Fraud Blocker

Image credit: Lulu Pinkus, Head On Mobile Awards 2019

These days smartphones can take excellent images. But sometimes, a photo is only as good as your editing software.

Transferring your images from your phone to your computer to then upload them into Photoshop feels so ’10 years ago’. 

So, the Head On team has made it our mission to find the best photo editing apps out there. And after exhaustive experimentation, debate and deliberation, we are relieved to announce our top six photo editing apps:

Moshe’s pick – Adobe Lightroom  

Cost: free with in-app purchases  

Available on Android and iPhone  

“It doesn’t feel like anything was lost when turning this editing software into an app; it’s efficient and powerful.”   

The industry standard for decades is now available in the palm of your hand. Adobe Lightroom is part of the software suite beneath Adobe’s Creative Cloud, and this inter-connectivity makes it a great versatile tool for users who are constantly changing between their phone and their computer.   

The free version has an extensive range of editing tools for retouching, cropping and enhancing. A great feature is their intuitive sliders that provide precise control over your images’ colour and light properties. Whereas, the paid monthly Adobe subscription will allow you to make much more advanced adjustments.  

Stephen’s pick – Snapseed

Cost: free  

Available on Android and iPhone  

“Snapseed is tried and tested, it’s been my go-to for years and there is a reason for that.”  

Snapseed is a Google-owned professional photo editor. It offers essential tools and filters, plus, healing, brush, structure, HDR, and perspective correction options. One of its notable highlights is an impressive portrait tool.  

Another great bonus of Snapseed is that your photo edits are non-destructive. You see your changes in a preview, which does not affect the quality of your image itself.  

Georgia’s pick – Afterlight

Cost: free with in-app purchases  

Available on Android and iPhone  

“Afterlight balances simplicity and functionality; I never feel out of my depth with it.”  

The Afterlight app covers all the basics and has a user-friendly design, but it doesn’t disappoint if you’re looking for more advanced features.  

The app has an extensive selection of editing options, including touch tools, which allow for more precise editing. You can adjust hue, saturation, colour, and it features a growing collection of preset filters.  

Plus, Afterlight’s function to import from your phone gallery is way less of a headache than many other editing apps on the market.  

Anita’s pick – VSCO  

Cost: free with in-app purchases  

Available on Android and iPhone  

“VSCO is great because it’s an editor and a source of inspiration all-in-one.”  

VSCO’s biggest draw is its sense of creative community. VSCO combines a creative social feed with an easy-to-use photo editing suite, including exposure, contrast, and temperature correction tools. This makes VSCO great for more artistic projects.  

VSCO has an extensive range of preset filters which can be great for adding a new feel to your photograph. Plus, it has a range of essential tools and more specific features, including alignment tools and the ability to edit RAW.  

India’s pick – Foodie

Cost: free  

Available on Android and iPhone  

“This may seem like an odd choice, but when you consider what Foodie was built to do – it does it the best.” 

Foodie is specifically designed for enhancing your food pics. Beyond that, its broad range of editing tools can help perfect any still life photo, product image or selfie.  

Its editing suite integrates with Instagram and other social channels seamlessly. That means from the beginning of your project to the end – Foodie is a valuable tool. It offers a range of attractive filters, and its slider-based interface is comprehensive and user-friendly.   

Other apps may be more versatile, but if you want to get a beautiful shot of that lasagne you’re eating, there is no going past Foodie.  

Ben’s pick – Prisma  

Cost: free with in-app purchases  

Available on Android and iPhone  

“The thing about Prisma is its fun, I can play around with my photos and experiment.”  

Prisma is all about filters (which they call styles). It has been adding a new style every day since its inception, so you will be spoilt for choice.  

Once you select a style, you can fine-tune and edit until you are satisfied with the final product. It has user-friendly sliders to adjust saturation, sharpness, and exposure. While not designed for pure image editing, the capabilities are there.  

This may not be the app for cropping or resizing, but if you want to turn your photo into something unexpected, Prisma is the app for you. 


Feeling inspired? Join us for Going mobile, an online session Wednesday, 20 July, as world-class mobile photographer Eric Mencher shares all the tips and tricks to embrace your smartphone camera.  

Book now

bg-ctap-mobile bg-ctap-desktop

Head On Photo Awards 2024

Entries to the Head On Photo Awards 2024 open in May/June.

Image detail: Gary Ramage