Let’s face it, many of us buy the newest iPhone just so we can level-up our phone photography. Some of us might even be professional photographers who use our phones to snag shots on the fly without having to drag out the bulky DSLR. These days, people are expecting higher and higher quality from the photos they take with their phones, especially when it comes to iPhones. And while the quick editing features of the native iOS Photos app are reasonably robust, if you’re trying to achieve close to professional-quality image output with your trademark style, leveraging apps that have features geared toward specific aspects of post-production is an absolute must.
To help you cut through the vast landscape of iOS photography apps, we’ve put together a list of apps for getting the most out of your iPhone 12 mini, iPhone12, or iPhone12 Pro Max, whether you’re just trying to take better selfies or snag an epic shot of the Milky-Way with a mountain silhouette background.
We’ve organized the list based on feature-depth and useability, from entry-level basic editing capabilities for quick face touch-ups before posting on social media to professional-grade, combo camera/editing tools that allow you to shoot in RAW mode and Smart HDR 3 simultaneously and blend them in post.
Together, let’s find the app that’s perfect for the scene you’re working with, so you can capture the emotion of the moment, nail that on-brand look, or apply an editing preset before posting directly to Instagram.
Here are six of the best iOS apps to get the most out of your iPhone12, iPhone 12 mini, or iPhone 12 Pro:
Best Photo App for Producing Social Media Posts
If crafting picture collages is your jam, PicStitch is the app for you. Named by Mashable as one of the Top 7 photo apps and Top 100 apps of all time, it features over 245 layout options to create a collage that’s uniquely your style. The app works with both photos AND videos, has numerous options for border styles, filter packs, a meme-editor, and has tons of other quick-edit features. This one’s a must-have if you’re posting primarily to social, as it allows you to quickly produce and post directly to all the main social media platforms.
Best Feature-Rich Editing App for Novices
Photo Editor: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/photo-editor/id546821797
Photo Editor is an outstanding app for refining the most common details, along with a UI that makes more fine-detail editing capabilities approachable for novice photographers. While plain in name, Photo Editor offers more than just the basics like adjusting brightness, contrast, and saturation – it also makes it easy to do corrections for portrait-shots with features like red-eye removal, smile whitening, and blemish remover. You can also add text, draw, or paint over top of photos, making this one a great all-arounder for people who like a simple, intuitive user interface.
Best iOS App for High-Quality Selfie Editing
While heavy-duty features abound in this app, there’s more of a learning curve than more novice-level apps for editing photos, along with a somewhat hefty price tag. That said, if you take lots of selfies and are the go-to person for family and friend portrait shots, Facetune2 has some excellent features for high-level face edits. Easily brighten smiles and eyes, smooth wrinkles, soften contours, and enlarge or reduce features – all with stunning production quality. Even better, there’s a before/after view at every step of the process, so you have a gauge to ensure you haven’t crossed into “over-produced” territory.
Best iOS App for Ultra-Wide Photo Editing
If you love taking ultra-wide pano shots, you’re probably woefully aware of post-production difficulties with distortion across the shot. Enter the Darkroom app. It helps you achieve a more natural, less distorted end product that’s suitable for larger-format prints by providing vertical, horizontal, and straightening adjustments. Dramatic shots on your phone for your next wall-mural? Not a problem with this app!
Best iOS App for Astrophotography on an iPhone 12 Pro Max
Slow Shutter Cam: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/slow-shutter-cam/id357404131
If you love long exposure shooting for photography niches like astrophotography, the new night-mode feature of the iPhone12 Pro Max makes the phone a far more viable alternative to a DSLR. With the right stabilizing equipment and an editing app like Slow Shutter Cam, you can take long-exposure shots just like on a full-feature standalone camera. Smooth waterfalls, car light trails in the dark, and crisp shots of the Milky Way are all possibilities with this app.
Best App for iPhone 12’s Smart HDR 3 and Deep Fusion Features
Maybe the coolest feature in this list of photo editing apps for iPhone 12 Pro users is Halide Mark II’s “Coverage,” a new capture mode that takes two photos – one with Smart HDR 3 and Deep Fusion, and one in RAW mode. With this feature, you get the benefit of having an instantly sharable JPEG or HEIC file for family and friends, but also a more robust Raw file for ultra-deep, professional-grade edits and outputs. Of course, this combo camera/editing app has all the high-level editing features you’d expect from something that has a RAW shooting mode, offering you the ability to shoot and edit without having to shuffle your shots around from gallery to app.
Whether you’re a novice or a pro, you’re bound to transform your photography game with one of these apps for your new iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, or iPhone 12 Pro Max! Don’t forget, while you’re out taking those shots, it’s crucial to keep your phone safe from the elements and accidental drops. With military-grade drop protection, magnetic attachment, and a plug block to keep out dirt, our latest iPhone 12 cases ensure your newest photography investment is covered no matter where you’re snapping pics!