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5 Best photo filter apps for the iPhone

Heather Barnett is a freelance writer and foodie whose work has been featured in blogs, websites, magazines, and TV and radio ads. She spends her free time relaxing with her soulmate, Keith; her dog, Mosby "The Fly Slayer;" and Felix th...

Give your pics some flair

Whether you want to add a little nostalgia with a sepia tone or go crazy with some funky colors, these photo filter apps will give you the edge.
iPhone apps
iPhone apps

Give your pics some flair

Whether you want to add a little nostalgia with a sepia tone or go crazy with some funky colors, these photo filter apps will give you the edge.

Photo filter apps let you give the photos you share with friends and family a bit of personality. But there are so many out there, it's hard to know which one to choose. We decided to end the debate with some suggestions of our own.

Instagram

Instagram

What we like:

  • Vibrant community of users
  • Quality filters that are easy to use
  • Tight Facebook integration

While it doesn't have the most advanced set of features, and the camera actually loses some default functionality, Instagram does have a well-balanced and satisfying array of filters. But most importantly, Instagram is better known for its wildly popular photo-sharing community. It's so popular, in fact, it attracted the attention of Facebook, who purchased Instagram last year for a billion dollars (woot!). (Instagram, Free)

Snapseed

snapseed

What we like:

  • Intuitive, fully-gestural interface
  • Auto-correct and selective adjust
  • Support for TIFF and RAW file formats

In a similar move to Facebook, Google purchased Snapseed, a highly-rated Instagram competitor with similar effects and filters. But it touts a more advanced feature set. Snapseed is geared toward Instagram users and photo enthusiasts who want more control to easily edit and adjust their photos. It's a quality app that hides some very advanced features under a smooth and intuitive interface. (Nik Software, Free)

PhotoToaster

PhotoToaster

What we like:

  • Extensive settings and filters
  • Lighting brushes
  • Generous sharing options (including Sincerely postcards)

A relatively new entry to the market, PhotoToaster is gaining popularity by offering an almost overwhelming array of effects, settings, textures, borders and live sliders. Even more borders and textures are available as an in-app purchase. Sophisticated noise reduction and lighting options, user presets, snappy performance and plenty of sharing options make this a terrific value. (East Coast Pixels, Inc., $2)

Color Splash

Color Splash

What we like:

  • Fun and easy to use
  • Impressive results

An Apple App Store Hall of Fame selectee, Color Splash enjoys a rare five-star rating. It only does one thing, but it does it exceptionally well. Color Splash converts your photo to black and white while letting you select an area with brushes to leave in dramatic color. Multi-touch gestures, zoom editing for details, multiple undos and a variety of brushes create a fun and engaging experience that produces striking results. (Pocket Pixels, Inc., $1)

Repix

Repix

What we like:

  • Fun and creative
  • Large selection of brushes

Repix is described as half painting app and half photo editor. Add artistic, painterly effects to your photos by simply swiping and pressing. Create unique masterpieces by combining strokes from the nine included handcrafted brushes, or purchase more brush sets from inside the app. This is a terrific app to have available when you're feeling especially creative and want more than just a photo. (Sumoing Ltd., Free)

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