While the iPad 1 & 2 were always great for mobile photo editing, the new iPad, with its Retina display and 5-megapixel camera has made Apple’s tablet into a powerful photography tool for both professional and amateur photo enthusiasts.
If you would like to get started editing and working with photos and images on your iPad, take a look at this list of top photo apps that we’ve compiled. Each one is unique and the perfect edition to any photo editing arsenal.
iPhoto ($4.99) – Apple’s well known Mac photo application has been brought to iOS, and it’s better than ever. With this app, you can browse, edit, and share your photos from your iPad, and enhance your pictures with Apple’s included effects. Multi-touch controls allow users to use their fingertips as brushes to apply adjustments to specific sections of photos, and AirPlay support allows you to share photos between your devices and display them on your Apple TV.
Photoshop Touch ($9.99) – With Adobe’s version of Photoshop for the iPad, you can manipulate your photos and images in all new ways. The app includes popular Photoshop features like layers, selection tools, adjustments, and filters, all of which can be combined to create the perfect work of art. Adobe’s new Scribble Selection tool makes extraction editing on the iPad a breeze – just draw on the item you want to remove from a photo, apply the Refine Edge tool, and you’ll have desktop quality edited photos in no time at all.
Photogene for iPad ($2.99) – This longtime favorite has been a staple on our iDevices for years, and it does everything you need in a photo editing app. We’ve tested this app time and time again, and it always makes our photos look better, from DSLR to point and shoot. The app offers a wide selection of photo editing tools, and with its quick and responsive interface, photo touchups are simple. This app also supports RAW formats and can edit very large photos, which is handy. Photogene has been carefully refined since 2010, and it shows.
Snapseed ($4.99) – Snapseed, from Nik Software, is arguably the best photo editing app available for the iPad, which is why it was voted iPad app of the year by Apple in 2011. With Snapseed’s advanced features and powerful tools, you can turn your photos from blah to amazing in just a few taps. This app’s one-touch auto correct is by far the best of any photo app, and its filters, like Drama, Vintage, and Grunge, consistently produce amazing images that can’t be achieved with any other photo editing app, desktop or mobile.
PhotoSync ($1.99) – Getting photos onto your iPad (aside from those you take on the device itself) isn’t always an easy task. Sure, there’s Dropbox or the Camera Connection Kit from Apple, but this app beats both of those. It allows you to wireless transfer your photos and videos from from or to your computer and all of your other iDevices with virtually no effort at all. Just set it up, choose where you want to transfer, and your photos will be sent automatically. You can transfer just a few photos, or thousands, and there are even Aperture and iPhoto companion apps that allow one-drag transferring from your Mac.
FX Photo Studio HD ($1.99) – This app is another longtime favorite, which we’ve visited several times on PadGadget. It’s well designed and simple to use, but it has many powerful features that can be used to transform your plain images into breathtaking works of art. The app comes with 194 different effects, filters, overlays, and frames, all of which are entirely customizable so you can literally come up with an endless combination of looks for photos. It also allows painting of effects with a masking tool, and plenty of ways to share your photos.
Halftone ($0.99) – Halftone is a fun app that turns your photos into unique, vintage comics that your friends and family are sure to love. This is no ordinary photo filter app – with Halftone, you can change paper styles, add captions and speech balloons, change fonts, add graphic stamps, and more. There are a few comic-style photo apps in the App Store, but Halftone is the best of the bunch. You can send your comic photos to several different social networks, and even print and send them as real postcards in the mail.
8mm HD ($1.99) – 8mm is a video app that allows you to create awesome old-fashioned 8mm movies in real time, right on your iPad. Use this app to go back in time to capture the beauty and magic of vintage movies. By using this app’s filters, which include several different lenses (Super 8, Clear, Flickering Frame, Spotlight, Light Leak, and Classic) and films (like 1920’s, Noir, 60’s, 70’s, and more) you can recreate the atmosphere of older films, which, as it turns out, look amazing on the iPad. This app is truly magical, and allows you to add dust, scratches, retro colors, flickering, and more to your movies with a tap.
PhotoToaster ($1.99) – This must have photo editing app provides users with three ways to alter their photos. It can do everything from simple lighting adjustments to color corrections and other elaborate effects. There are several preset filters that can be used, but there are also full manual adjustments so you can tweak your photos as much or as little as you like and still come out with something great. Most photo editing apps are a bit slow when applying complex filters, but PhotoToaster is ultra fast – its image adjustment sliders provide instant feedback so getting the look you want is an easy task.
Pixlr-o-matic (free) – Pixlr-o-matic is one of the better free photo editing apps available, with an array of filters and effects that can be combined in two million different ways to make your photos look fantastic. It’s easy to use, with one tap effects, overlays, and borders, which allows users to create photos with retro, grunge, clean, or stylish looks. Add effects that will change the mood of your photo, add an overlay for extra sparkle or drama, and finish it off with a border. You can even sample random effects with the built-in randomizer, which might just help you find something amazing.