Best Photo Apps of 2013 (According to Apple)

At the end of every year Apple releases the top apps for the iPhone and the iPad. They list picks from their editors as well as the top sellers, free, and grossing apps (there were no photo apps in this bunch). Games tend to rule in terms of downloads (and also $$$), but those of us that enjoy iPhoneography focus on the photo apps.

best of 2013 image

Below are the photo apps included in the Apple listings for 2013, along with any comments I might have on the particular app. Some of the apps listed under iPhone are Universal apps (run on both iPhone and iPad), and some of those listed under iPad are also Universal. In some cases where there were a lot of In-App Purchases I made a mention of that, but some of the others also have the dreaded bonus purchases.


For the iPhone

Editors’ Choice:

  • Runner-Up App of the Year: VSCO CamTM. This app seems pretty nice for editing with tools or presets. It does seem to do a good job, but I just am not a giant fan of the GUI. Others may find it more to their liking. It’s free with a lot of In-app Purchases.

Trends, Stylish Photo Apps:

  • Mextures. I haven’t tried it. I realized I may say that for a lot of these trendy/stylish apps. Guess I’m not hip enough. 🙂
  • Repix – Inspiring Photo Editor. I’ve played with this a bit. It does let you create some interesting work. I just never quite got used to the GUI.
  • Rhonna Designs. I haven’t tried it. Let’s you add nicely laid out text on your image. Lots of In-App Purchases. It does look pretty nice from the screenshots.
  • Tangent. This let’s you create some nice geometric effects on your photos and does a nice job of it. Fragment, a new app from the same developer, is getting released tomorrow (stay tuned for a review later this week).
  • Afterlight. A photo editor on my list of things to try.
  • Facetune. I haven’t tried this app that let’s you tune up a face.

Top Paid:

  • Afterlight. See above.
  • Camera+. One of my favorite photo editing apps. They just released a big update that I can’t wait to try.
  • Wood Camera – Vintage Photo Editor. Well done photo editing app.
  • A Beautiful Mess. This is mostly to make photos look cute with various bubble shapes/text. I’m guessing this is more for the younger crowd and I’ve never tried it.
  • PicPlayPost. Let’s you add images/movies in various frame setups and do some editing before posting your creations. I’ve never really played with this one.
  • Facetune. See above.
  • Over. Let’s you add text/shapes on top of your photos. I’ve played with it a bit and it seemed decent – but I don’t do a lot of that sort of thing on my photos.
  • PicFrame. Haven’t played with this framing app.
  • InstaCollage Pro – Pic Frame & Photo Collage & Caption Editor for Instagram. Make prettier stuff for Instagram.
  • Picfx. I’ve played with this effects app a bit, but it didn’t make it in to my rotation of apps.
  • Superimpose. An app that let’s you combine images with different inks and such. It seemed pretty nice, but I got hooked on Image Blender early on and tend to use that one.
  • Diptic. Put photos in multiple frame layouts with various effects. Does it’s job very well.
  • Color Splash. A classic app if you are looking to isolate colors in a photo. Always the app I use for this sort of thing.

Top Free:

  • Instagram. I think everyone uses this. Except maybe for me! Hmm…perhaps I should start posting a few shots. The app seems nice when I’ve used it.
  • Pic Stitch. A collage app with many In-App Purchases. I’ve never tried it.
  • InstaCollage Pro – Pic Frame & Photo Collage & Caption Editor for Instagram FREE. Yeah…more Instagram-ish stuff. I haven’t tried it.
  • Photo Editor by Aviary. I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of any app that uses the Aviary engine for editing. For a free app Snapseed is a vastly better choice.
  • Split Pic Photo Editor – Clone Yourself. Have never tried this app. One of me is enough.
  • InstaFrame – Photo Collage, Picture Frame, Pic Editor for Instagram. Instagram stuff. What’s up with this In-sta-gram thing?
  • Pic Collage. A collage app I haven’t tried.

For the iPad

Editors’ Choice:

  • None were photo apps.

Top Paid:

  • Adobe Photoshop Touch. Not my favorite photo editing app, but I did pay the big bucks just to see how well they did.

Top Free:

  • Instagram. Same old story.
  • Padgram – Instagram Viewer for iPad. And the last Instagram app of this blog post, I promise. I haven’t tried this one.

Was anything surprising to you? The one thing that surprised me was the fact that Snapseed wasn’t listed among top free apps. Very surprising! Is that due to some Apple vs. Google squabble since Google bought Snapseed? Guess we’ll never really know.

Since the holidays are here I’ve got a bit of free time and I’ll have to try out a few of the apps I haven’t yet played with.

Speaking of holidays, if you are looking for a last second gift you might want to think about some nice pottery created by a local artist here in C-Ville. Drop by her website on etsy: Raffaele Designs. Probably a bit late to get it in time for Christmas, but think ahead for other holidays or the new year! I don’t do any advertising on the site, but I figured I’d help out a local artist every now and then with a quick mention.

Pottery: 10inch serving bowl

A 10 inch serving bowl by Raffaele Designs. Materials: clay, ceramic, stoneware, and glaze.

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