There’s no doubt that smartphone makers are really getting the hang of creating phone cameras, but even the best of them can use a bit of help when it comes to adding effects. That’s where these apps come in – all five have the ability to make the shots you’ve taken look even better, whether through effects, new types of adjustments or clever augmentations, with a minimum of complexity and fuss.

Diptic

iOS
R7.99

Diptic

Diptych photography is a technique that places two pictures next to each other, allowing for some clever artistic expression, and that’s exactly what the Diptic app allows you to do right on your iPhone or iPad. No more needing to export your pics to a PC or Mac first so they can be edited in Photoshop. It’s fast, simple to use with a highly intuitive interface that will have even the most amateur photographer fluid in Diptic-speak in a very short time.

5/5

“Diptych-tastic”

Over

iOS
$1.99

Over

Most photo-editing apps focus on filters and adjustments that let you tweak your images to make them look better, but not Over. What it does is add beautiful typography to your pictures, with a wide variety of fonts to choose from and ways in which to position the text. As you’d expect from an app dedicated to doing just one thing, Over does what it does extremely well, and is easily one of the best ways to add words to your images.

4/5

“Titillating typography”

Lenslight

iOS
R15.99

Lenslight

Lenslight lets you composite all kinds of light effects over the still images you’ve taken, producing some really cool-looking pictures. With it you can experiment with bokeh, the technical term for the out-of-focus effects often seen in modern photographs, and combine those with the oddly beautiful effects that appear when light dances around your lens. Lenslight lets you choose your effects and place them wherever you like, adding a unique look to your photos.

4.5/5

“Lovely light FX”

Handy Photo

Android, iOS
R10.69 & R7.99

Handy Photo

Handy Photo is a very powerful, feature-rich photo-editing app for Android and iOS phones and tablets. It’s been designed from the ground up to be as touch-friendly as possible, and it has a huge array of editing options to retouch and improve your pics. It’s packed with filters, textures and frames and comes with a bunch of tools to adjust the colour and tone of your photos too.

5/5

“As handy as it claims”
 Get it for Android, iOS

FX Camera

Android, iOS
Free

FxCamera

FX Camera doesn’t just let you edit your photos once they’re taken, it also lets you set how your camera captures those images in the first place using a wide range of filters, like fish-eye, Polandroid and Toycam (an effect that blurs the top and bottom of the image to create the illusion that you’re looking at toys rather than life-sized objects). You can even capture snaps that look like Any Warhol paintings, complete with heavy colourisation. FX Camera HD offers even more effects, but is only available through the US iTunes store.

5/5

“Fun FX adds photo flavour”
 Get it for Android, iOS
Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.