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.
A step up in sophistication from Adobe's Photoshop Express, Touch, as its name suggests, was built with a touch-based interface in mind and includes features such as layers, selection tools, adjustments, and filters that are normally reserved for desktop software. We particularly like the Scribble Selection tool, which lets you select the part of an image to extract just by scribbling on it. Also nice is Refine Edge, where you use your fingertip to pick out hard-to-select photo elements, such as hair. There's a steeper learning curve than for most photo apps, but in-app tutorials will help you learn all the techniques. As you'd expect, it's tablet-oriented and so effectively useless on sub-tablet smartphones. [$9.99; Android and iOS]