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5 Best Photo Filter Apps for iPhone and Android (2022)

Last Updated on Apr. 1, 2022 – by David Morgan
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Best Photo Filter Apps

Whether you're a blogger, vlogger, content creator, or simply enjoy using social media to share your life with friends, the perfect lighting, color grading, and filters can transform your photos from ordinary to extraordinary.

Learning how to edit Instagram photos to capture a consistent look can take years of practice. But you want your photos to look great today, so we're going to let you in on social media's worst-kept secret and give you a rundown on the best photo filter apps on the market.

The best apps allow you to add styles or apply a quick fix for photos, automatically adjusting your images' color, lighting, and tint to capture your vision. For the best result, it's critical to find the right photo filter app to suit your needs.

Today, we'll be comparing our favorite photo filter apps. One of these is sure to fit your needs.

Why Do You Need Photo Filters?

Have you ever wondered why everybody's photos on social media look so great while your latest snaps from the beach look so washed out and blah? 

It's because everyone and their dog use filters to retouch their photos. None of these people are expert photographers, but they can create Insta-worthy images with the right filter. This is because filters instantly change your photo's overall look and feel with adjustments to lighting, color, saturation, and more. 

Filters also have the bonus of being consistent. If you think of your photos as a collection, you want to ensure that the pictures you post fit within that collection. With a bit of time and effort, you can cultivate a theme for your online presence. 

You're just a few taps away from the perfect post with the correct photo filter app.

5 Best Photo Filter Apps

1. PhotoDirector

PowerDirector App

Platforms: Android, iOS

After downloading PhotoDirector for iPhone or Android, you'll quickly realize why the app is our top choice. With over 400 high-quality photo filters, PhotoDirector comes fully loaded with one of the widest selections of filters on our list. Better still, PhotoDirector receives regular content updates, with more filters added all the time.

One of the hardest parts of using photo filters is finding the right look for your photo, but this is where PhotoDirector excels.

Whether you're trying to re-create an old-fashioned, analog aesthetic with Lomo, or you want to achieve a slick metropolitan feel with Urban Ambience, sometimes the blend just isn't right. PhotoDirector's ability to overcome this hurdle is another reason it makes it onto our list of the best photo filter apps. With a range of customization tools, you can manually adjust the intensity of your filter by altering the contrast, color balance, brightness, and tones.

Filters example

Even better, you can access filters with stylized elements embedded directly in the filter. Not only do photo filters such as Neon and Festive Shine create a beautiful aesthetic, but they also add a new dimension to your shots.

The app includes all the editing tools creators of different skill levels need to make stunning images. From bokeh lighting to advanced AI-powered functions like sky replacement and photo animation, PhotoDirector places limitless creativity in the palm of your hand.

PowerDirector App - Wrap Filter

Reasons to Recommend:

  • Thousands of photo filters, collage templates, and stickers
  • AI-powered sky replacement, object removal, and animation tools
  • Advanced visual effects like dispersion and bokeh effect
  • Beginner-friendly editing interface

2. Canva

Canva App - Filters

Platforms: Android, iOS

Canva comes with templates and lots of design elements. Users can access creative elements, including stickers, collages, and fonts.

The app also includes additional tools that make it easy to establish an aesthetic and create shareable content. However, Canva's premium platform lacks a wide range of photo editing tools and filters like those found in PhotoDirector's library.

Key Features:

  • Free templates and design elements
  • Beginner-friendly creative hub

  • Comprehensive branding and design tools
  • Pre-made graphic templates
  • Limited photo filter options


VSCO - Filters

Platforms: Android, iOS

Instagram users worldwide love VSCO's simplified, user-friendly mobile editing app for a variety of reasons. The app includes all the essential editing tools to customize photos and a few advanced features. You can create and save custom filters to suit your taste, too.

Like Canva, VSCO's collection of free filters is limited compared to platforms like PhotoDirector. The app also comes with a learning curve that may confuse or frustrate beginners.

Key Features:

  • Dozens of customizable filters and presets
  • Beginner-friendly layout

  • Endless filter customization options
  • Easy color grading and lighting adjustments
  • Free plan does not include most filters

4. Adobe Lightroom

Lightroom - Filters

Platforms: Android, iOS

Adobe Lightroom has been known for color correction for years on Windows and Mac. The mobile version editing platform keeps that trend going. It has dozens of filters and editing tools that transform your images' colors quickly and easily.

If you want to make advanced edits, you may feel somewhat limited by Lightroom. Unlike PhotoDirector, the app focuses on basic adjustments rather than providing users with a full range of editing tools.

Key Features:

  • Precision editing tools
  • Simplified, intuitive interface

  • Comprehensive array of photo presets
  • Solid lineup of beginner to intermediate functions
  • Limited editing capabilities

5. Snapseed

Snapseed - Filters

Platforms: Android, iOS

Snapseed's lightweight photo editing and filter app make it easy to alter photos on the go. It features a number of editing features, filters, presets, and auto-adjustment tools that take the hassle out of editing. Despite all Snapseed's tools, its Tune Image function may be the most impressive.

The feature fine-tunes photos with customizable scales that allow you to capture the perfect balance of warmth, light, and color. On the downside, Snapseed does present a moderate learning curve and lacks the guided modules found in PhotoDirector.

Key Features:

  • Dozens of editing features, filters, and templates
  • Intuitive editing and visual effect tools

  • Free editing interface
  • Automatic lighting and color grading tools
  • Moderate learning curve

Try the Best Photo Filter App for Free

A filter can elevate any picture, whether you prefer to create custom color corrections or make quick edits with a preset. That said, finding the best photo filter app isn't easy.

Only PhotoDirector combines limitless creativity with advanced editing tools and hundreds of filters. While even beginners can dive in with PhotoDirector, the interface packs a powerful punch. You'll never feel limited by the app's editing tools. With AI-powered Instagram effects and intuitive tools that take the hassle out of editing, you can expand your creative horizons.

Download PhotoDirector for iPhone or Android today and start creating professional-quality images you’ve always envisioned.

How to Apply Photo Filters with PhotoDirector

Retouching your photos with PhotoDirector couldn’t be easier.

If you’re ready to get started, here’s how to do it:

  1. Open your photo in PhotoDirector.
  2. Go to Effects and tap Look.
  3. PowerDirector App - Effects
  4. Select a filter category or press the market icon to find more filters.
  5. Once you’ve found the right filter for your photo, tap download to use the filter.
  6. PowerDirector App - Look
  7. Select a filter to apply and use the slider to adjust the intensity of the filter.
  8. PowerDirector App - Filter

Photo Filter FAQ

1. What Is a Photo Filter?

Photo filters act as a one-tap fix for many images. The software automatically applies a preset overlay to images that alter specific aspects, including:

  • Color
  • Lighting
  • Exposure
  • Saturation
  • White balance

2. What Are the Different Kinds of Photo Filters?

Photo filters vary widely in style and function. Some photo editors use filters to subtly tweak images, while others use dramatic overlays featuring vivid colors or dramatic lighting. Examples of photo filters include:

  • Vignette filters
  • Grayscale overlays
  • Polaroid filters
  • Pastel filters
  • Grunge filters

3. What Is a Raw File?

RAW files are uncompressed images that come directly off a camera or scanner. The uncompressed files contain unprocessed or minimally processed images in their original quality. Because of their size, photographers usually convert RAW files into a smaller format before editing.

4. What Is a JPG?

Unlike RAW files, JPG files contain a compressed version of digital photographs. The image format has become the most popular due to its adjustable compression ratios, consistent quality, and small file size, allowing easy transferring, uploading, and editing. You can upload and edit a JPG file on virtually every editing platform.

5. What Is a PNG?

PNG – or Portable Graphics Format – files are almost as commonly used as JPG files. However, PNG files maintain their lossless quality. In addition, PNG files work well for graphic and web design due to their transparent backgrounds.

6. Can I Use Photo Filters on My Windows PC or Mac?

While each platform varies, you can apply photo filters on your Windows PC or Mac when working with high-quality editing software. Our top choice is PhotoDirector which has both a Windows and Mac version.

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