iPhones are some of the most popular smartphone device available. Apple has created a superb range of products that customers simply love. In today’s modern world, smartphones are now capable of so much more. Long gone are the days of black and white screens and pixelated graphics. Using your iPhone or iPad you can now play full 3D games, send emails, and even edit photos!

Smartphones are now essentially mini-computers

Editing photos on an iPhone now couldn’t be easier. The screen size of iPhone models such as the iPhone X are quite substantial – users have ample space to use editing programs and view their photos in great detail. Furthermore, smartphones now have much greater processing power – this means they can cope with advanced programs such as Adobe Lightroom CC and Darkroom.

Aside from the processing power, smartphones such as the iPhone X now have excellent cameras. The iPhone X, for example, has an amazing dual 12mp camera that can take stunning photos in a variety of different settings.

Creating photo editing software for smartphones

Software developers now understand the power of smartphone devices. To that end, there is a multitude of excellent editing programs for iPhone iOS devices. These programs may not have the full capabilities of software meant for a PC, but they still offer excellent editing features. Users can manipulate and retouch their images to a high degree of accuracy and even edit RAW photos straight from their smartphone.

If you want to edit photos on your iPhone, we have selected 11 top iPhone editing apps for your benefit. Each one of these apps provides full image editing capabilities and runs fantastically on iOS devices:

1. Adobe Lightroom CC

Price – Free ( Can upgrade to Premium version for $4.99)
Size – 211.5MB
Notable Feature – Must sign in with an Adobe ID to use the app

Adobe Lightroom is often hailed as the benchmark of photo editing software. Lightroom CC for computers is simply fantastic. The features it provides are numerous – full RAW editing, photo management, and a host of magnificent editing tools. It is now possible to use the power of Lightroom from your iOS device with Adobe Lightroom CC for smartphones.

The download is free which is fantastic – users can upgrade and purchase additional cloud storage if they wish for a small fee. The app has a simple interface that uses tiles to display your photos. Moreover, it has a neat feature that recognizes different people in your photos and creates relating photo groups that can easily be found.

We felt that the apps work superbly on iPhone devices – the layout is user-friendly and it is clear that Adobe has taken into consideration the smaller screen size of smartphones. Finally, you, of course, have access to all the editing tools one would expect from Lightroom – RAW photos can be edited too.

2. Adobe Photoshop Express

Price – Free
Size – N/A
Notable Feature – Ability to create photo collages

This is our second Adobe entry in the list and another powerhouse. Adobe Photoshop, like Lightroom, has been hailed as the premier software in its category. Photoshop provides powerful image editing features and creation tools. Adobe Photoshop Express condenses the features of the full version and places them in an awesome smartphone application.

The application is free to use and it is actually available on iOS, Windows and Android devices. The iOS smartphone version is fantastic. It provides basic editing functions such as crop, rotates and flips. Moreover, it has automatic features such as removing red-eye. In addition to this, you can improve tone and change parameters such as saturation and hue.

A fantastic feature that Adobe Photoshop Express has is the ability to create collages. Users can create fantastic collages with a myriad of different styles and designs. Moreover, collages and other photos can be shared via social media with just a few clicks. This really is a fantastic iPhone photo editing tool and one of the best options available.

3. Pixelmator

Price – $4.99
Notable Feature – Range of automatic pre-sets for quick editing

Pixelmator is a superb editing app that is available for desktop devices and smartphones. This app is compatible with iOS 11 and the iPhone X. The iOS version works like a dream on iPhones – the layout and design are responsive and intuitive. It is clear that it has been built for touch screen devices – the usability really is superb.

This editing app has a myriad of features for photo editing such as adjust colors, repair, clone and distort. The adjust colors tool, for example, allows users to change hue and saturation using detailed sliders. On the other hand, the repair tool allows you to remove imperfections using advanced cloning technology.

Aside from the basic editing, Pixelmator also has a plethora of pre-set effects that allow users to turn their images into works of art. The presets have been professionally designed and create an authentic look – there are many different styles to choose from. Using Pixelmator, iOS users can basically transform their photos into gorgeous finished products.

4. Darkroom

Price – Free
Notable Feature – Full photo management

Darkroom for iOS is one of the best photo management tools available. It has both photo management tools, but also extensive editing features too. The photo management tools are excellent but what sets the program apart is that it integrates directly with your iCloud photo library. The library view is easy to use and users can quickly search for and organize their photos.

The editing portion of the app is extremely detailed. Users can manipulate photos using a myriad of different sliders such as exposure, contrast, highlights, and shadows. The updates are applied live and the process runs smoothly without any lag. Darkroom also provides a selection of basic transformation tools such as crop and rotate.

Finally, Darkroom also features a great selection of filters that can be applied to your photos. The filters range from simple artistic styles to full-blown duotone and selective color creations. There is a huge range to choose from and the end quality is fantastic.

5. Apple Photos

Price – Free
Notable Feature – Excellent sharing abilities

Apple Photos is the default photo sharing and editing app installed on iOS devices. This program has seen many iterations and is one of the most popular apps on the iOS platform. The main function of Apple Photos is to organize and share your image. Using this app you can quickly and effectively manage your images and catalog them in a logical manner. Moreover, users can share images in conversations with other iOS users.

The editing functionality of Apple Photos is simple to master – we do not feel this is a program that should be used for advanced photo editing. If you want complete control and advanced features, one of the other apps could be a better choice.

That being said, any iOS device with an A9 chip or later can facilitate RAW editing through Apple Photos. Moreover, the app contains a large array of pre-set filters that you can use to change your photos into awesome end-products. For users who only need basic editing capabilities, Apple Photos is a great choice.

6. Snapseed

Price – Free
Notable Feature – 29 different editing tools and features

Snapseed is an excellent free photo editing app for iOS devices. It is also available for other mobile platforms such as Windows and Android devices. Using Snapseed, users have 29 different tools and features to use. These tools include healing, HDR, perspective and brushes. This app can be used to develop full RAW photos in great detail, straight from your iPhone.

Furthermore, it contains a myriad of basic editing tools that you would expect from a photo editor. For example, users can crop and rotate their photos, Moreover, they can change basic parameters such as clarity, saturation, and contrast. In addition to this, photo effects such as vignette can be added.

Not only does Snapseed provide effective editing tools, but it also offers a range of pre-set filters. Users can apply filters such as grunge, vintage, noir, and black and white – the quality is fantastic and the filters can be applied quickly.


Price – Free
Notable Feature – Connect with creative minds from around the world

VSCO is a community for creative types. This channel concentrates on creative tools that help build connections between users. If you are a photographer or designer, for example, you can join the community and share your work.

The VSCO app is a great tool that allows connection within this community but also provides editing facilities for photos too. If you want basic editing, VSCO has a myriad of default filters and effects that can be applied to your images. Furthermore, it also contains a host of basic sliders such as saturation, contrast, grain, and highlights. With over 130 different presets to choose from, VSCO users can excellent creative control. Moreover, users can compete in photo challenges to improve their skill and also get their name recognized.

8. Afterlight 2

Price – $2.99
Notable Feature – Over 130 different filters

Afterlight 2 is an amazing app that combines both basic editing functionality together with pre-set filters and apps. First and foremost, Afterlight 2 has over 130 different filters to choose from. These filters are exceptional quality and can be applied with minimal effort. The filters have been designed by photographers and look fantastic.

Furthermore, Afterlight 2 also features different touch editing tools – darken, lighten and saturate for example. These touch tools combine several different image parameters together to enable quick and effective edits. Finally, users can also add texture overlays to their images and blend them using advanced settings. Using Afterlight 2, iOS users can create brilliant photos that are either artistic or photorealistic.

9. Superimpose X

Price – $4.99
Notable Feature – Ability to work with photo layers

Superimpose X is the latest version of this advanced editing application for iOS devices. Superimpose X gives users full control over the editing process. Users can complete a myriad of tasks such as layer creation, blending, local adjustments, and warping effects. If you want to cut and paste different objects from your images, this app is a great choice. The masking tools available are numerous and you can easily cut objects from your photos.

Moreover, there is a myriad of editing brushes to change aspects such as brightness and saturation. In addition to this, users have access to a vast library of royalty-free photos that can be incorporated into the editing process. Finally, Superimpose X includes over 60 different filters that transform images into works of art.

10. Prisma Photo Editor

Price – Free
Notable Feature – Use over 250 different styles for editing

Prisma Photo Editor is an editing app that gives users a set of easy-to-use filters. Instead of providing detailed editing functionality, users can simply choose from different filters and apply them to their images. The community is adding new filters and the current library contains over 250 different varieties.

Once the filter has been applied, users can then edit the settings slightly. The strength of the filter can be increased or decreased for example. Moreover, users can edit basic parameters such as exposure, contrast, and brightness. If you want a no-fuss editor, Prisma Photo Editor is an excellent choice. This app works effectively on iOS devices and is easy to use.

11. TouchRetouch

Price – $1.99
Notable Feature – Ability to automatically remove image imperfections

TouchRetouch is a unique application for iOS devices that allows users to remove unwanted content from their photos. It is primarily a retouching program and does not have any editing abilities. If you simply need to repair photos and take away imperfections, this is a great app – it also only costs $1.99 which is a bargain.

The three main tools available through TouchRetouch are object removal, line removal, and quick repair. Object remove is a great tool that allows you to completely remover unwanted items from your images. For example, let’s say you have a beautiful landscape photo that someone walked into at the last second – object removal would allow you to get rid of them! Line removal and quick repair are similar tools.

We found the quality of this app to be excellent, the tools work really well and the end product looks fantastic. The app does a superb job of cloning parts of the image to fill in blank parts that have been removed.

What are you waiting for? Why not download one or more of these apps and give them a try today? If you want to improve your smartphone photography, these apps offer the perfect solution. Moreover, if you continually travel or work away from an office, having editing software on your smartphone can provide greater flexibility. If you have experience with these apps on iOS devices, why not leave a comment and share your thoughts?

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