For every Snapchat or Instagram, there are dozens (upon dozens) of other apps out there for shooting, editing, sharing, and cataloging our photos. And that doesn't even count all the subpar imitation and knockoff apps hoping to lure in suckers. Still, we've never found one magical photo app that does everything we need. So we typically use several different apps: some for snapping cool photos, some for making them look better, some for organizing them, and some for sharing them. Frankly, some apps are just fun to play with. To help cut through the app-store clutter, we've pulled together our essential list of photo apps for all types of smartphones. These will come in handy, whether you have ambitions of one day going pro or just want an easy way to add doodles to your cat photos.
Hipstamatic is not just the granddaddy of retro photo apps; it's the king. Behind its appealing (though admittedly clunky) simulated vintage-camera interface are a selection of simulated lenses, film, and flashes you can select to tweak the way images are captured for nearly endless combinations: wide angle or standard, saturated color or more flat, hot flash or none at all. The idea of having free and paid options for add-on lenses and films may sound dated in the age of free apps, but we still think the results are worth it. Of special appeal: The viewfinder intentionally builds in a little parallax error, so you never quite know exactly how your images will look. Also: The option to order prints right from the app is pretty hip. [$1.99; iOS]