Tablets are incredibly fun to use for media activities like watching TV series or movies, streaming music or flipping through pictures. The additional screen real estate they offer over smartphones makes them great for editing photos too, and if you’ve been following me here on AppStorm, you’ll know that I love me a good editing app!
Today we’re going to take a look at 10 great photo editing tools suitable for tablets. Whether you’re looking to just touch up a few portraits or want to create a photographic masterpiece, we’ve got just the app for you.
Boasting arguably the best editing experience on any touchscreen device, Snapseed is a real delight to use — simply swipe up/down to toggle between parameters and swipe left/right to adjust. All the basic editing tools you’ll need are here (brightness, contrast, saturation, crop, rotate, straighten), and there are a few advanced tools as well, such as Structure (which ekes out additional detail in images) and Ambiance (for increased vibrance).
Snapseed also has a nice set of filters that you can apply by themselves or with textures, and you can adjust the strengths of both, making this the perfect app for those who want fine-grained control over their effects. It also integrates strongly with Google+ for sharing your pictures, but you can also use any other app/network to do so. Oh, and it’s free!
You may recognize Aviary from scores of web apps that use its API to allow users to edit photos or from our coverage last year – it’s a dead-simple editor that has a good set of tools and is suitable for those new to working with photos. Apart from the usual basics, it also has easy-to-use annotation, red-eye removal, teeth whitening and blemish fixing tools.
Since we last reviewed it, Aviary has been updated with some very usable new effects. You can also purchase additional effect packs that apply appropriate textures and frames as well. Add to this its modest but handy selection of annotation tools, and you’ve got a good all-round photo editor on your hands.
Pix is great for those who love getting creative with effects, frames and textures — the app offers a ton of these, and makes it easy to use them together. Users can apply as many effects as they like on an image, layering one over another to get a completely unique look. Once you’ve found your go-to effects, you can add them to the favorites menu for a quicker workflow. That said, Pix doesn’t do much else, so you may be better off using in conjunction with another app.
Pixlr Express by Autodesk is perhaps the most comprehensively loaded editor in this bunch. There are plenty of tools for basic adjustments and touch-ups, a smorgasbord of effects grouped into sets (including a nice Subtle set), a wide range of borders with several variations to boot, and a huge collection of overlays, with everything from light leaks to bokeh to fireworks to grunge textures.
Using Pixlr Express is fairly straightforward and although the large number of tools may seem daunting to first-timers, you can always undo your changes and start afresh. This is a great app that’s better than many paid options out there.
A fine attempt at being the imaging app to rule them all, PicsArt packs in a large number of editing and retouching tools, a vast library of effects, a collage creator, drawing tools and even a store to buy and download additional frames, clip-art and collage backgrounds. There’s even a social network to share and discover photos with friends.
PicsArt is aimed at folks who love to dress up their photos and includes special tools for the task, like a shape crop tool, overlays with various blending options, stickers, customizable word bubbles and the ability to add pictures on top of each other. It may be a bit much if you’re looking for a basic editor, but if you’re into crafts, this is a wonderful option.
Also from the fine folks at Autodesk, Pixlr-o-matic is another effects-overlays-borders offering that’s a lot of fun to play with. Besides going through the truckload of filters and textures available, you can also hit the Random button to let the app apply a combination of settings to spice up your photo. Like Pix, it makes a great companion to any other photo editing app you already use.
If you like your photo editors neat and simple, this is the one for you. Snaptastic offers high-quality processing with everything you need and nothing you don’t. You can choose to apply a preset and tweak settings from there, or go your own way and adjust levels, colors, temperature, tint, saturation and more. You can even save presets of combination effects that suit your style.
The interface is ridiculously easy to work with, allows you to toggle between your image’s edited and original state, and includes tools for basic borders, rotation and cropping. The free version unfortunately adds watermarks and displays ads, but you can take that for a spin to decide if it’s the right editor for you.
Want to go beyond filters and create something amazing with your photos? Give PhotoFunia a try to make interesting composites. Take your pick from such clever configurations as an art gallery with your photos on the wall, Marilyn Monroe holding your framed work in a convertible, your mug on a billboard, or a close-up on a magazine cover! All you need to do is select which photo(s) you want to use, tap OK and you’re done!
Photo Grid makes it a cinch to combine multiple photos into collages, just the way you want them. You can choose from a variety of layouts or work with a blank canvas; then, add and swap images around, pan and zoom till they sit just right, or just shake your device to get a random collage. The app has a neat and clean interface and makes light work of putting together any number of images.
If you’re serious about working with images on the go, this is the app to consider. Photoshop Touch brings a reasonable amount of the desktop version’s firepower to the table(t), allowing users to work with layers, use brushes and sophisticated selection tools, adjust levels, color balance and curves, reduce noise and apply many effects familiar to the users of its popular desktop photo editing suite.
That said, it offers control at the expense of ease-of-use, and getting great results may require going through the in-built tutorials and practicing a bit. You can remove backgrounds from photos, blend multiple images with each other, replace colors in photos, and selectively enhance parts of your images. Photoshop Touch also connects with Adobe’s Creative Cloud to store your projects and retrieve them wherever you go.
That’s a wrap, folks! You no longer have to rely on Instagram to get your filter fix. There’s something in this list for everyone from the novice tablet shooter to the advanced shutterbug, to enjoy your photos in a whole new way. My personal favorite of the lot is Snapseed for its tablet-friendly interface and fine-grained control. I’d recommend finding a free hour or two, picking one of these great apps and sitting down for a relaxing photo editing session. Enjoy!