Best photo editing apps for iPad in 2019
What are the best photo editing apps available for my iPad?
Whether you want to get rid of a skin blemish, blue a sky, add filters, or something else, there are tons of photo editing apps available for iPad!
With the help of services like iCloud Photo Library, it's easier and more convenient than ever to shoot on your iPhone and start editing instantly on iPad. Depending on what kind of photo editing you need to do, some apps may be better suited for you than others, and that's exactly what we're going to help you figure out.
These are the photo editing apps for iPad we feel are currently the best of the best!
- Adobe Lightroom
- A Color Story
- Photoshop Fix
- Pixelmator Photo
- Affinity Photo
If you don't mind spending a little money, and really want a photo editing app that seems to truly do it all, and if you're looking for endless editing options and creative control, then we recommend taking a peek at the highly-rated Pixelmator for your iPad. Think of it like Photoshop for your iPad.
With Pixelmator, users can play around with advanced photo settings like single-tap color correction presets, beauty and facial editors that can easily erase imperfections, blemishes, and unwanted objects, the ability to pinch, bump, twirl, or wrap areas of an image, the option to edit images of up to 100 megapixels, and so, so much more.
You can even use Pixelmator paint images directly onto your iPad, turning your tablet into a digital canvas of sorts. You can pick and choose from over 100 artist-designed brushes, smudge color with your finger to blend like you would IRL, use eyedropper tools to isolate and perfect your colors, and really bring your creativity to the forefront of your digital artwork.
Once you're done editing your images with Pixelmator, or creating and painting your artwork, you can easily save your images with iCloud and instantly publish your final product to your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts.
The only downside to the app? Some of the controls may take a bit of getting used to, and taking time to explore and get comfortable with the app is an absolute must.
Looking for an app that takes all the power and magic of Adobe's Photoshop technology that allows you to create and edit together beautiful images, capture breathtaking photos, import and sync RAW pictures, and so, so much more, all from the comfort of your iPad screen? If so, start playing around with Adobe Lightroom.
The app itself is free to download, but if you're a Creative Cloud member or start a free trial, you get access to things like access to paid editing features in Lightroom, lightroom CC for your Mac, and the ability to sync and access your photos with Lightroom across all your devices. Lightroom lets you tweak things like white balance, tint, temperature, auto-tone, exposure, vibrance, shadows, saturation, and more.
And if you're not happy with any of the adjustment you made to your photo? You can use their one tap go-back option to revert your image back to its original beauty. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!
A Color Story
Keep your photos on your iPad looking sharp, stylized, and vibrant with a little bit of help from A Color Story.
With A Color Story, you get access to over 100 different filters that tint and change the look and feel of your photos, adjustment tools like temperature, saturation, brightness, contrast, hue shift, exposure, sharpness, blur, curves, and more, the ability to add photo effects like lens flares, colored mists, and other edits to your photos, and so, so many more picture editing options.
A Color Story is a great photo editing app to use on your iPad because you can clearly see all the edits and fine details as you add them to your photo. Oh! And the best part? It's free!
If you're looking for an app that has dozens of tools to play and edit with, an app that allows you to be as precise as possible with editing on an iPad, or as simple and streamlined with fun and fast filters while still producing stunning results, then take a peek at Snapseed.
Snapseed is designed to edit RAW photos, equipped with tools like healing, brush, structure, HDR, transform, crop, white balance, and so much more, and totally free to use on your iPad, Snapseed makes your photos look like they were shot and edited by a professional.
You can even add different effects and feels to your photographs, such as grainy film, vintage filers, dramatic overlays, retrolux looks, noir effects, and so much more.
If you're someone who likes to add a filter to a photo and forget about it, or if you're someone who really likes editing and creating content that'll pop on social media, check out a true online cult favorite: VSCO!
While VSCO isn't normally praised for its precise editing abilities, it does come with 15 different editing options to play around with. This means you can easily adjust things like contrast, saturation, temperature, vignette, along with other things just like you would with most photo editing apps.
Where VSCO really shines, though, are the stunning filters: once you slap a VSCO filter on a photo on your iPad, you really feel like a pro! These filter effects aren't tacky or distasteful, and bring out the best parts of your photos. It enhances them, bringing out their full potential.
The app itself is free to download, but if you want to pick up any more filter packs or individual filters, then you're going to have to shell out a few bucks for each one.
If you haven't heard of Prisma before, then where the heck have you been!? This art-imitating app took over everyone's phones and social media feeds in the summer, which is why it's no surprise that it's still a fun fan favorite for editing your iPad pics!
Prisma works simply by uploading a photo and adding a filter that imitates a specific type of art style, whether it be anime, Van Gogh, pencil art, and so, so much more. Because of the unique algorithm for each image style, some work better for different types of scenes, and not so much on others. It's all about trial and error with this one, and you'll be surprised at some of the results that you'll end up with. Regardless, you'll end up with something that is truly unique.
You can even upload and edit in your own personal art style. Now how many apps allow you to do such a cool thing like that? And Prisma is free, so it's definitely worth checking out!
Looking for a super popular app that has all the editing magic of Photoshop, but without the super complicated steps or massive price tag? Then we recommend taking a gander at Facetune for iPad, and you'll never take a bad photo ever again!
Facetune allows users to really get into their photos and edit out little flaws and issues on their skin, hair, eyes, makeup, etc. It's not only a popular app amongst beauty gurus and famous Instagrammers, but it's also consistently one of the most popular apps in the App Store. In fact, in 2016, it was the second-most-downloaded paid iPhone app in the store, second only to Minecraft!
And if it all seems a bit overwhelming at first, don't worry. Facetune has a mini-tutorial for pretty much everything on the first tap, so you'll never miss a beat. There are even short videos that demonstrate each tool in action, which may be necessary for some people before they start seeing the true power of Facetune.
So if you're someone who wants to look their best in all their photos, invest in Facetune ASAP. Plus, editing/smoothing out your photos on an iPad > editing/smoothing out your photos on an iPhone. You have so much more room to get precise.
Have you ever wanted to turn your standard iPad photo into a fisheye masterpiece? What about perfectly straightening and cropping your photo in the most precise way possible? Sometimes adjusting the parameters and correcting the view of your image can be tough, but with SKRWT, you can say "screw it" and edit in ease!
While you can't add filters, adjust contrast, or mess with white balance with SKRWT, you can effortlessly correct horizontal and vertical lines if they're askew, imitate the look of a shot with a GoPro or a drone, and effortlessly adjust and correct an unbalanced photo. And the best part about SKRWT is the amazingly precise controls: once you lift your finger from the adjustment dial, it won't move. In fact, it stays as you intended to leave it the moment you release your finger from the screen. It's amazing, and this is such an important detail when it comes to adjusting straight lines in your photo, as even a small smidge can ruin the straightening effect.
To quote the app description itself, "If you are a sucker for quality and symmetry, SKRWT is for you". It's super easy to use and while it's not an all-in-one photo editing app, it does the job that it was designed for immaculately.
Chances are the first thing you think of when you hear photo editing is a lil' itty bitty thing called Photoshop: so it makes sense that you'd download Adobe's Photoshop Fix for your iPad, right?!
This powerful, super well-designed photo editing app allows you to easily and effortlessly retouch, smooth, liquify, lighten, and adjust your photos on your iPad to your heart's content. When you're done, you can even send your images directly to Photoshop on your desktop so you can continue to edit and fine-tune them further.
Like Adobe's other apps, Photoshop Fix has a more modular approach when it comes to photo editing, versus the fly-in panels that other apps have. You can also use the Adjustments module to apply global changes to things like exposure, contrast, saturation, and highlights with simple sliders. There are no units on said sliders, but it's easy to see that the changes from the middle of the slider will have a more dramatic effect than the ends, so it's not like units are necessary. It's intuitive and easy to use, and makes great use of the iPad's large screen estate.
The only downside to the app is that you need an Adobe account to use it, but never fear: you can always sign up for a free trial to play around with the app!
While we love the original Pixelmator, if you're using it solely for photo editing, then the more recent Pixelmator Photo may be the better option to go with.
In Pixelmator Photo, you will find a huge collection of nondestructive, desktop-class color adjustments to create the perfect photo on your iPad, each and every time. The app also utilizes artificial intelligence to automatically improve your photos to look like a pro photographer took them. Pixelmator Photo also has an extensive collection of presets and effects that are inspired by different photography styles, suitable for a wide variety of potential subjects. And if you like to experiment, there is the ability to customize and create your own presets as well for easy one-tap access later.
If you use a DSLR for photos, don't worry! Pixelmator Photo has full RAW support and is completely capable of editing high-resolution RAW photos, whether they're from your DSLR or even iPhone.
If you're looking for raw power in your photo editing app for iPad, look no further than Affinity Photo.
Affinity Photo uses Metal for accelerated performance on your iPad, and its completely optimized, so editing larger images is a breeze. You can dump in 100-megapixel images into Affinity without skipping a beat. The app runs at 120fps and can handle even Photoshop PSD files. Affinity has support for multiple layers, live filters, high-quality retouching and correction tools, and many more professional image processing features. And everything is non-destructive with live effect layers, so you can erase effects away or simply mask them up after they've been applied.
Affinity Photo will work on iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and 3, iPad mini 5, and iPad (early 2017 and later). Older iPads are not supported.
Darkroom is a powerful and robust photo editing app that is perfect for your iPad, and even your iPhone.
Regardless of the device that you're using, Darkroom is perfectly tuned to make the most of the screen estate that it has to work with. You get RAW support, Portrait mode editing, custom filters, hashtag managers, content-aware frames, and more. And if you do use Darkroom on multiple devices, the built-in Library Sync feature makes sure that all of your photos are easily accessible, whether you're on the iPad or your iPhone. The app also has pro-level tools, such as curve adjustments, but done in a way that even beginners can understand. And if you want to do batch processing, Darkroom can take care of that too.
I personally like to use Darkroom when editing on my iPhone, but it's definitely a fantastic option to have in your iPad photo editing toolkit as well.
What do you use to edit?
If you edit lots of photos on your iPad, what apps have you found to be your favorites and why? Let us know what your top choices are in the comments below and we'll be sure to check 'em out!
July 2019: Updated information and added new apps. These are the best photo editing apps for your iPad!