Edit Like a PRO: Best Apps and Hacks for Stunning Mobile Photos

As the number of smartphone users is increasing, the craze for mobile photography is also increasing among the youth. With the right tools and techniques, you can transform your ordinary mobile photos into professional-looking masterpieces.

In this article, we’ll learn about Free Apps and Hacks for Stunning mobile photos that can help you edit like a pro right on your phone. Mobiles with advanced cameras that capture stunning photos have become more accessible than ever. However, the real magic happens during the editing process.

The power of free editing apps

1. Snapseed

1. Snapseed

Snapseed is a powerhouse of editing tools packed into one app. It is developed by Google for both iOS and Android devices. It also offers manual editing controls and a community to share and find inspirational images.

Snapseed Pros and Cons

  • User-Friendly Interface: Despite its impressive capabilities, it boasts a clean and intuitive interface.
  • High-quality filters and effects: It has a collection of delicious filters and effects to add instant style to your photos. Options range from subtle vintage looks to dramatic HDR and noir styles.
  • Non-destructive editing: Snapseed edits your photos without changing the original image.
  • Cross-platform compatibility: It is available for both iOS and Android devices.
  • Limited batch editing: While Snapseed is excellent at editing individual photos, its batch editing capabilities are limited. This can be inconvenient if you need to edit a large collection of photos at once.
  • Learning curve for advanced features: Advanced features like curves and selective adjustments require some practice and exploration to master.
  • Performance issues: On older devices with lower processing power, Snapseed sometimes experiences lag or slowdown.
  • No Layer System: Snapseed does not offer any layer system. This may limit complex editing workflows for users accustomed to layered editing techniques.
  • Limited presets: This offers a small selection of built-in presets.

Check also: 5 Mobile Photography Techniques (No Fancy Camera Needed!)

2. Lightroom Mobile

2. Lightroom Mobile

Adobe’s Lightroom Mobile brings the power of its desktop counterpart to your phone. With features like presets, selective adjustments, and raw editing capabilities, Lightroom Mobile is a favorite among professional photographers and enthusiasts.

Lightroom Mobile Pros and Cons:

  • Seamless integration: Lightroom Mobile integrates seamlessly with Lightroom Classic on desktop. Edits made on your mobile device are automatically synced to the desktop version.
  • Powerful editing tools: Offers many editing capabilities compared to its desktop counterpart. Tools like noise reduction and lens correction are available.
  • Presets and profiles: access a huge library of presets and profiles created by adobe and other photographers.
  • Professional-grade features: It has features like local adjustments (editing specific areas), tone curve, and HSL (hue, saturation, brightness) editing.
  • RAW editing: It allows you to edit RAW photos captured on your smartphone or DSLR camera.
  • No batch editing: Similar to Snapseed, Lightroom Mobile doesn’t offer true batch editing capabilities.
  • Subscription model: To unlock cloud syncing and access premium features, Lightroom Mobile requires a paid Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.
  • Limited functionality compared to the desktop version: limited functions for layer editing and advanced masking tools.
  • Learning curve: It offers a wide range of tools, which can be overwhelming for beginners.



From basic adjustments like brightness and contrast to advanced features like selective editing and curves, Snapseed offers a comprehensive suite of tools to improve your photos. Known for its beautiful presets and movie-inspired filters, VSCO is a popular choice for adding a unique aesthetic to your photos.

VSCO Pros and Cons:

  • User-Friendly Interface: The clean and intuitive interface makes VSCO easy for beginners to learn and navigate.
  • Intuitive aesthetic editing: VSCO’s curated filters make it easy to achieve a specific aesthetic look with a single tap.
  • Free to use (with limitations): VSCO offers a free tier with access to a limited selection of filters and editing tools.
  • Active Social Community: VSCO’s social features foster a sense of community and provide inspiration for users who enjoy exploring new visual styles.
  • Limited editing capabilities: If you want precise control over specific aspects of your photo, VSCO may not provide the tools you need.
  • Focus on presets more than learning: Their presets are attractive but discourage users from learning fundamental editing techniques.
  • Subscription model for full features: To unlock the full library of filters and editing tools, a subscription is required.

4. Pixlr

4. Pixlr

Pixlr is a versatile photo editor with a wide range of editing tools, filters, and effects. It is user-friendly yet offers enough flexibility for creative editing, making it suitable for both beginners and advanced users.

Pixlr Pros and Cons:

  • Variety of editing options: From basic adjustments and filters to creative effects and advanced tools, Pixlr meets diverse editing needs.
  • Freemium Model: Pixlr offers a free tier with robust features. Upgrading to Pixlr Pro unlocks advanced tools for power users.
  • Multiple Apps for Different Needs: The Pixlr suite offers a variety of apps, each catering to specific editing preferences and experience levels.
  • Subscription model for pro features: Pixlr requires a paid subscription, which may deter users who only need basic editing capabilities.
  • Limited Features in the Free Tier: Pixlr’s Free Tier

Essential Editing Techniques

Essential Editing Techniques
Woman hand holding smartphone taking photo picture of nature green tree and sunset bokeh background / mobile phone photography and video concept

1. Adjust exposure and contrast:

Crop your photo to improve composition and remove distractions. Use the Straight tool to correct any bent horizons or crooked lines.

2. Enhance colors:

Use tools like Saturation and Vibrance to enhance colors and make them more vibrant. Be careful not to overdo it; Aim for natural-looking tones that match your subject.

3. Crop and straighten:

Start by properly adjusting the exposure and contrast to balance the lights and shadows in your photo. This can significantly improve the overall look and feel of your image.

4. Sharpen and Clarity:

Take advantage of selective editing tools to apply adjustments to specific areas of your photo. This allows you to focus on enhancing key elements while maintaining balance in the overall image.

5. Selective editing:

Apply subtle sharpening and clarity adjustments to enhance detail without introducing noise or artifacts. This can make your photos appear clearer and more defined.

Creative Hacks for Unique Effects

Creative Hacks for Unique Effects
Woman Hands Taking Photographs Foods on Her Mobile Phone, Customer Woman Using Smartphone Take a Picture Food for Sharing Her Friends in Cafe and Restaurant Shop. Technology Digital Smart Phone

1. Double Exposure:

Experiment with color grading to give your photos a cinematic or Instagram-worthy vibe. Adjust color tones and shades to evoke different moods and atmospheres.

2. Color Grading:

Create artistic double exposure effects by blending two photos together. Many editing apps like Snapseed and Pixlr offer this feature, allowing you to unleash your creativity.

3. Texture Overlays:

Use blur effects and Bokeh overlays to add depth and focus to your photos. This can create a dreamy or professional portrait look, especially useful for highlighting subjects.

4. Blur and Bokeh:

Add texture overlays to your photos for a vintage or artistic look. You can find free textures online or use apps like Lens Distortion to apply them seamlessly.

Tips for Efficient Editing

1. Save presets:

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different editing techniques and styles. The more you practice, the better you’ll become at editing like a pro on your phone.

2. Batch editing:

Take advantage of batch editing features in apps like Lightroom Mobile to streamline your workflow. This is especially useful when editing multiple photos from the same shoot.

3. Experiment and practice:

Create and save presets for your favorite editing styles and effects. This allows you to apply a consistent look to multiple photos at once.


With the Free Apps and Hacks for Stunning Mobile Photos mentioned above, you can take your mobile photography to the next level and turn your photos into works of art. Edit like a pro on your phone isn’t just about having expensive software; It’s about knowing how to use free tools creatively. Happy editing!

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