6 Awesome Photo Editing Apps for iPad

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Photo Editing Apps range from fully featured to simplistic, from innovative to prosaic. Fortunately, so do the needs of their users. If you crave every feature imaginable? Check. Want a fun new intuitive touchy-feely experience? That’s available too. Technically deep pro photo touchup, hold the kid stuff? No problem. Photo Editing apps on the iPad are six kinds of awesome, as illustrated – no pun intended – below.

photo appsPhotogene for iPad ($3.99, Omer Shoor) Photogene does the expected (professional) stuff effortlessly, and adds a level of “play” appropriate to mobile photo editing. Edit photo files, or edit directly on your clipboard, then output to e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, or your iPad photo library. You can crop, straighten, sharpen, adjust saturation and curves, resize, apply a variety of effects, and set macros to apply a combination of commands. Multiple undo/redo levels keep the experience fluid. Photogene even throws in cartoon text bubbles. Amateur shutterbugs and Photoshop pros alike have raved about Photogene’s iPhone cousin for well over a year; now they’ve got a full-size version.

photo appsPhotoForge for iPad ($2.99, GhostBird Software) Another immigrant from the iPhone, PhotoForge packages a limited suite of Photoshop-like editing and painting capabilities for your iPad. Without breaking much new ground, PF delivers lots of functionality in an intuitive and familiar package: A good smattering of filters, brushes, and technical-minded photo editing commands makes this perfect for touchups on the go. PF offers unlimited undo/redo capability, but nothing frivolous. This is not a “social” photo app – it is all business, if a fun business. Output sizes are limited to four distinct options.

photo appsFilterstorm ($1.99, Tai Shimizu) Filterstorm was designed for the iPad from the beginning, and is a study in limitation and excellence. On the “excellence” side, the intuitive touch interface is all it’s cracked up to be, and filters can be applied via brush, color range, or image-wide. You can also apply curves, filters, or other adjustments on a gradient, rather than at full strength over the entire image. Limitations: Effects/filters are standard photo-editing fare; output size is limited to 1800 x 1200 pixels maximum, and visual history remembers only 10 steps.

photo appsMasque ($5.99, Ubermind, Inc) Exports to your iPad photo library, Flickr, or Facebook – and that should tip you off: Masque is the “fun” one. Combine up to four layers for any effect, and apply intuitive – and innovative – gradients, defined by the number of fingers you use to create them. Masque does not replace desktop software; it gives you a rich and fun multi-touch photo-editing experience. Though the pro may find himself making cool stuff he would not have otherwise thought of, Masque is much more of a fun/sharing app than a nuts-and-bolts tool suite.

photo appsPixelMagic ($3.99, BlackLizard) Rock-solid and intuitive, PixelMagic got there first with pro-style editing tools, and without many bells or whistles. All the “zing” is in the straightforward interface and access to brushes and tools that will be familiar from desktop programs. Crop, rotate, mirror, apply effects, work with brushes at any level of detail, view histograms of your image, eliminate “red eye.” You get the idea. PixelMagic is showing its age – it has been around since April 1 – but should catch up to the newcomers with its next release.

photo appsPhotoPad by Zagg (Free, Zagg) Want to get your feet wet with image-editing on the cheap? PhotoPad’s the way to go. You get the basics of photo editing, such as scaling, cropping, and rotation, control over aspects of your image’s color, and basic painting and drawing tools. Not many special effects, but hey, the price is right!

Does this list of photo apps seem a bit short? Awesome as it is, we've only included photo editing apps. Get even more ways to trick out your pics in our countdown of Top Photo Apps for Adding Cool Image Effects.

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  • http://twitter.com/dudeman718/status/15454011314 Joseph Cannizzaro

    6 Awesome Photo Editing Apps for iPad... http://is.gd/cD0bp

  • http://adamschorr.com Adam

    Can someone explain to me the reason to have an iPhone or iPad photo editing app? ISn't it better to do this on a Mac with a more robust application?

  • http://plumamazing.com julian miller

    Adam, the iPad doesn't even have a camera but its nice to use on the couch for reviewing photos on the couch. The iPhone is not so powerful but it has a camera which I use 100x more then my slr because its light, convenient and always with me. For heavy editing of photos a powerful computer and big screen is best. In the future we all will have a range of computers with special features for different activities in different locations.

    iWatermark is a great photography iPhone app. It allows you to edit and put visible watermarks on your photos to protect them from use by others.
    http://www.plumamazing.com/iphone/iwatermark

  • Barbara Holbrook

    I agree, Julie. The iPad is great for browsing or sorting photos. I also use it for "lite" photo editing -- especially when I just want to "spruce up" an image before emailing it to a friend or posting it online.

  • Charles

    I found myself downloading my images to my iPhone so that I could process them with the apps. That's why I bought the iPad. If my images require heavy duty processing then I need to pay more attention to basics when shooting. I find the Apps to be as innovative and exciting as they are inexpensive. I believe my days of paying the "Photoshop" tax every 18 months or so are over.

  • Brian

    There is one feature I am in search of: I want to be able to spead my fingers and size the photo exactly where I want it on my iPad screen and the push a button and the pic is cropped to that iPad size. Does that exist in one of these apps?

    And can anyone explain how I get my photos to stay in the order in which I want them.

  • Val

    Brian --

    The easiest way to crop is to simply take a screengrab of your iPad. Size and position the photo (full screen) and then click and hold the power and home buttons simultaneously. A jpeg of the screen will be in your photos folder. it works anytime! http://www.simplehelp.net/2010/04/03/how-to-take-a-screenshot-of-your-ipad/

  • http://Facebook Tiffany

    How can I crop my profile picture on an IPad?

  • andrew

    I've found I'm taking my IPad,Iphone with me on 'phototours' now (middle of nowhere landscapes). the Ipad is great for viewing where I am in Maps and, with the camera attachment, great for getting proper previews of my pics rather than just the screen on my slr. I also take a pic wiht my iPhone to get a GPS loc of where i am. And just to add I am not an Apple fanboy - I've had an Ipad for 2 months and an IPhone for 1 month.

  • http://www.amopic.com Henry Tam

    You have missed the other great app called amopic for iPad.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDn98gC8qxI&feature=player_embedded

    It has much more effect and filter and the effect can be applied on the region you chosen.

    iphone version for amopic is in discount for last 3 days.

    i guess they may rise the price if they added more features in both iphone and ipad version. i know they just keep updating so far.

  • Janet

    Cool, thanks very much.
    Well, I also found a list of Photo Apps for iPad, do an addition here: Top 10 Best Free iPad Photo Apps for Download in iFunia iPad column

  • Arthur

    When traveling, I want to be able to download photos from my camera into my iPad, and then add descriptive info (time, place, event). When back home I want to import them into iPhoto along with the descriptive info. Is there an app for that?

  • Mildred Mann

    You have missed PhotoPal:) Great app

  • Arthur

    Thanks to Mildred Mann, I checked the PhotoPal web site and emailed them asking specifically whether I could add text tags to photos and then later import everything, photos and tags, into iPhoto. They haven't responded. So . . . does anyone know for sure that PhotoPal (or anything else), allows exportable text tags?

  • http://www.renthawaiian.com Robio

    How about an update on these apps. I want to use my iPad and the photo connector to import images, make some minor tweeks, resize, add a watermark, and post to my website.

    I've seen this done by professional photographers at sporting events. I can't figure out what they are using though. I do know they are doing this same process with an iPad to create articles after an event is over.

  • Carol

    I love all the photo capabilities of my iPhone and iPad But how do you delete photos from all the albums, not just Photo Roll? I sync with iTunes on a PC.

  • Fred

    I agree with Carol. Deleting photos would be highly desirable. Then you could preview many images and get rid
    of what you don't want, like that drunken pic of yourself
    sitting on your mother-in-laws's lap!

  • Kim

    I'm looking for a app that will approximate the look of a manipulated SX-70 polaroid. Back when polaroid was available you could use the SX-70 film and because the emulsion stayed soft a day or so you could use small tools to move it around and get some impressionistic results. Google polaroid sx-70 manipulation to see what I'm taking about. Seems like a great idea for app, I'm surprised there isn't one out there.

  • http://iphonemeanderings.blogspot.com Charles

    @Kim, have you looked at PhotoForge? (not PhotoForge2). It has a smudge tool which is quite cable of manipulating images. It may not be exactly as you remember SX-70 but give it a shot

  • MeerkatMac

    Here's a couple of iPad Photo Apps I'm particularly fond of.

    Photo Shack Pro is the perfect iPad digital photography companion for the avid photographer. It allows you to organize, sort, title, comment, search, view detailed embedded photo data, view full-screen, zoom into full resolution, rotate, and even slideshow your photos while in the field without needing to tether to a portable computer.

    iAlbum Pro is a virtual photo album the looks, feels, and works just like the real thing. You can create multiple virtual albums, each with options for covers, pages, photo borders, photo corners, and special photo effects. A beautifully intuitive way to showcase your favorite photos.

    Both are available from Applgasm-Apps at http://www.applgasm-apps.com

  • Mario

    When I edit photos on my I pad2 the changes do not transfer to my computer. What am I missing.

  • http://www.amopic.com IPhone Joe

    Giving a "Like" on http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amopic/135063556529721

    You may get the promo code for free.

    Also, there is Amopic for Mac OS X with demo video I found:

  • MeerkatMac

    I think Photo Shack Pro is the way to go for professional quality photo management and organization without having to duplicate any photos or videos.

  • Joey Holleran

    Chances are your saving as a app native file. Export or save as a jpg and it will overwrite the original or rename

  • http://futurescheduler.appsicum.com/ Appsicum

    Hey I would recommend Photo Album-
    Photobook for iPad.

  • stoefln

    If you want to do collages or photo mashups you should try CutoutCam: http://www.cutoutcam.com
    It's a really new approach to edit photos!