The iPad, no matter what model you own, is a powerful tool. Its uses are almost limitless – from note taking to news reading, game playing and even photography, if you own one of the later models. Whether your iPad has a built in camera or not, the iPad’s big screen is great for viewing and showing off photos, an activity which can become even more enjoyable with some special effects, adjustments and filters.
A while back we covered The Best 3 Free Photo Editing Apps For The iPad, and today I would like to add 5 awesome iPad photo editing apps to this list, providing everything from laid back filters to fun and quirky effects, all for free or for up to $0.99.
PhotoPad by ZAGG [iTunes, Free]
PhotoPad is a great free option if you’re looking for a mainstream photo editor that will let you do things such as rotate, crop, change size, adjust saturation, colors, contrast, etc. The app also comes with eight different filters you can apply to your photos, all of them adjustable. This means that out of either filters, you can actually produce an almost limitless number of different effects.
PhotoPad also comes with red-eye fixer, paint brush and paint bucket features. The last two even include a color picker, which lets you use the exact color you see in the photo. This is very useful for small corrections and adjustments.
After you apply each feature you can choose to keep it or discard it, as you wish. PhotoPad also keeps a history of all your changes, so you can always go back several steps and take it again from there.
Pixlr-o-matic [iTunes, Free]
Pixlr-o-matic is one of those apps that are almost too good to be free. It does have a paid version ($2.99), which offers even more features, but the free version is truly awesome, and can yield some beautiful results.
As opposed to PhotoPad, this app is not for basic adjustments, but is dedicated solely to filters, effects and frames. After you choose your photo, use the app’s beautiful interface to try on different filters and effects, and to choose your frame.
You can also use the randomizer, which will choose each of them for you, and create some surprising combinations you might not have thought of yourself. When your masterpiece is done, you can either save it to your photo library, e-mail it or upload it to Facebook, Dropbox, Flickr, or one of the other available services.
The great thing about Pixlr-o-matic is the relative lack of cheesiness in the results. The filters and effects are pronounced, but not over the top, and if you choose wisely, you can create some truly fantastic things.
Picture Effect Magic HD [iTunes, Free]
Picture Effect Magic is for those who are looking for more pronounced effects such as sketch, wave, blur, comic, etc. All of those and more are available on the app, along with the ability to rotate and flip your image.
Some of the effects are very dramatic, to the point of rendering the photo completely unrecognizable. Many of the filters are adjustable, and some provide a preview before they are actually applied. In any case, the undo button is very handy on the top right and can be used consecutively to revert to an older version of your image. You can also use the color adjusters to change color balance, saturation, luminance, etc.
You can also choose a very artistic frame for your photo, and then share it through Bluetooth, save it to your photo library, attach it to en e-mail or upload it to Facebook or Flickr. Photo Effect Magic is ad-supported and will prompt you to purchase the paid version ($1.99), which includes more filters and frames, every time you load the app. Other than that reminder, the ads are unobtrusive and it’s hard to find where to upgrade even if you wanted to.
Diptic [iTunes, $0.99]
Diptic is less about photo editing and more about collage creation. The app offers numerous different layouts, all of them made out of squares and rectangles in different formations. You can browse through the choices, or let the app choose a layout for you randomly by tapping the dice button on the top right.
Once you’ve chosen your layout, it’s time to fill it with images. Diptic lets you choose images from your photo library, Facebook or Flickr. Choose “Select” from the bottom menu, tap the area you want to fill and choose the photo you want to place in it. You can then pan the photo so it fits exactly in the allotted space.
After adding all your photos, you can start playing with them and with the frame itself. For the photos, you can rotate or mirror image using the “Transform” button from the menu or adjust brightness, saturation and contrast using the “Effects” button.
Tap the “Border” button on the top right to play with the layout itself. From here you can change the border’s color, width and shape. The “Export” button lets you share your creation on multiple platforms such as Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr or Instagram. You can also simply save it or e-mail it if you wish.
pxl [iTunes, $0.99]
pxl is not for the weak of heart or lovers of realistic art. This app is perfect, however, if you’re looking for some quirky filters and effects you won’t find anywhere else.
With its neon menus, pxl lets you choose a photo and then transform it completely into a much more abstract version of itself. There are nine filters to choose from, each more surprising than the last, many of them also adjustable as to particle or line size. This means you can play with it to create something identifiable, as you can see below, or something complete abstract as you can see above.
Through the menu, you can activate the shake feature, which chooses a random effect for your photo each time you shake the device. You can also share your creations via e-mail, Facebook or Twitter, or save it your photo library.
Do you know of other great iPad photo editing? Do you find such editors useful, or would you rather edit your photos using more powerful desktop apps? Tell us in the comments.