These free photo editing apps will help make the photos you take on your mobile device or tablet even more amazing then they already are. In fact, you might love them so much that you won't find much of a need for these free online photo editorsor free photo editing software.
You'll find a ton of features in each of these free photo editing apps that include options to adjust colors, change orientation, crop, add effects, frame a photo, add stickers, remove red eye, add fonts, and so much more.
If you have an iPhone or an Android phone, you'll be pleased to know that each of these apps are available on your phone and completely free to download and use. I've put them in order with my favorites on top, so I suggest you start there.
01 Aviary [Screenshot of Aviary on an iPhone] •••
Aviary is a remarkable photo editing app that’s completely free for Android and iOS devices.
Though it operates on a mobile platform, Aviary’s interface is really easy and fun to work with. You can even organize all the tools to your liking so your favorites are near the beginning of the list. Swiping left or right will undo or redo an action, and you can pinch to zoom closer to the photo for more precise edits.
Included in Aviary are tools to enhance your picture with one-click color manipulations that are perfect for scenic images, portraits, and photos of food. Each will adjust the colors automatically to best fit the type of picture you select. You can also manually adjust the colors by altering brightness, contrast, warmth, sharpness, and saturation levels.
You can adjust an image’s orientation, crop it to a custom size, define a focal point to blur out the rest of the photo, and choose from several effects, frames, and stickers, with the option to purchase more if you wish.
Aviary also has a red eye remover, font tool, teeth whitener, color splash tool, blur tool, blemish remover, brush tool, and meme creator.
The image you edit with Aviary is automatically saved to your device when you’re finished editing, and then you can share it over Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, email, or text. You can also print it at Walgreens or import it into another app that accepts files, such as Dropbox.
Download Aviary for Android or iOS
02 Pixlr Express [Screenshot of Pixlr Express for iPhone] •••
Pixlr Express is another free image editing app for iOS and Android devices that lets you edit images from your camera roll as well as ones you take from inside the app.
One of the first things that stands out to me is the fact that Pixlr Express can overlay multiple images on top of one another, and even adjust their opacity and size, a bit similar to a full-blown desktop image editing program that supports layers. Instead of placing your own images on top of each other, you can also use some of the partially-transparent overlays that are provided, such as a smoke, chemical burn, or outer space image.
Lots of adjustment tools are included with Pixlr Express. You can apply a pencil, silk, poster, watercolor, old, unicolor, vintage, or cross effect to an image, among others. Also supported is cropping and rotating the image, applying an autofix to it, and adjusting contrast, blur, hue, sharpen, smooth, saturation, and lightness settings.
Tons of borders are available in categories like squared, nature, ripped paper, rounded corner, ink, grunge, and film. There are also plenty of text types you can choose from and dozens of stickers.
When you’re done using Pixlr Express, you can email and share your edited picture on social media sites. You can also resize it to any custom size before saving it back to your device.
Note: Most of the effects, stickers, and borders require a quick download before they’re usable, but they’re all still free to use.
Download Pixlr Express for Android or iOS
03 Snapseed [Screenshot of Snapseed on an iPhone] •••
Google's Snapseed app is available for Android and iOS users. The effects and styles you can add to an image are actually very nice, and the app makes is extremely easy to apply these changes with simple finger swipes.
All the tools are hidden away and only accessible if you swipe up and down, while swiping left and right changes the intensity of the selected tool. And for some tools, tapping the tool's button will show even more styles and effects you can apply in relation to that one tool.
You can edit an image with Snapseed by pasting one into the app, opening one from your photo library, or snapping a new one right through the app.
At the bottom of the app are around 15 different categories where all the tools are held. Some of Snapseed's categories include simple features like cropping and straitening tools while the others provide a way to make manual or automatic color adjustments, blur and focus parts of the image, add a frame to the picture, and, among other features, change brightness, ambiance, saturation, and warmth levels.
Snapseed also has cool effects like Vintage, Drama, HDR Scape, Grunge, and RETROLUX, each with their own set of color manipulation options and other customization opportunities.
A feature you may miss lets you compare your edited image with the one you originally imported. Just press and hold down on the image when you're not using any tools and you can instantly compare the two editions.
There are several options for saving and sharing your picture when you're finished. You can store it on your device, copy it, print it off, or share it over email, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.
Download Snapseed for Android or iOS
04 BeFunky [Screenshot of BeFunky for iOS] •••
BeFunky is for Android and iOS users. It's an extremely easy app to use because you can simply slide your finger side to side to increase the intensity of the tools.
There are lots of things you can do with BeFunky, such as crop, straighten, and rotate an image. You can also adjust brightness, fill light, contrast, hue, soften, exposure, temperature, saturation, and other settings.
BeFunky also has a text tool and can apply a border as well as a number of effects to an image.
A red eye remover, eye color changer, lipstick applier, wrinkle remover, and, among others, a teeth whitener tool is also included.
Undoing changes is super simple with BeFunky because it shows a thumbnail history of the changes you've made so you can easily determine how far back you want to revert the image to.
After you're done using BeFunky, you can download the edited image to the camera roll, save it to your BeFunky account, or send it to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, or Flickr.
Download BeFunky for Android or iOS
05 piZap [Screenshot of the piZap image editing app for iOS] •••
For Android and iOS users, piZap is another photo editing app. piZap lets you edit images you have on your device or one from your Facebook account. You can also open a background image that was preloaded with the app.
The very first step lets you crop the image, and then you can add an effect, text, stickers, and borders, as well as remove the background in images. There's also a brush tool so you can paint any color on your photo with one of four brush sizes.
piZap also supports layers, which means you can import more than one photo on top of the original, as well as move stickers behind or in front of other pictures.
When finished editing, you can save the picture to your device or send it over Facebook, Twitter, or email.
Note: Some of the stickers in piZap require a purchase, but there are still lots of good free ones to choose from.
Download piZap for Android or iOS
06 PicsArt [Screenshot of the photo editing app PicsArt for iOS] •••
PicsArt is a great photo editing app. There are a ton of features and some are completely unique to this app, not found in any of the others in this list.
For starters, you're not limited to editing a picture from your device only. You can import an image from your Picasa, Google Plus, Dropbox, Flickr, Facebook, or PicsArt account.
You're able to zoom up on the image regardless of what tool you're using, which is really helpful.
All the tools are listed at the bottom of the screen, such as a clone, curves, enhance, stretch, and crop tool. Along the menu bar are also effects, drawing tools, light/border/texture/artistic masks, and lens flare tools.
There are also tons of free clip art you can add to your image and a text tool that provides dozens of fonts.
In addition to saving your image to any of the websites from above, you can also export it to Tumblr, Instagram, or DeviantArt.
Download PicsArt for Android, iOS, or Windows Phone
07 PicLab [Screenshot of PicLab for iOS] •••
PicLab works with Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. While many of the features are free to use, a small watermark is displayed on the bottom of the image when you save it.
The first edit you can perform with PicLab is scaling and cropping the photo. You can zoom up to the picture to reveal no background, select a photo from your library as the background, or choose from over 40 background textures and colors that you can apply.
There's a text tool with PicLab so you can add one or more pieces of text, each with a custom color and shadow options.
One of over 20 instant effects can be applied to the picture as well as borders, light effects, textures, and patterns.
Note: You must pay to use many of the fonts, effects, borders, and textures.
Download PicLab for Android, iOS, or Windows Phone
08 Adobe Photoshop Express [Screenshot of Adobe Photoshop Express for iOS] •••
Adobe Photoshop Express is Adobe's mobile editing app for Android and iOS devices. There are several nice tools to use, zooming is allowed at any time, and you can easily compare your edited image to the original while editing.
One of several "looks" can be applied to the image, which are simply color effects, such as Glow, B&W, Memory, and more. You can also adjust the shadows, temperature, highlights, tint, exposure, vibrance, and other levels of the image. The intensity of the effect and colors are easily adjustable with a slide bar.
If you'd rather not adjust these levels manually, there's an auto-fix tool that can attempt to enhance colors automatically.
A neat feature in Adobe Photoshop Express removes red eye automatically by detecting the eyes in the picture. However, you can also manually apply the fix if the auto tool doesn't work.
The crop tool lets you straighten the picture, apply a manual crop, flip or rotate the image, and apply a preset crop size, such as one that fits the device perfectly, among other sizes.
To finish up the edit, there are lots of frames, edges, and borders you can choose from. There's also a small tool that can remove unwanted spots or blemishes.
Photos you've edited with this app can be saved to your camera roll, sent over email/text, saved to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Flickr, Adobe Revel, or opened in another app that accepts files.
Note: There are a few color adjustments and several image effects that are unusable unless you purchase them. However, there are still lots of useful ones that are free to use.
Download Adobe Photoshop Express for Android or iOS
09 Fotolr [Screenshot of Fotolr for iOS] •••
Another image editing app for Android and iOS is called Fotolr. It lets you add any tool as a favorite so you can access it from the main screen, which is really nice if you find yourself using some tools much more than others.
Some of Fotolr's tools include a crop, rotate, brightness, effect, color splash, frame, and scene tool, as well as portrait tools like a blush, lip gloss, and teeth whitening tool. Also available are wigs and a hair color changer, among other things.
Like some of the apps from above, Fotolr lets you view your original image at any time so you can tell what sort of changes you've made so far.
There are over 10 different ways to share your picture when you're finished editing, such as over email, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Flickr.
Note: Some of Fotolr's tools appear to be free but actually aren't when you decide to save the changes. These tools are discernible by the locked "Save" button at the top of the screen.
Download Fotolr for Android or iOS
10 VSCO Cam [Screenshot of VSCO Cam for iOS] •••
VSCO Cam is a much simpler app than most of the others in this list. There are several image effects, of which you can apply one, as well as all the basic color and size manipulation tools, such as a contrast and saturation adjuster.
You can also apply a colored tint to shadows and highlights.
VSCO Cam keeps all your edited images together in the app so you can easily view them again without having to search through the other photos on your device.
When you're finished using VSCO Cam, you can save your image to your camera roll, send it over email, or share it on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus.
Download VSCO Cam for Android or iOS
11 ElementFX [Screenshot of ElementFX for iOS] •••
ElementFX is a neat image editing app for iOS devices, but it’s also very limited. For starters, a watermark is displayed on your picture when you save it and the application is supported by advertising.
There are 60 free effects that you can choose from with room for more if you’re willing to pay for them, but only 2 can be applied to an image at one time. Each effect’s opacity, position, size, and brightness can be altered and you can even erase part of the effect to truly customize how it looks on your picture.
Zooming is supported with ElementFX, which definitely comes in handy when you’re erasing portions of an effect.
When finished using this app, you can save the image to the camera roll and share it over email, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Flickr. You can also send a postcard of the image to someone’s physical address for a few US dollars.
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