Best Photo Editing Apps For iPad

Launched a new product and want to grab attention? Well, photo editing can help get some heads turned in the direction you want to.

Being ordinary is not a fruitful option these days. For anything to grab attention, it is crucial to unveil the extraordinary side of it. When we talk about images, the editing part makes even an ordinary image look extraordinary. But editing images is not just about enhancing; there is more to it.

Whether you are looking to grab social media attention with your vacation pictures or want people to talk more about your newly launched product and its image, having the editing portion done professionally is essential. But when we talk about photo editing software, there are plenty of options available.

Among all the available options, some excellently serve the prime purpose of, while others might not be helpful in any means. With that being said, let’s look at the best photo editing applications that are available for the iPad.

Affinity Photo (Recommended for iPad)

Affinity Photo is one of the graphic designing tools for iPads that is professional in the most accurate form. Either you are working on a Vector file, or your project requires pixel tools, the advanced editing options of Affinity Photo are home to every professional editing solution. The advanced editing features don’t add to any complexity as the Affinity photo’s working interface is super user-friendly.  From importing a file to exporting the same post-editing, the entire process is relatively straightforward.

Once you have your file imported, the tool provides you with the freedom to work in different color spaces, incorporate as many layers as you want to, blend everything with real-time adjustments before coming up with the desired edited draft. The prime features of Affinity Photo that adds up to the overall professionalism include:

  • It allows the usage of raster paintbrushes to add different textures to the vector files. Vector files are thus more convenient to work on.
  • They provide overall access to control every stroke’s appearance and shape to enhance the shadows, gradients and glows.
  • It comes with an option to work with artboards and pixel preview options so that you can have your works sorted and verified before the final export.
  • It allows you to create shortcuts as per convenience.


$19.99 – One Time Payment.

Looking for a mid-range fully functional photo editor for iPads? Affinity Photo definitely deserves your attention then.

Whenever I need to edit images on my iPad, I personally tend to turn my attention over to the Affinity Photo application. For me this serves as one of the best applications under the mid-range price segment. However, if raising your budget to a bit high is not an issue, the next option is for you to grab.


Among the long list of photo editing applications available for iPads, Darkroom serves its purpose perfectly with all due respect to the platform. It is not like an upgraded or downgraded version of an application from another parent operating system. Darkroom is perfectly designed for iPads with required optimizations.

Darkroom comes with a responsive UI that supports multiple layouts. Based on the device, the application automatically selects the perfect layout to work on. Darkroom also brings in improved gestures and touch optimization to make the overall navigation experience seamless. Besides, an easy-to-manage library and the feature that allows users to select and toggle around keyboard shortcuts add up to Darkroom’s efficiency as a photo editing utility.

In addition to the convenient import-export procedure and all the essential editing perquisites, there are many professional features. However, the highlights that take photo editing to a whole new level include:

  • Slider adjustments for easy and simplified editing. Just like the color histogram that enables users to have a look at the color distribution. Darkroom allows to work with the color sliders and visualize how it affects the image in real-time.
  • It comes with premium filters for quick editing.
  • It enables users to bring changes within the filter strength so that every filter fits in perfectly to what is being sought.
  • It enables users to process images in batches.


$0 (Basic) With In-App Purchases

$3.99 – Monthly

$19.99 – Annually

$49.99 – One Time Payment

Although Darkroom can be downloaded and used for free, you need to spend some dollars to access some of the premium features. However, the payment system is very flexible; you can either go for in-app purchases according to your need or have a subscription altogether.


From flexible UI to the availability of vivid editing tools, Pixelmator is also an efficient photo editing application to get started with.  Although it might fail to provide a tough competition to some of the big guns like the ones from the Adobe house, it can be an excellent utility for someone willing to avoid all the complex engineering in professional photo editing.

Whether you decide to work on a RAW file or a photo within your iPad library, importing files is super convenient. Moving forward, Pixelmator comes with a super simple layout that allows you to either take the manual approach or let the machine learning AI ease things up a little bit. Although the auto-enhance feature is not ideal for every situation, it is still an excellent option to try considering the efficiency that adds up.

From the repair tool to the lightness menu, Pixelmator’s editing deck brings in a number of handy options. This sets up perfectly everything essential for editing projects to a level of professionalism. Besides the curves, filters, and other essential tools, the prime features of Pixelmator that highlights the most include:

  • The color balance wheel, that allows user to adjust color and brightness.
  • The selective color menu that allows selecting a particular color and adjust the same within the entire photo.
  • The color replacement menu that allows users to select and change color from the desired area.
  • The ML Crop option that perfectly aligns the photo in the center.


$4.99 – One Time Payment

Considering all the features, the price of Pixelmator is relatively low. At $4.99, Pixelmator is perfect for an average user.

Honorable Mention: The Adobe Photoshop and The Adobe Lightroom

Photoshop and Lightroom are undoubtedly two of the most popular photo editing software coming from Adobe’s home. Designed primarily for desktops, Adobe came up with the iPad versions lately.  Besides being a desktop app, the performance for iPads is also well optimized.

From slider adjustment feature to auto presets, from unlimited layering options to the ability to use Apple Pencil for pinpoint precision, Adobe goes a long way to make sure that the applications are efficient over the iPad OS as well.

With all the basic features like the filters, color adjustment, etc., included, there are some other premium features that might drive your attention.

  • Batch processing and management
  • Access to Cloud Storage.
  • High-End Gesture Control.


For Adobe Photoshop
30 Day Free Trial
$9.99 Per Month with 20 GB of Cloud Storage

For Adobe Lightroom
Free to Download (Lacks Additional Features)
$9.99 Per Month with 1TB of Cloud Storage

Free Options Worth Consider

Snapseed (Recommended Amongst The Free Versions)

If you are a beginner just starting with photo editing projects, Snapseed can be an excellent option to go ahead with. Coming from the house of Google, Snapseed is one of the simplest yet powerful photo editing tools available. Despite bringing in the most straightforward interface, Snapseed manages to usher next-gen photo editing features for its user to get along.

Tuning your photos on Snapseed is convenient and can be taken to a whole new level of professionalism. From brushes to curve manager, Snapseed comes with around 29 tools for nifty editing. This application allows you to either adjust the exposure and the color saturation manually or let the in-built AI do it for you with precision. Besides, Snapseed comes with a number of attractive and well-modulated filters that can help in quick on-the-spot editing.

Also, Snapseed is home to various other features that can aid photo editors, especially those just starting to have a smooth editing experience.

  • Snapseed allows working on RAW files.
  • It comes with a “Last Edit” option that allows you to save and apply any previous editing perks on a new project instantly.
  • You can precisely tweak around the different features while editing your project.
  • Absolute beginner, don’t know where to start? The tutorial cards available on Snapseed are sure to help you get along.


Another free-to-use application that can let you ease the photo editing procedure. vbnm The availability of vivid effects and impressive styles makes Polarr one of the featured yet convenient photo-editing application to use. The primary features that highlight though.

  • It allows batch export.
  • It comes with various tools like the distort tool, the effects tool, and brush tool that help in enhancing the overall photos in just simple clicks.
  • It comes with a color mask technology that lets the user do variations within the parent color.
  • It allows different images to get layers at one.
  • It comes with multiple filters and effects.


If you are looking for a free photo editing alternative to start with, VSCO should have your attention. From convenient importing to individual adjustment sliders, VSCO is loaded with everything you need for enhancing your photos. The prime features include

  • Working with Raw files.
  • 10 amazing and free presets for spot editing
  • Highly precise editing tools including contrast, saturation, etc.
  • The crop skew feature lets you play with your images from every angle.
  • It lets you save your previous edits and implement the same on a new project.

Besides being loaded with efficient editing features, these applications are free to use tool for all. Giving it a try won’t be a bad idea then.

Choosing the Correct Photo Editor for Your iPad

Now that you have the list of the best available photo editing tools for iPads, it is time to look after the parameter that can help you select the right one.

  • The Vision

Every photo editing software is designed differently for different usage. So, before selecting one, make sure you have a fair idea of your purpose for using the desired application.

  • The Level You Are In

Some of the photo editing tools are beginner-friendly, while some may not help beginners at their initial stages. Get yourself acquainted with your level of professionalism before choosing the right software.

  • Basic and the Bonus Features

As you get your goal set, it’s time to look after the essential features to help you achieve that particular goal. Besides the basic features, some bonus features can also go a long way to ease things up. Make sure you look for bonuses as well.

  • Pricing

Talking about photo editing software, there are both free and paid options to choose from. Thus, getting hold of your budget is more likely to be the top priority. Choosing a free option is sure to compromise with features, but it might be the best option for someone starting.


With the availability of a wide range of photo editing applications, you are open to using multiple at a time, but it is recommended to use one and getting hold of it. Choosing the perfect one for you may be a bit tricky, but not anymore. As you go through this article, you will get to know which software fits in perfectly to your needs.

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