Best photo apps for Android

Whether you want to slap a simple filter on your photo or get granular and change attributes like color levels and saturation, we've got a list of the Android apps you'll want to use.

Jaymar Cabebe Former Associate Editor
Jaymar Cabebe covers mobile apps and Windows software for CNET. While he may be a former host of the Android Atlas Weekly podcast, he doesn't hate iOS or Mac. Jaymar has worked in online media since 2007.
Jaymar Cabebe
3 min read
Screenshot by Jaymar Cabebe/CNET

Snapseed (free)
Snapseed is not your typical one-dimensional, tap-to-apply photo-editing app. No, this Google-made download is aimed at more-discerning photographers who need to get granular in their adjustments. You can use Snapseed to adjust photographic attributes like color levels, saturation, brightness, white balance, contrast, and more. Plus, the app lets you perform basics like straightening, cropping, and adding filters to photos. What's more, Snapseed employs a unique gesture-based interface that makes photo editing not only easy, but enjoyable. It might take a while to learn how to use the app, but trust me, it will be well worth it.

Screenshot by Jaymar Cabebe/CNET

Pixlr Express (free)
With more than 600 effects onboard, Pixlr Express is one of the most powerful Android apps in its category. And that's no surprise, considering it's developed by Autodesk, makers of the design and engineering staple AutoCAD.

If you're looking for a quick fix for flawed photos, then Pixlr's Auto Fix tool should do the trick. With a single tap, it can make colors more vibrant, compensate for exposure problems, adjust contrast levels, and more. Focal Blur is another great tool that's like Instagram's tilt-shift, but with more control. And the list of features goes on and on. To truly understand this app's capabilities, you'll just have to give it a try.

Jaymar Cabebe/CNET

Fotodanz (free)
Similar to the megapopular Cinemagram app for iOS, Fotodanz for Android lets you easily create cinemagraphs using your mobile device's camera. Cinemagraphs -- for those who don't know -- are artsy images that are essentially hybrid still photos and animated GIFs. Typically, they are difficult to create, but with Fotodanz that's not the case.

To use the app, compose a photo like you normally would. Fotodanz will then take a still shot, and shoot a few seconds of video simultaneously. From there, just select the region of your photo you want to animate, and the rest of the photo will remain static. It's that easy.

Screenshot by Jaymar Cabebe/CNET

Instagram (free)
No, it's not a powerhouse photo editor with a belt full of tools for tinkering. In fact, Instagram can pretty much just add filters and tilt-shift effects to your photos. What Instagram does have, though, is an incredibly large and bustling community of photo-sharing users. That's what makes it so special. It lets you follow other users (Twitter-style), "like" photos, and post comments. It integrates well with Facebook (because it's owned by Facebook), and it comes with a nifty Photo Map feature that plots out all of your geotagged snapshots. If you get excited about sharing your mobile photos with as many people as possible, then there's no question that Instagram should be installed on your device.

Photo Grid Free (free)
In the age of Instagram and quick-draw photo sharing, a tool for combining multiple pics into a single, neatly arranged collage can be extremely useful. Enter Photo Grid Free, the best Android app I've seen for performing such a task.

Photo Grid Free offers a huge menu of predesigned collage templates that let you combine up to nine different photos. Also, it makes it a snap to zoom in on photos and swap them among the different frames of your collage. If you're not into templates, worry not, because the app also offers a free-form editor.