Best iPad Apps for Photo Editing on the Fly

Whether you’re backing pack through Peru or strolling through your local botanical garden, when you shoot away from home and want to share your photos with the world, on-the-go editing apps can be a lifesaver. These six apps for the iPad are designed for the professional photographer and amateur enthusiast alike. With full-featured options that range from basic cropping and resizing to fun and funky filters, these apps are sure to make your photos pop.

Snapseed offers solid photo editing features, an assortment of filters (including Retrolux, Drama, Vintage, Grunge, and Tilt-Shift) and built-in Google+ sharing. For a free app, it’s outstanding, offering all the basic tools you’ll need to crop, resize, and tweak your photos before sharing them with friends and family or uploading them to your portfolio. However, you do get what you pay for, and Snapseed does not have the more robust features of some of the paid apps below.

Filterstorm, unlike the Photoshop apps below, was built with the iPad in mind. With its unique touch interface, it allows for very intuitive movement. The app supports up to five layers, color correction, noise reduction, and curves manipulation. At $3.99, it is powerful tool for on-the-go photo editing, although it won’t replace desktop editing.

Photoshop Express is Adobe’s free, limited feature app for basic photo editing. Out of the box, it comes with basic color effects, an assortment of filters and frames, and a handful of effects. Adobe offers premium effects as individual paid downloads, so this “free” app may end up costing you more than it’s worth in the long run. If you want the full Photoshop experience on a mobile platform, you may be better off going with Adobe Photoshop Touch, a full-featured touchscreen app. At $9.99, it’s the most expensive app on this list, but it includes free access to 2GB of storage on the Adobe Cloud.

Pixlr-o-Matic is a whimsical “darkroom” app that allows you to manipulate your photos with almost limitless filters, funky effects, and wild colors. They claim to have more filter options than other photo app—at the most recent count, more than 5,000,000 combinations. The app is free, and while it isn’t as serious as the other editing apps on this list, it’s a great addition to your toolkit.

Photogene, according to WIRED Magazine, “has long been one of the better photo-editing apps for the iPad, but a new update — version 2.0 — turns it into arguably the best around.” The app, which costs $2.99, offers a full suite of photo editing tools, including retouching tools, as well as the ability to easily share your photos on a variety of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. While it doesn’t have the range of filters offered by some of the other apps on this list, it does support simple collage creation.