The world has changed and we are now living in the mobile-first era where we’re constantly connected to the internet via smartphones or other portable devices.
What does this mean? The way we are consuming as well as creating content is changing and it’s now possible to create professional, attractive and most importantly engaging content from our tiny little black mirrors.
But where do you begin? Fortunately for you, I have been battle testing the best apps on the Apple AppStore and Android Play for the past few years now and can confidently share some of the best tools to get you creating beautiful content in no time.
Want to add filters and effects to your photos with the help of artificial intelligence? Prisma is one of my favorite tools simply because the effects it adds are completely unique and like nothing you have seen before.
Prisma includes styles inspired by artists like Van Gough and Picasso which are magically etched onto your photos with a combination of neural networks and artificial intelligence.
This app is a must try for any social media marketers and influencers looking to add an artistic touch to their content. This is one of my favorite social media apps.
Check out Prisma.
Adobe Spark Post
The creative geniuses at Adobe have been a name stay in the desktop publishing space for decades and it should come as little surprise that they are also creating fantastic creative tools for smartphones too.
Available on iOS and Android devices and on desktops, your Adobe creative cloud syncs your content across your devices.
Adobe Spark is actually a suite of three tools:
- Spark Post
- Spark Page
- Spark Video
They are all handy tools, however, Spark Post is the most useful for creating graphics on your phone for sharing on social media and in posts you are creating.
Simply insert your images, select a template that you like and then customize the text overlay to suit the message you are trying to portray, then you can flick through alternative templates to see how it would look with a different style.
Adobe Spark Post is like Canva however it’s completely free!
Learn more about Adobe Spark Post.
Adobe Spark Video
If you are looking to create snappy short-form video content to share on social media then try out Adobe Spark Video.
Tell your story using video and Adobe Spark Videos built-in templates which help you break your video up into bitesize sections.
If you are doing a short how-to video you can use this to break up 4 separate steps for example.
It only takes a few minutes to take your video content add some titles and create something professional looking with this app.
Add music and different themes to bring your story to life and add that finishing touch.
Don’t feel like recording a video today? Why not add images instead and create a video story, then record a voiceover to tell a story or explain something to your audience.
Now you can create short explainer videos with nothing but your phone!
Spark Video is a great tool to help you stand out on social media.
This a fantastic camera app for taking and then editing your photos. The camera allows you to select separate focus and exposure spots allowing you to work around poor lighting situations.
VSCO also features professional quality filters that are considered some of the best available on any of the photography and image editing apps for iPhone and Android devices.
If like myself you aren’t a natural photographer then this will help you make your photos more polished without as much trial and error.
AvivA is a better alternative to Boomerang that allows you to create reverse and looping videos. This app allows you to turn videos you have already created into loops rather than having to catch the moment live, something that’s actually quite difficult to do.
You will have a lot of fun experimenting with this app making short clips to share online.
Trim your video clips, control speed, text overlays, zooming, cropping and more.
An app created by Instagram that allows you to create polished and professional looking hyperlapse and time-lapse videos with Instagrams own stabilization software.
Record up to 45 minutes of video footage in one take, and then you can use the app to accelerate it to create a hyperlapse cinematographic effect.
Time lapses can be used creatively if mixed in among other types of videos and images to create a diverse range of media for your profiles and accounts. You can control the speed of the playback though beyond that the modifications you can make are limited.
Hyperlapse is ideal for creating quirky Instagram stories and is available on iOS and Android.
If all you are looking for is a simple way to add text overlays on your images then look no further than the Quick app.
Quick is created by the developers who made Over, another similar app that has a few more features but is a bit more involved and unlike Quick, it isn’t free.
Probably one of the easiest apps to use since it only serves a few purposes this tool will allow you to add some extra context to your photos before you share them.
Add hashtags, quotes or just your thoughts and select from a fairly decent range of typography options.
Canva is the daddy of social media image creation and is possibly my favorite on the list and something I use for pretty much all of my posts. The image in the top left of this article which is used as the thumbnail also was created in 2 minutes using Canva.
Canva ties into popular royalty free image libraries like Pexels so you can quickly access a wide collection of high-quality photos and other media files like icons and clipart.
Choose from various templates that are available, Instagram size graphics, Twitter headers, YouTube channel graphics, Facebook cover photos and much more.
There are even templates for creating infographics if you want to create something truly unique and you can even design your latest eBook cover.
While I use Canva more on my desktop in the web browser I have also used the app when on the train trying to kill time, I managed to create 30 awesome graphics and scheduled them in my social media automation tool.
Canva offer a free and premium version, I personally pay for the premium because I get a lot of use out of it so it demonstrates great value for money.
Gifs have made a comeback over the past few years and can’t be missed off this list. Giphy is probably the best website and smartphone app for finding cool gifs to use in your content and social media posts.
GIPHY is the easiest way to browse, search, and share animated GIFs and stickers online and on social networks.
You can even send them directly inside the iOS messages app too!
The Giphy website now operates 3 different smartphone apps.
- Giphy – The main app, search for cool and funny animated gifs to share.
- Giphy Cam – Create short videos combining your own photos, videos and Giphy GIFs, stickers and special effects.
- Giphy World – The latest tool in the series introduces augmented reality (AR) gifs and stickers that you can place in a 3D space. (Think Snapchat effects you can share anywhere).
Want to find out more? Visit Giphy.
Photoshop should need little introduction but it’s little cousin Photoshop Express which is a lite version of Photoshop with basic editing tools for entry-level users seems to be a tool a lot of people haven’t heard of.
It’s been around as a desktop solution for years and you can also use it on mobiles to do simple edits and photo correction work.
Apply corrections like auto-fix, blemish removal, red-eye and even remove watermarks!
You can add various filters, text overlays and you can also create image collages.
It’s free and an essential for anyone who wants to be able to clean up and improve their photos on the move.
Ripl is a cool app that allows you to easily create animated videos from your photos with beautiful designs.
Add awesome templates to help you showcase products, customer testimonials, and stories. The template library includes moran 200 premium animated designs
You can add up to 12 photos to each design, and features lots of music and typography options too.
Ripl also lets you schedule posts to your favorite social networks directly from the app.
If you are only comfortable taking photos and lack video content but feel your Instagram is a little still looking then this is one great way to solve that problem by using images and letting the built-in templates add the subtle animation you need to spice things up.
The free version adds a Ripl watermark and restricts some other features like the number of templates you can access. This app is a lot of fun and you can create some great effects but is a little pricey as it is a $6 per month subscription.
Plotagraph / Plotaverse
Probably the most unique on the list Plotagraph is a unique spin on the concept of the cinemagraph and allows you to take a still image and apply animations by adding plot lines and directions on the canvas.
You can animate some areas while locking other parts of the image to create an interesting juxtaposition.
If you want to create visual content in 2018 that blows people away and leaves them thinking you are summoning some kind of digital sorcery then this is the app you need to be using.
Plotaverse combines their original Plotagraph software with FX overlays and a morphing tool making it easier than ever to create high-quality photo morph effects.
The Plotaverse suite of tools is also available on Desktop however while you can try the free version on your smartphone you have to sign up for Plotaverse Pro to use the tools on a Windows or Apple Mac computer.
The free version adds a watermark and restricts some of the features, there are in-app purchases including downloading more FX overlays like flying butterflies, and other 3D animations.
InShot is a simple photo and video editor for iPhone and Android that features some great video overlay effects like glitch, film grain etc to make your content more interesting.
Add music, effects and voice-overs to your video clips or stills.
Then add emojis and text overlays.
It’s as easy as that.
Ideal for use with Instagram and in particular the Instagram Stories feature.
UnFold is advertised as “The Story Creator App” and features minimal layouts and templates you can add videos and images to.
The result? Your content comes to life in a more professional editorial style. You can see four examples of these templates in the screenshot below.
Some templates are for placing one image on top of another to create a more interesting effect. Others combine multiple images or videos with text.
This app is great for showing both a photo of a subject while also including another photo of the surrounding scenery to make your content more immersive.
Snapseed is a comprehensive and professional photo editor app developed by Google.
Fine tweak your photos by adjusting lighting, exposure, and other aspects and choose from a great collection of filters.
This app will let you take full control over your photography on the move and is very user-friendly while offering you pretty much every tool you could never need from a photo editor.
Snapseed is available on iOS and Android but not on desktop devices.
Over to You!
If you’re not the type to outsource content marketing now you know which tools are the best for creating content on your phone or tablet while on the move, check out our guide on social media management tools and automating your post schedule.
Do you have any content creation apps for smartphones to suggest? Let us know.
Here are some other related articles you might find interesting:
- Best Graphic Design Tools
- App for Making Cinemagraphs
- Best Social Media Management Tools
- Guide to Repurposing Content
- How to Create Graphics with Canva