iOS 8 Photos App is the Only Picture Editor You'll Need

Staff Writer
Updated

Along with all the goodness in Apple's iOS 8 upgrade come a slew of photo-editing tools built into the iPhone's native Photos app. The new app packs controls for changing finer settings such as shadows, highlights and saturation, and is surprisingly powerful and easy to use — so much that you probably won't need another photo-editing app such as Snapseed or Instagram (which packs editing functions).

To use the new editing tools, just pull in a picture from your camera roll or photo album and tap Edit on the top right. This brings up an editor window with three basic options at the bottom -- Crop, Filters and Settings. This last option is where the magic happens.

MORE: How to Take Better Photos on Your iPhone

Under this tab, Photos gives you three main ways to fix your picture — Light, Color, and Black and White. Tapping the left side of each of these options brings up a slider (A in picture) with a spectrum preview of your picture, showing the edits applied in varying intensity. 

This will automatically adjust finer levels such as saturation, contrast and cast for you. But if you want to control those options yourself, you can tap the list button (B) above the top right of the spectrum to bring up more detailed choices. The dial that appears under each of these, offering more-granular options is somewhat counterintuitive, taking the form of a wheel that you'll have to swipe in the opposite direction as you would on a slider.

Dial clumsiness aside, Photos offers editors plenty of means to adjust and fix a picture, rivaling the functions offered by such competing apps as Camera+, Snapseed and Photoshop Express. One omission, however, is a tool for removing blemishes from selfies. For that, you will still want a program such as Meitu Xiuxiu, Youcam Perfect or FaceTune.

But for a quick fix of your pictures to make sure they're Facebook-, Instagram- or Flickr-worthy, the tools offered by the new Photos app are definitely enough.

Staff Writer Cherlynn Low has been editing photos since 2002. Her weapon of choice is Adobe Photoshop. Follow her @cherlynnlowFollow Tom's Guide at @tomsguide and on Facebook.