My favorite smartphone photo editing app

Linda Holt Creative smartphone photography coaching, editing and courses. Create gorgeous interior design project images with your iphone and android. Own your copyright.

Do you have a favorite smartphone photo editing app? I do and use it on almost every photo before posting to social media. Editing is so important and necessary. I consider editing to be the third key to a good photo after composition and lighting.

It may come as a surprise but professional photographers rarely (never) skip the final step of editing or “post production” as they say in the biz. In fact, a little secret is that oftentimes the professional’s photos look just like yours or sometimes….even worse. Lot’s of editing in Photoshop or Lightroom however is what transforms their images into the beautiful images you ultimately see.

Unlike the pros though, you don’t need to learn complicated photo editing software to create stunning images. There are hundreds of smartphone photo editing apps that can transform your photos from “blah” to Instagram worthy in a matter of seconds.


Snapseed is my all time favorite smartphone photo editing app. Snapseed is free and works on both android and iphone. It is easy to learn and will bring your images over the finish line in seconds or minutes.

Let’s look at a couple “out of the camera” shots. The image below was taken inside the Mount Washington Hotel. You can see the problems with the original image.

before editing using Snapseed photo editing app

Yes, the photo is dark but the bigger problem is the perspective. Due to the phone’s fixed, wide angle lens, the columns appear to bow inward the closer they get to the ceiling.

By spending only a couple minutes in Snapseed, I was able to correct the issues and turn it into a much better photo.

After editing with Snapseed photo editing app

Using the Snapseed photo editing app, I used two tools to correct the image. The brightness tool which is within Tune Image, and the perspective tool.

Snapseed photo editing app

The brightness tool allowed me to lighten the overall image while the perspective tool allowed me to “pull” the columns forward (by swiping my finger down the screen) to straighten out the lines. See below.

Let’s look at another example. Below is a pretty boring image of a flower. I had to take the photo from a distance because it was behind a fence in a private yard. It was neither interesting nor compelling when I looked at it on the camera roll.

The flower is not prominent as the subject and in real life the yellow and red colors were brilliant and bright. Not so in the photo where it appears dull and flat.

flower before photo editing

Again, simply by using a few tools in Snapseed I changed it into this.

Edited using Snapseed photo editing app

First I used the crop tool to zoom in and make the photo I would have taken had I been able to get closer. The crop tool in Snapseed is in the top row, far right.

The next edit was to boost the contrast and the saturation which are both within Tune Image.

Snapseed makes it so easy to quickly edit any photo and turn it from meh...into something worth saving. A couple minutes on Snapseed and I took two not very good images that I would have deleted and turned them into images I posted on Instagram.

Interested in a more detailed training on editing? Check out my mini class, Smartphone Editing Made Easy.