Smartphones are an almost perfect dissemination technology. Snap a picture and a few taps later, it’s on the Internet. Before you do that, however, you can take a few moments to fix up your photos with cropping, color adjustments, and enhancements
Android has a pretty decent set of editing options, meaning you can really set your photos apart if you want to take the time to experiment. And we do want stress: this is as much about experimenting as knowing what you want to do. There’s a lot you can do to your photos, so it’s a good idea to spend some time just messing around and seeing where your creativity takes you.
Most versions of Android since Lollipop should come with the new Google Photos app. If not, you can download it from the Play Store—that’s what we recommend for editing your photos. It has a pretty extensive set of editing controls and some other really cool features.
When you open your photo with the Photos app, you’ll see three buttons along the bottom. Tap the pencil to edit.
The controls are laid out along the bottom. There is a magic wand auto-fix feature, which is good for one-touch fixes to color, brightness, and contrast. Crop and rotate are separate controls.
The crop controls work by dragging inward from the edges or corners. In the bottom-right, you can choose free crop or constrain it to a square.
There are also quite a few “Looks” (aka filters) you can flip through to alter a photo’s appearance. Any time you want to compare the new look to the original, you tap the rectangle with the vertical line icon (pointed out by our handy red arrow).
To discard changes, tap the “X”. To apply them, tap the little checkmark.
With many of the editing options such as “Tune Image” and “Selective”, you can choose different controls by sliding your finger up or down, then slide your finger left or right to adjust the selected control.
Remember, you can easily compare your changes with the original by holding the original button along the top. If you tap the help button (circle with the question mark), Photos will show you how to use each feature.
Android’s Photos app also has a few effects you can play around with (Vintage, Drama, Black & White, etc.) and you can add frames.
Notice in this example, we’ve selected the “Tilt Frame” effect, which you can drag and change to your liking. In the lower-right corner, tap the “Style” button so you can choose different styles within each effect.
There’s a lot to play with and again, we encourage experimentation. If you change your mind you can always go back. To do this, tap the three dots in the upper-right corner and choose “Revert” from the list.
If you don’t have Google Photos—say, if you’re still using an older Android phone—you may still have a built-in photo viewer and editor, like the original Gallery app. Gallery has some of the same editing features, which can be opened by tapping on the brush.
And, as with our two “Photos” apps, you’ve got all the same types of functions and controls at your fingertips.
That said, if you’re running a modified version of Android such as a Samsung variant, the photo app on your device may be very different. Don’t worry, it should have all these editing controls and perhaps even a few more. But we really recommend Google Photos for its editing features and automatic photo backup. You really can’t go wrong.