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.
PhotoDirector: The ultimate
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, such as RGB curves and HSL tools.PhotoDirector Photo Editor App
Photo Editor by dev.macgyver: The closest to a desktop experience
It may not be very pretty, but Photo Editor perhaps comes closest offering the variety of options that could compete with GIMP or Photoshop. This is one of the very few apps that offers the ability to edit EXIF data and it packs superb perspective and curve adjustment tools.
It's free to use, but it does have ads. The good news is that it is updated very regularly, so even if you find a tool that it's lacking, it could well arrive at any moment.Photo Editor
Adobe Lightroom Mobile: The heavyweight
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.
Adobe Lightroom was made available for free as of December 7, 2015.
Previously, you needed a subscription to Adobe Cloud Photography plan to use Lightroom on your Android, but now it is only needed if you wish to sync your files with the Desktop application and Lightroom Web.
Photo Editor by Lidow: The fast and fun
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. It's definitely less complex than many of the other photo editing apps on this list, but that's part of its charm. It offers a handful of fun, easy-to-use features that can be applied in seconds.Lidow:layout snap mirror grid
VSCO Cam: The Android favorite
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, it 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. Even better, it's free to download.VSCO
Pho.to Lab: The framer
What Pho.to Lab lacks in serious editing tools it more that makes up for with the amount of customization it gives you: 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 it's great for a bit of fun, and it has a huge amount of variety.Photo Lab PRO Photo Editor!
Snapseed: The experienced
Snapseed was developed by the professionals from Nik Software and is ideal for touching up your photos. Brightness, contrast, and saturation are among 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.Snapseed
Cymera: The portrait photographer
Although you can technically use Cymera for any type of photo, it really excels at portraits. You can take photos directly within the app or import them from your gallery, and Cymera offers seven different lenses and four different recording modes to instantly improve snaps.
More than 20 filters, decorations, portrait features, and realistic make-up effects are available, and images can be shared among 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.Cymera - Selfie & Photo Editor
Aviary Photo Editor: 1, 2, 3, meme!
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.Photo Editor by Aviary
PicsArt: The all-rounder
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.PicsArt Photo Studio
Pixlr Express: The fast one
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 setting that can be used to increase the speed in which photos are edited.
Vignette: The retro
Vignette is not a pure editing app, but a hybrid that packs a standalone camera app together with digital zoom, self-timer and time-lapse. 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 because rotating and cropping aren’t available. Vignette costs around US$1.60 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.