Optimizing on Mobile


Today’s Question: Is there a particular app you recommend for optimizing photos on a smartphone? Sometimes I want to be able to edit a photo on the go without waiting until I’m at my computer.

Tim’s Quick Answer: I consider Snapseed to be one of the best options available for optimizing photos in a wide variety of ways using a smartphone. In addition, for photographers who are making use of the Adobe Lightroom ecosystem, the Lightroom mobile app provides a good solution for basic editing.

More Detail: Snapseed is a remarkably powerful mobile app for optimizing photos. Originally developed by Nik Software (original makers of the Nik Collection), it is currently owned by Google. The app includes a range of simple presets under the Looks heading, as well as powerful adjustment options under the Tools heading.

The available adjustments range from basic tone and color, special effects, image cleanup and correction, and much more. While it can take a little getting used to Snapseed considering the large number of adjustments options it includes, I do consider it an excellent app for optimizing photos on a mobile device.

Another very good option is the Lightroom mobile app. The adjustment options within the Lightroom mobile app match those found in Camera Raw, the Lightroom desktop application, and the Develop module in Lightroom Classic. You can optimize photos that have been synchronized to the cloud via the Lightroom ecosystem, including photos synchronized via collections from Lightroom Classic. You can also use the Lightroom mobile app to import photos from your device or to capture photos with the built-in camera feature.

There are, of course, a large number of apps that provide various editing features for mobile devices. In my experience, however, Snapseed is among the best when it comes to providing a range of powerful features, and Lightroom provides a good solution for photographers already using other tools within the Adobe Lightroom ecosystem.