Best photo editing apps in 2021

5. Adobe Lightroom (Android, iOS)

The mobile version of Adobe Lightroom (iOS and Android) is part of a cloud-based workflow that includes storage of your entire photo library and access to the full-resolution files (original and edited) on all your devices (mobile, laptop and desktop). So, when purchased with the entire Lightroom system (starting at $9.99/month), you’re buying into a powerful photo-processing ecosystem that provides professional-level control and quality. However, if all you want is a top-notch photo app on your phone or tablet, the standalone Lightroom Mobile is free, or you can pay $4.99/month for a Premium subscription that gives you 100GB of storage space.

Lightroom Mobile is a great learning platform. Its ever-growing library of interactive tutorials will teach you to edit your images like a pro. And that’s good, because the feature set is quite deep, with dozens of tools to work with exposure, color, selective edit, filters and such. The vast majority of edits involve slider controls, with quick responsiveness so you know exactly how the adjustment affects your picture. What’s more, the edits are non-destructive, so you can always return to your original image. In addition to the intuitive social sharing, Lightroom has a Discover area, where you can see animations of the steps other photographers and artists used to create their best images. Plus, you can contribute your own edited pictures to Lightroom Discover.

Lightroom Mobile is a top-notch photo app for anyone serious about getting the very best out of their photographs. But it may be overkill for folks who don’t want to spend the time doing more than a quick brightening, crop or special effect before sharing their pictures.

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