Instagram is a great app, but defaulting to it at all times can seriously limit your photography.
As the cameras in our phones have evolved to be more and more crisp, app developers have come out with a string of innovative tools that can take your photography to all sorts of interesting places.
These 9 apps give you advanced editing options, help manage your photo albums, and even let you make psychedelic GIFs and intricate collages.
Manage your photos with Google Photos. Available on: iOS, Android
Google Photos is the best app for managing and storing your photos in the cloud. Its interface is super easy to understand, and it has features that your camera roll doesn’t, like facial recognition and the ability to search for what’s in a photo by simply typing in a word like “puppy.”
Your pictures look better with VSCO Cam. Available on: iOS, Android
If you want to make the photos you take on your smartphone look better, one of VSCO Cam’s dozens of retro film filters will do the trick. The app offers more editing capabilities than Instagram, and each filter preset is designed to emulate the effect of an old-school film camera.
VSCO offers free cloud syncing and uploads to a personalized VSCO Grid account, which is essentially a hi-res, ultra minimalist version of Instagram that has less of a focus on social networking and more of a focus on pretty pictures.
Instagram’s Layout app lets you arrange multiple photos into creative grids. You can mirror photos to change up perspectives and flip images into all kinds of presentations.
The app has a slick design and controls too. For example, dragging and pinching gestures helps you edit your photos. There are a lot of apps that can organize photos like Layout, but Instagram’s app is by far the best designed and most popular.
Videos made look cool with Hyperlapse. Available on: iOS
Instagram’s Hyperlapse app takes video shot on the iPhone, stabilizes it, and lets you speed it up or slow it down. Say goodbye to those shaky hands. It’s a great way to create a timelapse effect without a high-powered camera.
Photoshop Fix is a powerful image editor. Available on: iOS
Take the essence of Photoshop, distill it into a mobile app, and you get Adobe’s Photoshop Fix, a powerful image editor that lets you do things like remove red eye, paint with brushes, and even remove unwanted parts of a photo altogether.
While it’s certainly not as full-featured as its desktop counterpart, Photoshop Fix is an impressive image editor to have on the go.
Manual gives photography experts full access to all of your camera’s settings. Available: iOS
Manual lets you open up the hood of your iPhone’s camera, giving you full independent control of advanced settings like shutter, ISO, white balance, focus, and exposure compensation. When you’re done editing, all of your photos save directly to your iPhone’s Camera Roll.
Over is a creative photo editor. Available on:iOS, Android
Over used to just be about putting text on top of photos, but with a recent update it’s evolved into a creative workhorse.
With Over’s mobile app, you can design a greeting card, visualize an idea, create a graphic, caption a photo, and more. The app has a built-in store with all kinds of add-ons and font packs for even more customization.
Make GIFs with your camera using Giphy Cam. Available on: iOS, Android
If you spend a decent amount of time on the internet, chances are you’ve stumbled across at least a few animated GIFs hosted on Giphy.
Giphy Cam lets you make your own GIFs using your iPhone’s camera. The app imports 5-second bursts of video and spices them up with filters, special effects, and text. It’s addicting and fun.
Pixelmator the best image editor. Available on: iOS
Pixelmator is a powerful image editor capable of practically any editing task you can throw at it. There’s tools for creating and editing paintings and photos, professional-grade features like color correction, retouching, repairing, and object removal, and even advanced effects and layer-based editing.