Five photo editing apps for mobile to boost creativity during lockdown

As we pass the 50th day of lockdown in South Africa, it’s becoming harder to stay motivated and inspired; there’s only so much Netflix you can watch, and boredom might be setting in.

Why not reach for your smartphone, download a few image editing apps and go to town (and we mean that figuratively) on the thousands of images you have saved your phone’s gallery?

Here’s a line up of the best apps currently available for iPhone and Android devices.

Image-editing apps for mobile


PicsArt is the world’s leading creative platform and social editing app, and was created after the founder’s daughter was bullied for sharing her art online.

I had the honour of listening to the founder and CEO of PicsArt, Hovhannes Avoyan, at the 2019 World Congress on Information Technology in Yerevan, Armenia, back in October 2019.

“PicsArt is my sixth company. I started it after an episode of online bullying led my daughter to tears after she shared artwork online. I wanted to build a safe space where all creatives could share their work without fear of judgement and come together to collaborate in meaningful ways.”

PicsArt has a huge range of editing tools, from basic adjustments such as contrast, brightness and exposure, to colour-grading and dramatic filters, the app truly has it all.


Another personal favourite of mine; I’d highly recommend this app. It has a ton of features and effects and is simple to use. Plus, the user-generated content provides hours of inspiration.

VSCO is all about the more artful colour filters and has a huge range of presets available. What an old, grainy 35mm film feel? VSCO has that. Monochrome shots? Yep, and those are just the basics.

The problem you’ll have is being spoilt for choice. And be warned, this app could potentially keep you entertained for hours on end.


Hypocam’s black and white filters are on another level. If you’ve been hesitant to explore black and white photography, I suggest getting this app to ease you in.

Other than the built-in camera, the app also comes with a ton of tools to make photo editing and adding textures just so much easier.


Very few companies out there could rival Adobe. One of the apps in Adobe’s arsenal, and probably the most used of the lot, is Lightroom for mobile.

The app is streamlined and only offers you the best for editing photos. It has the same set of tools as the desktop version, giving you everything you need to fine-tune your images to tiniest little detail.

Once done, simply sync your images to the Adobe cloud, or export to other Adobe apps, such as Adobe Fresco or Aero.


Snapseed can transform your most mundane photo into a piece of art. Everything is customisable by means of a slider bar, from increasing or decrease blur and gradient, altering vignettes and temperature.

The app, which was created by Google, has a feature similar to Adobe’s layers, which makes editing (and reversing those changes) just so much easier.

You can also change and edit curves, which is something most mobile apps haven’t mastered yet. Have fun!

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