When I think about all the different photo editing apps I have used, only a few stand out as memorable and Snapseed is hands down the best among them. A photo editing app designed for the professionals on the go, Snapseed offers over 26 different tools and filter that would help you bring out the best in your photos. With impressive tools such as brushes for pin point editing and even the basics such as image tuning, you do not have to be a professional photographer to appreciate what this app has to offer, although, Snapseed is geared towards professional photographers on the go and serious photography enthusiasts. Originally developed by Nik Software and now under Google, Snapseed is recognized as the top photo editing app for both iOS and Android.
Snapseed is not your average photo editing app with a handful of filters and face tuning features. It really goes beyond the tools needed to produce the perfect selfie, although, you can create the next level selfie using the old and newly added tools (more on that later,) after only using Snapseed as my go-to photo editor for the past 6 months or so, I completely understand why the app is so highly rated and recommended by critics.
As far as photo editing apps for smartphones and mobile devices go, Snapseed is the most feature rich app there is. It covers everything from the basic features expected from a photo editing app, all the way to tools like exposure curves and double exposure. For this review, I would like to skim over the basic editing options and focus more on the unique elements that give the app its edge among competitors.
Just like any other photo editing app getting started of Snapseed is pretty simple, you can import RAW files directly from your phone or iPhone users can use the in-app camera to take a new picture.
This is a feature I believe is pretty useful for those who are new to the app or want to figure out some of the tools the app offers. The Insights are essentially the guide that helps you figure out how you can edit pictures like a pro using Snapseed. Because Snapseed is not your average photo-editing app, I think having a guide or manual is extremely helpful for beginners.
The brush tool is among the advanced tools the app offers, it allows you to have better control on what you want to edit without altering the rest of the picture. You can change the size of the brush by pinching the image to zoom in or out, enabling you to make precise changes. You can also choose the strength of the changes you are making. For example, you wish to increase color saturation of the background of the picture you are editing, well with the brush tool you can do it without increasing the color saturation of the rest of the image, also you can erase and reduce the saturation using the same tool.
This a feature that has been added in the latest major update the app went through. The expand feature allows you to increase the size of your canvas with either black, white or the more innovative smart options. Although the smart expand is a cool concept, unfortunately, I do not think it works as one might expect because it simply uses content from your image to expand the picture and the results can be varied.
Another one of the newer tools, the “Pose” feature enables you to correct the pose of a portrait by dragging the face up, down or sideways based on 3D modeling. In this feature, you can also increase or decrease the smile and focal length. The only downside is that it works for a single face portrait for now.
Non-destructive editing is by far the best thing about editing photos in Snapseed. The edits you make to the photo are saved in stacks, which means you can go back and choose to undo or alter the edits you have made without messing up all the other changes you have made. This option in a free app is something that only Snapseed offers and serious photographers and editors love this.
For the filter obsessed amongst you, fear not! For Snapseed has a lot of cool and interesting filters for you to play around with, including Grunge, Drama, black and white, retro to name a few.
From the PC version of Snapseed, the Curve feature is a newer addition to the iPhone app. Curve allows you to make precise color changes that will well and truly transform your images. This is an advanced tool however by experimenting with the pre-existing Curve filters, you will be able to understand the potential of this tool.
The app has a neat user interface that makes it easy to use. With the help of the Insights using the app has been made easier. The design is intuitive and responsive. As a regular user of the app, I am happy to report that there is not much of a learning curve here, everything is simple and pretty much laid out in front of you.
Let me start of by saying that I am by no means a professional photographer and that has not prevented me from appreciating the tons of cool features Snapseed has to offer, do not be put-off by the idea that this photo editor is only meant for the professionals. I whole-heartedly believe that this free app should be in your phone if you take pictures and edit it prior to uploading. With all the amazing and useful photo editing tools, filters and options it is hard to believe that Snapseed is a free app. It is highly recommended by professional photographers, which shows how great of an app it is. Even if you are not a professional photographer, I suggest you give this one a try if you love taking photos (yes including selfies.)