9 Killer Photo Apps You Need Right Now

9 Killer Photo Apps You Need Right Now

Image for postStart Digital logo being edited in Glitch.

Here at Start Digital, design and photography runs deep in our veins. As a result, we?re constantly seeking apps which inspire us and help us create. It has involved a lot of downloading, testing and deleting but Start Digital has found some real gems that need to be shared. Without further ado, here are 9 killer photo apps that you need right now!

a) Adobe Creative Suite

There?s no way we could start this list with anything but Adobe Creative Suite. Although we very rarely only use Adobe?s Photoshop Express: Editor or Lightroom CC for any work or personal use, these apps are frequently apart of the creation process (especially when that process involves a long train ride to the office)!

Other Adobe mobile apps that are worth a mention include Adobe Photoshop Mix, which allows users to mix different images together through cutting, blending and overlays, and Photoshop Fix, which allows users to fix up images through colour, facial, heal, liquify and other adjustments.

With all Adobe apps, these can be connected to your Creative Cloud account, making it even easier to create across devices. If you don?t have a Creative Cloud account, you can still use Photoshop Express and Lightroom CC.

1. Photoshop Lightroom CC

  • Available on Android & iOS
  • Price: Free
  • In-App Purchases: Premium

Lightroom CC is a powerful capturing, editing and managing photos app. Unlike many apps, Lightroom not only allows us to capture in High Dynamic Resolution (HDR) but also Digital Negative (DNG) which provides more creative flexibility when editing.

Similar to the desktop app, Lightroom CC provides an array of high-quality editing features such as auto and colour adjustments, effects like grain, dehaze and split tone, healing brush, chromatic aberration and the creation of custom presets which can be saved for later uses. Another neat component of Lightroom is that it makes organising, storing and sharing remarkably easy!

2. Photoshop Express: Editor

  • Available on Android & iOS
  • Free

Photoshop Express: Editor is an app, we use to edit images and to make collages. The editor provides many Photoshop staple features including crop, rotate, cropping, one-touch adjustments for contrast and exposure, blemish removal, tool text and perspective correction. One feature within Express Editor that deserves its own mention is the collage Pop-Colour Tool. Powered by Adobe Intelligence, the tool automatically selects colours that make your image stand out more.

We love Photoshop Express because, as marketed by Abode, the mobile app truly does make Photoshop magic fun and easy!

3. Enlight

  • Available on iOS
  • Price: Paid

Enlight is one of our go-to apps for creative editing. There?s a certain sophistication to its features, making us obsessed with it! A few of the features Enlight offer include image perfection (fun fact Enlight and FaceTune were developed by the same people), analog and duo filters, painterly effects and overlay effects.

Be warned though, some* might say it?s a challenge to master Enlight and get the most out of it. While that might be true, the struggle is completely worth it!

4. Glitch

  • Available on iOS
  • Purchase
  • In-App Purchases: Glitch Pro

What do Start Digital have in common with Norman Reedus (Daryl from The Walking Dead), Pharrell Williams, Kim Kardashian, Major Lazer and Skepta? We?re all avid users of Glitch.

Glitch is self-described as the ultimate tool for creating cutting-edge photo and video artistry. With features such as Glitch, Scan, Rad, CHNNLS, Liquify, LCD, VHS and numerous more, we wouldn?t describe the app as anything else.

Virtual band Gorillaz used Glitch to create the artbook for their fifth studio album ?Humanz? and so did Travis Scott for his ?Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight? cover artwork.

Image for postTravis Scott?s Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight? cover artwork.

Minus for the fact that there is no undo button, Glitch is the real deal. (A tip for combatting the disappointment of doing a new edit only to now love the previous disappeared edit is saving each edit as you go.)


  • Available on iOS
  • Purchase

Branded as a reality distorting app, HYPERSPETIV does exactly that. It?s like Glitch but on steroids. With effects like Lugosi, Gel, Kroma, Moongate, Kaos and Wildcard, you?ll have no idea if this is real life or not.

One drawback of HYPERSPEKTIV is that you currently can?t edit previously captured photos. The current HYPERSPEKTIV only allow users to import video from library, capture a photo or record a video, but has promised photo import will be available soon!

With HYPERSPEKTIV, you can make just about anything look cool.

Exhibit A: Office Figurines (Not Dwight Schrute Office Though)

Image for postOffice figurines under different HYPERSPEKTIV effects.


  • Available on Android & iOS
  • Free
  • In-App Purchases: The Urban Series, The Landscape Series & Low-Contrast/V Series V5-V8
  • Subscription: VSCO x Membership ? 7-Day Free Trial

VSCO (previously known as VSCO Cam) has been one of our favourites for years. This is because the editing app which edits both imported photos and photos captured with the app, has some really impressive filters (called presets).

One major drawback with VSCO is that unless you?ve purchased a VSCO X membership, not all presets are accessible. However, even with only a small section of preset options, the countless toolkit features which include exposure, contrast, spilt tone and white balance adjustments, means everyone can still make something beautiful.

For those are really into editing, the VSCO X membership is a bargain. For $28.49 a year after a free 7-day trial, X will give you full access to the complete preset library which involves over 130+ presets, HSL (hue, saturation and lightness) editing, video beta and borders. Additionally, you?ll have access to the VSCO community which is like a never-ending source of inspiration.

Another extremely cool thing about VSCO, is that it has its own social feed where users share their photos. Unlike most social media platforms, VSCO doesn?t play into the phenomenon of social clout. Although you are aware of who follows you, there?s no way to know who follows another account. At Start, we find this super dope because the focus always remains on the art.

7. Qwik

  • Available on iOS
  • Free
  • In-App Purchases: Qwik Full Version Lifetime

Created back in 2015, Qwik was designed to help people edit their photos and make them shareworthy quickly. With over 50 filters, 50 fonts, 40 frames and 600+ plus stickers, Qwick does exactly that. But only if you don?t let yourself get carried away with all of the editing options!

8. WordSwag

  • Available on Android & iOS
  • Purchase

When we?re looking to add text to our images, WordSwag is our go-to. Like the name suggests, WordSwag seeks to add both words and swag to your images whether from your camera roll or captured within the app.

Some people might think that $7.99 is a lot for an app but believe us, it?s not expensive enough for WordSwag which not only has some absolutely magnificent typography and text effects but also provides hundreds of caption ideas and over a 1 million free background images from Pixabay!

Although the app is more than capable of making high-quality text-images, WordSwag works wonders for making mock-ups and storing ideas on the go.

Image for postQuote from Questlove edited by WordSwag.

9. Unsplash

  • Available on iOS
  • Purchase

Unsplash is not only one of our favourite sites for free stock images but also mobile apps. Thanks to the wonderful team at Unsplash, we?ve been finding and saving high-quality free stock images on our iOS devices since April and loving every moment of it (minus the scrollitis**)!

Not only does Unsplash help us come up with new ideas but it some situations, it has also helped up develop projects. For example, here?s a Start Digital Instagram post inspired by and made from a stock image on Unsplash.

Image for postStart Digital post inspired by an Unsplash image.

So there you have it, 9 killer photo apps that you need to download right now!

*Yes, some is us.

**Scrollitis is a very serious and eventually thumb-aching condition where you?re physically unable stop scrolling through an app.

This article originally appears on the Start Digital website.

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