The camera has become one of the elements most valued in a mobile and the quality reaching models more pointers get equal and sometimes even exceed what they offer us some compact, hence many users use the phone as a pocket camera usual.
But that is not the thing. In addition to shooting photos, you can also edit them . Most smartphones have screens large enough so that we can modify images easily and more and more applications to enhance our photos from the most basic to the most complete there. We look for the best photo editors for Android.
A few years ago, if you wanted to edit an image had to resort to a desktop program, but today things have changed and there are plenty of mobile apps that rival some of the image editors we used to install on our computers.
Adobe Photoshop is still the king of retouching programs with Lightroom, the favorite of many professional photographers. Although both have mobile versions that we discuss below, it is true that for most professional editions have to resort to the computer, but do not underestimate what we can do with our phones.
The basic user will find great allies in the predefined filters that can be applied in virtually any image editing app, but there is also room for those looking for more customized effects with various editing tools available.
What we want in an image editor?
In my case, when it comes to retouch images I usually go directly to Photoshop, so I consider myself quite demanding in this regard. I am clear that a mobile app has limitations , both at management level for example screen size will not allow me to make complex selections or manage clone stamp at the same level as the computer. However more and more comprehensive tools that offer very interesting solutions for mobile universe.
Google Play is a bottomless pit and image editors are one of the largest and most sought after of all app store categories, so before you start looking will mark some of the requirements that we ask an image editor .
- Exposure control : an essential tool that we will use virtually any issue, although not all mobile publishers solve it just as well.
- Adjust Brightness : its similarity, many mobile publishers unified exposure and brightness as the same tool, although more advanced editors do not have the same effect.
- Adjust Contrast : another key point in editing that defines the separation between light and dark areas of an image. In other words, can mitigate or enhance the image.
- Independent control of light and shadow : This option is not all editors, but can be very useful because it allows greater control over contrast.
- Color Adjustment : another staple in any image editor. Most offers a saturation control to define the intensity of the nuances of the image, but there are other apps that divide the color settings in more options as hue or intensity and even some more advanced features like changing colors separately.
- Color temperature : is linked to white balance concept and can be very practical to adjust dominant color present in the light. However, in many cases we find less technical tools such as “warmth”.
- Adjust frame : is one of the first issues that we apply an image either to crop a portion, straighten rotating sideways or even reflect it .
- Reduce noise : the annoying noise effect usually occurs when we take pictures in low light, hence a function to minimize it can be very useful in some images.
- Sharpen : sharpen is another classic in editing, but we must take care and not be so that the effect does not end up spoiling the image.
- Size / resolution files : while almost all desktop publishing programs allow you to adjust the size and resolution of the images is not so common option in mobile publishers, but no longer a necessary feature.
- RAW Editor : more and more mobile offering the ability to shoot RAW images and can edit them directly on the device it is important to take advantage of this improvement.
- Timely issue : it is not so common in mobile apps, but the timely issue is one of the aspects most often used in programs like Photoshop. It can be very useful for example to remove redness of the skin, remove items or simply apply exposure settings or color isolated areas without affecting the whole picture.
- Filters : Filters can be good allies for quick touch up, but they should be used sparingly.
- Effects : The effects range from blurring the background, through textures, frames, text or stickers.
They are an essential aspect in editing, but are very popular in order to share images on social networks.
Integrated camera: most of my image editing part of it , but some do without the integrated camera and although not a necessary option (can take a picture with the native app camera and then open it with the editor), never comes wrong to have everything in one place.
Intuitive : Last but not least, the interface is well organized and allow us easy access to all tools is essential for good user experience, especially on touch devices.
Our selection of candidates
As I said, the photo editors offer in Google Play is huge and make a selection is not an easy task, especially since there are notable differences between the various proposals available. There are apps more thoughtful use of filters and effects, more professionals including countless editing parameters and others that offer only basic tools for a quick touch.
However, the fact that an image editing app is the most comprehensive in terms of tools does not make it the best. There is a majority of users are looking for more balanced applications that allow them to edit their photos without taking off a photography course and in that range is where we find the most practical options, without forgetting specific scenarios designed for more options.
In this sense, the objective of this selection is not finding a definite winner but a variety of apps including each user can find the solution that best suits your needs. These are our candidates:
Adobe Photoshop Express
We said that Adobe Photoshop is the image editor par excellence and mobile version is one of the options to consider when retouch photos on mobile or tablet, especially if like me you are familiar with its interface as bears some resemblance (though it is logically much more simplified).
In Adobe Photoshop Express you will find several sections that collect various editing tools, starting with its collection of filters that apply quick tweaks to images. The next section lets you adjust the frame rotating, mirroring or cutting the picture, while Corrections will find enough options to adjust the settings to your liking, including some not very common as reduce noise, clear haze.
The truth is that Photoshop Express offers a setting quite successful in parameters such as lighting or focus and also has a tool to remove red – eye, although it is not very useful because the LED flash of the mobile does not usually generate this effect.
It also has a section to add frames and vignetting at the edges and finally an option to retouch specific areas . For example , in the selected photo I used it to eliminate one of the rocks that appear in the far zone and the result is quite good. It may also be useful for removing skin marks in portraits.
As I said above, Lightroom is one of the favorite tools of retouching images from professional photographers and their mobile application is one of the most complete you’ll find in Google Play.
Its strong point, in addition to its comprehensive editing tools is its ability to manage image collections , allowing not only copy editions of some pictures to others, but also add tags and even sort images. It also has the option to synchronize with Adobe Creative Cloud, so you can access your collection from anywhere.
However, its main advantage is also a problem, as in inexperienced hands not squeeze their full potential and there are areas that you can be somewhat complex to manage if you are not familiar with tools more advanced editing.
However, if you are looking for faster editing Lightroom is also an app practical as it has a wide range of presets ( ‘presets’ to his friends) with those who give a different touch to your photos in one click . It includes creative effects that mimic analog processes revealed several options black and vignetting and grain among others.
Speaking of presets, Lightroom has an integrated camera that allows you to use these settings and choose the white balance settings to shoot the image directly to the desired effect.
But if you want to control every detail of the image to an almost professional level , including whether it is a photograph in RAW format, Lightroom is definitely the application you were looking for . In the section setting there is a complete collection of more professional settings that allow much more research on aspects such as exposure or tone control.
For example it allows us to adjust the lighting using a tone curve that divides the options between high lights, light, dark and shadows, in contrast with most apps that reduce it to a single parameter of exposure. Color options also offer a very detailed control, allowing us to adjust each tone selectively as we do in the computer version.
With over 10 million downloads and a score of 4.4 on Google Play, VSCO is one of my favorite images editing community . Its strengths are its intuitive and simple interface and preset filters usually give an interesting and very characteristic touch to images.
VSCO allows you to shoot images directly from the app or import to the library and is divided into two distinct sections. The first is a collection of several filters that modify the parameters of the image without having to do anything. After choosing the filter to apply, if you press once again over him a deodorize with which you can adjust the intensity of the effect will appear.
VSCO offers a collection of about ten filters series, but you can add many more, but paying, of course. If you click on the shopping cart you can access different collections of filters whose prices range from less than one euro to more than 30 euros for the full collection.
The second section is VSCO settings, where you can retouch the photo to your liking without having to jump through hoops of filters that, while comfortable, leave no freedom to get more specific effects.
VSCO offers a collection of basic to give a different touch to photos tools, but despite not having advanced features are more than enough for the issues that usually you do with the photos of your phone.
Among the options available are some pretty common as exposure, contrast, crop and rotate, clipping or vignetting. It also has other a little more specific as saving highlight / shadow to avoid burned or very dark areas, discoloration for a more romantic photos or tint of light and shadow touch.
Snapseed is one of the most downloaded editors Google Play and its popularity is more than justified. The app was developed by Nik Software and quickly became a photographic reference tool in iOS, Windows later and finally came to Google was made with the company, extending its success also to the Android platform.
Snapseed is probably the app that best combines the complexity of its tools with a convenient interface , intuitive and above all, well organized. It may at first the amount of options is somewhat overwhelming, but after editing an image will be very clear not have problems to move between the different options available.
The settings are divided into two distinct sections, with editing tools for those who prefer to get an effect more “a la carte” and a section of filters with presets. However, in this case we are not facing a simple list of filters , here there is also room for textures, blurs and more.
One of the aspects that make so intuitive Snapseed app is how to adjust parameters. For example there are a total of seven settings in the section ‘Photo Fix’. To choose a simply slide on the vertical axis adjustment, once selected increases or decreases the value by sliding on the horizontal axis.
Snapseed has many editing options, some very comprehensive as white balance, which allows us to select a point on the image to adjust the color temperature or brush mode, with which you can apply edits to specific areas of the image . you can also adjust the perspective of the image, removing stains, add bullets or texts. By extract a paste, Snapseed has no built -in camera, so you have to take the picture with another app.
Returning to the filters, Snapseed also offers a comprehensive collection of effects to give a bolder effects to photos . For example Retrolux, Vintage Grunge or you can get very striking results that simulate old or damaged images. There are also type effects such as HDR. HDD landscape itself or Drama, background blur filters, black, and white frames and even a special preset for portraits. The options are virtually endless, but in this case we recommend applying the measure since tinkering with marring the image can end if we spend creative.
In addition, Snapseed has the possibility of applying the latest changes to another image, selecting which we want to add and what not, and select both the image size and format (JPG or PNG).
Adobe is not the only company dedicated to software design that has proven luck in the mobile world, Autodesk has also joined this trend and have done with Pixlr , an image editor of the most complete and powerful we’ve tested.
Just open Pixlr allows us to choose between making a picture with your built-in camera (which incidentally allows you to add filters and textures in real time), choose one from the library or create a collage. But certainly what makes Pixel is its endless list of editing options and, above all, his brush editing.
Within the Tools section, Pixlr proposes several basic options such as crop, rotate, image settings, and automatic contrast correction, focus / blur, repair and red eyes. Also there is room for other less common functions such as double exposure , which allows us to overlay two images and choose a blending mode to create specific effects or isolate colors, with which we can choose a tone image and make the rest appears in black and white.
As mentioned, the brush editing is the most prominent feature of Pixlr . As seen in the last capture of this series, you can choose which areas of the image retouching (in this case , isolate colors) simply painting over it will apply. But there ‘s more, the brush is present in virtually all sections of Pixlr, so that we can also adjust the contrast or exposure of a specific area. It also has an eraser to adjust more detail the area to edit.
Adobe Photoshop Fix
We repeat with another app Adobe containment Photoshop Fix a tool that joined the collection of the brand recently. This is an app focused on specific tweaks in which we find familiar tools in Photoshop as concealer brush or clone stamp , very practical when it comes to removing skin blemishes in a portrait or simply delete image elements . It also has the Liquefy filter to deformation, focus and blur tools, cutting tools / straightening and setting a section with basic settings such as exposure, saturation or contrast.
As the main purpose of this app is to make timely adjustments, to prove I chose a photo of a landscape on which was a fragment of a tree on top that was not quite right and preferred to remove. For this I used a combination of tools healing brush and clone stamp and although the result is satisfactory, I found areas for improvement.
The clone stamp works well and how they resolved the handling is quite comfortable with the concealer brush is where I encountered more problems. Those who use Photoshop usually know that the concealer brush or “Band – Aid” is a very useful tool but also demanding in terms of performance. In the case of Photoshop Fix I found a very slow operation that takes a while to calculate tinkering , but what bothered me was that the results were not as good and the algorithm could not eliminate the effect of the brush edges.
If you are someone who prefers to give a special touch to your photos with risky editions and very striking , in PicsArt find plenty of tools to get your creative side, but if you prefer more traditional issues may not be the most appropriate application.
Just open PicsArt we have the option of making a photo with your built-in camera and filters in real time or choose one from the library. The next step is to edit the image, create a mosaic with other photos or draw on it, but we what interests us is the editing tab.
We said that PicsArt is a very focused to add creative filters and effects app, but your tools section also offers options for basic retouching as more specific classic settings (contrast, saturation, shadows) and others like tone curves, liquefy or even its own version of clone stamp.
PicsArt also allow you to make selections to isolate objects , an unusual feature in mobile publishers, although you have a steady hand to get a clean selection.
Fotor Photo Effect Studio
We close our selection Fotor, an editor with a nice interface that reminds us VSCO , but with many more editing options available, both manual adjustments as filters, frames and other presets.
Just as other apps seen before, Fotor gives us three options when you open the app: edit an image, create a collage or take a picture with the camera. In this case your camera does not come with integrated filters or other effects, but it focuses on tools such as burst shooting, grid or image stabilizer.
Once we have chosen the image leads us to the editing screen, where we find the tools available at the bottom, but do not be fooled by its simplicity , many of which include more options that make Fotor a comprehensive editor.
For example if you deploy the Adjust section we find basic tools such as brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness, shadows or bullets. But in addition also it gives the option to adjust the image using curves and to separate the colors.
Another very interesting section that we do not usually find in other apps is the scene. Here Fotor proposes the classic scenes we have in our camera to add scenes adjustments to normal as backlights, sunset, night mode or cloudy. The downside is that not can adjust each effect.
How could it be otherwise, Fotor also includes filters, and not a few. The app shows different categories like Vintage, Lomo, Mono or Retro and within each includes nine filters more. It also offers the possibility of buying some packs of filters, but with all the features that come standard you will not miss more effects.
The best choice
Photo editors for Android there are many and in this article we have chosen eight of the most popular and at the same time we can find complete, but the choice between one or the other depends solely on the needs of each user.
In this sense, the question to be answered is what kind of user am I? , Since the answer will derive the option that best suits our profile. It is best to try several apps and stay with the best, but to facilitate the election ended with a summary table of the strong and weak points of each app. Which do you prefer?
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