Snapseed: Best free iOS photo editor
For creative enhancements to photographs, it’s hard to beat Snapseed.
The app includes a slew of tools, from basic tuning and adjustments through to advanced filters, all controlled using a gestural interface. Dragging on the screen defines focal points and the strength of effects, ensuring Snapseed is intuitive and fun to use.
Brilliantly, edits are non-destructive, meaning you can at any point go back and adjust the settings for any given step. And if you happen upon an especially pleasing combination of edits and effects, that can be saved as a custom filter.
Retrica: Best free iOS camera
The iOS Camera app has live filters, but Retrica’s selection is much larger, drawing on decades of photographic styles. Other tools further boost creativity, including vignettes, blurs and borders.
Our favourite feature, though, is the interval timer, which takes a number of consecutive photos and stitches them together in a user-defined layout, and plays them as an animation you can share.
Photoshop Camera: best iPhone live filters app
Software giant Photoshop is best known for helping digital wizards manipulate photographs, but this camera app can transform snaps before they’re even taken. By way of bolt-on lenses, you can radically alter the scene before you.
There are filters for turning your view into a passable attempt at Pop Art, inserting otherworldly skies, and adding lurid retro-style glitches. Or you can just boost the saturation on your lunch and post the result to Instagram. You do you.
It’s simple to use. The lens system – mercifully – comes with a manager, so you don’t have to swipe through dozens of filters to get the one you want. And if you don’t want to slather effects all over important snaps, you can load existing ones into the app, thereby avoiding the ‘camera’ bit entirely.
Retrospecs: best free iOS filters app
Remember the good old days of computing? Angry that your shiny new iPhone X captures every blemish when taking selfies? Then use Retrospecs to go truly retro.
Any snap or pic can be transformed into the output of a Game Boy, Amstrad CPC or ancient PC. If that’s not enough, go full ASCII with Commodore PET emulation. (Many more systems can be unlocked with a £1.99 IAP.)
Then mess about with dithering, scanlines and glitch videos, before sharing your masterpiece and making friends wonder why you now look like Max Headroom’s great grandfather.