The old adage that the best camera you have is the one you always carry with you is more relevant today than ever. Almost everyone packing a modern smartphone has a fantastic camera handy that can take postable photos and videos in a snap. The best smartphone cameras are aided by the vast abundance of great photo apps available on the Android platform.
This may come as a surprise to many, as the iPhone has traditionally reigned supreme for its photographic prowess and great apps. But in recent years, Android Apps have caught up by offering many of the same advanced tools and features for shooting and editing photos and videos. Today, as you browse the vast abundance of photo apps on the Google Play Store, we’ll guide you to the best ones for your Android phone.
Instagram is one of the most popular photo apps and photo-sharing social networks in the world, which is no surprise since it is owned by Facebook. With access to a host of creative tools and filters, Instagram puts you in control of how your photos look. You can also post to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, or save the image to your camera roll to share on other services. Besides taking and sending eye-catching photos, Instagram users can easily follow the accounts of their friends, celebrities, and various groups and organizations.
VSCO bills itself as a social media-themed camera app, but avoids the pressure of likes and comments. It focuses on providing photographers with a great outlet to share and inspire. The app features unique processing technology that promises dazzling, movie-worthy results. With a wide range of presets and photo editing tools, anyone can turn mundane landscape photos into stunning images. When editing photos, even in raw format, a single tap on the phone screen changes the viewer’s perspective between the original shot and the final edited product, for easy comparisons. After editing, users can share photos to several popular social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and VSCO Diary. This photo app has captured the imagination of a definite group of users – who call themselves VSCO girls — in a spontaneous movement of young women with a particular style and identity in which the company does not participate. The base app is free with subscriptions available for add-ons and extras.
When someone says mobile video editor, you say Snapseed. The once ubiquitous and powerful camera app offers pro-level editing tools and a wealth of editing options, making it easy for any enthusiast to produce an image they can be proud of. Snapseed gives users ultimate control over their images by including a host of sliders that can alter a photo’s vignette, blur, temperature, and other attributes. The app also satisfies fans of the vintage look by offering the option to apply grainy overlays, 1960s-style film reel effects, or its unique Retrolux filter. Snapseed also lets you stack effects on any photo, similar to layers in Photoshop, making it easy to produce a new result every time you edit a photo.
Use the open ad-supported camera alongside or instead of your default camera app. With multiple focus modes, color effects, white balance, and exposure compensation, Open Camera handles the most important aspects of your composition. The overlay grid can help balance the dimensions of photos, allowing you to channel your inner Ansel Adams when implementing the rule of thirds. Take photos by touch or remotely via voice commands. Just say “cheese” and you’ll have a hands-free selfie in no time. You get aperture control on supported devices, flash for manual ISO and exposure, additional custom video profiles, and some interface tweaks. Newer versions support Android 10 and 11.
Autodesk’s Pixlr photo editor keeps its interface clean and free from intrusive ads or clickbait. Instead, you get a seamless editing experience that helps you focus only on what matters most: photos. Pixlr offers hundreds of effects, stickers, frames, powerful editing tools and multiple collage options that provide absolute creative freedom. The app even provides a Favorites button to create presets and easily save them in app settings. You can also share photos to social media, Messenger and other apps directly from the Pixlr app.
Easy to use and learn, Cupslice Photo Editor is perfect for novices. With a long list of photo effects, tools and configurations available, this app makes it easy to turn ordinary photos into stunning images. Cupslice allows users to upload any completed photo to a host of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as chat with apps like WhatsApp and Line. Photo editing apps don’t get much more accessible than Cupslice’s impressive offering.
Prisma may be a one trick pony, but he does it very well. Using AI styles, Prisma transforms your photos into faux works of art that mimic classic works by Munch, Picasso, Mondrian, and Van Gogh, and more. So you want to turn that jaded breakfast photo into a regular Lichtenstein? Just apply the Prisma style and you’re ready to dominate social media. Don’t like the Prisma logo at the bottom of your photos? No problem. You can easily disable these watermarks in the app’s settings menu. A new Styles search box makes it easier to find new styles.
With Cymera, one of the most popular photography apps in the Google Play Store, you’ll be grooming your photos like a Kardashian in no time. The app lets you apply handwritten messages and drawings directly to your photos, much like Snapchat and Photo Editor. You can also accessorize your photos with stickers, masks, lighting effects, and various framing options. With over 100 different filters to choose from, even the most obsessed selfie enthusiast shouldn’t have too much trouble committing to just one. The application makes it easy to conceal blotchy skin, pimples and other unwanted blemishes. While these are all handy tools, Cymera’s most controversial feature is its ability to shape your body by slimming and stretching.
Adobe’s software has long been considered the gold standard for image editing, and its Lightroom app for Android is a good example. You can edit photos taken with an Android smartphone, in addition to RAW or DNG images or photos saved in the Lightroom desktop app. Adobe provides a plethora of effects, filters, and tools, making it a worthy companion for any advanced photographer. Because it’s cloud-based, you can start a project on your phone and complete it on the web, tablet, or desktop. Unlike other photo editors, you can also download photo presets to expand the capabilities of the app. To use it, you need to purchase Adobe’s Photographer plan ($10 per month), which gets you both Adobe Lightroom Classic for desktop and the mobile version of Adobe Lightroom, as well as Photoshop CC. Newer versions feature a new dot indicator under various toolbar sections such as Light or Color, when an edit is made through this panel.
We’re all for an Adobe editing app for photos that doesn’t require a paid subscription. With Adobe Photoshop Express, users can access Adobe’s impressive library of editing features, including Adobe’s image rendering engine, instant filters, and blemish removal. You can shoot and process raw footage straight from your Android device, meaning you can take advantage of the full range of your phone’s advanced optics. There’s also a selection of in-app purchases, which let you access saved albums and offer advanced editing features and additional image filters and effects. New versions give you full control over watermark size on your imagesimproved vignette with precise control over roundness and feathering, plus new looks and text styles.
Polarr is one of the most comprehensive photo editing apps for Android and photographers of all skill levels can benefit from this app. You can take advantage of typical adjustment features such as color balance, contrast, and exposure while saving these changes as custom presets. Polarr offers a variety of great tools and cool effects for more advanced photographers, but also teaches valuable lessons for amateurs. Other bonuses include facial retouching brushes as well as unique effects that can pixelate your image or give it a grainy texture.
Unlike many contemporary photo editing apps that offer black and white options as one of many color choices, Hypocam strives to put black and white photos in the spotlight. It’s a fantastic app that’s perfect for those who desire an older aesthetic similar to past darkroom ages. If you decide to take your footage and export it from Hypocam, unfortunately you won’t get any color from it (not even live view). With this app, you also have access to an integrated feed where you can browse black and white photos from other photographers. It’s one of the best ways to spark inspiration.