Guide to developing a Photo Editing App

Guide to developing a Photo Editing App

Everyone these days have a bunch of Photo editing application in their phones. Gone are the days when only people with expensive cameras could take pictures. Even processing those pictures took a great deal of time. With the advent of Smartphones and applications like Facebook and Instagram, everybody can now take pictures and share them on social media. Though people do tend to add filters and stickers and much more. In this post, we will be discussing how to make such photo editing applications, how it works, its features and about few photo editing applications available in the stores now.

How to Make a Photo Editing App?

Like every application, before developing a photo editing application, you have to do complete research. Also, study your competition and decide on the features you want to provide in your application. Make sure you also provide something unique to set you apart from your competition. Choose the right technology to develop your application and launch an MVP version. Also, remember to integrate your application with popular social media applications. Moreover, create a marketing strategy and monetize your application. Gather feedback post-testing and incorporate the same and release the application in Play Store or App Store and keep updating it regularly.

How a typical Photo Editing Application works

Since there are a lot of photo editing applications available in stores these days and having used a lot of them ourselves, here is how a typical photo editing application works:

  • Upload a picture from the gallery or take a picture instantly from the app itself.
  • Select the picture to be edited.
  • Edit the picture – Crop, Rotate, Adjust brightness, Adjust contrast, Adjust colour temperature and saturation etc.
  • Add filters or presets to the selected picture. Adjust the strength of the filters.
  • Save the edited pictures to the device.
  • Share the edited pictures on social media without leaving the application.

Basic Features of Photo Editing Applications

Now that you know how a typical photo editing application works, here are some of the basic features required in the application.

  • Upload photo/ Take an instant photo
  • Crop, Rotate, Adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, colour temperature etc
  • Use filters/ presets
  • Create and save personalized filters/ presets
  • Create collage/ layout using pictures
  • Save edited pictures
  • Share edited pictures
  • Settings

There are applications which also provide advanced features like retouching, doodling/ adding text on photos, adding frames to the pictures, utilizing AR filters etc.

How to Monetize your Photo Editing Application

You can monetize your application so that you get revenue from it. There are three ways to go about it:

Paid Applications – You can provide basic features for free and set a reasonable amount for premium/ unique features. Since users tend to go for free applications which offer similar features, it is better to have unique features and also provide users with a trial period where they can enjoy all the features and see for themselves. Examples: TouchRetouch, Facetune

In-app purchases – In this model, similar to paid applications, users can access basic features for free and pay for advanced features. If you go ahead with this model, you can release the MVP as the application and later add on more features that can be accessed after purchasing. Examples: VSCO, Adobe Lightroom

Advertisements – Make sure that you do not annoy users with ads. Always keep an option to close the applications or let the users see the advertisements in such a way that it looks like a part of the application. Instagram uses this strategy where advertisements are designed to look like a part of its feed. Examples: Instagram, VSCO

Popular Photo Editing Apps


One of the top photo editing applications for iOS and Android, VSCO, focuses on image processing and has over fifty filters. VSCO also allows users to share on applications like Instagram and also helps connect and discover interesting photographers. VSCO uses the in-app purchases model.

Google Snapseed

Snapseed is Google’s full-fledged image editing application. It is available both on iOS and Android. An analogue of VSCO, Snapseed focuses on using the HDR effect. The selective adjust tool in this application is quite popular.


However, with the increase in popularity of photo-sharing applications like Instagram, the demand for photo editing applications is also rising. And now that you know how to develop one and what features to implement in a photo editing application, you need to find a team to develop the same for you. We would be happy to help you out with it. Feel free to get in touch with us.


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