Do you use filters on your photos before printing them or sharing them on social media? Filters are an easy way to edit your photos without spending a lot of time learning complicated editing software. They are also a great way to give your photos a cohesive look or style, which is useful for creating a theme on your Instagram feed. Photo filter apps often include an array of ready-to-go filters for one-tap editing of your favorite shots.
The 7 best filter apps for iPhone
There are dozens of photo filter apps available for iPhone, but they aren’t all created equal. The following 7 filter apps are easy to use, fun to experiment with, and either free or available at low cost. These are our favorite filter apps for creating quick and stylish edits to all of our photos:
- VSCO: The most popular filter app right now
- Retrica: Film-like filters for retro photographers
- Snapseed: A feature-packed filter app for photographers
- A Color Story: Create custom filters for your photos
- PS Express: Pops of color and nature-based filters
- Instagram: The first filter app on social
- iPhone Photos: iPhone’s native photo filter app
1. VSCO: The most popular filter app right now
The premium version of the VSCO app includes more than 200 filters, called presets within the app. Many filters are based on vintage film looks, but there are also dedicated filters for landscapes, selfies, urban scenes, and more.
VSCO filters allow a lot of flexibility, and new presets are added all the time, making them perfect for fashion photographers, Instagram influencers, and small businesses.
2. Retrica: Film-like filters for retro photographers
Want to turn your iPhone into a retro camera with the look of film? Look no further than Retrica, an app that lets you apply retro filters before taking a photo. More than 190 filters can be applied in real-time, which means you can take photos without any additional editing.
Exclusive filters are released periodically to premium members, and Retrica also includes fun editing tools that you can use before and after taking a photo.
3. Snapseed: A feature-packed filter app for photographers
Snapseed is one of the most comprehensive free photo editing apps, with a great mix of filters that can be endlessly adjusted and combined. Unique filter categories include black-and-white options along with vintage, grunge, grainy film, Retrolux, and Glamour Glow. The nondestructive editing feature means that you can change any aspect of your edit without having to start over.
4. A Color Story: Create custom filters for your photos
A Color Story includes more than 100 endlessly adjustable filters, plus the ability to create custom filters for your own unique look that can be saved for future use. Motion effects include lens flare, bokeh, light leakage, glow, and texture, and you can change every aspect of the effects so that they fit your photo perfectly.
5. PS Express: Pops of color and nature-based filters
Adobe Photoshop Express is a fast and easy photo editor with a variety of interesting filters that can’t be replicated anywhere else. The app is free to download, but premium features require a subscription fee. Our favorite filters allow you to add pops of color to otherwise black and white photos, create replicates of black-and-white film photos, and create HDR looks with a single tap.
6. Instagram: The first filter app ever
We can’t talk about photo filter apps without mentioning the one that started it all. Instagram began in 2010 as a way for users to upload photos, add predesigned filters, and share them with followers and has since become one of the world’s largest social media platforms.
While Instagram doesn’t offer dozens upon dozens of filters like many other photo apps, the filters that it does offer are well-loved by their users. Just about every Instagram user has a favorite filter, but the most widely used filter, according to Shutterstock, is Clarendon.
7. iPhone Photos: iPhone’s native photo filter app
For casual photographers and folks who don’t want to download a dedicated app just to add filters on their selfies, we recommend going with the Photos app. The editing tools and filters available are great for casual sharing, and there’s no uploading or downloading because your photo library is already built right in. Nine filters are currently available in the Photos app, providing a variety of looks in color and black and white.
Once you discover your favorite photo filter app, you’ll find that it is both fun and addicting to use. You’ll want to start editing every photo you’ve ever taken just so you can add your favorite filters. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!