How to Open and Edit Raw Images in Android (Snapseed)

Photo editing software has come on in leaps and bounds on smartphone technology in recent years, but which app should you use to edit images on your Android phone?

If you’re trying to find out how to open and edit raw images on your Android device, we’re here with an article that will take you through the necessary steps using Snapseed.


If you haven’t heard of Snapseed, this is a great opportunity to get acquainted. It has been installed on over 10 million Android devices worldwide, and it’s great for all of your photo editing needs.

Here’s an introduction video that takes you through some of the editing options on offer;

As you can see, it’s an aesthetically pleasing app, that is intuitive to use. Here’s a full list of the editing tools on offer, as well as a brief description of their function;

  • RAW Develop – Adjust exposure and white balance, tweak shadows and highlights, add structure and more in DNG RAW images (on most of the latest devices)
  • Tune image – Use to auto-adjust for instant fixes, use Ambiance to create depth and vibrancy that uniquely adapts to colors and fine-tune brightness, saturation, contrast and more
  • Details – Enhance details with traditional sharpening or the unique Structure control that makes a photo’s subject pop
  • Crop – Crop images to standard aspect ratios or free crop
  • Rotate – Easily rotate 90°, straighten or free rotate how you like
  • Transform – Adjust perspective across vertical and horizontal axes, then fill in empty areas after rotation
  • Brush – Selectively apply effects to regions of an image
  • Selective adjust – Make precise selections and enhancements to specific areas of your photos in seconds with Nik Software’s revolutionary U Point technology
  • Healing – Remove dust and dirt from the image without leaving a trace
  • Vignette – Adjust brightness around the subject of an image, includes a control to freely position the effect

You’ll also find a large number of filters and stacks to manage your edits. These will help to change the look of your raw images, and there’s a wide variety to choose from.

Let’s get started with Snapseed

To start off with, open the Snapseed app once it has been downloaded and installed on your device.

You’ll find an icon located at the bottom, called Open Photo. Tap it to open a new menu.


This will open recent images saved on your device. You can use the menu located at the top left of the screen if you want to search for a specific image by searching in your Google drive, downloads or photos.

Select the image you would like to use, and tap it to open a new menu.

You’ll find a pen shaped circular icon in the bottom right corner.

Tap it to open the editing menu, packed with the options listed above. (You can also scroll down to go through the different filtering effects available.Here’s a rundown of the different filtering effects, and what they do;

  • Lens Blur – Draw attention to the subject of your photo by blurring and adjusting the brightness of the surrounding background
  • Glamour Glow – Add a glow to the image that is particularly useful for glamour and fashion photography
  • Tonal Contrast – Bring out fine contrasts across shadows and highlights, with precise exposure control
  • HDR Scape – Bring a stunning look to your images by creating the effect of multiple exposures
  • Drama – Add style with an effect specifically tailored to your photo, ranging from subtle textures to wildly artistic effects
  • Grunge – An edgy look with strong styles and texture overlays
  • Grainy film – Get modern film looks with a realistic grain engine
  • Vintage – Make any photo look like a vintage color film photo from the 50s, 60s or 70s
  • Retrolux – Make your photos look truly retro with light leaks, scratches, film styles and more
  • Noir – Modern black and white film looks with a realistic grain engine and the all-new “wash” effect
  • Black & White – Get that classic black and white look with this darkroom-inspired filter
  • Frames – Add stylized borders to photos for the perfect finishing touch

Tap on one of the options to give them a try. Cropping and rotating the image is pretty self-explanatory, but the filters and brushes are a great way to transform the image, or touch up those selfies.

When you’re finished, tap the Save button located at the top right of the screen.


If you want to Undo or Revert any of the changes that you’ve made so far, tap the options icon next to Save to bring up a new menu. You just have to tap an option for it to take effect, and it’s helpful if you’ve made changes that you would like to keep.


Of course, once you’ve finished editing your image, you’ll likely want to share it to one of the many platforms available on your device. Tap the same menu icon as in the last step, but this time, tap Share.

Your device will quickly save and prepare the image, before giving you a host of sharing options depending on the social media apps you already have saved on your device.

Hopefully, you’ll now have a better idea of how to use Snapseed, and you’ll be able to edit raw images to your specifications.


The Snapseed app is a great way to handle all of your photo editing needs, and it’s free to download to your Android device, so why not give it a try? There are a large number of photo editing apps available on the Play Store, but few can match the sheer functionality found with Snapseed.

It’s not all good news, as a minority of users have reported issues after a recent update though it’s pretty unlikely to affect your device.

If you want to find out which Android smartphone has the best camera, here’s a list of the best Android camera apps on the market.

If we’ve missed an easy way to open and edit raw images, or you have questions about the steps on this list, let us know in the comments below, or you can contact us via Facebook or Twitter.

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