This is the best photo editing app for your phone or tablet

As smartphone photography has become the dominant way people document and share their lives online, photo editing apps have rapidly improved — and then plateaued.

My favourite until now, Photoshop Express, offers users powerful tools to filter and tone their images, bringing some of the rudimentary, core features of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to mobile devices.

Other apps, like Snapseed, VSCO, and even Instagram’s built-in editing tools now offer similar features.

Enlight, from the makers of Facetune, represents a revolutionary leap over what Photoshop Express and its ilk can do. Filtering and toning are part of this app, but the technology goes much farther. In essence, this is an app that empowers users to pull off tricks we’d expect from a design professional using the full version of Adobe Photoshop on a computer — but any user should be able to learn them with a few swipes of a finger.

This is a truly impressive piece of technology — easily worth its $4 price in the iOS app store.

We'll start with this un retouched image.

Rafi Letzter/Tech Insider

Like any photo editing app, Enlight lets you adjust brightness. I'll use it here to blow out the background. However, my subject's face now looks way off.

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But Enlight lets you create 'masks' -- which let you paint on and erase adjustments on different parts of the image.

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Here's how it looks.

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You can also use Enlight to make targeted adjustments to particular parts of an image.

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Here I've tweaked the light on my subject's lips a bit.

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You can also use Enlight to clone one part of an image to cover another. Here I'm using it to cover up some flyaway hairs. You can also use it to cover up skin blemishes.

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I used the masking tool to keep the clone from affecting the hairs on her head.

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But that's just the start of what Enlight can do. Say I wanted to make this image more square without cropping off the band members on the side.

Rafi Letzter/Tech Insider

I just tell Enlight what parts of the image I don't want distorted.

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And then squish! The image is now narrower, but hardly more distorted. That's amazing.

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You can also manually change the shape and size of objects inside images. This is a photo I shot a few years ago of a friend wearing a hat.

Rafi Letzter/Tech Insider

But you know what? I think the hat should be much bigger. Thanks Enlight!

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Never mind, that's too much hat.

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Uh oh, what happened to your face?

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Lord have mercy on my soul.

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*Shrug* I guess it's all better now.

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Enlight also offers a wide array of film-like filters.

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Though you have much more power to adjust them -- here I'm telling the a black-and-white filter what colours to lighten and darken.

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And, as ever, you can use masking to choose what parts of the photo the filter applies to.

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Another cool feature is the ability to lay photos over one another. I'll start with this photo on my phone, which has some sky in it.

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I blow it up so the clouds cover the screen, then 'burn' it onto the photo below, creating a smokey effect.

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Layer it a different way, and she looks shrouded in mist.

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And of course I can always mask my subject so she's not effected.

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There are hundreds more effects possible in this app -- too many to get into here.

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Photoshop veterans will appreciate the ability to adjust histogram curves.

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While artsy types will combine effects in ways they love.

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The most impressive part though is how easy it all is to use.

Rafi Letzter/Tech Insider

Even though it was my first time using the app...

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I never had any trouble getting it to do what I wanted.

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You can download Enlight in the App Store. Unfortunately, it's not yet available for Android.

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