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Best smartphone apps for editing photos on a smartphone

Smartphones offer great portability, and it is the major reason latest DSLR cameras include the capability to be connected to smartphones over wi-fi. Also, the quality of image offered by a phone camera itself is extremely good. Example: Google pixel or iPhone X camera.  Whether you do mobile phone photography or DSLR photography, there are a lot of apps that can help you with photo editing on your smartphone itself. Most of the editing apps are available for both Android and Apple iPhone Playstore.
Let's talk about why smartphone based editing of photos is required? This is because not everyone wants to power a heavy laptop and launch an app for even simple photo edits. Also, a user has easy access to their smartphone more than a computer or laptop. Other benefits offered by smartphone-based editing include:
1) Some of the latest smartphone cameras allow shooting RAW images. RAW images carry a lot more data with them as compared to JPEG files. By using smartphone-based editing apps a user can unleash the full potential of photo editing without the need of a DSLR.
2) Editing and uploading can be done at same time. All the famous photo sharing platforms such as Instagram, Flickr and 500px have mobile apps too. It makes the sharing process very easy and highly convenient.
3) If you are shooting using a DSLR, no need for a computer or laptop. Just transfer the files to smartphone and start editing them instantly.
4) RAW files cannot be uploaded to photo sharing websites. Smartphone-based editing apps allow exporting as JPEG which can be uploaded to Instagram, 500px and Flickr.
Moving on to the apps section, most of the apps mentioned cost near to nothing.  I have personally used all of these apps on my smartphone at some point in time. For ease of download, I have merged both "apps for android" and "apps for iPhone" sections together. 
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom: Free. You don't need a creative cloud subscription for editing RAW files through the latest camera updates might require a subscription.
Google Android.
Apple iPhone.

VSCO: Free. This app has given a really hard time to Instagram filters. Easy to use.
Google Android.
Apple iPhone

SKRWT- Paid. Perspective correction, EXIF data read and full auto-cropping of photographs.
Google Android
Apple iPhone.

Snapseed: Free. One of my personal favourite apps. Tons of full-fledged photography features such as RAW editing, white balance, tones, curves, exposure, etc. The screenshot below shows the various features offered by this app.

dslr photography app snapseed
Screenshot of Snapseed

Google Android.
Apple iPhone

Google photos: Free. Offers photo back, collage creation and simple editing such as lighting, contrast, vignette, etc.
Google Android.

Photo pills - Paid. Special focus on Astro side of photography. Sun, moon and milky way. Allows a user to make plans, find good photography locations and long exposure shots.
Google Android
Apple iPhone

ProCam 5- Paid. Only for iPhone users. Basically turns your iPhone into a DSLR camera. Includes night mode, burst mode, video mode, time-lapse mode and DNG files editing. Hard to beat this app.
Apple iPhone

Pixlr- Free. Overlays, filters and collages.
Google Android
Apple iPhone

Darkroom- Free. Only for iPhone users. RAW image support, batch processing, transform and 10 pre-bundled filters.
Apple iPhone

Enlight- Paid. Only for iPhone users and very similar to Photoshop. Offers tone curves, custom presets and customizable filters.
Apple iPhone

Adobe Photoshop Express- Free (trial). It's Adobe. RAW, TIFF and JPEG support. Offers watermarking, blemish removal, skin tine editing and what not.
Google Android.
Apple iPhone

Instagram: Free. Photography app with a social and personal touch. Live videos, photo filters, cropping and all the other basic stuff needed to post cute selfies. ;)
Google Android
Apple iPhone

Hope the above list will help to take your creativity to another level. I am sure there must be other good photography apps too, but I can't try them all. If you know of any other amazing photography app that deserves to be in above list, drop me a line or leave a comment. Share the photography love. :)


  1. I have a dslr camera but the problem is, it's too big to carry everytime and everywhere especially when it rains I need to protect it's lens. Fortunately I have a smartphone now with waterproof and thus I can use it anywhere, plus those very useful app to use makes my photos more beautiful and attractive. I haven't tried Darkroom yet, I'll surely try it out. lovely post!

    1. Hi Alexi,
      I can totally relate to what you are trying to say. When I go on hikes, it gets painful to carry my dslr and hiking gear at same time. I am glad you found the article helpful, let me know how you feel after using one of the above apps.


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