There are literally hundreds of camera and photography apps available for the iPhone. Today though, I’m going to take a look and let you know what I think the best iPhone Selfie Apps are.
Selfie apps are different than regular iPhone camera apps because they are optimized to use the front facing camera and usually include some form of automatic skin or face retouching that will make you look better. These “fixes” vary from very subtle (my preference) to the very extreme.
The iPhone 6S is my favorite smartphone for taking selfies because of the beautiful 5 MP camera it now includes. One of my biggest gripes with most selfie apps is that they save photos in a resolution that’s less than the iPhone 6S’s capability. This is a waste to me but may or may not be important to you – I’ll make note of that in my review of each iPhone selfie app below.
Let’s now take a look at the top 4 iPhone Selfie Apps.
Camera360 is a free app and has over 500 million users worldwide. It’s actually the first selfie app I ever used, so I’m still quite fond of it even though some more advanced apps have been developed over the past year or two.
Camera360’s claim to fame is their advanced skin smoothing modes, which can make even the worse complexions look perfect. It’s actually quite cool because it automatically detects the location of your eyes and mouth (letting you adjust if necessary), and can not only smooth skin but also remove eye bags, cure acne, and make your chin more skinny.
The Camera360 app also includes a number of filters, but nothing too extraordinary that you won’t find elsewhere. In fact, there’s really only a few that I like and use on a regular basis. There’s also an auto-vignette feature which works very well.
I do have a few complaints with Camera360 though. First, the interface is more confusing than it needs to be. The app applies an auto-fix and filter to your selfie as soon as you take it. By tapping on the filter option though it doesn’t change the filter but instead applies yet another filter on top – not what I normally want to do and not that intuitive.
Also, there is plenty of cross-app promotion on the main menu to download other apps and features from the same developer. I prefer a simple, clean interface that I can use right away. Sharing options included in the app directly are limited to Facebook, Instagram, and twitter. If you want to email or text a photo to someone, you’ll need to save it to your camera roll first, and then share it from there.
Which brings me to my final complaint. Selfies taken in the Camera360 app are saved at a resolution of 1633 x 1225 instead of the iPhone 6S’s native camera resolution of 2576 x 1932. It makes for a smaller file size, but that’s a quality reduction by over half!
Summary: Powerful selfie retouching features, but a bit confusing to use and doesn’t take advantage of the full iPhone 6S camera resolution.
I admit, I was a bit hesitant to try the free Microsoft Selfie app, mainly because I don’t trust Microsoft to make anything “fun”. I’m happy to say that this app proved me wrong, though – it’s simple to use and produces great selfies!
When launching the app it gives you two simple choices: Take a new photo or edit an existing one from your camera roll. So far so good! The ability to edit an existing photo is great if you’ve got existing selfies that you want to retouch to make them look a bit better.
While taking a photo, the interface is super clean with nothing but a button to snap the picture. I like this a lot from an ease of use perspective, but some people would probably prefer to be able to see the filter they’ve selected applied in real time. With Microsoft Selfie, all editing and filters are applied after the selfie is taken.
After taking your selfie, you’re given a slider to control the amount of skin smoothing you want to apply, and a row of filters just below that. Currently there are 14 different filters to choose from, and all of them look really good. A nice touch is that you can long press on the photo while applying the filter to see what the original photo looked like. It’s a nice feature to be able to see just how extreme your editing has become.
Microsoft Selfie allows you to share to any installed app that accepts photos, via the Apple sharing interface, or directly to Facebook from within the app itself. My main complaint with the app is that it saves photos at only a 1280 x 960 resolution compared to the iPhone 6S’s native 2576 x 1932 camera resolution.
Summary: Extremely easy to use, limited choice of filters but those that are included look great, but doesn’t take full advantage of the iPhone’s camera resolution.
If you like lots of filter choices then you’ll LOVE the new Retrica selfie app. It’s what this app prides itself on. There are literally hundreds of filters to choose from, and better yet they’re categorized to help find the particular look you’re going for.
The app has a very clean interface that I just love, and the editing controls are all very easy to use and intuitive. In addition to applying a filter, you can also blur the background, apply a vignette, or set it to take multiple photos in burst mode which it will combine into a collage, or make them into frames of a looping video! I’m not really into that myself but it’s an interesting feature.
Somewhat unique to this app, is that all filters and effects are applied BEFORE taking the selfie. So everything is visible live before you tap the photo button. It’s nice to be able to see the effects applied in realtime, but kind of a shame you can’t experiment with different looks after the fact.
Retrica TIP: The Retrica selfie app defaults to applying a little Retrica watermark on all selfies it takes. This option can be turned off in the options menu!
Retrica doesn’t offer any skin smoothing or advanced retouching tools… just a whole pile of filters. It only saves photos in 1280 x 960 resolution, so doesn’t take advantage of the newer iPhone’s advanced camera.
Summary: Loads of filters and an interesting collage option, but lacking in the retouch department.
Facetune ($5) is the only paid app of the four selfie apps that I’m sharing with you today. You do definitely get some premium features for what you pay for though – the only question is whether or not you really need them.
First, it’s important to note that none of the editing features are automatic in Facetune. It offers a huge selection of editing tools including teeth whitening, color adjustment, skin smoothing, sharpening, face reshaping, blur effects, red-eye reduction, and a simple clone stamp tool, but all of these require you to actually zoom in and swipe on the areas of the selfie that you want to modify.
This gives you excellent control over the final result, but you’re looking at at least 5-10 minutes worth of editing work, compared to a ready-to-share selfie in a few minutes from apps offering automatic features. Facetune really caters to those who want an excellent looking selfie, and are willing to invest the time required to retouch their photo themselves.
Facetune includes lightbox and video tutorials for every video mode which is really nice. They’ve taken a lot of time and thought into creating what could be the perfect selfie app, and want to make sure their customers know how to use it.
Facetune also offers a number of great looking filters. What’s nice about their filters is that you can adjust their strength by swiping up and down on the photo. This gives you much more creative control over how the filter is actually applied to your selfie.
The Facetune selfie app is the only one I reviewed today that will let you save your photo using the full resolution of the iPhone 6S camera – a full 2576 x 1932 pixels!
Summary: An advanced selfie app that gives you maximum control but requires significant effort on the part of the user. Takes advantage of full iPhone 6S camera capability.
What I would love is an iPhone selfie app with auto-retouch that also allows you to save at full front camera resolution of 2576 x 1932. Are you aware of one? If so, please let me know in the comments!