In this digital age, the ability to capture and edit photos has become an integral part of our daily lives. The importance of the Photo Editing app for Mac users is further magnified due to the platform’s reputation for graphic design, photography, and other creative endeavors.

With the proliferation of digital photography, having a reliable photo editing app is no longer just a luxury—it’s a necessity.

Apple, recognizing this need, provides every Mac user with the Photos app. While this tool is convenient and comes at no additional cost, it’s primarily designed for organizing photo collections.

Its editing capabilities, though decent for everyday users, are somewhat limited, especially when compared to more specialized software.

For those who are keen on photography and desire more creative control without the price tag, seeking alternatives becomes essential. Stay updated with Macworld’s digital magazine to get insights into the evolving world of Mac apps and tools.

Best Free Photo Editing App for Mac


Apple Photos

Overview and History: Apple Photos, initially known as iPhoto, has been the default photo management and editing tool on Macs for years. It was rebranded as Photos in 2015, marking a significant shift in its design and functionality.

Features and Benefits:

  • Seamless integration with iCloud, allowing for easy photo syncing across Apple devices.
  • Basic editing tools like cropping, filters, and color adjustments.
  • Facial recognition and smart album creation based on photo content.

Limitations and Comparison: While Photos offers a user-friendly interface and sufficient tools for casual users, it lacks the advanced editing capabilities found in more professional software.

Adobe Express

Adobe Express

Introduction: Adobe Express, formerly known as Spark, is Adobe’s answer to quick, web-based photo editing. Designed for both novices and professionals, it offers a range of tools accessible through any web browser.

Key Features and Functionalities:

  • Variety of templates for social media posts and other documents.
  • Basic photo editing tools like filters, brightness, and contrast adjustments.
  • Collage creation and text addition capabilities.

Premium Subscription Details: While the basic version of Adobe Express is free, a Premium subscription, priced at $9.99 a month, unlocks additional editing tools, and a vast library of stock photos, templates, and fonts.

Adobe offers discounts to students, teachers, and non-profit organizations.

Photoshop on the web 

Introduction: Adobe’s Photoshop on the Web is an ambitious project aiming to bring the power of Photoshop to the browser. Currently, in beta, this tool promises advanced editing capabilities without the need for software installation.

Features and Comparison:

  • A selection of advanced editing tools similar to the desktop version of Photoshop.
  • Collaboration features, allow users to comment on projects.
  • Quick Actions for automated edits upon photo upload.

Current Status: Being in beta, users might encounter occasional bugs. It currently supports Chrome and Microsoft’s Edge browsers, with plans to expand to other browsers like Firefox. The future might see it integrated into Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscription.



Overview and Comparison: Seashore started as a derivative of Gimp but has since carved its niche. While not as powerful as Gimp, it offers a more user-friendly experience.

Key Features:

  • Basic tools like crop, pen, paintbrush, and clone tool.
  • Supports layers and alpha channels for advanced editing.
Google photos

Google Photos

Introduction: Google Photos, Google’s cloud-based photo storage and editing solution, serves as an alternative to Apple’s Photos.

Features, Benefits, and Storage Options:

  • Unlimited storage for high-resolution photos.
  • Basic editing tools and creation of animations or collages.
  • 15GB of free storage with the option to purchase more.


Overview and History: Gimp, or GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a renowned open-source photo editor available across platforms.

Features, Interface, and User Experience:

  • Comprehensive editing tools rival premium software.
  • A steeper learning curve due to its intricate interface.

PhotoScape X 

Introduction: PhotoScape X is a fresh entrant in the photo editing arena, offering a unique approach to photo manipulation.

Unique Features and Functionalities:

  • Tab-based interface focusing on specific tasks.
  • A wide array of filters, effects, and lighting controls.

Pro Version Details: An upgrade to the Pro version, priced at $39.99, unlocks additional tools, making it a worthy contender in the photo editing space.


Can I get the full version of Photoshop for free on Mac?

No, the full version of Photoshop is not available for free. Adobe offers a 7-day trial for Photoshop, after which users need to opt for a subscription plan.

However, Adobe does provide discounts and special offers for students, teachers, and non-profit organizations.

How does Google Photos compare with Apple’s Photos in terms of storage?

Google Photos offers unlimited storage for high-resolution photos, though there’s a limit on the resolution. For original quality photos and videos, users get 15GB of free storage.

On the other hand, Apple’s Photos uses iCloud storage, where users get 5GB for free, but photos and videos can be stored in their original quality. Additional storage can be purchased for both platforms. 

Is Gimp a user-friendly option for beginners?

Gimp is a powerful photo editing tool with a range of advanced features. However, its interface can be overwhelming for beginners. While it offers functionalities similar to premium software, there’s a steeper learning curve. With time and practice, users can harness its full potential.

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In the realm of photo editing Apps, Mac users have a plethora of options, each catering to different needs and expertise levels. From the built-in simplicity of Apple Photos to the advanced capabilities of tools like Photoshop and Gimp, there’s something for everyone. 

While some apps prioritize user-friendliness, others focus on providing a comprehensive set of editing tools. Ultimately, the best photo editing app is subjective and depends on individual preferences, requirements, and the depth of editing needed.

Stay informed, experiment with different tools, and find the one that resonates with your creative vision.

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