switch to tablet or desktop.

Adobe Photoshop Express

Free on iOS and Android.

Similar to Lightroom, the features are practically alike, including exposure, contrast, and colour editing. What’s different about this free version is that the pro tools and cloud syncing are stripped out – on top of the subscription fee of course.

This is ideal for users who want to make some tweaks to images but don’t need to do anything too extensive. There are a good selection of filters and overlay textures and even collages that will work with images.


iOS and Android, $8 a month or $30 a year.

Based on the price tag, it’s clear this photo editing app doesn’t deal with subtle filters or simple image corrections. Instead, buyers can find trippy filters to change images into what can only be described as bizarre artistic creations.

Many of these filters are inspired by several famous artists such as Salvador Dali and Picasso. These filters are strong, though they may not work with every image. Some aren’t ideal for portraits, while others work better with landscapes.

Nevertheless, it’s an opportunity to experiment and for users to figure out what really works.


iOS only, $8 a month or $48 a year.

The key selling point of this app is that it allows users to combine multiple different elements and layer them into a work of art. This doesn’t just include photos, but text and graphics too. It offers tools to erase the background of portrait subjects with ease and put up multiple layers.

Bazaart also has several sources of inspiration such as their own Instagram page along with templates to spark some ideas.


iOS only.

Like Bazaart, Photofox also has powerful tools to remove backgrounds and to have those backgrounds be replaced with something else, or apply awesome effects. The app also has some nice effects such as the glitch effect, particle effects, and double exposure that overlays two images on top of one another.

This app provides a whole host of opportunities and possibilities through layering and compositing different types of images and applying different effects to each one.


iOS and Android, limited functions for free, or $20 a year with a seven-day free trial.

VSCO started off with colour grading presets for Lightroom and those roots are clearly shown through the app today. Instead of stickers and animations, VSCO aims to provide artful and filmic colour filters. There are a lot of presets available, including ones that are meant to emulate the classic rolls of film from camera companies Fujifilm, Kodak, and Ilford.

There are even some black and white filters too, allowing users to experiment with whatever people want.


iOS and Android, limited functions for free or $48 a year for the whole suite.

Lastly, PicsArt is another solid option for its wide range of editing tools. Users can stick with basic adjustments; however the tools are so elaborate, users can transform images into painting-like pieces of art. The options are extensive for selfies as well.

The app also provides an Instagram-style social sharing element as well for those interested.