Updated April, 2017: Updated app selection to the newest, most fun, best-rated apps!

Whether you want to get rid of a skin blemish, blue a sky, add filters, or something else, there are tons of photo editing apps available for iPad!

With the help of services like iCloud Photo Library, it's easier and more convenient than ever to shoot on your iPhone and start editing instantly on iPad. Depending on what kind of photo editing you need to do, some apps may be better suited for you than others, and that's exactly what we're going to help you figure out.

These are the photo editing apps for iPad we feel are currently the best of the best!


If you don't mind spending a little money, and really want a photo editing app that seems to truly do it all, and if you're looking for endless editing options and creative control, then we recommend taking a peek at the highly-rated Pixelmator for your iPad.

"They've only gone and made Photoshop for the iPad" is a perfectly understandable initial reaction to Pixelmator. As is picking your jaw up from the floor. (Craig Grannell, Stuff)

With Pixelmator, users can play around with advanced photo settings like single-tap color correction presets, beauty and facial editors that can easily erase imperfections, blemishes, and unwanted objects, the ability to pinch, bump, twirl, or wrap areas of an image, the option to edit images of up to 100 megapixels, and so, so much more.

You can even use Pixelmator paint images directly onto your iPad, turning your tablet into a digital canvas of sorts. You can pick and choose from over 100 artist-designed brushes, smudge color with your finger to blend like you would IRL, use eyedropper tools to isolate and perfect your colors, and really bring your creativity to the forefront of your digital artwork!

This is a truly stunning achievement — an impressive, broadly intuitive, surprisingly powerful image editor that sets a new yardstick for creative tools on tablets, and even manages to better the Mac version in terms of usability, interface design and being a pleasure to use. (Craig Grannell, Stuff)

Once you're done editing your images with Pixelmator, or creating and painting your artwork, you can easily save your images with iCloud and instantly publish your final product to your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts.

The only downside to the app? It costs around $7, which can be a tough price to swallow when so many other awesome photo editing apps are free. Some of the controls may also take a big getting used to, and taking time to explore and get comfortable with the app is an absolute must.

Download: PixelMator ($6.99)

Adobe Lightroom

You get out what you put in to Adobe's Photoshop Lightroom for iPhone – in every sense. (Craig Grannell, Stuff)

Looking for an app that takes all the power and magic of Adobe's Photoshop technology that allows you to create and edit together beautiful images, capture breathtaking photos, import and sync RAW pictures, and so, so much more, all from the comfort of your iPad screen? If so, start playing around with Adobe Lightroom.

The app itself is free to download, but if you're a Creative Cloud member or start a free trial, you get access to things like access to paid editing features in Lightroom, lightroom CC for your Mac, and the ability to sync and access your photos with Lightroom across all your devices.

Lightroom allows users to adjust and tweak things like:

  • White Balance
  • Tint
  • Black and white
  • Temperature
  • Auto Tone
  • Exposure
  • Vibrance
  • Clarity
  • Contrast
  • Highlights
  • Shadows
  • Blacks
  • Whites
  • Saturation

And if you're not happy with any of the adjustment you made to your photo? You can use their one tap go-back option to revert your image back to its original beauty. Easy peasy, lemon squeasy!

Download: Lightroom (free)

A Color Story

Keep your photos on your iPad looking sharp, stylized, and vibrant with a little bit of help from A Color Story; a photo editing app that's been named best new app by Apple and that's been downloaded over 1,000,000 times!

With A Color Story, you get access to over 100 different filters that tint and change the look and feel of your photos, adjustment tools like temperature, saturation, brightness, contrast, hue shift, exposure, sharpness, blur, curves, and more, the ability to add photo effects like lens flares, colored mists, and other edits to your photos, and so, so many more picture editing options.

The effects are cool in A Color Story because you can slide around the effect to wherever you want it on the photo. I haven't seen that in other editing apps I've used. (Brittany Taylor Photography)

A Color Story is a great photo editing app to use on your iPad because you can clearly see all the edits and fine details as you add them to your photo. Oh! And the best part? It's free!

Download: A Color Story (free)


Non-destructive editing, tons of filters, and a playful interface. Are you sure this is a free app? (Yes.) (Craig Grannell, Stuff)

If you're looking for an app that has dozens of tools to play and edit with, an app that allows you to be as precise as possible with editing on an iPad, or as simple and streamlined with fun and fast filters while still producing stunning results, then take a peek at Snapseed.

Snapseed started life as an indie product on the iPad. Apple was suitably impressed, awarding it 'App of the Year' in 2011. It's easy to see why. The app was a smartly conceived image editor, providing a wide range of tools for reworking photographs, and while it was peppered with tappable buttons, it took a nicely tactile approach to applying filters. Craig Grannell, Stuff)

Designed to edit RAW photos, equipped with tools like healing, brush, structure, HDR, transform, crop, white balance, and so much more, and totally free to use on your iPad, Snapseed makes your photos look like they were shot and edited by a professional.

You can even add different effects and feels to your photographs, like grainy film, vintage filers, dramatic overlays, retrolux looks, noir effects, and so much more.

Download: Snapseed (free)


If you're someone who likes to add a filter to a photo and forget about it, or if you're someone who really likes editing and creating content that'll pop on social media, check out a true online cult favorite: VSCO!

VSCO Cam is a great camera and editing app with a half-baked online sharing experience bolted onto the side. The editing tools and filters are better than what you'll find in many other apps, and most of the experience is free (you only need to pay for additional filters). And while the sparse icon-driven UI is initially confusing, it's easy to figure out. (Dave Johnson, Macworld)

While VSCO isn't normally praised for its precise editing abilities, it does come with 15 different editing options to play around with, meaning you can easily adjust contrast, saturation, temperature, vignette, along with other things just like you would with most photo editing apps.

Where VSCO really shines, though, is its stunning filters: once you slap a VSCO filter on a photo on your iPad, you really feel like a pro!

The app itself is free to download, but if you want to pick up any more filter packs or individual filters, then you're going to have to shell out a couple of dollars.

Download: VSCO (free)


If you haven't heard of Prisma before, then where the heck have you been!? This art-imitating app took over everyone's phones and social media feeds in the summer, which is why it's no surprise that it's still a fun fan favorite for editing your iPad pics!

Prisma works simply by uploading a photo and adding a filter that imitates a specific type of art style, whether it be anime, Van Gogh, pencil art, and so, so much more.

I love that after you choose an image style, the pictures don't always turn out as you would expect because each image integrates with the algorithm differently. Some styles inevitably work better than others on different types of scenes… I really like Prisma and think it's worthwhile to check out for anyone interested in art, special effects, and photography for its fascinating interpretations and abundant choices. (Jackie Dove, Macworld)

While you can only pick and choose pre-set artists in the app at the moment, Prisma's latest update will soon let users upload and edit photos using their own personal art style. How cool is that!?

Download: Prisma (free)


Looking for a super popular app that has all the editing magic of Photoshop, but without the super complicated steps or massive price tag? Then we recommend taking a gander at Facetune for iPad, and you'll never take a bad photo ever again!

As you start editing, overlaid tooltips show what you can do in the app using those buttons. When you choose one of the tools, a mini-tutorial page on its use shows up first, including short videos that demonstrate the tools. It's a very helpful interface, which may partly explain the app's popularity… Facetune is not an automatic, one-button-press face-fixer-upper, but neither are other, similar apps. (Michael Muchmore, PCMag)

Facetune allows users to really get into their photos and edit out little flaws and issues on their skin, hair, eyes, makeup, etc. It's not only a popular app amongst beauty gurus and famous Instagrammers, but it's also consistently one of the most popular apps in the App Store. In fact, in 2016, it was the second-most-downloaded paid iPhone app in the store, second only to Minecraft!

So if you're someone who wants to look their best in all their photos, invest in Facetune ASAP. Plus, editing/smoothing out your photos on an iPad > editing/smoothing out your photos on an iPhone. You have so much more room to get precise.

Download: Facetune ($8.49)


SKRWT (pronounced "screw it" … really) is a great utility that corrects those perspective and lens distortions.... [it] should be a part of every iPhoneographer's toolbox. It quickly and easily helps to fix the perspective lines and angles in your photographs so that they look more natural, symmetrical, or at least more visually appealing. (Marty Yawnick, Life in Lofi iPhoneography

Have you ever wanted to turn your standard iPad photo into a fisheye masterpiece? What about perfectly straightening and cropping your photo in the most precise way possible? Sometimes adjusting the parameters and correcting the view of your image can be tough, but with SKRWT, you can say screw it and edit in ease!

While you can't add filters, adjust contrast, or mess with white balance with SKRWT, you can effortlessly correct horizontal and vertical lines if they're askew, imitate the look of a shot with a GoPro or a drone, and effortlessly adjust and correct an unbalanced photo. To quote the app description itself, "If you are a sucker for quality and symmetry, SKRWT is for you".

Download: SKRWT ($2.79)

Photoshop Fix

Chances are the first thing you think of when you hear photo editing is a lil' itty bitty thing called Photoshop: so it makes sense that you'd download Adobe's Photoshop Fix for your iPad, right?!

This powerful, super well-designed photo editing app allows you to easily and effortlessly retouch, smooth, liquify, lighten, and adjust your photos on your iPad to your heart's content. When you're done, you can even send your images directly to Photoshop on your desktop so you can contronue to edit and fine-tune them further.

As with the other Adobe apps, Fix uses a modular approach rather than fly-in panels. In the Adjustments module, you can apply global changes to the exposure, contrast, saturation, and highlights and shadows via sliders. The sliders have no units, which I hate, but they do reflect the fact that changes in the middle of the scale will appear more intense than changes at the ends. (Lori Grunin. CNET)

The only downside to the app is that you need an Adobe account to use it, but never fear: you can always sign up for a free trial to play around with the app!

Download: Photoshop Fix (free)

What do you use to edit?

If you edit lots of photos on your iPad, what apps have you found to be your favorites and why? Let us know what your top choices are in the comments below and we'll be sure to check 'em out!

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