Skip to main content

Best photo editing apps for iPad 2022

Photo editing apps
(Image credit: iMore)

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!

Pixelmator

(Image credit: Pixelmator)

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

With Pixelmator, users can easily erase imperfections, blemishes, and unwanted objects. It also offers 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 to 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 as you would IRL, use eyedropper tools to isolate and perfect your colors, and really bring your creativity to the forefront of your digital artwork.

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? Some of the controls may take a bit of getting used to, and taking time to explore and get comfortable with the app is an absolute must.

(opens in new tab)

Pixelmator  

With Pixelmator, users can play around with advanced photo settings like single-tap color correction presets, and beauty and facial editors.

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

Adobe Lightroom

(Image credit: Adobe)

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. 

And if you're not happy with any of the adjustments 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 squeezy!

(opens in new tab)

Adobe Lightroom

Lightroom lets you tweak things like white balance, tint, temperature, auto-tone, exposure, vibrance, shadows, saturation, and more.

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

A Color Story

(Image credit: A Color Story)

Keep your photos on your iPad looking sharp, stylized, and vibrant with a little bit of help from A Color Story.

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.

(opens in new tab)

A Color Story

A Color Story is a free 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.

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

Snapseed

(Image credit: Snapseed)

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 is 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.

(opens in new tab)

Snapseed

Snapseed makes it possible to add different effects and feels to your photographs, such as grainy film, vintage filers, dramatic overlays, retrolux looks, noir effects, and much more.

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

VSCO

(Image credit: VSCO)

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!

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

VSCO's filter effects aren't tacky or distasteful, and bring out the best parts of your photos. It enhances them, bringing out their full potential. 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 few bucks for each one.

(opens in new tab)

VSCO

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

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

Prisma

Prisma

(Image credit: Prisma)

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, or pencil art. Because of the unique algorithm for each image style, some work better for different types of scenes, and not so much on others. Regardless, you'll end up with something that is truly unique.

You can even upload and edit in your own personal art style. Now how many apps allow you to do such a cool thing like that? And Prisma is free, so it's definitely worth checking out!

(opens in new tab)

Prisma

Because of its fun artistic themes, you'll be surprised at some of the results that you'll end up with when editing photos in Prisma.

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

SKRWT

(Image credit: SKRWT)

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 with ease!

And the best part about SKRWT is the amazingly precise controls: once you lift your finger from the adjustment dial, it won't move. In fact, it stays as you intended to leave it the moment you release your finger from the screen. It's amazing, and this is such an important detail when it comes to adjusting straight lines in your photo, as even a small smidge can ruin the straightening effect.

To quote the app description itself, "If you are a sucker for quality and symmetry, SKRWT is for you". It's super easy to use and while it's not an all-in-one photo editing app, it does the job that it was designed for immaculately.

(opens in new tab)

SKRWT

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.

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

Pixelmator Photo

(Image credit: Pixelmator)

While we love the original Pixelmator, if you're using it solely for photo editing, then the more recent Pixelmator Photo may be the better option to go with.

The app utilizes artificial intelligence to automatically improve your photos to look like a pro photographer took them. Pixelmator Photo also has an extensive collection of presets and effects that are inspired by different photography styles, suitable for a wide variety of potential subjects. And if you like to experiment, there is the ability to customize and create your own presets as well for easy one-tap access later.

If you use a DSLR for photos, don't worry! Pixelmator Photo has full RAW support and is completely capable of editing high-resolution RAW photos, whether they're from your DSLR or even iPhone.

(opens in new tab)

Pixelmator Photo

In Pixelmator Photo, you will find a huge collection of nondestructive, desktop-class color adjustments to create the perfect photo on your iPad, each and every time.

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

Affinity Photo

Affinity Photo

(Image credit: Affinity Photo)

If you're looking for raw power in your photo editing app for iPad, look no further than Affinity Photo.

Affinity Photo uses Metal for accelerated performance on your iPad, and it's completely optimized, so editing larger images is a breeze. You can dump in 100-megapixel images into Affinity without skipping a beat. The app runs at 120fps and can handle even Photoshop PSD files. And everything is non-destructive with live effect layers, so you can erase effects away or simply mask them up after they've been applied.

Affinity Photo will work on iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad mini 5 and later, and iPad (early 2017 and later). Older iPads are not supported.

(opens in new tab)

Affinity Photo

Affinity has support for multiple layers, live filters, high-quality retouching and correction tools, and many more professional image processing features.

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

Darkroom

Darkroom

(Image credit: Darkroom)

Darkroom is a powerful and robust photo editing app that is perfect for your iPad, and even your iPhone.

Regardless of the device that you're using, Darkroom is perfectly tuned to make the most of the screen estate that it has to work with. And if you do use Darkroom on multiple devices, the built-in Library Sync feature makes sure that all of your photos are easily accessible, whether you're on the iPad or your iPhone. The app also has pro-level tools, such as curve adjustments, but done in a way that even beginners can understand. And if you want to do batch processing, Darkroom can take care of that too.

I personally like to use Darkroom when editing on my iPhone, but it's definitely a fantastic option to have in your iPad photo editing toolkit as well.

(opens in new tab)

Darkroom

With Darkroom, you get RAW support, Portrait Mode editing, custom filters, hashtag managers, content-aware frames, and more.

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

Mix and match for interesting photo results

If you edit lots of photos on your best iPad, you may even want to mix and match several of the best photo editing apps for iPad to get the best results. Some apps provide better RAW editing, while others come with tons of filters. Find the best combination for your photo editing needs and start churning out stellar imagery. 

August 2022: Updated information and added new apps. These are the best photo editing apps for your iPad!