As much as we try to get it right in-camera, sometimes unwanted objects get in the way that we can’t help. Even worse is when we aren’t anywhere near a computer! What is a photographer to do? Use object removal apps on your phone of course!
Many photographers, imaging makers, and graphic artists stumble upon the common problem of wanting to remove a distracting element from an image.
Luckily, programmers heard the cries for help and developed applications that use AI to instantly and seamlessly vanish whatever it is you want removed. Whether you’re working from a cell phone snap or a professional camera synched with your mobile Android device, this is our list of the five best object remover apps for android!
5 Best Object Removal Apps for Android
A Forward Note
For our list, I tested out the following two images in all of the applications; intended to encompass common objects photographers want to remove from their photographs.
The first image features a couple of Alaskan Klee Kai puppies playing and there’s a tennis ball in the way, which greatly ruins the composition.
The second image is a Water Spaniel with a leash, something pet photographers encounter very frequently. By removing the leash, we can keep the focus on the dog.
1. Adobe Photoshop Fix (Now: Photoshop Express)
World-famous company Adobe redesigned many of the beloved Photoshop tools for mobile devices, including the ability to remove objects.
Adobe Photoshop Fix is being replaced by Photoshop Express.
Is anyone surprised that an Adobe program ended up on the list? The industry leader in imaging programs and applications, Adobe Photoshop has a long history of helping photographers get rid of whatever they desire in their shots.
What was once exclusive to the pay-only computer program has now been retrofitted for mobile devices at the steep price point of $0! Yes, Adobe Photoshop Fix is free and comes with many of the beloved tools that imaging makers have valued over the years. Three of which being the Spot Heal, Patch, and Clone Stamp tools.
Depending on the complexity of your edit, you can use one of the above tools to remove an unwanted object. All of the tools are quite customizable, allowing you to adjust not only the size of the brush but also the hardness or softness of the brush’s edges.
Here is how it fared with our two images:
For the puppies with the tennis ball, we used the Spot Heal tool and it worked quite well. You can tell that it took the photograph information surrounding the ball and tried to randomize the selection in order to more realistically remove the ball.
For the leash, there were a few minor discrepancies, primarily in the tree shadow to the viewer’s left of the dog. However, this may have been due to the leash being removed in one long stroke rather than in small sections, which may be the better way of tackling that scenario. This being said, you can always use the Clone Stamp or another Spot Heal to fix up that tree shadow!
Despite the leash not being a perfect removal, the slew of editing tools available in this application make it a worthwhile download.
Snapseed does so much more than just removing unwanted objects; a complete all-in-one program.
Snapseed is a popular choice for ‘phoneographers’ and those that enjoy selfies. It has a slew of tools to make your photographs really pop! With so many editing options, the ability to remove objects is often overlooked in this nifty, free program. Despite it being completely free, this app really does shine and its efforts at removing objects are consistently accurate.
Not as intuitive of a tool as expected, you remove objects using the Healing tool (which has an icon that looks like a bandaid). As someone who comes from a photo editing background, I don’t personally associate stamping out an object I don’t want with a tool titled ‘Healing’ but that’s easy to get past.
All you do with this tool is draw over the item you want to get rid of and the app does the rest! What struck me at first was that it felt like the brush tool could not be adjusted in size, but turns out, you certainly can; all you have to do is zoom in on the image and the brush tool becomes larger. Once more, when you get past this oddity, the tool itself is fabulous.
For our puppy shot, the tennis ball was replaced with a texture that can arguably be considered more realistic than Photoshop Fix above.
The leash also worked fabulously, with no traces of its existence left behind!
As easy as tapping what you dislike, TouchRemove will get rid of it quick and easy.
You don’t need to be a technical genius to use an app titled TouchRemove! The name already expresses how it is to be used. With a visually pleasing and easy-to-use interface, this app is quick and easy to load up when you need something removed.
It’s also a pretty light program, it didn’t bog my phone down at all. There wasn’t even a lag when uploading the two test photographs, and they were pretty large file sizes!
With three tools to choose from, the menu is very simple. On our red puppies, the Remove tool did quick work of that ball and it looks like it never existed! For quick objects like this, Photo Retouch excels.
However, when it came to leash removal, it struggled a bit – and I believe this was solely because the tool was a bit difficult to use. There was a little bit of an accuracy issue, which can be a problem when you’re trying to remove something that requires accuracy in order to mark. But, to be frank, unless you frequently encounter the need to remove something more complex, it might be worthwhile to have an easy to open program on your phone (because being bogged down by lag sucks!).
4. Photo Retouch
Sometimes, simplicity is best – such as Photo Retouch which is a program designed for just one job.
I personally love simplicity – give me one app that does one specific thing! Photo Retouch is such an application, created exclusively to do its sole purpose.
Photo Retouch includes multiple different tools for removing objects, which you can select based on what your needs are. As is customary for professional photo editing, no one tool will do the job perfectly; your goal is to problem solve and figure out which tool (or combination of tools) will achieve the best result.
For our red puppies, we used the Object Removal tool and lassoed (or outlined) the ball. The tools are very customizable and go into pretty good detail, so with enough tweaking, you should be able to remove almost anything you want. The app did a great job with this puppy shot, creating a very realistic removal where it became difficult to remember where the ball even was!
Using the same tool on the leash (which was very accurate and easy to select) the result looked pretty accurate at first glance. Upon closer inspection, you can see a lot of discrepancies in the tree shadow to the viewer’s left of the dog (much like with Photoshop Fix), but this is just a matter of better adjusting the tools to achieve the right result. It is worthwhile to point out that this app preserved the out-of-focus depth of field very nicely when removing objects!
5. BG Studio Remove Unwanted Object
An application with satisfying results, BG Studio’s Remove Unwanted Objects does wonders for even complicated photographs.
In my opinion, this is the most satisfying program on the list. Also created for a sole purpose, BG Studio Remove Unwanted Object may not be the most tool-heavy or tool-advanced program, but the accuracy is outstanding! Ease enough to use for even the most technologically inept individuals, this program is straightforward and to the point.
The app is very responsive and made selecting the parts of the image I wanted to remove very easily. For the red puppies, the Lasso tool was used to outline the ball.
Once clicking “Process” the app figured itself out in seconds and a very satisfying fade animation played to remove the tennis ball. The result did have some stamping issues, but nothing additional playing couldn’t fix.
However, removing objects like the ball wasn’t what caught my eye (because frankly, the other programs did this part better on the first go)…
It was the leash photo.
Where the majority of the above-listed apps struggled on the leash, BG Studio Remove Unwanted Object blew them all out of the water. Using the Brush tool which was the easiest to draw with of all the programs, the app was able to completely clone out that leash and leave an image in which you would never guess a leash existed. It worked so flawlessly around the tree shadows that there are no discrepancies anywhere in this render! Quite a feat.
Which Android Object Removal App Is Right for You?
So, what app should you download? Frankly, try them all! Each phone is different, and the best application is the one that works flawlessly with your Android device. These five best object removal apps are all top-notch in their category and excellent choices in their own right.
That being said, our general favorite was the BG Studio Remove Unwanted Object because although it had stamping issues with the tennis ball shot, it did such a great job on the leash removal (something the rest of the applications had some trouble with) that this is a must-have for complicated photographs. Another great pick is Snapseed, which did a great job removing objects despite that not being the app’s sole purpose. For an all-purpose image editor, Snapseed has your back!