4 powerful iPad photo editing apps for serious photographers

June 28, 2013

Photo editing on the iPad has improved significantly thanks to some very powerful apps. While it may not necessarily replace such work on the desktop, professional and amateur photographers now have substantial tools for making edits and improvements to their photos from an iPad.

Adobe Photoshop Touch


Adobe has built an excellent photo editing app that brings over to the iPad many of the capabilities found in the desktop version. There is a tutorial sandbox for toying around with sample images in order to get a feel for how to make the best impact in Photoshop Touch. Don’t let the $9.99 price discourage you, as there is some serious editing power inside of the app. The Scribble Selection Tool, which erases part of an image, and the Refine Edge feature are some of the desktop tools that appear in the iPad edition. Photos can sync with Adobe’s Creative Cloud, which provides 2GB of online file storage.



When it comes to a vast array of features, iPhoto maintains Apple’s penchant for design. Pro photographers will enjoy the wide variety of capabilities for how much one can tweak an image. Much of the skeuomorphic design that has begun to fall out of favor at Apple remains, but once one looks past that they will find the brushes and pens provide plenty of editing options. Additionally, users heavily invested in Apple’s ecosystem will find tight integration with the desktop version of the software.



Development has slowed since Google acquired Snapseed maker NIK Software, but it remains one of the best photo editing apps on the iPad. Another advantage to the Google purchase: Snapseed is now free. It allows one to easily add a custom filter or do a single tap for an auto correct. Further customization is available for more advanced users, such as selective adjustment of specific pieces of an image for cropping, darkening, or additional manipulation.

PicsPlay Pro


PicsPlay Pro tries to be all things to all people with its large feature set. It has over 200 editing effects that will appeal to more serious photographers, who can use them for various filtering and manipulation of images. However, PicsPlay Pro also includes decorating images with icons or messages – something that appeals more to the social media space. This includes strong sharing capabilities. PicsPlay Pro can share an image to all major social networks.


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