Despite the obvious app gap that occurs when comparing Microsoft’s Windows Store offerings to that of Apple’s App Store of Google’s Play Store, regarding modern app development, Windows users might find the photo editing app experience in Windows 10 on par if not better than on competing platforms.
Removing the elephant in the room that is Photoshop’s desktop suite of creation and editing software that puts Windows and Mac users are at a distinct advantage over other burgeoning mobile platforms, some Windows 10 users may feel panicked to find a suitable replacement for photo editing chores in the Windows Store.
However, I encourage users to fear not, surprisingly, photo editing is the one place Windows 10 users can rest easy when it comes to not only quantity of photo editing apps but also quality.
Starting off, Microsoft’s Windows 10 Store has gone through some edits and revisions as well as some much-needed user flow and user interface attention which makes finding photos editing apps much easier than in Windows 8 or the first year of Windows 10.
Under the collection section in the Windows Store, users should find a section listed as Picture Perfect Photos. Under the PPP tab, users will then find a listing of apps that include Adobe Photoshop, Phototastic Collage, PicsArt: Photo Studio Photo Editor/Polarr and many others.
Here are the five most popular photo editing apps for Windows 10 for editing enthusiast:
Photo Editor Polarr
A personal favorite and highly recommended experience, Polarr is perhaps the best photo editing experience on Windows 10 being offered through the Windows Store. Again, there is always Photoshop to consider, but users looking for a touch-first, keyboard & mouse supported and pen enabled editing experience from a modern app, need to look no further.
All of the mainstay editing choices are present from color temperature adjustments down to light curving and image distortions. The layout is easy to navigate and puts the picture at the center of attention. Another added benefit is the speed at which editing changes occur. SomeWindows 10 photo editing apps seemingly take seconds if not minutes to process a change making photo editing feel like a chore.
Another great thing about Polarr is the tutorial introduced at the onset use of the app. Users are walked through the various sections, editing options, and upload areas to help get them up and running relatively quickly.
Overall, Polarr is a great option for anyone toting a Windows 10 device around, especially if it’s a convertible or 2 in 1 of some sort as its lightweight but performance heavy functionality scales for both a quick and mobile editing experience as wells a full-scale desktop production environment.
Next up is Autodesk Pixlr, not to be confused with Autodesk sketchbook which is excellent drawing app for Windows 10.
Autodesk Pixlr is another modern app for Windows 10 users looking to possibly take advantage of touch-first photo editing. Autodesk Pixlr offers large touch targets, a large viewable area, and easy access to metadata details.
In addition to the easy to navigate layout, the app offers some robust editing options that include foundational options such as crop, auto fix, focal adjustments, resize and straighten. Other editing tools users can play with are stickers, type (adding fonts to images), filters, borders, and overlays.
The app is a great option for a no-frills, straightforward photo editing experience that’s tailored for quick workflows on Windows 10 devices. The app especially shines on a Surface Pro, Surface Book or other Windows 10 powered 2 in 1.
A rollover from the Windows 8 days, this app has evolved quite nicely to offer some really nice refinements as well as some excellent feature pack updates.
Fhotoroom’s UI may seem a bit cluttered compared to the two previous options but offers a relatively dense functional set of features. Similar to its listing brethren, Fhotoroom also provides a touch first photo editing experience, but keyboard and mouse toting users can make use of the UI heavy interface just as well.
Where Fhotoroom really shines is its mastery of Exposure/ Color correction settings that gives users a fine toothed comb to go over images.
While some users may be annoyed by the filter packs being offered at a price, others may appreciate the additional feature sets that tie into Fhotoroom’s app functionality.
Lastly, there is a community image aspect that’s offered in Fhotoroom; that is not being offered by competing editing apps. After spending time on a perfectly curated image, users can choose to share their visionary masterpieces with the Fhotoroom community of image-driven individuals, fully equipped with likes, comments, and hashtags.
PicsArt Photo Studio
For those looking for a less conventional photo editing experience or something a bit different from the seemingly stiff traditional options in the Windows Store, there is PicsArt Studio. PicsArt Studio is a self-proclaimed social photo editor. Perhaps, what the means is that it offers a community of like-minded photo editors greater than Fhotoroom with a plethora of sharing, uploading, and downloading options. PicsArt offers a similar level of standard photo editing tools but with a much more playful twist that is combined with perhaps the most straightforward UI of the Windows 10 photo editing app bunch.
Upon start-up, users are encouraged to sign up to be a part of the photo community which is based on Instagram uploads. Users can follow, like, share and comment on millions of photos from around the Instagram world.
Perhaps, even more fun for users is the ability to ‘Remix’ an image taken by their favorite photographer. For users who may have had a slow month photographing, they can now hop onto their PicsArt account and brush up on their editing skills by playing around with uploaded photos from friends, followers or favorite photographers. Remix images can be saved or submitted to the community for comments, suggestions or further Remixes.
Users can also look forward to a cornucopia of additional features that include drawing on photos, sticker packs, uploading directly from and to Instagram from within the app and Remix art project contest.
By far, PicsArt Photo Studio offers the most fun and interactive photo editing experience on Windows 10 and again, is great on a tablet at a workstation or even on a phone.
Adobe Photoshop Express
Last but not least is Adobe’s Photoshop app for Windows 10. Another Windows 8 convert, the Adobe Photoshop Express is the baseline photo editing app to which every app should aspire to leap frog. Adobe offers a fundamentally basic photo editing experience with the app. Nice and easy to use layout for users to navigate, the Photoshop Express experience should be quick and familiar for desktop Adobe users.
Where Photoshop Express differs and excels past other photo editing options is its ties to the cloud. Photoshop Express edited images can be saved to Adobe’s cloud, Google or Facebook with the click of a button. For users who already own an Adobe Cloud ID, additional editing features are automatically unlocked within the app enabling a better cross-platform experience not many other apps truly benefit from currently.
With some translucent overlays for the toolbars, Photoshop Express perhaps offers the largest viewable editing table for users looking to as many images as possible. Photoshop Express’ larger viewing area also plays into the apps touch first interface that consists mainly of slider options for most editing adjustments. The app has a Windows 10 Mobile counterpart that is equally as good and easy to use.
For someone looking for the most basic in photo editing and a familiar brand and development team, Adobe’s Photoshop Express is the app to go with.
Perhaps like myself, Photoshop Express will serve as the starter app for curious Windows 10 Store photo editing individuals before they move on other options.
Well, that was my take on the five best photo editing apps in the Windows Store, please let me know what apps you’re currently using and why. I love to try out new options.Further reading: Adobe, AutoDesk Pixlr, editing, Fhotoroom, Microsoft, PicsArt, Store, Studio, Windows 10