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12 best photo editing apps on Android

Authored by: Scott Adam Gordon — 1 month ago

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.

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With these great Android photo editing apps you don't even have to take perfect photos. / © ANDROIDPIT

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.

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PhotoDirector has a range of basic and advanced photo editing options. / © ANDROIDPIT
PhotoDirector Photo Editor App Install on Google Play

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.

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A desktop-worthy array of options from Photo Editor.  / © ANDROIDPIT
Photo Editor Install on Google Play

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.

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Adobe Lightroom for Android brings desktop power to your pocket. / © ANDROIDPIT

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.

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Photo Editor by Lidow is simple, quick and fun. / © ANDROIDPIT
Lidow:layout snap mirror grid Install on Google Play

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.   

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VSCO Cam's interface is simple, but incredibly efficient. / © ANDROIDPIT
VSCO Install on Google Play

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. 

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Pho.to Lab is filled with simple pleasures. / © VicMan LLC
Photo Lab PRO Photo Editor! Install on Google Play

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.

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Snapseed offers image correction and artistic filters. / © Nik Software, Inc.
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Image editing with Snapseed. / © Nik Software, Inc.
Snapseed Install on Google Play

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.

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I dialed up my 'smile' (left), added some color, slimmed myself down, sharpened it, and voila! / © ANDROIDPIT
Cymera - Selfie & Photo Editor Install on Google Play

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.

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Left: In-app purchases for additional effects. Right: Meme photos made easy. / © ANDROIDPIT
Photo Editor by Aviary Install on Google Play

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.

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Frame creation with PicsArt. / © PicsArt
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Partial coloring with PicsArt. / © PicsArt
PicsArt Photo Studio Install on Google Play

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.

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Pixlr Express comes with a lot of options for quick photo fixes. / © Autodesk Inc.

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.

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When it comes to Vignette, retro is the way to go. / © Weavr

So, what do you think is the best Android photo editing app? Let us know in the comments below.

Originally from the UK, Scott graduated in Popular Music Studies at Newcastle University and attributes most of his success there to his beloved Samsung Galaxy S2. A dedicated Android fan, Scott has never owned an Apple device, of any kind, and doesn't see this changing anytime soon.

33 comments

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  • Hi everyone. Dies anyone know which is the best photo editing app that keep the original size of the photo when u uploaded it to fb? Thanks

  • It's there an app that will change pixels/size of an existing photo and allow you to create a new image from 2 separate existing images? I've not had luck with the 'collage' features. Thanks!

  • This tool is a kool photo editor, kool cropper. You can create a lot of kool images.
    play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=dauroi.photoeditor

  • Albert 1 week ago Link to comment

    No doubt these apps are out standing. excellent features has been introduced in these apps i really appreciate all team of these apps. Today i am using Photex Pro : Text on Photos is one of the best app.An extremely user friendly interface.
    Enjoy your latest event Valentines Day ( 14 February) with Photex Pro by designing the cards of the event..:)..

  • These apps are all outdated. They were published years ago. I have been playing with Bonfire Photo Editor since the Christmas holidays. Heavily enhanced by artificial intelligence, it can deliver amazing results like automatic retouch, smartly oil paining. etc. One issue about it is that it requires a powerful device like Galaxy S6 to run smoothly.

  • nice sharing and one most important thing of these apps is that they are totally free and everyone can use that

  • Thanks , could you do few tutorials on editing

  • rick 1 month ago Link to comment

    i have all of them, plus 20 others, super photo, fx, filters, pro studio,to name a couple more great ones.

  • Nice hair. I'm digging it.

  • I was using Pixlr for any kind of editing task and quite happy with it. But as Adobe Lightroom is now free to use so going to try that as well!

  • Janna Ja 4 months ago Link to comment

    Retouchify - your photos are edited by real people. If you need anything fixed on the photo this is the best app.

  • Hi,
    myphotofilter Online photo effects & filters for free, try our photo effects editing
    Thanks

  • VSCO cam is for those who are more interested in serious photography. It has made me put down my dslr and use only my phone the last few weeks. Phenomenal software. Snapseed and Afterlight are the "best" editing only apps (although Afterlight does have a dedicated camera) I've used....after VSCO. This is just my opinion though.

  • I have tried all of these except lightroom and vignette: retro and ended up Uninstalling most of them. I still have pixlr and photo director, and i have snapseed on my tablet though i rarely use it. What baffles me when i read these beat photo editing app articles is how an app called Photo Editor by a developer named dev.macgyver is never on them. It has 10 million downloads on the playstore but i never see it mentioned. This app is amazing. Truly the closest thing you will find to a photoshop or a GIMP on android. The interface is basic, nothing fancy, but what you can do with this app is amazing and almost endless. Every feature and tool can be adjusted and fine tuned down to doing exactly what you want. No other photo app I've tried even comes close. And ive tried over 30 photo editing apps easy. Anyway, it's worth checking out, it's simply called Photo Editor and has a basic blue icon. Oh and all tools and features are free, the only in app purchase is to make it ad free. The ad is small, uninterested and mostly goes unnoticed at the bottom of the screen. Ok ok I'll shut up about it now, i just love this app!

  • Surely Lightroom Mobile doesn't make any sense unless one has the pics in LR in the cloud before processing in Android. And to be in the cloud the pics must be imported via LR but not on Android. IMHO a limiting (lack of) feature.

  • Great Post !! 😃😄

  • 'Dramatic Black & White' by JixiPix Software. Once i realised you could pretty much do away with the vignetting almost entirely if you want, this became the must have camera app i download to a new phone before all other camera apps. I truly cannot understand why it has so few downloads and why it's never mentioned in articles like this one. I haven't found anything that suits me any where near as well for B&W's

  • Mel Fox 6 months ago Link to comment

    I am looking for a photo app that allows me to edit pix & move location to were I want them located. Unlike Google photo when edited they are placed as a new photo any suggestion's would be appreciated. MF.

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