Best for: Social sharers who want a little more control over their photos. Why: VSCO Cam (iOS, Android) offers tools to help you line up your shots correctly, edit photos with customizable filters, tweak saturation, shadows, grain, and more. Edits all happen with a simple, straightforward slider—kind of addictive. Once a photo is perfect, you can quickly post it to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other apps.
Best for: Taking superior snapshots on the fly. Why: This Android-only photo app (the iOS version in iTunes appears to be a knock-off) features useful shooting modes that are accessible at a moment's notice: put the camera on a timer, make a collage of shots, or even activate it by your voice. A reliable "stable shot" function detects when your hand is steadiest to avoid blurry results. Like other photo apps, Camera Zoom FX also offers filters, frames, and more to mess around with.
Best for: Instant improvements to everyday shots. Why: An iOS-only option (watch for fakes in Android's Google Play store), Camera+ offers the ability to manually control both exposure and focus, giving photographers total control over elements like brightness; it also packs features like a "stabilizer" to avoid blurry pictures. As a nice bonus, there's a one-touch "clarity" button that instantly improves a photograph's results.
Best for: Creative post-production. Why: Photo Editor by Aviary (iOS, Android) offers seemingly endless options to optimize photos for HD; add filters, frames, stickers; and even custom "meme" text. It also carries tools to help whiten teeth or reduce blemishes.
Best for: Advanced photographers. Why: The Snapseed photo app (iOS, Android) offers the requisite filters and photo editing options, including a bevy of frames to choose from, but users can get incredibly specific, fine-tuning on a nearly pixel-by-pixel basis. With so many options, casual shutterbugs may find it a bit intimidating, but the payoff is worth it.
Best for: Artistic touches. Why: A quirky just-for-fun option, Paper Camera (iOS, Android) transforms photos into images that look like drawings or paintings. It's a straightforward concept—which may be a relief after fussier apps.