There are hundreds of paid apps built for the iPhone camera, but there are also some really useful free options. I selected free apps that are both good demos of their counterpart full versions and/or just useful apps for the serious iPhone photo hobbyist. If you know of other good free options, please let us know about them.
The iPhone camera doesn’t have a post-shot crop tool, and if you’re serious about iPhone photography, you should have an app that enables you to crop photos. Many paid advanced photo editor apps include a cropping feature, but I found two iPhone camera apps that are devoted to just cropping and resizing images.
The aptly named app, Crop [iTunes Store link], enables you to crop and rotate your images without losing quality to your cropped images. It’s simple to use, and you don’t have to tap several buttons to get what you need.
Rotate and Crop [iTunes Store link] includes the same features Crop, but it also allows you to make some exposure image adjustments, as well as share and export your edited images to Evernote, Dropbox, and a few other applications.
The iPhone includes a photo library application for storing photos you import from your computer via iTunes, as well as the Camera Roll of images you snap with iPhone itself. But you should have one or more photo album apps that allow you to create folders of images that you import from your existing camera roll, your photo library, or images you download from the Internet on your iPhone.
iPic Manager [iTunes Store Link] is a good free option. You can quickly add multiple photos from your existing iPhone library as well take a photo and have them instantly added to your selected folder. You can also password protect your images.
You might also want to have a photo album app that is completely devoted to safeguarding selected photos on your iPhone. Private Photo Vault [iTunes Store Link] is another such option. This app also allows you to password protect individual albums, run a slide show, take photos from within the app, and much more.
If you want to do something fun and creative with your iPhone photos, there are a couple of free options. RealCoverLite [iTunes Store Link] allows you to place a photo inside a magazine cover without having to mess around with layering and masking. The Lite version offers only 6 covers (the full version includes 90), but it’s great for seeing what this app can do.
Your cover images can be emailed and shared with others. You can also include additional text on template covers.
Creating photo collages is another cool way to show off photos. PhotoMashup [iTunes Store Link] allows you to copy and paste several photos from your iPhone photo library, and save or email them as a collection in one file. The default background for a collage project is gray, but you can double-tap on the background and shoot a new background from within the app, or you can choose an existing photo from your library. From there you can layer photos on top of one another. They can be moved around and rotated.
It’s also good to try out one or more time shutter apps on your iPhone. These iPhone camera apps are useful for shooting self-portraits, group and close-up shots. Photo Timer is one of the best options, and it’s free for a limited time. It not only enables you to set a timer for the shutter release, but it also includes a photo composition guide, burst mode, and photo sharing to Facebook, Twitter, MobileMe, Tumblr, and email.
If and when Photo Timer is no longer free, Auto Shutter is another option, which does exactly what it’s named for.
The iTunes App store includes hundreds of iPhone camera apps for editing and enhancing your photos. We have published reviews about few good free options, including Adobe’s Photo Express and Instagram, but here are a few more.
The free version of 100 Cameras in 1 is a popular photo editor that includes 20+ photo effects for hardlighting and overlaying photos with various textures and filters. The paid version includes 100 more effects, but this free version is a good demo of what the app can do. You only have to tap once to apply an effect and see the applied effect.
iQuikDof – Depth of Field Creator is an advanced photo editor that enables you to create a depth of field effect of a selected image. It contains auto presets feature for the DOF effects, or you can manually select an area in which you want to mask and keep in focus, while the unselected area is blurred. This is also a good demo app for the pro version which includes more presets and customizable blur.
Let us know what you think of these apps and if you find one or more of them useful.