Photo apps have had quite a year in 2016 - Prisma made waves all summer and Facetune 2 launched just in time for the holidays, while Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat continue adding new game-changing features monthly. The ball is about to drop to ring in the new year, and we've curated a list of the best photo apps as we head into 2017.
Enlight - Created by the same developers behind the infamous Facetune, this app takes the complexity out of digital editing. The swipe-to-edit functionality lets users paint, tap or swipe to control a wide array of adjustment features. Often referred to as 'Photoshop for your phone', the engine powering this app utilizes cutting edge technology to create high quality and original images. Possessing a strong user base, Enlight comes out with periodic tutorials, teaching users how to use the app to create stunning artwork. Available on iOS. ($3.99)
Snapseed - Another mobile app from Alphabet, Snapseed is Google's answer to Photoshop Express - and every other mobile editing app available. Professional and amateur photographers alike all praise the app for its ability to provide users with full control over photos: brightness, blur effects, retouching tools and color-curve adjustments. Piloting the app is slightly more difficult, but that's because the feature controls are quite advanced for mobile, offering more power than basic editing applications. Available for iOS and Android. (Free)
Prisma - This winter, Prisma is still hot after riding its summer wave of success. By applying AI rendering technology, users can transform ordinary photos into creative works of art, influenced by a variety of artists and sponsored brands (Gett Taxi, Palmolive). After seeing massive server interruptions Prisma brought their AI rendering offline for mobile, allowing for rapid image processing times. Recently, Prisma Labs announced plans to launch support for video, turning your videos into rendered animated art. Available for iOS and Android. (Free)
RollWorld - This app is one of the first to "sphereize" your photos, creating a unique effect where your shots are transformed into a 2-dimensional "tiny-planet". It's not good for pictures of people but rather photos of urban environments and nature can culminate in truly distinct and beautiful final photos. Additionally, users can even sphereize their personal videos, which can capture a specific frame where in you can edit the rotation, blending and zoom views. Available for iOS. (Free)
Factune 2 - This is the second generation of likely the most infamous editing app available. The redesigned app, equipped with the latest technology of A.I, 3D modelling and A.R is packed with creative features, giving users a selfie-studio in the palm of their hands. Selfie-amateurs can easily whiten teeth, enhance eye color, adjust facial features and even add a natural smile to frowning friends. The once $3.99 app, is now free, using the new Apple subscription model to provide exclusive features to subscribed users. Only on iOS. (Free)
Lightroom - Created by the most recognizable editing brand ever, Adobe, Lightroom is an excellent app for users trying to learn how to create smoother after-effects for images. Of course, it includes pre-set filters, but it gives users deeper control over lighting manipulation to add firm blacks and whites, while also controlling color temperatures, tints and vibrance. Coupled with the ability to add clarity, dehaze and control vignettes, Lightroom is an excellent companion in your editing toolbox. Available on iOS and Android.
Splash - The introduction of 360 video, 3-D and VR made apps like Splash possible. Not only is Splash super cool, but it's incredibly easy to film your entire environment (let's say a beach) in 360 degrees turning your phone into a 360 VR camera - the outcome? Once saved users can view the final video and through the perspective of virtual reality. Tilt your phone up to see the sky, turn west to see the beach, no matter where you point your device you can capture the beauty of any location. Available on iOS and Android (coming soon). (Free)
TouchRetouch - Many apps offer the ability to retouch photos and eliminate unwanted objects from an image, but TouchRetouch has made this their primary focus. Users can quickly paint over an object or a point of interest within a photo and remove shadows, footsteps, light-poles and obtrusive objects to keep the focus on the persons or places. Think of this app as your modern day, digital eraser. Available on iOS and Android. ($1.99)