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8 Must-Have Free Photo Editing Apps with Powerful Filter Options

8 Must-Have Free Photo Editing Apps with Powerful Filter Options

No matter whether we share snapshots on social media or not, whether we just strengthen memories for our personal albums or you take your photo hobby seriously, the proper tools are paramount. 

Nowadays, there are nice free picture editing apps that have made it possible to do something that was only possible when you had a computer. This digital evolution has been a game changer that places the same chance, artistically, in everyone’s hands, no matter what we pay.

In this blog, we will simply move to the top 8 free photo editing apps that have the filter libraries needed to achieve the desired creativity.

#1 YouCam Perfect

With over millions of downloads, YouCam Perfect is considered one of the most full-featured free photo editors available. Some key features include the ability to selectively adjust tones and colors in different areas of the photo, retouching tools, and a vast library of filters for photos that can be layered. It also supports RAW files. While the interface is simple and easy to use, there is a lot of power under the hood for those wanting precise control. YouCam Perfect is available on both Android and iOS.

#2 Lightroom

Adobe’s Lightroom is the gold standard for professional photo editors, and the mobile version is a robust free option. Like Snapseed, it allows advanced selective adjustments and also has a very extensive filter library with presets from famous photographers. Where Lightroom really shines, though, are its organizational tools. You can easily browse, search, and organize large photo libraries. Photos can also be shared directly on social media through the app. Lightroom is available on both Android and iOS platforms.

#3 PicsArt

What sets the app apart is its unique combination of tools that allow for both basic image adjustments as well as fun creative projects.

  • For editing individual photos, PicsArt offers a powerful library of built-in filters for photos and effects that can completely transform images with a single tap. You’ll find everything from subtle color and tone adjustments to wild special effects and artistic filters inspired by painting, drawing and more. It’s an incredible way to add personal flair and expression to photos in just a few moments.
  • The built-in filters are also highly customizable, with options to adjust the intensity of an effect for perfectly balanced results. You can subtly enhance colors or go entirely over-the-top based on your vision. PicsArt also makes it easy to save customized filters for consistent use across your library.

In addition to individual photo editing, PicsArt opens up a whole new world of creative possibilities through its collage and design tools. You can combine multiple photos along with graphics, text and stickers to design beautiful collages, social media graphics, quotes and more. It provides all the elements needed for visual storytelling.

#4 Facetune

When it comes to free picture editing apps, Facetune has made a name for itself as a leading selfie editor and remains one of the best free options for touch-ups. It offers tools for whitening teeth, smoothing skin, enhancing eyes, slimming faces, and more. The paid version unlocks even more features, but the free version is very capable on its own. Facetune is ideal for basic portrait retouching without advanced layering. Where it lacks, though, are organizational tools and broad photo editing capabilities beyond selfies. Still, for quick touch-ups on the go, it’s tops. Available on iOS and Android.


VSCO is known for its authentic film camera presets that can transform photos into nostalgic works of art. The free version offers a generous selection of filters to play with. You’ll find everything from subtle color tweaks to dramatic black-and-white presets. Basic editing tools are also included. Where VSCO is limited is the lack of advanced selective adjustments. But if you’re looking to add retro vibes to your photos without too much fuss, it’s a great free option. The app works on both the Android and iOS platforms.

#6 PhotoDirector

With over 500 editing tools and effects, PhotoDirector provides unparalleled depth and precision for both basic and advanced users. 

  • At its core is a very powerful but intuitive layer-based free picture editing app system, allowing for advanced selections, masks and blend modes. This degree of control is rare to find for free.
  • Within the layer panels, a wide range of adjustment brushes and masks give precise control over applying edits to selective areas. 
  • You can brighten eyes, darken skies, remove blemishes and more with pixel-level accuracy. Its layer support also allows for advanced compositing by combining multiple edited images.

PhotoDirector also stands out through its generous RAW support. In addition to common formats, it handles RAW files from a wide range of cameras for maximum image quality editing. Raw buffs can tweak white balance, exposure and more with flexibility.

#7 Polarr

Polarr offers a unique set of tools compared to other free editors. It focuses on one-tap auto adjustments but also provides advanced controls for tweaking results. Where it really stands out, though, is its wide range of artistic filters that can transform photos into creative works of art. Filters include styles like oil painting, charcoal sketching, and more. Basic retouching tools are also included. While the interface is simple, it delivers powerful results. Polarr is free on Android and iOS platforms.

#8 Adobe Photoshop Express

Adobe Photoshop Express is the free picture editing app of the desktop giant. It provides basic but effective tools for touch-ups like whitening teeth, smoothing skin, and red-eye removal. Filters are where it truly shines, with options that mimic popular Photoshop styles. Organizational features are also robust. While some advanced tools require an in-app purchase, the free version covers basic needs well. For those invested in the Photoshop ecosystem, it’s worth a look. Available on Android and iOS.

Final Words

Whether you’re looking to enhance everyday photos or turn snapshots into works of art, there’s a powerful free photo editor for every skill level. This article covered 8 top options that offer robust filter libraries for finding your creative vision on a budget. As mobile technology advances, free apps will continue to grow to satisfy more advanced needs. So start exploring filters and discovering your photographic style without breaking the bank.

Read More: 8 Easy Steps to Remove Text from Your Images


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