Jul 29, 2020 Otter is the Mac app for the note taker who hates typing. It’s an intelligent voice-recognition system and note-taking app that will help you transcribe your conversations, keep notes during meetings, and even take contextual notes to yourself in your own time. Best of all, it’s free to get started! Download: Otter. Dec 27, 2019 We’ve compiled a list of some of the best software available for Apple’s Mac, from email and shortcut apps to window organizers and multimedia players. Airmail 3, Alfred, Bear, LastPass.

  • January 02, 2020
  • 18 min to read

Most free photo editors available on the App Store are quite basic, offering just a limited number of filters and allowing you to easily and quickly liven up your photos before posting them on social media.

But if you’re an aspiring or professional photographer, you probably need a more powerful app with a broader set of tools to use your creativity to the fullest. Besides, you probably use your Mac for photo editing because working on a large screen makes it possible to adjust the slightest details.

1. Apple’s Photos (Built-in app)

Apple’s Photos app is included for free on all recently released Macs. It does a good job at organizing your photos, but its collection of photo enhancement tools leaves much to be desired. Hopefully, our selection of the best free programs for photo editing on Mac will help you choose the right app to suit all your creative needs.

2. Luminar (7 days trial)

Luminar is another full-featured photo editor that’s popular with both Mac and Windows users. It can work as a standalone app as well as a plugin for such popular programs as Apple Photos.

Luminar uses Artificial Intelligence to enable sophisticated yet quick photo enhancements. Among these AI features are Sky Enhancer, which adds more depth and detail to the sky in your photos while leaving other areas untouched; Accent AI, which analyzes a photo and automatically applies the best combination of different effects to enhance your image; and Sun Rays, which allows you to place an artificial sun and adjust the lighting to your liking or make the sun rays already in your photo look even more incredible.

Luminar has over 60 filters you can apply to your photos to enhance them in a moment. Luminar also provides a set of powerful tools for cropping, transforming, cloning, erasing, and stamping, along with layers, brushes, and many more incredible features. Luminar supports the Touch Bar on the latest MacBook Pro, making photo editing even more effortless and pleasing.

3. Photolemur 3 (Free Version with watermark)

Photolemur is a relative newcomer on the photo editing market but it has all the chances to win the favor of beginner photographers and hobbyists. Running on Artificial Intelligence, Photolemur is a completely automatic photo enhancer, meaning that it does all the editing for you in no time. It has the simplest interface, with only a few buttons and sliders to adjust the enhancement to your liking and view the before and after results.

All you need to do is choose a photo (or a few) that you want to improve, drag and drop or import them using the Import button, and let the program make enhancements. After it’s done, you can compare the edited version with the original image by using the before–after slider and, if you want, adjust the skin tone or even enlarge the eyes using additional sliders. Pretty easy, huh?

Photolemur also offers a number of impressive styles to touch up your photos and give them a sophisticated and professional look. With this app, you don’t need to stuff your head with photo editing nuances and terms. Just run Photolemur and watch the magic happen!

4. Aurora HDR (14 days trial)

As you probably can tell from the name, Aurora HDR is designed to help photographers enhance their HDR photos, making them even more detailed and beautiful. It’s an ideal tool for editing your photos, with an extensive collection of more than 20 tools including details, tone, mapping, color, glow, and vignette. Each tool has its unique selection of controls to adjust its effects.

Aurora HDR enables you to work with brushes, layers, and masks, and provides a number of automatic AI tools for recognizing and removing noise, enhancing colors, lighting, and details, improving clarity, and adding contrast to dull areas while leaving other areas untouched.

Aurora HDR does a great job dealing with difficult lighting situations and creating full-of-life images while being easy to use.

5. Pixelmator (Trial 30 Days)

Pixelmator is a photo enhancer beloved by many Mac users, as it offers a good combination of a modern and simple interface, the ability to work on multiple layers, and powerful features that take photo editing to a whole new level. With so many editing tools, brushes, and effects, you can enhance your photos to your liking. You can choose between two versions of Pixelmator – standard and pro – depending on your needs. The standard version is great for basic photo editing with its selection of essential tools and filters, while the pro version is packed with extra brushes, tools, and effects that let you push your creativity to new boundaries. You can decide which version is suitable for you according to what features you’re looking for in a photo editing app.

6. Adobe Photoshop Elements 2020 (Trial link)

Photoshop Elements isn’t as affordable as other photo enhancers for beginner photographers. But luckily there’s a trial version available, so you can check it out before deciding whether this app is worthy of your money. Photoshop Elements acquired many powerful features from Photoshop, only Elements is simplified for amateur photographers and enthusiasts. It includes a good number of effects and filters, plus automated editing options for improving lighting, color balance, and exposure, and even opening closed eyes and reducing the effects of camera shake.

In addition to all of these awesome features, Photoshop also offers editing modes for beginners, intermediate users, and experts. Beginners will probably prefer Quick mode, as it focuses on essential tools to quickly enhance your photos by improving color, lighting, and other basic settings. Guided mode provides intermediate users with step-by-step guidance with more professional features like artistic effects, skin tone correction, and background replacement. Expert mode gives you full access to the app’s really powerful editing features and is ideal for creating stunning images.

7. Affinity Photo (Free Trial)

Affinity Photo’s interface may seem overwhelming at first, especially for novices, but when you come to grips with it you’ll find that the app is just what you’ve been looking for. Its numerous professional tools, effects, and filters encourage you to get creative with your photos. Among the coolest features Affinity Photo has to offer is a before and after view to compare the original photo with its edited version.

Affinity Photo works with 15 file types, including common ones like PDF, PSD, JPG, and GIF as well as some less popular ones. The app amazes with its abundance of basic and top-notch editing tools, allowing you to tweak your photos using all possible kinds of instruments. Affinity Photo allows you to edit HDR photos, apply artistic filters and effects, play with masks and layers, and create breathtaking compositions by combining several images in one. If you find its interface a bit much and are afraid of getting lost in all those advanced tools, you should probably look for something more suitable for your level. But Affinity Photo is worth mastering.

8. Google Photos

Google Photos is a popular cloud storage service for photos and videos. It can’t boast countless masterly tools like other photo enhancers that we review in this article, but it includes some fundamental features like filters, color adjustment sliders, and transformation tools.

Although Google Photos may not be that helpful when it comes to editing photos, it does a pretty good job at storing high-resolution images and videos with 15GB of free online storage, compared to iCloud’s mere 5GB (which you can upgrade to 50GB for a monthly fee). If you’re planning to go on a trip and take plenty of photos, then it might be smart to sign up for Google Photos to use that extra storage space when you come back.

9. PhotoScape X (Free)

A relatively new photo editing app, PhotoScape X has been gaining popularity with many Mac and PC users since its release in 2008. Its interface is simple but unconventional, with a number of tabs running along the top of the window. Each is responsible for a specific stage of editing. The Viewer tab allows you to browse and organize your photos. After you pick a photo, you can switch to the Editor tab, which includes a broad set of instruments, filters, and effects and a useful feature that enables you to compare the adjusted photo with the original.

The next tabs, including the Batch tab, mainly concentrate on editing and renaming multiple photos at once. The GIF tab allows you to easily create an animated GIF from a group of selected photos.

The downside of PhotoScape X is a lack of selection tools, so all changes are applied to the whole image rather than to a selected part.

10. Gimp (Free)

Gimp is a free open-source photo editing app that has been on the market for over 22 years and is available for Windows, Mac, and even Linux. Unlike many free apps, Gimp doesn’t have any ads or in-app purchases. Its grey interface might seem a little old-fashioned and it may be a bit sluggish when it comes to complex effects, though.

Gimp offers a vast collection of advanced tools that hardly any free photo editor can boast. It has numerous enhancement options such as clone and heal brushes, layers and channels, accurate selection tools, a number of transformation instruments, and, of course, color adjustment controls. Gimp is one of the most powerful tools for enhancing photos and is beloved by so many users for its price (free) and versatility. But if you can’t come to grips with Gimp’s interface, it may be worth paying some cash for a more user-friendly program.

Fortop 5 alternatives to the Photos app in Windows 10.Best Free Apps For MacFor seasoned Mac users, Preview is the default option, but for the fresh converts from Windows often feel stifled and frustrated. Keeping that into consideration, I aim to strike a balance with the shortlisted apps. Also, I wouldn't recommend the ones that annoy you with 'Buy the Pro Plan' prompts as soon as you launch the app. If it irks me, I can only imagine how much it would bother you. So let's check out the options.To use any of the options as a default viewer, you will have to select different image files (PNG, JPG, BMP, and other). Right-click on them and select Get Info. From the Info window, you need to click on the drop-down below Open With and choose a relevant app from the list. After that, click on Change All to apply the tweaks to relevant files across the system.So let's take a look at the top Image Viewer apps for Mac.
Also on Guiding Tech
Top 4 Amazing Tools to Capture Scrolling Screenshots on macOS
Read More

1. Xee

Xee is quite a straightforward replacement of Preview. Despite the similarities, Xee steps ahead with a few unique features. As expected, the Previews and Next buttons for browsing between images are placed at the top left corner. The other options appear neatly placed next to them at the top.Xee's status bar shows additional details about the image, such as its dimensions, file type, file size, color details, and more. The only thing I found odd that Xee did not pick up the Dark them of my macOS. I had to navigate to Xee's Preferences > Style and then pick Black.Xee is simply an Image Viewer. That means if you are looking for an Image Viewer with editing options, you are out of luck here. This app is streamlined, fast, and quite responsive.Unfortunately, Xee isn't free, and you will have to pay $3.99 to buy it from the App Store on your Mac.Download Xee

2. XnView MP

The XnView is more than an image viewer. It's a popular cross-platform media management software, and Windows users love it so much that many want to set XnView as the default image viewer on Windows 10. With support for over 500 image formats, the developers lock quite a bunch of handy features behind the paywall. However, the app lets you customize the layout of the app.When the app is open, navigate to View>Layout and select Free from the subsequent menu. After that, you can click on the x-shaped icon irrelevant windows. In short, you get enough viewing and sorting modes that you can keep changing between them to suit your requirements. The app's performance setting allows you to squeeze out the maximum from your on-board GPU chip. That means, the processing and caching will be faster on beefed-up MacBook Pros.Download XnView MP

3. Phiewer

The free version of Phiewer lets you view one image at a time. When you open a photo, it shows the main image with a collection of thumbnails on the left side. While being one of the fastest image viewers to open a photo, Phiewer shows the thumbnails on the left with an option to start a slideshow directly. However, the blurring effect offering backdrop might just steal your attention for a bit.Phiewer stands out by displaying the basic details about a photo distinctly on its interface. Besides photos, it also supports a variety of media formats. That will become apparent as soon as you sync your media folders with the app. You might enjoy the readymade bouquet of options, such as different effects, to try out on photos. You can pay for the Pro version to unlock alignment, cropping controls, applying filters, adjusting granular aspects, and more.You may call it a simpler version of the XnView MP and use it accordingly.Get Phiewer

4. Lyn

Lyn is like a proper replacement of the Photos app with the Image Viewer capabilities built-in. The interface of Lyn app is quite familiar so that you won't feel out of place at all. When you launch it initially, you will notice the basic adjustment options at the top — they will remind you of Preview.Apart from viewing options, you can also link other cloud-based services such as Flickr, Facebook, Dropbox, and more. The i-shaped button is the hidden information panel that will present you with details of the image ranging from resolution to metering mode. If you check the photos clicked using your digital camera, DSLR, or Mirrorless, then Lyn is a suitable image viewer app. Of course, you can always customize the layout from the preferences for quick access to the frequently used folders. Lyn supports a variety of picture formats, and you can quickly share photos with your friends over email, Flickr, or even Smugmug. The basic version comes with a 15-day trial, which is decent enough to try it out. Otherwise, you will have to cough out $20 as a one-time payment to get rid of the trial period limitation.Get Lyn App

5. qView

If you are looking for a no-nonsense image viewer for all your photos and screenshot, then this is the best option. Without mincing words, qView is one of the minimalist photo viewer that looks amazing with the dark theme on the macOS.qView is also available on Windows, which makes it a perfect cross-platform tool to use for viewing photos on both the platforms. It works best as the no-nonsense photo viewer on your Mac. Of course, it doesn't offer editing or tweaking options.Download qView

Bonus Recommendation: ApolloOne

The ApolloOne is one of the rare apps that utilize the Core Image graphics and hardware features such as multi-threading to deliver the best photo gallery and organization experience.
It can also handle RAW photos and support over 1000 digital cameras. Also, it lets you tinker around with the EXIF details. You can always try out its Slideshow to view a series of photos. This feature-rich image viewer can be purchased to unlock support and other helpful settings.Get ApolloOne
Also on Guiding Tech
How to Move Photos from iPhone to Google Photos

Best Free Apps For Macro Tracking

Read More

Change Is Good

While Apple's Preview gets the basic job done, it does leave a lot to be desired. Specifically for folks who move from or use macOS alongside Windows 10. My favorite is ApolloOne since it supports a variety of cameras for importing images directly, and I often use qView just for browsing photos on my Mac. So which one will you pick?

Next up:Wondering what photo backup service to use with iPhone? Check our list of top 5 iCloud Photo backup alternatives for iPhone.


The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.Read NextTop 5 iCloud Photo Backup Alternatives for iPhoneAlso See#apple #macos Free

Did You Know

Best Free Apps For Mac Air

You can see the remaining charge of your Apple AirPods on the battery widget of your iPhone.

Best Free Apps For Mac Osx

More in Mac

Best Free Apps For Macpro

Top 4 Ways to Fix Mac Desktop Icons Missing or Not Showing

Coments are closed

Most Popular Posts

  • Macgo Free Mac Media Player For Mac
  • Microscope Software For Mac
  • Grid For Mac Key

Scroll to top