Creating visual content on mobile can be fast and easy with the right apps.
Visual content is a powerful way to share a message that catches people’s eye. But you don’t always have access to a desktop computer when inspiration strikes.
Whether you just want to share a great quote you just heard, or you want your photos to look like they were shot by a pro, I’ve put together this list of the best mobile apps to create visual content.
This is part of the Essential Guide to Sharing Images Online. Don’t forget to catch all the posts in the series!
There are tons of apps out there that will allow you to create visual content. I’ve focused this article on only the best of the best because the last thing you need is a list of 101 mobile apps that all do the same exact thing.
Since I only own Apple products three of the apps listed are iOS only. I’ve done the work though to find those apps that are on Android as well and I’m sure you can find alternatives if need be.
By far my favorite app for taking and editing photos. The camera allows you to select separate focus and exposure spots– which is really helpful when you have a tricky lighting when trying to shoot.
But the best part about the app is it’s professional grade filters. Their photo filters put every other app to shame (sorry Snapseed). It also allows you to go in and fine tune the images with a number of adjustment tools.
Nearly every single photo I take goes through VSCOcam.
If you need to do is add some quick text to an image, Over may just be the way to go. Very easy to use and the interface is pretty intuitive.
Although there is a decent variety of fonts to choose from, you’ll quickly see that they make it very tempting to upgrade to all the other font packs they have available for in-app purchase.
My one critique of the app is that although it’s simple and intuitive enough, the workflow is a bit clunky and not time-efficient. But maybe that’s why the next app on the list exists.
Made by the same people who built Over, this app is exactly what the title would have you think. It makes adding text to an image quick— super quick.
It also integrates nicely with the new iOS 8 ability to use apps within other apps. You can access the Quick interface right from your native iOS Photos app.
So while the former app has more options, if you just need to crank out some text quickly, this is the app you want.
People love animated GIFs. There a great way to make your visual content stand out since most visuals are static. Movement catches the eye immediately.
With this iPhone app you can easily create your own animated GIFs. You can also add a number of weird, interesting, or eccentric backgrounds and overlays. The results can be hilarious!
A fairly extensive set of editing tools. It’s both easy to use and quick without a whole lot of fuss. Despite having a wide variety of options the user interface is not difficult to navigate and get to the things you really need.
The thing I love most about it is the wide variety of fonts available. Some of the other apps on this list have a very limited amount of available fonts without upgrading to a paid version.
Formerly Mirrorgram this is a unique app in that it really only has one unique function— the ability to add a mirrored effect to any image.
You can use it for weird things like the double-headed chicken fly, or just a great symmetrical landscape photo like you see below.
[Image courtesy of Mophoto – one of my Best Places to Find Free Images Online.]
This app probably has the most comprehensive set of tools and features. Text, filters, effects, overlays, themes, clip art… lots and lots of stuff. You can even choose the resolution at which the final image is saved. Very handy for situations where you want to limit the image size.
So if you’re looking for the widest variety of options, this is the app you want.
It’s greatest strength though is also it’s greatest weakness in that it’s overly complex. I have only found myself going back to this app a handful of times when I really needed some in-depth customizations.
Now if you’re the type who likes to get inspiration from other people creating visual content, you may want to give Studio Design a try. It is a visual creation app with a social side.
You can view and browse what other people are creating and use the in-app templates, clip-art and other features to duplicate what others are doing. It can be a lot of fun, and a great source of ideas.
Add some serious drama to your images with professional grade overlays, light leaks and gradients using this app. You can also combine effects and create formulas that you can use over and over again to create a consistent style.
The app also features collaborative editing and sharing of formulas which can be a lot of fun if you want to have multiple people contribute to your creations.
Instagram’s newest app that allows you to create time-lapse videos. Now, it’s unfortunate that this app came out only a few weeks before iOS 8, which adds this feature into the native camera app. However, the Hyperlapse app adds a level of control that the native iOS function does not— the ability to adjust the speed of the time-lapse after you capture it.
These can make for an interesting variant to just a plain old video.
When sorting through all these apps, you’ll want to find the ones that work best for you. Not every app will work best for you and how you approach creating visual content.
My best advice is find a few that you like the best and stick with them. Develop a style that is consistent and that people will begin to expect from you. When you develop a style that you and your audience loves, your brand will become all the more recognizable, distinguishable, and powerful.
Any apps you would add to the list? You can leave a comment by clicking here.