Best mobile apps from Adobe – Photoshop Express


Best Mobile apps from Adobe – Photoshop Express.

Are you struggling to choose image editor fro your smartphone? Go for Adobe Photoshop Express and get the app from the most relevant manufacturer of imaging software systems in the world.

As a photographer, I use the paid version of Adobe Photoshop. But having the possibility to edit images right in your mobile from the same company is a great option.

You can adapt to it very quickly because the philosophy is very similar. What makes it even more attractive is the price as this app is completely free. Another reason to choose it is available for both iOs and Android mobile phones.

I am an old school guy and always preferred the classic desktop version of Photoshop. But nowadays the cameras integrated into your smartphones are improving more and more and already reached outstanding quality. So editing images right in the smartphones using apps like Photoshop Express is a real option to achieve excellent results. There are also other apps of course, but as already mentioned Photoshop Express is from Adobe, and it brings extra benefits

What is Photoshop Express able to do?

You can use Photoshop Express to edit pictures and make beautiful collages. You can use images directly from your phone or other sources like Adobe Creative Cloud, Google Photos, Facebook Dropbox, and so on. 

Photoshop Express basics.

So let’s dive in and get right into the app. First, of course, you have to install Photoshop express via AppStore if you are working on the iPhone or from GooglePlay in case of android. I will follow on from now and describing the details on iOS, but it is very similar and self-explanatory also fo you with any Android device.

As you open Photoshop Express, it will offer you all images from your All photo gallery by default. You can define your own gallery afterward, of course. Photoshop Express is working with your gallery structure and hierarchy. So I recommend organizing your images first in the standard phone gallery. So, for example, you’ll shoot a couple of pictures from one specific location and make a gallery of it. Now open the Photoshop Express and tap the Album menu at the top and choose your newly created album. 


Before we start to edit the image, let’s set the preferences. On the top left side tap the menu icon to open the Settings menu. Then go to the Preferences submenu. Now you can connect your social media accounts like Facebook, Dropbox, or Google. The next option is to set the “Save as copy.“ I recommend to set it on because you will also keep the original version of the image as well as the edited one

PS Express Preferences

Let me mention the Image Resize submenu where you can define the most common image sizes and then your image will be scaled down to one of these predefined scales- mostly used for social media. Predefined sizes are to be applied for the longer side, and the resulting image will keep the original aspect ratio. JPEG quality defines the quality of the image, and I prefer to set it to a maximum of 100%. It takes more space on your phone but for me is quality the top preference.

A great feature is you can even edit RAW format images. This option, however, does not work on each smartphone. So you have to check whether your phone can open a RAW image.

Apply looks.

When you open Photoshop Express and see the gallery to open an image from on the top of the page, you see two main submenus Edit and Collage. So let’s open the Edit menu as the Collage we will cover later. So after we choose an image in the bottom, you’ll find a group of icons representing looks you can apply to the photo. It is similar to applying Lightroom presets.

For example, go to Nature look icon and choose Bright. You got a stunning look, and you can modify how strong this effect should be applied to the image by the available slider.

There are also other looks available. Pop color is enhancing only one color that makes an exciting effect and mood. You can apply very powerful B&W looks as well. I would take the approach t start with applying the styles and the fish your edit by separate editing tools.

Apply Looks


If you want to achieve an artistic effect, you should definitely Photoshop Express offers a huge selection of the image overlays. The first option is Light-Leak. Here you can choose more types of light beams and incorporate it into the image as an overlay. Another option is the Grunge where you can select a beautiful stone structure and make an overlay with it. Let you also try Raindrops overlays as well as the Paper structure. Again you have a possibility to fine-tune using the slider the intensity of the effect.

Transform and Crop.

Photoshop Express has a wide range of Aspect ratios. You can easily crop your images to fit precisely, for example, to any Facebook image format like Profile, Profile cover, Page cover, and so on. The same setting you can choose for practically all well known social networks, even LinkedIn or Kindle format. You can crop your image by dragging the corners of the crop grid and set your own crop ration of course.

PS Express Crop

I usually use some preset, apply it and after that manually fine-tune it.

Rotate submenu allows you to straighten the and get the horizon leveled. There is also the Auto button which tries to level the image automatically.

The last option here is the Transform submenu. This could be helpful when you edit the architectural photography, and you need to correct the lens distortion and straighten the lines of a building or so. Here we have also an Auto button that tries to analyze and automatically adjust the image from this perspective.


Here we have the standard editing possibilities. Photoshop Express offers here well-known settings regarding Light, and it is Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows. This is very similar to Photoshop for desktop or Lightroom. Here we have also the Auto button, that analyzes the image and ties to set the Exposure for example automatically. Here I use the Auto button very seldom and adjust the parameter manually using the slider. To even more adjust the exposure settings use Shadows to bring more details and information from the darkest parts of the image. 


The next part of Adjustments is the Color submenu, and the very first option here is the temperature. Here I definitely would use the Auto button to at least get the starting point of correct Temperature. Of course, you can take it as an artistic tool and make special color effects here.

Vibrance and Saturation.

The next options are Vibrance and Saturation. Both are enhancing the color saturation, but the Vibrance is more kind of intelligent and makes subtle changes in skoín colors, especially. So you can use it mainly for editing the portrait images.

Effects allow you exactly as in Photoshop or Lightroom to increase Clarity or Dehaze an image with low contrast in the sky, especially.

PSExpress Vibrance

I want to remind you again to use the Before / After icon on the top left corner of the app to see how the effects affected your image.


In Details submenu, you’ll find the Sharpen button that allows you to sharpen your image by moving the slider to the right. Automatically the noise becomes more visible after sharpening so then use Reduce Luminance Noise to reduce the noise. You should always use it as the Sharpen as well as the Reduce noise very subtly.


Sometimes you have an image, where you would like to enhance some colors separately. In this case, you have a great option which is HSL. HSL stands for Hue, Saturation, and Luminance, and it is a very powerful tool to enhance these three parameters separately. Let’s speak about the first one, which is the Hue. You can choose one of the eight basic color tones and edit its hue. So if I choose, for example, the yellow color I can modify each object on the image that contains yellow color and make it more orange or greener colored by moving the slider to the respective side.

Respectively the saturation increases the intensity of the chosen color. And finally using Luminance, you can control and modify the luminance or the brightness of any selected colors. For example, if your image contains a blue sky, you can choose the blue color and modify the luminance by moving the slider to achieve the more deep color tone of the sky.

PSExpress HSL

If you use regular Photoshop or Lightroom, you’re familiar with the split toning. It allows you to define the color tone of the highlights as well as the shadows and set the saturation. Then you just balance it with the slider.


I use very often the Vignette to lead the image viewers to the image center. With Amount slider, you should move to the left, and that will darken the corners as you move the slider more. By Midpoint, you define how much are the corners darken toward the midpoint of the image. Then use Feater to make a more soft gradient between corners and the midpoint. And finally, the Roundness defines if the transition of the dark corners will be rounded or more rectangular.

Saving and Exporting

When you’re finished with your editing work, you can save your image or share or export it with a variety of options. You can share your image to all social media, send it via email. You can send the image to Photoshop, Lightroom, Creative Cloud, CC Library.

But we are just going to save it to Camera Roll. Then we will have an edited version of our image, and you can do anything with it just like it was any other standard image on your phone.

Send your edit to Photoshop on Win / Mac

Geat option that takes advantage of one big Adobe is the portability of your image to regular Photoshop and even in Layers structure. So if you are the Adobe creative suite subscriber, you can send your editing work right into the standard Photoshop and continue with editing there. You can send your image also Lightroom.


First of all, select a couple of photos from your library or a specific album to make a collage from. Then click the Collage button. Then automatically some default collage-style will be applied to this group of selected images. Then you can choose from various styles within the Grids submenu, and as you change the icons in the bottom, you see how the collage changes the visual style.

For more creativity, you can use Freeform or specific Shapes that allows you to create very creative visual effects for your collage. In each style, you can tap a particular frame of the image and make fine enhancing like a move or rotate the image a bit as needed, or zoom in or zoom out. It could be very handy that you can even tap and hold an image and after that drag it to the new position or new frame within the collage.

PSExpress Colage

You can also swap any image from your collage by tapping on it, and the pres Replace in the bottom, and that will allow you to choose a new image from your phone image library.

After you finished replacing and framing the photos in the collage, you can apply any of the predefined styles from the library.

Finally, you can add some text by taping T at the bottom. Then add a frame with preferred color.

You can share or save your work using the same approach as in editing an image.

Final Thoughts.

Photoshop Express is a great app, and if you manage it into deep detail, it will give you a very robust editing tool for your smartphone. I would again emphasize it is an Adobe product, that gives you the power of a big company and guarantees you it will always be evolving and more function added inside. Also, the export to Photoshop feature will be welcomed mainly for regular Photoshop users. Together with Photoshop Fix and Photoshop Mix, you have almost perfect tool portfolio to cover the complete editing requirements.

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