Camera360 is a remarkable smartphone photo app. It's perfectly self-contained with a huge range of functions, no ads and no insistence in promoting paid content.
Touching the photo after applying a filter produces a nifty quick comparison of the 'before' and 'after' versions. One drawback is that the process of importing photos is slightly tedious, with one too many clicks involved. Tip: go to Enhancement>Night for a great filter to correct slightly dark or underexposed photos.
Excellent user interface makes Photo Wonder one of the speediest smartphone photo apps to use. It also has a good collage feature with multiple layouts and photo booth effects. The filter selection isn’t huge, but many are so well-designed that you’ll find them far more valuable than sheer quantity from a lesser app. The 'Vintage' filter works magic on photos of buildings or scenery. Combine with 'Sweety' for a dreamy retro effect.
25. Magic Hour Lite/Free
The combination of subtle filters and tilt-shift function allows Magic Hour Lite (called Magic Hour Free on Android) to produce some truly unique results. The filters create effects that are far more sophisticated than some of the tinted, overexposed pre-sets from other apps.
Note that this photo app forces you to crop your image to a square, which can either be a hassle or very convenient if you’re uploading to Instagram. The 'Magic Hour' filter gives everything a lovely, soft luminescence. All filters seem to work best on lighter images, such as those taken in daylight or pre-edited to reduce underexposure.
26. LINE Camera
Sleek and easy-to-use, LINE Camera comes with a solid range of filters, borders, icons and stamps. You can also add text to your pictures in over 100 fonts and 20 colours, making this free smartphone photo app one of the best for typography. Check out Stamp>Heart Symbol>Shine for a nice selection of kitschy sparkle brushes.
Tadaa lets you adjust the strength of all its filters, which is ideal for people who like fine-tuning their photos with subtle effects. This iPhone photo app tries to get you to use its own social network, but you can still use all features without a login.
Click on the frame icon to access a nice range of photo film borders. Unlike Instagram and Magic Hour, you're not limited to a square and can apply the film border to a photo of any size.
28. Rakuga Cute
- Platform: iOS (iPhone)
- Developer: Tatsumi Electronics
- Price: Free
At first glance this iPhone photo app seems aimed at Japanese schoolgirls rather than discerning designers but Rakuga Cute actually contains some unusual editing functions which makes it an interesting addition to your photo repertoire.
The 'Mosaic' option lets you selectively pixelate any part of a photo, quite useful for blurring out license-plates, identities or should you feel so inclined, body parts as well.
29. Camera Awesome
- Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad)
- Developer: SmugMug
- Price: Free
An extremely slick interface and witty copywriting makes iPhone and iPad photo app Camera Awesome a delight to use. The functions and filters are grown-up and sophisticated, and the 'Awesomize' button lets you brighten and sharpen a picture using one click, but still with the option of fine-tuning details if you wish.
The only inconvenience is that in the process of editing a picture you'll inevitably end up previewing demo versions of paid-for features so there's constant backtracking involved if you want to stick with free content.
30. Photoshop Express
As you would expect from Adobe, the interface and user experience of the Photoshop Express photo app for Apple and Android devices is faultless. It fulfils all the functions you need for picture editing and will probably be the one you turn to for sheer convenience. 'Straighten' and 'Flip' are two useful functions not included in many other apps.
However none of the filters really jump out, and some are surprisingly naff for an app that comes from the developer for designers.
31. Photo Editor by Aviary
Aviary is a very pleasantly designed app that strikes the perfect balance between serious photo-editing and playful photo-decoration functions without looking bland or childish. Perhaps because it's quite new, the selection of filters and stickers are fairly small, so any future updates would give this app great room for play.
The 'Strato' filter creates one of the most convincing vintage effects from all the apps tested.
32. Paper Camera
- Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android
- Developer: JFDP Labs
- Price: $2.99/£2.99 (iOS), £2.39 (Android)
Filter effects aren't exactly a new thing, but Paper Camera takes a different approach to the post effects found in the likes of Instagram. What does it do? Well, it displays effects in real time on your camera as you're using it. There are some neat effects on offer - including cartoon, half tone and sketch.
33. 3DSteroid Pro
Want to create stereoscopic 3D images from the camera on your phone? Yes, thought so. Check out 3DSteroid Pro – an app that enables you to do just that, with some excellent tools and a very user-friendly interface. You can even save out a high-res image.