What Is the Best Picture Editing App for Mac?

Contributor, Benzinga

Editing photos on a computer requires a different and more hands-on approach than editing on a phone. Phone apps offer stripped down editing capabilities that are somewhat limited in what they have to offer, but still let you edit photos efficiently. 

However, editing photos on your Mac computer helps you  achieve so much more than on your phone.

What to Look for in a Photo Editing App

Since applications on a computer offer more than any phone application can, you will have many more choices to work with. Here are some important factors to consider when using picture editing apps for Mac. 

Tools

The tools that you get with any professional picture editing program will allow you to improve your images in multiple ways. In a good app, you have the ability to manipulate images in their vibrance, shadows, depth and so much more. Take inventory of the tools that come with whatever program you choose and take advantage of free trials to determine which works best for your goals. 

Image Repair

Not every photo editing program will offer image repair tools, but it is a helpful option to have. Applications such as Adobe Photoshop excel in image repair. Image repair, a key feature of photo editing, could pertain to anything from removing a person or object to blending imperfections.

Synchronization 

As you work with different programs, you will notice that many have cloud options or some sort of online storage. Cloud storage capability  helps you jump between computers and have an up-to-date version of the project. No matter where you are or what device you are using, if your photos are stored in the cloud, your project will have all of your most recent changes from any of your devices. 

Pricing

Photo editing apps costs and plans vary from subscription plans to outright license purchasing. Decide which method works best for you while you are looking through your options. Annual subscriptions often include discounts compared to monthly subscriptions. 

If you are only interested in editing photos for the next month or so, perhaps a monthly subscription would be the best option. But if you regularly plan to edit photos, a long-term subscription or purchase will be a better idea. 

Image Quality

If you want  to do detailed editing, you will need to find out if your computer is up to the task. Image quality depends on having a Mac that not only can handle high-quality resolutions but also has a display that is up to the task. The platform your media will be viewed on matters as well. If your pictures will only be viewed on Instagram through phones, you don’t need to worry about the quality as much as with an image for a website that will be seen on multiple types of devices. 

The Best Picture Editing Apps for Mac

The relative importance of the photo editing features discussed above can help in your decision-making for the best photo editing app for you.  

Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop is one of the most popular options when it comes to editing photos on any platform. You can see the products of Photoshop almost everywhere online. If you like to work on multiple devices, Adobe has a cloud setup for your projects to access the current version no matter what device you are on.

Pros:

  • Impressive image repair tools
  • Industry-standard
  • Integrates with Lightroom

Cons:

  • Only available with a subscription

Best for: Image Manipulation

Pricing:

  • Photoshop: $20.99 per month
  • All Apps:  $52.99 per month

Rating: 5/5 stars 

Adobe Lightroom

Lightroom is an Adobe alternative to Photoshop. Lightroom appeals more to practical photographers snapping commercial-use photos and less to the experimental side of capturing images. Lightroom is perfect for working on computers, iPads and phones. With the primary focus on improving raw images, Adobe Lightroom will help you anywhere you go. 

Pros:

  • Available for all devices
  • Integrates with Photoshop
  • In-app tutorials

Cons:

  • Only available with a subscription

Best for: Raw Photography

Pricing:

  • Lightroom Plan: $9.99 per month
  • Photography Plan 20GB: $9.99 per month
  • Photography Plan 1TB: $19.99 per month
  • All Apps: $52.99 per month

Rating: 5/5 stars

GIMP

If you are just starting your journey in the world of photo editing, it might be cost-prohibitive to subscribe to  the best programs out there. With GIMP, you get access to a full editing suite for free. From graphic design to photo manipulation, you have everything you need to turn out a professional result. 

Pros:

  • Free
  • Community-driven

Cons:

  • Updates can be slow coming
  • The design has an outdated feel

Best for: Price

Pricing: Free

Rating: 4/5 stars

Affinity

Affinity lands right next to Adobe’s Photoshop as a standard for the industry. Affinity won multiple awards for Best App of the Year and is recognized by its users as being one of the top  programs on the market. And if you like to add a dramatic flair and do digital painting, Affinity has one of the best brush stroke engines available. 

Pros:

  • Unlimited layers
  • Large library of brushes
  • Real-time editing
  • One-time purchase

Cons:

  • You have to pay for the desktop and iPad app separately

Best for: One Time Purchase

Pricing: $49.99

Rating: 5/5 stars  

Make Your Photos Pop

Your end goal in photo editing determines which you’ll choose as the best app for picture editing on your Mac. One photographer might aim for dramatic photos that contain many layers in a blend of genres; another photo expert might go for a more natural look.

As long as you know what your goal is for yourself or your client, you know what needs to be done so that you can create content that will draw viewers back again and again.