The 33 best photo apps

PixelWakker breaks down your images into their component pixels and that’s where the fun begins. 31. Frametastic
Organise your photos and keep your memories in tactPlatform: iOS (iPhone and iPad)
Developer: Imaginary Feet
Price: Free
Frametastic is a tool for sharing the big picture; not just a moment but a memory. Combine with ‘Sweety’ for a dreamy retro effect. The killer feature here is Voice Picture, which enables you record a voice message at the same time as you are taking photos. LINE Camera
You can add text to your pictures in over 100 fonts and 20 coloursPlatform: iOS (iPhone), Android
Developer: Naver Japan
Price: Free
Sleek and easy-to-use, LINE Camera comes with a solid range of filters, borders, icons and stamps. Kind of like Instagram but more framey. Tip: You can share results over Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr – if you dare. Tip: The instant alpha tool works well, but you have to hold down on the screen to make it switch between a brush and pinching to zoom. Tip: ‘Straighten’ and ‘Flip’ are two useful functions not included in many other apps. You can share your work via the usual social media, but with high-res support why not get them blown up and mounted on your wall? Photoshop Express
Photoshop Express offers the sort of professionalism you’d expect from AdobePlatform: iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android
Developer: Adobe
Price: Free
As you would expect from Adobe, the interface and user experience of   the Photoshop Express photo app for Apple and Android devices is faultless. 29. Clone Camera lets you produce a ‘photo’ of a scene with the same person in it multiple times. Facetune
Hide your blemishes, wrinkles and more with Facetune’s photo editorPlatform: iOS (iPhone and iPad)
Developer: Lightricks
Price: $2.99 (iPhone), $3.99 (iPad)
Embarrassed about your laughter lines? 18. 11. Pixlr-o-matic
A nice, simple tool for adding retro effectsPlatform: iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android
Developer: Autodesk
Price: Free
Whilst it’s not necessarily an app that will change your workflow or outlook on life, Pixlr-o-matic is a nice tool for adding retro effects to your images or photos. Tip: The ‘Strato’ filter creates one of the most convincing vintage effects from all the apps tested. The custom options are the real killer feature here, with you being able to adjust the font, the letter space, and the alignment. You can also add text to your pictures in over 100 fonts and 20 colours, making this free smartphone photo app one of the best for typography. Like a DSLR, with SnappyCam you hold the hold the shutter button to take a burst of photos, so you’ll never miss the perfect shot. Photoristic HD
Photoristic sits midway between basic native apps and expensive pro applicationsPlatform: iOS (iPad)
Developer: Georgii Kharchenko
Price: $4.99/£2.99
Photoristic HD is an iPad image app that’s just powerful enough to be quite useful without overloading you with features that you don’t really want. PhotoWonder
PhotoWonder has a good collage feature with multiple layouts and photo booth effectsPlatform: iOS (iPhone), Android
Developer: Beijing Baidu Netcom
Price: Free
Excellent user interface makes PhotoWonder one of the speediest smartphone photo apps to use. None are going to replace a DSLR and a couple of hours with a photo editor like Photoshop CC, but they’re all great at what they do… Feeling blue about those blemishes? Tip: Check out StampHeart SymbolShine for a nice selection of kitschy sparkle brushes. Ampergram
Ambergram is a great way to play with photos and typePlatform: iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android
Developer: Clamp Studios
Price: $0.99/£0.69 (iOS)
Combining typography with popular photo editor Instagram led   Phillip Pastore to create Ambergram, a cool app that enables you to create endless typographic compositions using cool photos of fonts. 09. Images can be exported as animated GIFs and videos. 13. Photoshop Touch
Photoshop is running neck-and-neck with iPhoto to be named the iPhone’s best image editorPlatform: iOS (iPhone), Android
Developer: Adobe
Price: $4.99/£2.99
The Photoshop family continues to grow, with its latest addition bringing the formerly tablet-only Photoshop Touch to Apple and Android smartphones. 05. 33. It’s perfectly self-contained with a huge range of functions, no ads and no insistence in promoting paid content. 03. Photo Editor by Aviary
Aviary strikes a balance between serious and playfulPlatform: iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android
Developer: Aviary
Price: Free
Aviary is a very pleasantly designed app that strikes the perfect balance between serious photo-editing and playful photo-decoration functions without looking bland or childish. Yeah, those. You can either work directly with the tiles, dragging them around, rotating and resizing them to create a collage effect, or there’s a warp mode that works in the same way but results in a distorted image rather than a collage. Contributors: Joanna Zhou, Rob Carney, Natalie Brandweiner
This is an updated version of a feature which originally appeared on Creative Bloq. But when the app is FxCamera, the hugely popular and highly-rated photography and photo-effects app from Bitcellar, you can take that bold claim a touch more seriously. Tip: Go to EnhancementNight for a great filter to correct slightly dark or underexposed photos. Check out 3DSteroid Pro – an app that enables you to do just that, with some excellent tools and a very user-friendly interface. You can even share Voice Pictures on Facebook. As well as adding typography – lots of fonts and full control over size, positioning, opacity, rotation, and colour – you can also layer illustrations, ornamentation and other design elements on top of your image. Handy Photo
Handy Photo is all about the interface and photo editor toolsPlatform: iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android
Developer: ADVA Soft
Price: $1.99/£1.49 (iOS)
The selling point of photo editor Handy Photo is its interface, which uses the corners of the screen to cater for rotating menu options. Photochop
Photochop – Chop Up and Distort Your Photos does exactly what it says on the tinPlatform: iOS (iPhone and iPad)
Developer: Big Bucket Software
Price: $0.99/£0.69
We probably like this app for its name (in full: Photochop – Chop Up and Distort Your Photos) as much as for its function. What may sound like a gimmicky photo app is in fact a brilliant effects filter tool with a superb interface and a range of nine pop filters and five filter enhancements. The results of this photo editor are truly impressive. Camera+
Camera+ is adored by iPad users and has subsequently arrived on iPhone – hooray!Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad)
Developer: tap tap tap
Price: $1.99/£1.49
The Camera app that comes on the iPhone by default is not brilliant: yes, you can use it to take some decent shots, but it doesn’t offer you much creative control. 27. 3DSteroid Pro
Create stereoscopic images with 3DSteroid Pro – and you won’t get banned from the OlympicsPlatform: Android
Developer: StereoMaker
Price: $2.90
Want to create stereoscopic 3D images from the camera on your phone? 26. 20. Here is the definitive guide to the best photo apps around, covering iOS (that’s iPhone and iPad) and Android apps. Images created can then easily be saved to your camera roll and shared with friends via email, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Tip: The ‘Mosaic’ option lets you selectively pixelate any part of a photo, quite useful for blurring out license-plates, identities or should you feel so inclined, body parts as well. Tip: The ‘Move Me’ tool enables you to clip out objects and move, resize or flip them. 14. Tip: Click on the frame icon to access a nice range of photo film borders. It also has a good collage feature with multiple layouts and photo booth effects. It’s simply a case of taking up to four photos of the same person in a different location, and then selecting the areas you want to stitch together into the final photo. The app combines two of your photos using the ‘double exposure’ photography technique; creating an illusory joint image. Then high-speed camera app SnappyCam Pro may be just the solution. 19. Obviously it’s nothing you can’t easily do in any image editing app in a couple of minutes and you’ll be hard pushed to find a serious application for it, but it’s a fun graphical toy to have in your pocket. Tip: The photo filters are best avoided. Clone Camera
Double up your images with Clone CameraPlatform: iOS (iPhone), Android
Developer: Peta Vision
Price: $1.99/£1.49 (iOS)
A smart photo-compositing app that allows you to double up on your images. That’s because it was released by electronic music duo Goldfrapp in anticipation of the release of their sixth studio album, Tales Of Us. Tip: The ‘Magic Hour’ filter gives everything a lovely, soft luminescence. This is where Camera+ excels. Yes, thought so. It’s a cheap and cheerful little photo editor tool for mucking about with pictures. 15. You draw the path you’d like the words to take, then type in your message – the text then flows along the path. Tip: The ‘Awesomize’ button lets you brighten and sharpen a picture using one click, but still with the option of fine-tuning details if you wish. Fear not, Facetune is here! Geló
Persevere with Geló and the results will speak for themselvesPlatform: iOS (iPhone)
Developer: James Moore
Price: $0.99/£0.69
A splash of colour can alter the look of an photo dramatically. The filters create effects that are far more sophisticated than some of the tinted, overexposed pre-sets from other apps. 01. 07. It’s quick and easy to use, and looks great, although expect frustration if you want to do anything more than the basics. 21. At first glance we got a bit confused and thought this was a music app… You can apply one of four great effects – pixel image, dots, line, or color rain – to your pics and watch in wonder as dot art unfolds before your eyes. Tip: Camera+ doesn’t just limit you to editing new pics – you can quickly import your existing photos into the Lightbox so that you can breathe new life into them. Tip: For high resolution, 2000x2000px output, choose ‘ultra resolution’ on export. Magic Hour Lite/Free
Magic Hour Lite has some brilliant filters and a tilt-shift functionPlatform: iOS (iPhone), Android
Developer: Kiwiple
Price: Free
The combination of subtle filters and tilt-shift function allows Magic Hour Lite (called Magic Hour Free on Android) to produce some truly unique results. It’s all designed to keep the central area of the screen clear, allowing you to use swipe gestures to tone your effects up or down, much like Luminance. Tip: The ‘Vintage’ filter works magic on photos of buildings or scenery. Tip: You can use FxCamera as a normal camera and improve your images with its auto enhance feature. 25. 22. This iPhone photo app tries to get you to use its own social network, but you can still use all features without a login. It’s an effective re-imagining of Adobe’s killer desktop app, carrying over many of its most compelling features, including layers and adjustments. Simply pick a snap from your iPhone’s photo library, chop it up into a set of tiles and then go crazy. However none of the filters really jump out, and some are surprisingly naff for an app that comes from the developer for designers. Words: Craig Stewart
Craig Stewart is managing editor of Creative Bloq. It’s a powerful photo editor; the UI isn’t for everyone, but this is an amazing price for the effects you get. What does it do? Well, it displays effects in real time on your camera as you’re using it. 24. Touching the photo after applying a filter produces a nifty quick comparison of the ‘before’ and ‘after’ versions. Developed by founder of SnappyLabs John Papandriopoulos, the app is super-fast, with the ability to capture up to 60 photos a second, of which you can keep all or choose the best and delete the rest. Sktchy co-founder Jordan Melnick comments: “Our community of artists is growing every day because Sktchy is the perfect place for them to find inspiration and share their art with the world, in part because of the neat way we layer portraits over the photos that inspired them.”
06. Tip: The ‘Stamp’ section has some amusingly whimsical affirmations such as ‘All you need is love…and a cat’ and ‘Success is the best revenge’. Rakuga Cute
Look beyond the cuteness and Rakuga Cute has some interesting featuresPlatform: iOS (iPhone)
Developer: Tatsumi Electronics
Price: Free
At first glance this iPhone photo app seems aimed at Japanese schoolgirls rather than discerning designers but Rakuga Cute actually contains some unusual editing functions which makes it an interesting addition to your photo repertoire. Retromatic
Retromatic can be frustrating at times but it portrays a great vintage feelPlatform: iOS (iPhone and iPad)
Developer: Peta Vision
Price: $1.99/£1.49
’50s-inspired photo app Retromatic enables you to import your photos, cut them out using an instant alpha tool, and then apply vintage effects to them. Grab a photo from your Camera Roll and start your makeover; you can remove unwanted freckles, blemished skin or hide bags under the eyes with Smooth; reshape that wonky nose or misshapen jawline with, er, Reshape; and make subtle tweaks of colour using Tone. 16. 04. 30. The filter selection isn’t huge, but many are so well-designed that you’ll find them far more valuable than sheer quantity from a lesser app. Cycle through to choose a colour, tap it, and then it’s applied to your shot. The only inconvenience is that in the process of editing a picture you’ll inevitably end up previewing demo versions of paid-for features so there’s constant backtracking involved if you want to stick with free content. And there’s also separate focus and exposure support for eligible devices. It’s all about the photo editor – it features standard image adjustment tools (white balance, exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, vibrance and saturation), with additional colour controls, a black and white mode, split toning and a hefty collection of presets for Instagram-style quick fixes. Tip: The app is bundled with 29 fonts for adding text to your photos, including Adobe Garamond Pro, Cooper Std Black, and Myriad Pro. It allows to you to have a creative outlet for organising the photographic elements of your life whilst also allowing you to alter your images with a set of colour filters. 12. Let us know in the comments box below!

Updated: 13.11.2014 — 03:07