Photo Editing Mobile Applications for Instagram Photos

10 Best Free Photo Editing Apps to Edit Instagram Photos [2020]

Photo Editing Apps that are an Alternative to Adobe Softwares

Trying to edit Instagram photos like a pro without having to download expensive photo-editing apps? Look no further! In this article I will be sharing with you my top favourite photo-editing mobile apps that I use to edit almost all of my photos on Instagram. It’s entirely possible to change a badly taken photo to something that is gram-worthy with these 10 apps.

There are unique features for each of these photo-editing mobile apps that I use to edit my photos and you will find them useful depending on the type of changes you’re looking to make.

10 Best Free Photo Editing Apps to Edit Instagram Posts

1. Adobe Lightroom

Let’s start off with my most frequently used of the photo editing apps – Adobe Lightroom. The application comes with a multitude of free features that can sufficiently edit the colours on your photos entirely. I previously purchased the premium features but soon realised that I could get those features for free on another photo editing apps. However, if you like the convenience of having an all-in-one photo editing app, then opt for their monthly subscription package.

Mobile Application Main Features

Free Features:

• Creating Presets: Save previous edits of your photos and use it again for another with a single touch.
Curves: Make advanced photo edits to change tone, exposure and contrast.
Colour Mixer: Change specific colours on your photo to make them pop.
Clarity, Texture and Dehaze: Clams any blurry-ness in photos and helps to enhance quality.
Detail & Noise Reduction: Sharpen images and reduce grain on patchy photos.
Optics: Remove Lens Corrections – this is especially useful for correcting wide-angled photos taken on your GoPro.
Crop: Crop & rotate photos to your preference.

Premium Features:

• Healing Brush: Removing small imperfections in photos.
• Selective Adjustments: Editing a particular area of your photo.
Geometry: Adjusting your image perspective to make it upright and symmetrical.
Raw Editing: Allows you to import and edit RAW images.

PROS: Best Free Unique Features

1. Creating Presets
Colour Mixer
3. Noise Reduction

The app is best used for creating presets, it’s colour mixer and reducing noise on images. Its a really powerful application that can help you with maximising your photo quality and giving emphasis on certain colours. The best part, is that its all for free. I have not found a mobile application that does this any better than Adobe Lightroom. If you’re looking for just 1 app to edit Instagram photos, this may be all that you need.

E.g. Example of Adjusting Colours with Colour Mixer

Photo Editing Apps: Adobe Lightroom Mobile Application

CONS: What is it lacking?

1. The app does not come with pre-loaded filters.
2. Certain premium features that are really useful, such as adjusting geometry, healing brush and selective adjustments are not free in the app.

This app is not suitable for people who do are looking for filters. It does not come with pre-loaded filters like the Snapseed or VSCO photo editing apps. In addition, several useful features are not for free to use in the app. However, the good thing is that we can still find these tools to use for free on other apps. For example, Snapseed is an extremely powerful app I use for their geometry feature which adjusts photo alignments. Whereas, any photo healing editing can be used in Photoshop Fix as it comes with the Clone Stamp feature.

Is it worth Downloading? – Price & Subscription

Yes, yes and yes! Download it because it’s the best app for adjusting tones, colours and reducing noise in images. It’s also extremely user-friendly for beginner photographers and you’ll get the hang of it in no time.

Price – Free
For Premium Version Monthly at SGD 6.95

2. Adobe Photoshop Fix

Photoshop Fix is another useful photo editing app from Adobe. The app differs from the Lightroom app as it focuses more on image retouching and restoration.

Mobile Application Main Features

• Face-aware Liquify: Change facial features with simple retouches to jaw, cheekbones and chin.
Liquify: Warp, swell or twirl selected areas of images.
Heal and Patch: Fix imperfections by using content from surrounding areas.
Smooth: Smooth and sharpen selected areas of images.
Lighten/Darken: Lighten or darken selected areas of images.
Colour: Saturate or desaturate selected areas of images.
Paint: Change the colour of selected areas of images.
Defocus: Defocus selected areas of images.

PROS: Best Free Unique Features

1. Heal and Patch

Heal and patch is the main reason I visit the app frequently on my phone. I almost always have people in the background of my images that I want to remove. This can be done by using the Clone Stamp feature.

Secondly, although not used as often, paint can be especially useful if you want to change the colour of certain areas in your images. E.g. if you want your sunglasses to be pink instead of blue.

E.g. Removing Footprints on Sand with Heal & Patch Feature

Photo Editing Apps: Adobe Photoshop Fix

CONS: What is it lacking?

1. The blending feature after you make edits is pretty much redundant.
Not all imperfections in images can be fixed perfectly.

When you use the lighten/darken or saturate/desaturate tools on the app, it gets really obvious that you made an edit to that area. The blend feature to make it less obvious isn’t particularly effective. Hence, I seldom touch on these tools for my images.

Although clone stamp is the most magnificent invention (for me) in this app, there are times whereby the use of this is insufficient to remove imperfections in your photos. For example, it works particularly well for people far away into the background of your image, but once you have a photo ruined by someone closer (& bigger) to the foreground, you’d find it difficult to edit him/her out of it.

Is it worth Downloading? – Price & Subscription

Definitely. But solely for its Heal and Patch feature. I’ve used this feature in so many photos and achieved really good results.

Price – Free

3. Snapseed

Out of this list of photo editing apps, Snapseed is another extremely popular platform to use. This is due to its user-friendly interface and simplicity in editing pictures. It is perfect for beginner photographers or those looking to do simple touch ups to their pictures.

Mobile Application Main Features

• RAW Develop: Edit Raw photos and convert to JPEG.
Perspective: Fix image alignments and perfect the geometry of horizons or landmarks.
Brush: selectively retouch exposure, saturation, brightness or warmth.
Selective: Selectively adjust the brightness, contract, saturation and structure to at precise areas on images.
Expand: increase the size of your canvas by extending the sides of images.
Tonal Contrast: boost details selectively in the shadows, midtones and highlights
Filters: Noir, Drama, Vintage, Grainy Film, Retrolux, Grunge, Black & White, HDR Scape
Double Exposure: blend two photos together, layering one on top of another and adjusting the opacity

PROS: Best Free Unique Features

1. Perspective
3. Grain Film

These are the top 3 features I use in Snapseed to edit Instagram photos. You can fix picture alignments with their perspective feature. This is by tilting the image horizontally/vertically, scaling, or rotating. This flexibility has dramatically transformed some of my most terribly-taken images (as shown below)

Photo Editing Apps: Snapseed Mobile Application
Using the Perspective Tool

Next, selective is best used to adjust specific areas to your photos, for example, if you find a particular region too brightly lit for your liking. Simply tap on the affected area, then scale the area to be edited bigger/smaller and adjust accordingly.

Lastly, their series of grainy film filters are probably the prettiest free vintage-vibe filters I’ve in my phone right now. The filters are not overly harsh and keep your images looking natural. You can also adjust the extent of graininess and strength of the filter according to your liking.

CONS: What is it lacking?

The app just lacks certain useful features such as Clone Stamp in Photoshop Fix and Colour Mixer in Lightroom. Other than the lack of certain useful features, this app works well in all other features in general.

Is it worth Downloading? – Price & Subscription

Yes, especially if you need to make changes to your image alignments. It’s the only free app that I’ve used so far for this type of photo-editing.

Price – Free

4. Enlight Quickshot

Enlight Quickshot is a photo editing app that can readily change your photos entirely, especially for removing gloomy skies.

Mobile Application Main Features

• Sky: change the sky in your photos to something entirely different.
Looks: Change your photo entirely, including the sky and background blur, in just one tap with app’s pre-loaded picture adjustment sets.
Effects: Add lens flairs, snow fall, a rainbow etc.
Magic: One tap magic button to auto-fix photos
Filters: One-tap filters to make your photos pop

PROS: Best Free Unique Features

1. Sky
2. Effects
3. Filters

The sky changing feature in this mobile application is simply amazing. If you ever had a picture with gloomy skies and needed to add some clouds in the sky, this app does it perfectly. You can also further adjust the settings of the horizon, details and opacity of the sky needed to make it look natural.

E.g. Sky Changing Feature (From Gloomy to Blue Skies)

Photo Editing Apps: Enlight Quickshot Mobile Application

Effects can be used to add lens fair into your photos, giving it vibrance, colour and volume. I’ve previously used their LF10 lens filter for my underwater shot.

Swimming with Dolphins in Kona, Hawaii

The pre-loaded filters in the app are also an extremely popular feature to use. The tones of these filters are very lightweight and give your photos a soft and warm colour change.

CONS: What is it lacking?

I’m thankful that the developers of the app gave free features for us to use that can be sufficient to edit photos. However, about 80% of the filters do require you to get a subscription. Hence, your choices on the app are limited for the free version.

Is it worth Downloading? – Price & Subscription

Yes, especially if you want to make changes to your sky. Even though features are limited in the free version, there’s still a lot of you can play around with to help you transform your photos.

Price – free
For Quickshot Pro Version – 12 months at SGD 26.98; 1 month at SGD 8.48; One-Time Purchase at SGD 88.98

5. Lens Distortion

Of the photo editing apps in this list, the Lens Distortion app is mainly used to input beautiful light, natural elements, and elegant overlays to create vivid images for you.

Mobile Application Main Features

• Light Hits – custom light rays and lens flairs into your pictures.
Light Volume – custom white light rays into your pictures.
Nature – Add rain, fog, snow effects into your pictures

PROS: Best Free Unique Features

The Light Hits effects feature is the most popular for this mobile app. I frequently use it to add light flairs into my pictures, enhancing its overall tones and bringing the photo to ”life”.

Photo Editing Apps: Lens Distortion Mobile Application

CONS: What is it lacking?

Most of the features in the app are not free and require a subscription sign up. I usually only use this app for its Light Hits effects, so if you want more variety, you can buy the LD Unlimited Version.

Price – Free
For LD Unlimited Version – Monthly at SGD 3.98; Yearly at SGD 14.98

6. Dive+

In the list of photo editing apps, Dive+ is my secret (not so anymore) to editing underwater photos and videos. Its colour correction technologies for underwater footages allows you to bring the true colours back to photos and videos, with just one tap. The app was introduced to me when I was in Maldives by the locals as they go free-diving frequently and have tons of underwater photos to edit.

Photo Editing Apps: Dive+  Mobile Application

CONS: What is it lacking?

The colour correction does not work all the time. Using the app on Photos/footages with poor underwater lighting may compromise on its overall picture quality. Hence, it works well sometimes but not all the time.

Price – Free
Get VIP Version to remove Watermark – Monthly at SGD 8.98; Yearly at SGD 44.98


Mobile Application Main Feature

PICNIC gives natural and artistic re-touch filters to the atmosphere and background of your photos. Just one-tap and you can change gloomy skies to a starry night. From the illustration below, I changed my pink skies to a cloudy day. You can then do further adjustments to the opacity of your sky.

Photo Editing Apps: PICNIC Mobile Application

CONS: What is it lacking?

Although the app works quite similarly to Enlight Quickshot, it does not do as good of a job in detecting the exact area of the sky that you’re replacing. You may find your sky replacing unintended parts of your foreground in certain images.

Price & Subscription

Is it worth downloading?
Yes, very much so. It still did a good job in changing the sky in my picture above and the app also provides a wider variety of free filters as compared to Enlight Quickshot.

Price – Free


VSCO offers creative photo and video tools to edit Instagram photos and videos. It includes a wide variety of presets to help you edit your photos with just one tap. Remember to hashtag #VSCO to get featured on their page too!

Mobile Application Main Features

Free Features

• Presets: The free mobile download comes with 10 free VSCO presets.
• Editing RAW photos.

Premium Features

• Presets: Get 200 + presets to create vintage film looks. Frame your images with the use of borders.
• Video Editor: Transform your videos with VSCO presets and adjust their white balance and colours.

PROS: Best Free Unique Features

I mainly use VSCO for their presets if I can’t seem to get a good colour for my photos with my other mobile applications. You will be able to adjust the intensity of your filters on VSCO according to what looks good for you.

In addition, can also save and recreate your favourite edits with the App’s Recipes feature. This is similar to saving a preset with the Adobe Light room App.

Photo Editing Apps: VSCO  Mobile Application
Photo Editing Apps

CONS: What is it lacking?

The VSCO app only provides the basic editing features which you can easily find on other mobile applications. This includes editing tools such as Contrast and Saturation, Grain and Fade, Crop and Skew.

Price & Subscription

Is it worth downloading?
Only if you want a very basic mobile application to adjust your image lighting, tones and contrast AND/OR you want access to their 200 presets.

Price – Free
Membership Free Trial – 7 Days
Membership – Yearly at SGD$28.24

9. Instagram

The Instagram App itself offers editing features that will give your photos some finishing touches before they are loaded onto your feed.

Mobile Application Main Features

• Filters: 24 free filters
• Basic Editing Tools: Brightness, Contrast, Structure, Warmth, Colour, Fade, Highlights, Shadows, Vignette, Tilt Shift, Sharpen
• Lux: Applies HDR-like effects to your photos, that darkens shadows, and highlights and increases contrast.

PROS: Best Free Unique Features

1. Basic Editing Tool: Sharpen
2. Lux

Their sharpening tool is probably the most effective one i’ve seen in comparison to all the other mobile applications. The tool will help you to sharpen out blurred edges without compromising much on overall picture quality. However, be careful as to not over sharpen images.

Lux is another tool that makes it easy for the user to get high-definition images with a single touch. You can further adjust the strength of the Lux feature to achieve a balance between its colour contrasts. Below is an illustration for references. The changes are subtle but powerful, so try it on your images the next time you post on Instagram!

Photo Editing Apps: Instagram Mobile Application

10. Afterlight

Afterlight is another image editing app for you to edit Instagram photos quickly and simply. The user-friendly design will give you various looks within seconds.

Mobile Application Main Features

• 59 Filters: consists of 27 adjustable filters and 14 guest filters by various Instagram users.
• 66 Textures: Real and natural light leaks to add into your photos.
• Transform: Rotating tool, vertical and horizontal flipping tools and straightening

PROS: Best Free Unique Features

1. User-friendliness
2. Wide range of adjustable filters

Afterlight is another user-friendly app that is perfect for the beginner photographer. It has a wide range of adjustable filters that you can choose from. Unique from other photo editing apps, Afterlight also allows you to adjust the strength, tone and contrast of each filter.

Photo Editing Apps: Afterlight Mobile Application

CONS: What is it lacking?

Unfortunately, almost >80% of the filters require you to purchase a membership, hence limiting your options if you do not opt to pay to use the app.

Is it worth Downloading? – Price & Subscription

Yes, but only if you’d be keen on purchasing their membership. Some of their free filters may come to use for you one of these days, but I don’t think you’d be coming back often without a membership.

Price – Free
Membership – Monthly at $3.98; Yearly at $24.98

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