App stores have a ton of photography editing apps being released constantly. It is hard to know which apps are legitimate and which ones are not. I downloaded free photography editing apps that were released somewhere near the end of 2020 on the Google Play Store. I think that it is good to support small developers as much as possible because these apps can have some cool features not found on more known editing apps.
This first editor was released on November 6th of 2020 and, as of writing this post, has had approximately fifty downloads and 5 reviews. It was a very small download size and the good news is that it was a legitimate photo editor. I opened up a photo from my phone and started editing it. For the purpose of this post I will just show you the edit before and after edits.
I love the overall app for simple edits. The first thing I really don’t like is that as soon as you import a photo, you have to crop your photo. Secondly, vignette is automatically applied once you enter the editor (probably a bug). The good thing is that you can remove the vignette easily in the editor. After that, I could add contrast, brightness, and filters to the photo, and it worked really nicely! One thing about the filters or curves as the app calls them is that they are very similar to Instagram filters and do not feel super unique. Also, filters cannot be adjusted at all. Other than that there are just a few small bugs in the app.
Here are some things I love about this editor. Photo Frames (once downloaded) are unique and cool to use! Also, the app has awesome light filters (light leaks) that are great, and you can adjust the strength of each one! I would genuinely use this app to edit photography on the go! The best part is the app is ad free (at the moment)! It is pretty rare to find a free editing app without any ads! I do hope that they fix the bugs because it is a pretty cool photo editor!
I left a review on the play store and quickly got a response from the developer! The great thing about small app developers is they normally respond to reviews!
The developer has some other apps on their dev page. They have two pdf apps, a camera app (which I might check out in another post), a QR code app, as well as some other apps. I may use the QR code app too. If the other apps are anything like the photo editor, they will be worth trying.
This next photo editor was released on November 19th of 2020 and according to the store has over 50,000 downloads and has over a hundred reviews. It seems that for the short time that this app has been out, it is already doing quite well.
Immediately upon opening I did get an ad which is pretty common in free editors. In the app you can edit photos, create collages, and it also has a camera as well. I tried the camera first, but it is using the camera software on the phone.
I next want to try to edit a photo. The editor is pretty awesome. Although it has ads, they are not full-screen which is a plus. Just like any editor it has all basic editing tools: Brightness, contrast, saturation, and sharpening. The main reason I downloaded this editor is for its filters. I really like the filters, there are a lot of them, and they are pretty unique to the app. I did not see this before the download but there are light features that add bokeh to the photo, and it works really well! All the filters and bokeh can be adjusted to your preference which is nice. I tried to save the photo after the edits and the app crashed. The good thing is that the photo saved to my phone anyways. Here are the before and after edits:
Overall the editor is nice. I love the variety of filters and the photo came out nicely. The bokeh adds a nice effect and I like it. The ads are there but are not too distracting. As of now I cannot say that one editor is better than the other. Both editors have features that are unique to the editor. Just like the other one, I will write a review and add a screenshot of it if the developer replies.
For the final photo editor in this post I chose one called PIXLR M. It was released on December 10th, 2020 and has 100+ downloads. My first complaint is that this editor has a lot of ads. While on the home screen and editing a photo you get full screen ads. I like how the last editor had ads in the corner and the first editor had no ads at all which was super great! I tried to open the camera from the home screen of the app and it just took me to files. The editor does the exact same thing. I picked a photo to edit and started editing.
This editor has the same basic edits as well as some nice filters. I used most of them and it is not as intuitive to use as other editors but after figuring out what buttons lead where, it worked okay. I definitely like the filters in this editor. The editor has some cool and simple color effects as well. I like the editor but the ads just get in the way. I could not export the photo so I had to screenshot the edit instead. Below you can see my before and after edit using this editor.
All of these editing apps had strengths and weaknesses. None of these apps works perfectly but bugs are to be expected from new apps. By far my favorite of these editors is the first one. No ads is just incredible for a free editor and the developer seems to make quality apps with constant updates. Which apps will I keep on my phone and use to edit? The first two editors I am planning on keeping on my phone but the last one I did not like nearly as much and have uninstalled.
I find that it is good to support small app developers and use the apps that they make. Sometimes photographers get into the habit of just going to their default photo editor and using that across all devices.
Hopefully you enjoyed this post! Be sure to check out some of these apps! Thank you so much for reading!
-Digital Wonders & Smiles