In this age of multiple cameras on smartphones, portrait pictures are the rage. While a lot of smartphones now have dedicated depth sensors to give you that crisp bokeh effect, oftentimes than not, you might end up wanting the blur effect on a photo that you didn’t click using the built-in portrait mode.
Many of you might not know this but one of the easiest ways to add bokeh effect to almost any picture on your phone is by using the Portrait Blur feature on the Google Photos app. To do this, you’ll need to open Google Photos, select a picture from your library, tap on the Edit button, tap on the Edit tab, and adjust the Blur slider from the pop-up menu. The slider will only pop if Google Photos detects a person’s face in the shot, meaning the feature cannot be used to add a blurred background to animals, and objects. For now, the Portrait Blur feature on the Google Photos app can only be accessed on Google Pixel phones exclusively.
Google also offers another app called Snapseed for all your editing needs and you can also blur your background using the same. The app allows you to manually add blur effect to any of your photos, unlike Google Photos which can only create the effect selectively. You can learn to blur background using Snapseed from our guide and you can use it even if your phone lacks that second camera.
Fabby — Photo Editor, Selfie Art Camera
Created by Google’s Research at Google team, Fabby offers a creative tool to add a background blur effect to make it look like you’re using a high-end camera. In addition to blur effect, the app randomly select effects from an unlimited base and intelligently applies them to your photos. The app also offers a smart & natural auto-beautifying function to create photos with smooth skin, bright eyes, and white teeth.
LightX Photo Editor & Photo Effects
Moving on to third-party apps, LightX is one of the popular photo editors which offers a way to create a blur effect on any of your pictures. Tapping the focus button in the edit panel will get you different blur options including fill, lens, linear, radial, and mirror. Selecting Fill will blur the entire picture while selecting the options that will blur the area that is not selected. Besides blur, you can apply a vignette effect on the inner and outer regions of the blur mask.
Photo Editor by Aviary
Aviary’s photo editing app has existed on Android for over the major part of the last decade and the powerful photo editing app also offers sharpen and blur tools to create pictures with blurred backgrounds. You can blur out any part of your photo using the Focus effect and with that, also tweak other aspects of your picture like color temperature, color splash, filters, and frames.
Download: Photo Editor by Aviary
Cymera Camera – Collage, Selfie Camera, Pic Editor
Downloaded over 100,000,000 times, Cymera Camera features an easy-to-use editor that offers a Blur tool inside its Effect page. When you select the Blur tool, you can apply linear or circular portrait blur to your subject and adjust the blur intensity by sliding over the slider at the bottom. Besides the blur effect, Cymera includes 7 different camera Lens affects like FishEye, Lomo, Divided lenses and more. There are over 150 filters, controls for lights, borders, and vignette and AR stickers that can be applied to any of your pictures.
Download: Cymera Camera
PicsArt Photo Editor: Pic, Video & Collage Maker
PicsArt is a leading photo editor app with over 500,000,000 installs and comes with a blur tool that applies more effects than others in this list. When you tap the FX tile, selecting Blur will get you the different background blur effect that you can add to your picture. You can choose from Blur, lens blur, smart blur, motion blur, focal blur, and radial blur. Additionally, you can tweak the way the effect is applied and change your subject as per your choice.
AirBrush: Easy Photo Editor
Installed in over 10,000,000 devices, AirBrush can not only apply effects to captured pictures but can also be applied when taking them. You can use tools such as Smooth, Sculpt, Whiten or Firm from its settings. Blur effect can be added through Bokeh and Blur modes under Tools and you can add the effect by brushing over the region that you want to blur out. Besides this, AirBrush can be used to retouch your skin tone, brighten your eyes and whiten your teeth.
AfterFocus allows you to create DSLR-style background blurred pictures by simply selecting focus area for an image. The app comes with Smart focus area selection which recognizes the focus area to apply blur to. To emphasize on moving things, there’s a Motion blur effect present inside the app.
Auto blur background – blur image like DSLR
This app offers various blur effects to create the most realistic blur effect for a particular photo. The app comes with a Smart focus area selection that automatically recognizes the focus area and applies portrait blur to the background in your pictures. There are different blur effects to choose from including lens blur, classic blur, background filter, overlays, and more. In addition to automatic selection, you can also opt for a manual focus mode which lets you draw over the focus area to apply blur to the area that isn’t shaded.
Download: Auto blur background
Which of the above apps do you use to add background blur on your pictures? If your app isn’t listed here, let us know in the comments below.