I can’t remember the last time I took my digital camera with me on a trip. Smartphone camera technology has all but replaced point-and-shoot digital cameras with comparable performance and some extra help from apps. Speaking of which, we're here to help you make your favorite photos look even better with our list of the dozen best photo editing apps on Android.
When a massive multimedia software company like Cyberlink delivers a photo editing app to Android, you're going to want to pay attention. PhotoDirector is a kind of multi-purpose photo editor. You can quickly and easily add overlays to your images, and get creative with effects and different photos styles. Or, you can step things up a notch and make use of PhotoDirector's more advanced features, like RGB curves, HSL tools.
Adobe is a world leader when it comes to image manipulation and Lightroom is the photographer's standard. The mobile version of Adobe Lightroom is feature-packed with tools you'll know from the desktop version, all squeezed into your pocket. You will need a subscription to Adobe Cloud Photography plan to use Lightroom on your Android, but if you take your photography seriously you wouldn't be without this app.
Photo Editor by Lidow is a quick and fun photo-editing app that saves you the hassle of trying to figure out millions of options, filters and settings. Photo Editor by Lidow is definitely less complex than many of the other photo editing apps on this list, but that's part of its charm. You've got a handful of fun, easy-to-use features that can be applied in seconds.
VSCO Cam is one of the most-downloaded photo applications on Android. Combining a dedicated camera app, solid editing features, and its own Instagram-like user-uploads page, this is a photographers' dream. One of the beautiful things about VSCO Cam is how it provides an easy one-click fix for photos in the form of basic filters, while offering further options deeper in the app for those who want to get their hands dirty.
VSCO Cam's minimal interface makes it easy to grasp, but its professional grade features ensure it has the scope that more "serious" photo fanatics require. It's an astounding package - some of VSCO Cam's editing dials are the most comfortable and usable on Android, providing those subtle improvements that excite an image without looking garish. What's better? It's free to download.
Before you get too excited, the Photoshop Touch for phone app isn't nearly as comprehensive as it's PC counterpart, but at least you don't have to pay a ridiculous subscription fee to use it.
For 4.99 USD you get access to some of the basic functions, like layers, image exporting, color correction and other adjustments, and it's still just as feature-packed and useful as other apps on offer from the Play Store. There is a free version available known as Photoshop Express, but this is the most fully-formed Photoshop package for smartphones - download it now.
What Pho.to Lab lacks in serious editing tools it more that makes up for in the amount of customization: photo frames, landscapes, colors, effects, stickers, icons, filters and more are included to spice up your pics. It's definitely one of the less "professional" photo-editing apps on our list - it can't compete with the likes of PhotoShop or Snapseed for in-depth photo-fixing. But for a bit of fun, it has a huge amount of variety.
Snapseed was developed by the professionals from Nik Software and is ideal for touching up your photos. Brightness, contrast, and saturation are among some of the standard tasks that it can do, and if you’re lucky, the automatic correction will get it all for you in one fell swoop.
Fine adjustments can be achieved with some touch-gestures if you want a more physical feel, and you can even choose to edit and customize a selection within your photo.
Snapseed is known primarily for its filters: with Retrolux, Vintage, Tilt Shift, Grunge, Drama and other cool effects, and it's free of charge with no ads.
Although you can technically use Cymera for any type of photo, it really excels with portraits. Photos can be taken directly from within the app or imported from your gallery, and Cymera offers seven different lenses and four different recording modes to instantly improve snaps.
More than twenty filters, decorations, portrait features, and realistic make-up effects are available, and images can be shared amongst Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr directly from the app. Cymera is free, but not free of advertising: a small, but manageable banner is displayed on the bottom of the screen.
Besides the standard functions for rotating, cropping, correcting, and auto-enhancing, Aviary Photo Editor also has focus functions (tilt-shift), text input, cosmetic corrections (red eye, make-up) and a “Meme Generator”. All of your photos can be shared across the most popular social media apps too.
The Aviary Photo Editor offers some in-app purchases for added effects, frames, and stickers, but is otherwise free with no ads.
PicsArt is one of the most popular free photo editors available and an all-round solution: an image editor with effects, a camera app, drawing tool, and a social platform. In addition, the app features an excellent design program for editing photos with filters and decorations.
Finished masterpieces can also be shared on most popular social platforms in addition to text messaging and e-mail. Also, much like Instagram, PicsArt has an internal social network in which you can share your creations.
From the creators of Pixlr-O-Matic comes Pixlr Express, and the name says it all: this app for editing photos is aimed at the people who want it done fast. Pixlr Express features many effects such as cosmetic editing (red-eye removal, brightening, and smoothing) and social sharing. For those who want to save more time, there is a “Frequently Used” settings that can be used to increase the speed in which photos are edited.
Vignette is not a pure editing app, but a hybrid, packing a standalone camera app with digital zoom, self-timer, and time-lapse available. The, ahem, focus of the app is on vintage camera effects and styles: you can make your pictures look as if they were taken with a Lomo, Diana, Holga, or Polaroid. Similarly, there are double exposure settings and a photo-machine mode.
The image processing with Vignette is limited to the camera effects as rotating and cropping aren’t available. Vignette costs around 1.60 dollars but also has a free demo version available. In contrast to some other apps, you can have all functionality of the app even if you don’t have a data connection present.
So, what do you think is the best Android photo editing app? Let us know in the comments below.