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10 Best Apps to Add Texture to iPhone and Smartphone Photos

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Do you want to add an extra dimension or a unique style to your photos?

Consider using a texture app to take your images to the next level.

Here’s a list of the best apps available to add textures and transform your photos into something special.

1. Stackables

iTunes

As its name suggests, Stackables is all about layering effects on top of each other. There are hundreds of effects available.

Stackables also includes a lot of tools to edit your photos. You can adjust the strength of the effect in terms of opacity and saturation.

There are also blending modes you might know from Photoshop such as Overlay, Screen, Difference, Hard and Soft Light, etc.

Just start stacking effects and create something that stands out.

2. Formulas

A screenshot of the Formulas app for adding textures to photos

iTunes

Formulas offers dozens of custom, multilayered photo effects, unlike any other texture app. It’s all about creating a film look.

You can edit color and tonal range. Formulas also simulates authentic vintage film emulations, textured finishes, and artistic styles.

This app was built by talented artists in the mobile photography community. Each formula is compatible with a wide range of scenes, subjects, and editing styles.

Apply effects to landscapes, cityscapes, street photography, or portraits.

Finally, add borders and frames. You can pick between vintage paper, worn fabric, or weathered stone.

3. Snapseed

A screenshot of the Snapseed app for adding textures to photos - best texture apps

iTunes | Google Play

Snapseed is not only one of the best editing apps, it’s also a great texture app. Its extensive range of editing tools includes a highly adjustable grunge filter effect.

This texture filter is popular with many smartphone photographers.

With Snapseed, you get full control over a range of textures; it also gives you control over the brightness and contrast. Even texture strength and saturation of the effect is adjustable.

The Snapseed Grunge filter makes it easy for you if you don’t know what to pick. It has a random effect generator to create a unique photo with one tap of your finger.

If you like your random effect, you can adjust the settings to fine-tune the details.

4. Shift

A screenshot of the Snapseed app for adding textures to photos - best texture app

iTunes

If you like full control over the textures you add, then Shift is the texture app for you. It allows you to create thousands of your own custom filters.

Combine textures and color overlays to produce cool effects. Choose from grain, light leaks, or high contrast black and whites.

With Shift, you can also give your photos a vintage touch. Each effect can be layered, rotated and repositioned. That gives you the freedom to create your own personal effects.

5. Mextures

A screenshot of the Mextures app for adding textures to photos

iTunes

Mextures has more than 150 textures that can be combined and tweaked. You can use pre-made textures or create your own and save them in so-called ‘formulas’.

Mextures also has a few of the standard editing tools and filters for fine tuning your photos.

Adjust exposure, contrast, tint, and colour temperature to get the result you want. Don’t worry about your original photos because Mextures uses layers and is non-destructive.

This is probably the best texture app on the list as far as I’m concerned.

6. Picfx

A screenshot of the Picfx app for adding textures to photos - texture filters

iTunes | Google Play

Picfx uses the same square aspect ratio as Instagram but offers a lot more filters. You can share your creations on Instagram and other social networks. Picfx supports high-resolution images and features some unique effects.

There are cross-process effects, urban textures, and space textures. Besides that, Picfx also offers different takes on the more typical effects.

Experiment with scratches, light leaks, and grunge effects. Picfx is layer based and non-destructive.

7. Modern Grunge

A screenshot of the modern grunge app for adding textures to photos - texture filters

iTunes

Modern Grunge is a bit different from the other texture apps here. It offers the grunge look with a unique ripped paper effect.

The standard presets are a bit too much but they’re easily adjusted. You can add borders, cuts, and rips by drawing around your subject.

Combine the effects of two content libraries for unlimited possibilities. You can save your creations in the same resolution as the original photo and share the result with friends.

Modern Grunge offers some unique features like the cut-in look. The result is a photo with a hole cut through.

Another unique effect is the cut-out option. This simulates the effect of part of your photo being torn away.

8. TinType

A screenshot of the Tintype app for adding textures to photos - best texture apps

iTunes

Looking for a texture app specifically for portrait photos? TinType might be the one. It automatically detects eyes, keeping them sharp and making them sparkle. The rest of the photo gets a blur and texture effect applied.

TinType allows you to create beautiful, antique-styled portrait photos. The effects are inspired by daguerreotypes and tintypes, photographic processes from over a hundred years ago.

It’s easy to use and you have control over the blur effect and color tonality.

9. Superimpose

A screenshot of the Superimpose app for adding textures to photos - best texture apps

iTunes | Google Play

If you really want to go all the way with textures, Superimpose is the app for you. This app doesn’t offer any built-in textures but it takes adding textures to another level. It allows you to add your own textures to your images.

If you want to get really creative, try shooting your own photos of interesting textures. Capture concrete patterns, paper textures, bark, or wood grains. Even rust, dirt, or sand will give your photos an interesting look.

You can use Superimpose to layer your own custom textures over your photos. Use a mask to apply the texture only on certain areas of the photo. After that, adjust the opacity and strength of the layering effect.

10. Afterlight 2

A screenshot of the Afterlight 2 app for adding textures to photos - best texture apps

iTunes

Afterlight 2 is a great photo editing app. The simple layout of the app has clear icons that make it easy to navigate. It offers the perfect balance between simple and advanced photo editing apps.

But not only that, it’s also a great texture app. All the possibilities will keep you busy for hours creating some awesome images. You can add textures like dust and light leaks to create a vintage look.

Afterlight 2 even allows you to create borders for a vintage Polaroid look.

If you want great editing tools and textures in one app, then Afterlight 2 is the one for you.

Conclusion

All these apps are great. Download the right app based on the genre of photography you like and how much control you want. Some apps offer one-click presets while others allow you to fully customize everything.

And as always with filter or texture apps: Don’t overdo it, too many filters will make your photos look fake and ugly.

You can personalize your images to create a unique look but don’t forget about composition and content. That’s what photography is about. Now, start creating images!

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