To say that Instagram is the most popular photo editing app available today would be an understatement. With user numbers surpassing the 100 million mark, you'd probably be pretty hard-pressed to find an iPhone without the familiar brown vintage camera icon.
But for those of us who are beginning to tire of making all of the photos of what we're eating look retro, there are other apps out there that do a billion other cool things (and don't worry, most of them maintain the ability to share across social networks so your friends can still see your cat making weird faces).
Snapseed tops our list of photo-editing apps on the market right now. One of the coolest features is that you can adjust the color saturation and contrast point by point in a photograph. You literally just touch a point with your finger and then there is a number at the bottom of the screen that can move up or down -- super easy and user-friendly. There are a ton of other effects: image rotation, auto correct, cropping, filters, etc. But what makes this app stand out is the sleek design and intuitive usability. Seriously, if you are only in the market for one new photo app, let it be this one. Or if you aren't in the market for a new photo app, buy it anyway. Cost: $4.99
This is a really straightforward app -- it performs basically one function, but that function is pretty much a trump card in the realm of app capabilities. Slow Shutter Cam changes the shutter speed of your camera so that you can photograph more light and get that cool blurry effect pictured to the left. We promise that all of your friends will be amazed at how you managed to capture this kind of a shot with an iPhone. (We are still amazed by it). Cost: $0.99
Filterstorm has the widest range of capabilities out of all of the apps in this list. It includes a bunch of really fancy features like curve manipulation, vignetting, masking, and layering. If you don't know what those things are, this is probably not the app for you. Originally available only for iPad, the app was initially designed for professional photographers editing on the road. If you already know what your way around photo editing a bit, this app is a goldmine. Cost: $3.99
What's up with the tyranny of color photo apps anyway? Hueless is ringer because it is designed specifically to help you capture the best black and white photo (trust us, it's different than choosing the standard black and white filter in any one of the other apps). The only possible downside is that you cannot import an already-saved image. The filters are meant to be used while you are capturing the photo more like Hipstamatic if you're familiar with Instagram's partner in crime. Anyway, there's a strong argument to be made that this type of functionality is more fun, and the app works wonders! Cost: $1.99
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Though Camera+ does include a wide variety of editing capabilities, it really excels in the stuff you can do while taking a photo. For those of us who sometimes have trouble taking a non-blurry photo (it's ok to admit it) there is a pretty cool stabilizer option. You can also select different parts of the photo for exposure and focus, so ideally the photo won't need as much editing to begin with. The app also has a super powerful digital zoom. The app virtually turns your iPhone or iPad into a legit digital camera. Your initial images come out better, and you have more to work with should you decide to change things up after the photo has been captured. Camera+ is a really solid app. Cost: $0.99
BONUS: 1-Bit Camera
We didn't feel like this app was universal enough to make the top 5 list, but OK, please everyone look at it -- it's really cool. Cost: $0.99