iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad are built to take pictures with great convenience, but when it comes to editing and enhancing your photos, you’re sure to be disappointed.
I can’t speak for the iPhone users, but as an iPad owner, I know that there are only 4 editing features in the camera app: rotate, enhance, red-eye, and crop. These are nice features to have, but they’re nothing special and they don’t actually change your photos.
So what should you do if you want to have fun with your photos and add interesting filters, effects, and enhancements – besides the basic features that the iOS camera offers? Well luckily, there are many apps for that and we’re going to cover the best ones in this list.
Recommended Reading: Top 20 Android Photography Apps
Augmented Reality Pho.to Cartoonizer lets you add various effects to your photos including a cartoon effect. One of the unique things about this app is that you can apply realistic emotions to a face and then animate them. You can even turn yourself into an alien, troll, and other weird things just for fun. [Free]
PhotoSketch is a quick and easy way to turn your photos into real-life sketches. You can also add other effects like cartoon, gray scale, alien skin, and more. [Free]
SketchMyPhoto Mobile is another app that turns your photos into realistic sketches. There is no limit to the number of photos you can convert. This app is actually an extension of their website Sketchmyphoto.com. It doesn’t state whether or not you can access images saved on the Web via the app, but that would be a great feature to have. [Free]
Cartoonize allows you to quickly add a cartoon effect to your photos with one tap; you can continually increase the cartoon effect until you’re satisfied. Just upload a photo from your library or take one with the camera and you’re ready to get started. [$0.99]
Cartoonizeme lets you add funny elements to your images such as mustaches, eyebrows, hair, accessories, and dialogue balloons (which can be customized with your own text). You can also rotate and scale your images and change the colors of elements to match your photos. [$1.99]
Photo to Toon does just that: turns your image into a cartoon version. Additionally, you can adjust the toon lines and add a frame around your image. [$0.99]
ToonPAINT doesn’t just convert your images and apply filters, it also lets you color in your images by painting with your fingers. This allows you to create different variations of the same image and also lets your creativity run wild. [$1.99]
Photo360 includes many different tools that allow you to edit your photos by adding frames, cropping, rotating, changing the colors, and adding text. You can also add various filters like sketch and cartoon. The unique thing about this app is the ability to add your image to 3D models such as soda cans and cubes. [$0.99]
Paint FX is an advanced app with filters, effects, enhancements, and more that can be applied to any parts of your images with just a tap or swipe. Meaning, you don’t have to change the entire image at once, you can pick and choose which parts you want to change. You can also apply more than one effect to each part. This gives you an unlimited amount of possibilities to play with your images. [$2.99]
FX Photo Studio is the ultimate photo editing app and includes almost 200 effects and filters. Much like Paint FX (mentioned above) you can also apply effects to only parts of your images. On top of that, you can create postcards using your images and send them anywhere in the world, add text, important images from Facebook, share images on various social networks, and much more. [$0.99]
Sketch+ is a simple app that converts your images into realistic looking hand sketches. You can create both color and gray scale sketches. [$1.99]
Picture Sketch Pro turns your photos into sketches with just one tap. The sketching effect is random, so no matter how many times you transform an image, you won’t get the same sketch twice. It includes three color modes: color, sepia, and black and white. [$1.99]
With Fast Sketch you can create colorful sketches from your images in minutes. It includes three pencil tools that you can use to change and add things to your images. [$0.99]
Sketch Camera Pro is another simple app that comes with three filters: sketch, gray scale, and negative. Photos that you transform can also be shared on Facebook. [$0.99]
SketchMaster gives you the best of both worlds; you can create images that are part sketch (basic, sketch plus, or black and white) and part original color. This makes for an interesting mixture and variation of images. You can also add captions and frames and use your finger to change or erase parts of your images. [$2.99]
SketchMee will sketch any photo from your library into a pencil sketch, right before your eyes. You can save your images in resolutions from 480×320 for Web use, up to 2880×1920 for use as backgrounds or to print out. [$1.99]
With Sketch Me! you can apply up to 7 different effects to your images and it also includes a split screen mode. This means that you can have half of your image sketched and the other half in its original form. [$0.99]
Sketch Camera includes 6 conversion patterns and can add illustrated effects to your images. You can save your images in resolutions from 320×240 to 1024×768; plus you can post directly to Twitter and share your creations. [$1.99]
Camera Sketcher is a simple app that lets you take a photo or video as a line drawing. Of course, you can also transform images already in your library to sketches as well. [$1.99]
BeFunky comes with over 50 high quality photo effects and 40 photo frames to add to your images. When you take a photo or upload one from your library, you’ll get real-time preview thumbnails showcasing each effect. This gives you a chance to decide which effect will look best. [$1.99]
PhotoToaster is a an advanced, well-designed app for iPhone and the iPad. It gives you total control over your images and includes 60 different presets that can be used to change and enhance your photos. Its “sophisticated noise reduction” feature is what makes PhotoToaster stand out from the rest; this helps to greatly enhance photos that were taken in low-lit areas. [$1.99]
Photo Power is a powerful tool that includes numerous filters, color adjustments, and other advanced features. You can also flip, crop, and rotate your photos with ease. Photo Power also supports sharing on Facebook and Twitpic, so that you can share your edited images with friends. [$2.99]
PicoBoo is a photo coloring and sketch book app for the iPad. You can use it to convert any photo into a pencil sketch, and then use your fingers to color it in for a unique look. It has Flickr integration so that you can import your images from there. Once you’re done with your image, you can frame it and share it on Facebook, Twitter, or by email. [$0.99]
Pholeido for iPad lets you add all kinds of special effects to your images with the tap of a button or by using your finger. You can convert colors, blur your images, transform them into sketch drawings and cartoons, change the contrast and saturation, and more. You can also share your images on Pholeido, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr – all at once. [$1.99]
RoughSketcher for iPad, is for those who are looking for a very simple and easy to use app. Simply put, it turns your photos into rough pencil sketches and then allows you to save or email them. There is also a “shade” button, which lets you change the shade of your images from light to dark. [$1.99]
Kromatik is a color effects app that lets you use your fingers to retouch your photos and add color to different areas. You can apply various masks for different effects, such as converting to a black or white sketch or applying a sepia effect. You can also share your images on Facebook. [$1.99]
Artwork Studio isn’t just about sketches, you can also transform your photos into oil paintings, comics, and pop art – in just one click. If you have an iPhone 4, you can use the VGA button to output your images to an external monitor or projector. [$1.99]
My Sketch lets you turn your images into realistic, high resolution sketches; there are 20 different sketch styles to choose from. They use a “complex algorithm to achieve realistic and near perfection sketches”. You can also share on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, or by email. [$1.99]
What is your favorite app for adding effects to your images? What is your favorite photo filter?