Skip to content

App to retouch photos

Rate this post

App to retouch photos: Are the photos you took during your last holiday horrifying to say the least? Would you like to remedy this situation by retouching your shots but you are not yet very familiar with Photoshop and with the other photo editing programs available on PC? Don’t worry, the days of having to use the computer to edit photos are over. Today you can do this directly from your smartphone or tablet by installing some photo retouching app.

Let’s be clear: to edit photos in a professional way you still need very advanced solutions for desktop systems, such as Photoshop, but in the next paragraphs I will list some apps to do photo editing on smartphones and tablets that, while working only on portable devices , manage to ensure truly amazing results. I bet you too will be surprised by the many tools and filters that they include, but above all by the simplicity with which they can be used.

Furthermore, almost all the solutions that I will propose you can download and use for free. That’s good news, isn’t it? So let’s ban the talk: make yourself comfortable, take all the time you need to read this tutorial, try the apps that are listed below and, finally, choose the solutions that are best for you. I am convinced that, after reading this post, you will no longer be ashamed to show your friends the shots in the gallery of your device!

Snapseed (Android / iOS / iPadOS)

Snapseed it’s one of the best photo retouching app that you can install for free on your smartphone or tablet. This solution is developed directly by Google and provides users with numerous tools that allow you to retouch practically any parameter of your shots: color, brightness, exposure, contrast, etc. Despite being complete and full of features, Snapseed is also simple to use; thanks to its interface without “frills” which is characterized by a rather minimal design.

After completing the download of Snapseed on your device Android or iOS / iPadOS, launch the app by tapping on the button You open or by pressing on its icon located on the home screen and, to start editing one of your shots, touch anywhere on the screen and then choose, in the screen that appears, the image to edit.

To start acting on the various parameters of the photo, press on the item Instruments (below) and, in the menu that appears, choose one of the tools included in Snapseed: Calibra, to calibrate the brightness, contrast, colors and other parameters of the photo; Sharpness or Details, to sharpen the shot; Blur, to blur a point of the image; Perspective, to change its perspective and so on.

In addition to manually editing the various image parameters, Snapseed allows you to apply some preset filters. To access this feature, press on the item Effects (bottom left) and tap on one of the many filters available. The advice I would like to give you is to try various filters on each photo, in order to understand which one is most suitable for the image you are retouching.

Whenever you make a change to your photo, remember to save your work by pressing the check located at the bottom right. Next, tap on the voice Export (bottom right) and, in the menu that appears, presses one of the available items to share or export your photo: Share, to share the edited photo online; Save, to save it on your device; Export, to create a copy by changing its size, format and / or quality or Export as, to create a copy of the image in a selected folder.

Photoshop Mix (Android / iOS / iPadOS)

Are you looking for an app that can allow you to retouch photos by working on multiple levels? In that case I recommend you try Photoshop Mix, a free solution that is developed by Adobe, the same software house that in recent years has “churned out” various professional programs that can be used in the desktop environment, Photoshop in the first place. If you are curious to find out how Photoshop Mix works, download the app on your device Android or iOS / iPadOS and follow the “tips” that I will give you in the next few lines.

Once the Photoshop Mix download is complete, start the app and press the button sign up for free to create your Adobe account for free or, if you already have an account, log in by pressing the button Log in and entering your access credentials in the appropriate fields. Alternatively, you can also tap on the buttons Log in with Facebook is Google and authenticate yourself through one of these accounts.

Once logged in, press the icon (+) located at the bottom right and select one of the options that you see on the screen: Device to “fish” a photo from the gallery of your smartphone or tablet or Camera if you want to capture a photo in real time and edit it immediately afterwards.

To make any change to the chosen shot, all you have to do is press one of the options available at the bottom of the screen: Crop, to crop the image; adjustment, to edit the photo using the automatic correction tool or by manually acting on the various parameters (temperature, exposure, contrast, etc.); looks, to add an effect or a filter; Shape to get a shape from the photo and create suggestive photomontages or Funds, to make the shot transparent.

As I mentioned earlier, Photoshop Mix allows you to work on multiple levels. To add a new layer, press on the symbol (+), choose a new photo to add to your project and place it where you want. To modify or delete a level, however, tap on it and, in the menu that appears, select one of the available items: Duplicate, if you wish to duplicate it; Clear, if you want to eliminate it; Wheel, if you intend to rotate the image present in the layer; Think X, if you want to flip the photo horizontally or Reflect Y, if you want to flip it vertically.

When finished, save the changes made to the image by pressing on the symbol Share (if you use an Android device) or on the arrow (if you use an iOS device) and tap on the option Save to gallery to save the retouched photo on your smartphone or tablet.

Pixlr (Android / iOS / iPadOS)


Pixlr is another app that I recommend you try if you want to touch up the photos you have taken with your smartphone or tablet. Again we find ourselves in front of a free solution compatible with Android is iOS / iPadOS which offers a rather large set of tools, which includes tools for manually acting on the parameters of the photo plus a tool that allows you to create fantastic photo collages. To eliminate advertising and access all Pixlr tools you need to buy its full version, which costs 3.49 euros.

As soon as you have downloaded Pixlr on your device, start the app and, in its home screen, press the button photo to choose from the gallery the image you want to touch up or, alternatively, tap the button camera to take a photo in real time and retouch it immediately afterwards. As soon as you have decided in which direction to “move”, use the tools that are located below to edit your shot.

Then tap on the symbol carrying case to use Pixlr’s editing tools that allow you to blur the photo, crop it, rotate it, modify its main parameters, etc .; presses on the symbol of brush to access Pixlr tools that allow you to lighten the photo, darken it, draw on it or use the pixelated effect to censor it; press on the symbol star to add one of the many effects available to the image; presses on the symbol of frame to embellish the photo with a frame and to add a sticker and other decorations, or tap the icon T to insert text in the image.

When you have finished retouching your shot, save your work by pressing on the option done (top right) and, by tapping on the item Save image to save it on your device and / or share it on social media.

VSCO (Android / iOS / iPadOS)


If you think you are not particularly good at photo editing and, therefore, find it difficult to manually act on every single parameter of your shots, I suggest you try VSCO, a free solution that offers the possibility of retouching photos in a few taps using preset filters thanks to which it is possible to obtain excellent results. The app also allows you to act specifically on the individual parameters of the photos, but it is better to approach these functions after having acquired a minimum of familiarity with the app. VSCO offers many free presets, but you can download many others by subscribing to the subscription to the full version of the app, which starts from 21.99 euros / year.

As soon as you have completed the download of VSCO on your device Android or iOS / iPadOS, launch the app, press the button Register with the email address or on the button Register with the phone number and create your free account by following the instructions on the screen. If you already have a VSCO account, press on the item Log in and enter your login credentials to log in to the application.

Once logged in, tap on the symbol square located in the center of the display, press the symbol (+) located in the upper right corner of the box that appears and, in the new screen you view, choose the image you want to retouch by tapping on its preview and pressing on the check (top left).

After making your choice, press again on the preview of the photo and press on theicon with adjustment bars (bottom left) to modify it using one of the many models available in VSCO. I advise you to try more filters, in this way you will be able to find the most suitable one for each shot and get really excellent results.

In addition to allowing the application of preset filters, VSCO also allows you to manually act on the parameters of the photos, such as brightness, exposure, contrast etc. To do this, press on theicon with adjustment bars (bottom left) and select one of the available options: Exposure, to adjust the exposure of the shot; Contrast, to modify its contrast; etc.

When you are finished retouching your shot, press on the option Forward (top right) and save and / or share the image with the VSCO community or on your social profiles using the appropriate functions of the app.

Afterlight (Android / iOS / iPadOS)


Another excellent app that can allow you to retouch photos directly on your smartphone or tablet Android is iOS / iPadOS is Afterlight. It allows you to test its basic functions for free; to take advantage of all its features, however, you need to subscribe for the € 3.49 / month subscription.

If you have decided to proceed with the purchase of Afterlight, download the app on your device and start it. Subsequently, if you are using its version for Android, presses on the icon of camera to take a photo immediately to be edited immediately afterwards or, if you prefer, tap on the icon postcard, so as to take one from the Gallery.

If you use the version for iOS / iPadOS of Afterlight, presses on the icon camera located at the bottom right to take a photo to be edited later or tap on thepreview of one of the shots already saved locally on the iPhone or iPad.

So press on the item Use (on Android) or USA (on iOS / iPadOS) and choose one of the editing options among those available. By pressing on the icon with adjustment bars, you can act on the main parameters of the image; by pressing on the symbol colored circle (on Android) or del colored triangle (on iOS / iPadOS), however, you can edit the image with the use of some presets.

After the editing work, press the button Done (on Android), choose the size you want to export the image to (e.g. Small, Medium or Max) and indicate the save or share option you prefer or select the item Next one (on iOS / iPadOS) and select the desired save or share option.

Other apps for retouching photos

The apps for retouching photos that I listed in the previous paragraphs are, in my opinion, among the best on the square. There are, however, also others that you would do well to consider. You find them listed below.

  • Photoshop Lightroom (Android/iOS) – this app developed by Adobe allows you to process and share high quality images directly from your mobile device. One of the most interesting features of Photoshop Lightroom regards the possibility of taking photos in the DNG format and the modification of the shots in the RAW format. To access this latter function, however, you need to subscribe to the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan and have a suitable device available (eg Galaxy S8 / S8 + and later, Google Pixel / Pixel XL, iPhone 6s / 6s Plus and later, etc.).
  • Prism (Android/iOS / iPadOS) – if you want to edit your photos by applying fantastic filters, this is the app that could be right for you. Prisma allows you to transform any image into an artistic picture. All you have to do to do this is to choose the image to be retouched, select one of the available filters and wait for it to be applied. To function, Prisma requires Internet access.
  • AfterFocus (Android/iOS) – if you want to change the background of your photos to emulate the bokeh effect that can be created with some cameras and some recent generation smartphones, you cannot do without this fantastic free app.
  • Pixelmator (iOS / iPadOS/MacOS) – are you looking for an app to edit photos on your iPhone and iPad? Pixelmator could be the right alternative for you. The very “flat” interface of this app and the numerous tools available make it one of the best of its kind. Pixelmator is available both in the mobile version for iOS devices and in the desktop version for macOS. The mobile version costs € 5.99, while the desktop version can be purchased for € 32.99 and offers advanced features and additional tools which, for obvious reasons, are not included in Pixelmator for iOS.

Didn’t the apps I listed you in this article satisfy you? You should probably start considering the idea of ​​adopting some desktop solutions. In this regard, I recommend you read the article where I talk to you about the best programs to touch up photos on your computer. I am sure you will find this reading very useful.