Best Photo Editing Apps for iPhone

iphone-apps-photo

With so many options to choose from, what are the best photo editing apps for iPhone this year?

Whether you’re looking for free photo editing apps or you’re willing to pay for advanced features, this guide will help you discover the top options.

The iPhone camera is an amazing tool for photographers, but you’ll need to edit the photo to get the most out of it.

Thankfully, the photo editing tools available for iPhone in 2022 are powerful, easy to learn and a lot of fun to use.

(Many of the apps below are also available for iPad and Android smartphones too.)

Here’s our selection of the best photo editing apps you should install on your smartphone today.

11 Best iPhone Photo Editing Apps in 2022

1. Snapseed

snapseed

Best for: everyday photo editing | Android & iOS | Price: FREE

  • Android, iOS
  • Wide range of editing tools
  • Simple to use
  • Free photo editing app
  • Selective adjustments
  • Double exposure

Snapseed is the best free photo editing app for iPhone. It has multiple adjustment tools that you can use in auto mode or manually.

You can do selective editing as well, thanks to its masking tool and some advanced edits such as Curves and Healing.

There are many one-click solutions too that allow you to easily change the looks of your picture from grunge to black and white and others. It also has some special effects, such as double exposure and HDR.

Finally, you can also add frames and text to your images. Once you’re done, you can export or share your projects.

2. Adobe Lightroom

lightroom

Best for: photo editing and management | Android & iOS | Price: free version (limited) or full version $9.99

  • Advanced editing tools
  • Creative cloud
  • Camera app
  • Apply presets
  • Create your own presets
  • Supports raw files

Adobe Lightroom mobile is a portable version of the one used on desktop computers – it has all the tools, and you can sync your presets, images, etc. This is only possible if you have a paid Adobe subscription because there isn’t a free Lightroom for desktop – check this guide for how to buy Lightroom.

However, even the free Lightroom mobile version is very powerful – you can use it for capturing, organization, sharing and many of the editing features.

The Adobe Lightroom photo editing app also features a built in camera, with any photo saved automatically to the cloud if you’re a subscriber to one of the Photo plans. This makes it super-easy to work across devices, with all your edits kept in sync.

Once you get the full version, you get access to the selective edits, geometry tools and the healing brush. This is one of the best photo editing apps for iPhone that allows you to work professionally because it communicates with all the Adobe apps in the Creative Cloud ecosystem.

You’ll also find lots of tutorials inside the app to improve your skills, and you can access the Lightroom community for inspiration via the Discovery section.

3. Pixelmator Photo

pixelmator

Best for: photo editing and management | iOS | Price: $7.99

  • Supports raw files
  • 30+ color adjustments
  • Repair tool
  • Machine learning
  • Photo browser
  • ML Enhance feature for auto adjustments
  • Nine presets groups
  • Batch editing

Pixelmator Photo is a desktop-class photo editor app, and it supports raw formats from over 600 cameras. The included photo browser has a pleasing filmstrip design, and it works in sync with your iPhone’s native Library from the Photos app.

So, not only is it one of the best photo editing apps, but it’s also a great photo manager. You can use the ML Enhance feature for the smart auto-adjustment for quick edits. You can later fine-tune your image, or you can do everything on your own using all the non-destructive photo editing tools.

The app offers a machine-learning denoise tool to reduce noise and image-compression artefacts automatically. You can also choose from more than 30 color adjustments and nine unique preset groups to give your images a creative touch.

4. Adobe Photoshop Express

ps express

Best for: general photo editing | Android & iOS | Price: FREE

Up until recently, Photoshop Express was only a part of the Photoshop family for iPhone photography together with Adobe Photoshop Fix and Photoshop Mix.

Currently, Adobe decided to merge all three photo editing apps in a more powerful version of Photoshop Express. If you have any of the other two apps, you can continue to use them – but they are not in the app store anymore.

Photoshop Camera is still a separate editing app that allows you to change the looks of your picture before you make it.

If any Android users are reading this article, know that things haven’t changed on the Google Play Store, where you can still download all three apps – at least for now.

Among the many adjustments you can make to edit pictures, you can select multiple objects to apply edits selectively or make cut-outs. You can also add blur or remove noise, make a perspective correction and even do makeup transfer for your beauty pictures.

Adobe Photoshop Express allows you to use professional editing tools and fun features for your social feed. For example, you can retouch facial features for a perfect portrait, but you can also turn your face into a cartoon.

Adobe Photoshop Express is one of the best photo editing apps for iPhone, and you can use it together with other apps from the Creative Cloud.

5. PicsArt

picsart

Best for: fun photo & video editing | Android & iOS | Price: free with ads or $55.99/year

  • photo collage maker
  • all-in-one photo editor
  • fun filters
  • create stickers
  • recreate edits
  • edit images collaboratively
  • video editor

PicsArt it’s an all-in-one app. It has tons of photo editing options, a huge range of creative tools, and it’s also a video editor.

The editing options include exposure and color correction, background removal, blur background with an AI smart selection tool, selfie retouching tools, straighten images, multiple photo filters, etc.

You can also use grids for picture collages and templates and scrapbooking using frames, stickers (60+ included and the possibility to make your own), use the drawing tool and more. Your edited photos can become memes and Instagram stories easily.

The video editor has an intuitive interface that allows you to add music – your own or from the in-app library, trim and crop your videos, use the smart video merger, and apply filters.

The free app version has ads that can become annoying – but you can use all the functions. For a free-ad experience, you need a Gold membership that you can pay weekly, monthly or yearly.

It’s one of the most expensive but also one of the best photo editing apps. You can use the 3-month free trial to decide whether it’s an investment you want to make.

6. VSCO

vsco

Best for: filters & photo sharing | Android & iOS | Price: free (limited) or full version $19.99

  • Photo editing features
  • 200+ filters
  • Video editing
  • Social media
  • Media blender

VSCO is one of the best photo editing apps for iPhone with a social media community. It’s the perfect app to share your images and get inspiration without worrying about likes.

It has the same features as other editing apps, plus a huge range of filters developed by influencers and professional photographers.

With VSCO, you can also edit video and give free rein to your creativity by layering images, video, and shapes.

Most of the filters the app offers are paid, but you can still use it as a free photo editor with ten included presets – and you can participate in the community.

If you want to try the paid membership before buying, you can use the 7-day free trial.

7. Carbon

carbon

Best for: Black & white photos | iOS | Price: free version (limited) or full version $19.99

  • 58 B&W filters
  • B&W effects
  • Grain textures
  • Dust textures
  • Light leaks
  • Bokeh textures
  • Grunge textures

Carbon is the best photo editing app if you like black and white photography. You can make beautiful monochrome pictures without any photo editing knowledge, thanks to its minimal design.

Simply tap over any of the 58 black and white filters and choose the one you like best. You can also add textures and borders to your photos.

Once you’re satisfied, you can add hashtags and share your creations right from the app.

8. TouchRetouch

touch

Best for: remove unwanted elements | Android & iOS | Price: $2.00

  • Object removal
  • Line removal
  • Mesh removal
  • Blemish removal

TouchRetouch is a photo editing app is dedicated to remove unwanted objects. This isn’t a one-trick pony that you’ll rarely use. Instead, you can use it for portrait photos to remove blemishes and create smooth skin, also for your travel photos removing tourists in the back, etc.

You can do these things with the healing tool of many editing apps. Still, TouchRetouch has a very powerful algorithm because it’s specially developed for this feature – you can even remove the mesh from in front of detailed backgrounds.

The results are surprisingly accurate, so for only 2 bucks, it could be an essential photo editing app to add to your tool set.

9. Mextures

mextures

Best for: 1-click editing | iOS | Price: $1.99

  • Edit in layers
  • Grain overlays
  • Film presets
  • Light leaks
  • Gradients

If you don’t want to spend much time fine-tuning lots of features to adjust every picture you take manually, Mextures is one of the best photo editing apps you can get.

It comes with more than 150 textures you can easily apply to your photos. Each one is added in a separate layer so you can customize the opacity and choose one of the 12 blending modes.

You can add virtually unlimited layers and come back to adjust each of them as many times as you want because it works non-destructively.

Also, you do have some photo editing features if you prefer to take matters into your own hands. You’ll find tools to adjust the exposure, saturation, contrast and other basic tools.

You can save your workflow and duplicate your edits in other photos or share them with other users. In the same way, you can import formulas from other users and use them in your photos. All in all, this is a fantastic photo editing app.

10. Superimpose X

superimpose

Best for: Photo composites | iOS | Price: $4.99

  • Up to 24 layers
  • Collage tools
  • Editing tools
  • Double exposure
  • Warp
  • 16 adjustment layers
  • Shadow creation
  • Text effects
  • Export as PSD

Superimpose X is one of the best photo editing apps to create photo composites and visual art. This app allows you to create amazing works of art composed of multiple images using masks and layers.

You can work with up to 24 layers and combine them using any of the 18 blending modes and controlling the opacity – it also has 16 different adjustment layers.

You can use separate masks for each layer and save them on a masking library. Multiple masking tools make your selections more precise, and an automatic AI tool helps you mask people out.

You can use the built-in shadow creation tool to make your compositions more realistic. Of course, it also has all the editing tools you’ll expect from a photo editor app.

To finish your graphic work, you can add text that can be manipulated with zoom, blur, warp, and more. If you want to keep the layers outside the app, you can export your projects as PSD.

11. SKRWT

Best for: perspective correction | Android & iOS | Price: $1.99

  • Perspective correction
  • Lens correction
  • Auto-crop
  • 4-point manual manipulation
  • Mirroring tool

SKRWT is the best photo editing app if you’re into architecture photography, real estate or interior photography.

SKRWT is specifically developed to correct horizontal and vertical lines distorted by perspective. It even corrects lens distortion even if you didn’t take the photo with your iPhone – it works with images from DSLRs, drones, GoPro, etc.

SKRWT has two in-app extensions – 4PNTS and MRRW. Using 4PNTS, you can manually adjust your photo by dragging each corner separately. MRRW offers four mirror effects to control the symmetry in your photos.

How do Professionals Edit Photos on iPhones?

Depending on what iPhone photo editing app is being used, there are many ways a pro could edit their photos.

To keep things simple, since every iPhone owner has the Photos app, here are the basic steps when editing an image:

  1. Update to the latest iOS – with iOS 13, Apple redesigned the photo editor, giving it a wider range of editing tools to touch up your photos and videos. To ensure you have the latest iOS version, go to Settings > General > Software Update.
  2. Work with raw images – if you work with JPEGs, you’ll have very little room for post-processing, while raw files have much more information. Since the iPhone 12 lineup, there’s a native raw file called ProRaw – if you have a previous iPhone, you’ll need to use a third-party app to photograph in raw.
  3. Always back up the original image – even if Photos allows you to revert your edits, it’s better to have a copy of the original file before you start editing. This is useful if you want to keep both versions or edit the same photo in different ways.
  4. Straighten – the first thing you want to do is straighten your photo and adjust the perspective if it needs it.
  5. Crop – often, when you adjust the perspective, some pixels remain empty, or other parts go out of the frame. With the crop tool, you can reframe your photo to your liking. Both tools are in the same menu – you’ll also find the tool to rotate, flip, etc. You can also crop your images to change the aspect ratio – for example, make it a square 1:1 format to use as a profile picture or upload to Instagram.
  6. Adjust the light – the next thing you want to do is edit anything related to light and exposure. Here, you can control the highlights and shadows, adjust contrast and brightness, etc.
  7. Adjust the colors – once you’re happy with the exposure settings, you can move on to edit colors.
  8. Use depth control and lighting if it’s a photo taken in portrait mode – if your image is not on Portrait mode, you won’t have these editing tools. However, Portrait Mode allows you to control the background blur and lighting effect.
  9. Add a photo filter (optional) – once you’re done with your manual edits, you can finish your photo editing by adding a filter. This is useful for maintaining a consistent style or adding a creative touch.
  10. Save – when you finish editing your photo, click Done. This will save your image in the Library, and it will replace the original photo – that’s why I advised you to keep a copy. If you change your mind later, you can always remove the edits because the Photos app works non-destructively.

How Can I Make My iPhone Take Better Photos?

Before you even get to using photo editing tools, there are several steps to take to ensure your iPhone takes better photos.

  1. Update to the latest iOS – iOS 13 includes Photographic Styles, Macro mode, Scene Detection, Mirrored Selfies and more. Depending on your iPhone model, you could take advantage of these new features to take a better photo.
  2. Clean your iPhone camera lens – a smudged lens is the biggest cause of blurry iPhone photos. Wipe yours on your shirt before each shot to keep it clean.
  3. Keep it steady – lock your elbows into your body while holding your iPhone to ensure your shot is as steady as possible. This will help keep every photo sharp.
  4. Use a remote – did you know you can use the volume switch on your iPhone earphones to take a photo? This can help with keeping the phone steady and also help you take a less awkward selfie.
  5. Shoot in raw – not all iPhone models support ProRaw – the native format for raw images. If this is your case, you can download a camera app to shoot in raw. From the photo editing apps recommended here, you can try Adobe Lightroom Mobile.
  6. Enable grids to improve your composition – all iPhones have a grid with the rule of thirds to help you improve your composition skills. Also, you can download a camera app with other grids to learn the golden spiral, triangles, etc.
  7. Lock the focus point – tap and hold on the main subject to lock the focus point. This way, you’ll be sure to have sharp images.
  8. Adjust the exposure – you can darken or brighten your photo’s exposure before taking it by moving the yellow slider up or down.
  9. Use the correct shooting mode – inside the camera app; you’ll find different shooting modes. To make the most out of your iPhone, you should take advantage of these tools. For example, if you want a bokeh background use the Portrait mode to get lens blur – if you’re working in low light, use Night mode, and so on.
  10. Try live photos – using live photos, your iPhone registers a series of images in sequence that can be animated as a GIF or a short 1.5-second video. This feature is helpful to improve your photos because it allows you to choose the best frame and save it as a still image – you’ll never have a portrait with closed eyes again.
  11. Clean up your storage – having thousands of photos in your iPhone camera roll is the norm, but you can usually improve the performance of your phone overall if you delete some or all of the photos.

Of course, once you’ve nailed the photoshoot, you can move on to improving your post-processing skills. In this article, we selected the best photo editing apps for you to choose from.

iPhone Editing Apps: FAQs

How can I get rid of blemishes on my iPhone photos?

Unfortunately, the native photo editor Photos doesn’t offer blemish removal. So, you’ll have to download a third-party app. Some of the best editing apps to get rid of blemishes are Snapseed, TouchRetouch, Photoshop Express and Lightroom – although many others have this feature.

What is the best filter app for iPhone?

VSCO is also one of the most popular filter editing apps because of its social media feature. However, if you’re not interested in the community part of it – Mexture is one of the best filter-based photo editor.

Does Apple have a photo editor?

Apple’s photo editor is called Photos, and it’s available for Mac computers, iPhones and iPad. It has a Library to organize your photos, on-device machine learning, photo editing tools and some graphic tools to draw or write.

Final Words

I hope you like our selection of the best photo editing apps for iPhone. You should find that most are actually also available for other mobile devices, such as Android phones, iPads and Android tablets.

As you can see, some of them are multi-purpose photo editing apps, while others are specialized in certain edits. Others are professional photo editing apps, and others are one-click solutions. It’s difficult to pick one out as the absolute best photo editor app – it’s more about which one is the best for your needs and skills.

In the comments, let us know which ones you think are the best photo editing apps for iPhone and what you like about them. Thanks for reading!

Ana Mireles is a Mexican researcher that specializes in photography and communications for the arts and culture sector.

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