A Complete Guide to Develop Photo Editor App like Glitch Lab 

Updated on Dec 18th, 2023

A Complete Guide to Develop Photo Editor App like Glitch Lab-1

Glitch, the temporary malfunction in a system that causes a temporary and unexpected imperfection, was first visualized as an art in the 1935 film A Color Box. Later, the art became popular in 2003 with movements like ‘net.art’. Today, with more people promoting unconventional creativity, Glitch art is gaining momentum too. Furthermore, as we see NFTs becoming more popular, there is a high probability that Glitch art’s value will go sky-high. What more? The photo editor app market is projected to grow up to USD 387.83 million by 2027. 

It is this turn of events, definitely, that has made apps like Glitch Lab a raging trend. The app at present has over a million users who use the app to create quirky and sometimes mesmerizing designs. Since the app functions mostly on the bits level of visual illustrations, it doesn’t require much of an input from users. It only asks for their creativity, for which it offers a multitude of tools.

Here’s a brief overview of how the app functions, and the key takeaways from the post.

  • Popular since 1935, Glitch Art has now become a great investment with NFTs growing popularity. 
  • Apps like Glitch Lab are considered a great investment, with the photo editing app market projected to grow to USD 387.83 million by 2027. 
  • Other apps to evaluate before investing in Glitch Lab Clone app development are Vaporgram, Trippy, and Glitch. 
  • Major effects in a glitch photo editor app are pixelation, scanlines, color splashes, grain, and noise. 
  • Libraries that can help you build the app with utmost efficiency are OpenCV and OpenGL.

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Glitch Lab App and How It Works 

Like any other photo editing app, the Glitch Lab also starts its function by first asking a user to upload an image. Users can also use the app’s preset graphics to create glitch arts. Since there are many ways you can ‘glitch’ an image, we’ll dive into that later. First, let’s try to see what’s happening behind the curtain. 

At the most basic level, the app simply manipulates the bit information of the given image. However, this manipulation isn’t random (even though it does use the random seed number to make the glitch look random). There are a variety of glitches a user can add to the image, laying those effects on top of each other too. Therefore, this manipulation of bit information needs to be done with ample precision.  

When you build a clone app for Glitch Lab, you can use any of the built-in libraries made just to create such visual effects. It all depends on the language and platform you want your app to use. In the end, however, you will need highly skilled developers to create custom and exclusive glitches for your app. Other than that, you will also need a team to create a simple and intuitive interface for the app.

Steps To Develop a Photo Editor App Like Glitch Lab 

Now when you know what is happening in the background of the app, you’re all prepared to begin the development process for your Glitch Lab clone app, and it begins with- 

Step 1: Competitor and Market Analysis 

Now even though you know what you want your app to do, you can simply not start building it without conducting proper market research on your target audience and the major market players. You already know about Glitch Lab and know that studying it is crucial to develop its clone app; please understand that it is equally imperative to evaluate other similar apps in the market to give yours a competitive edge. Some of the other famous apps in the niche that you can study are- 

  • Vaporgram 
  • Glitch Cam 
  • One-tap Glitch 
  • Glitch 
  • Trippy

You can analyze the X-factors of all these apps and try to offer them all through yours. Another thing you can study is the current pain points of your target market that none of these apps have yet been able to solve. This way, your app won’t be just another in the area. 

Step 2: Hire a Photo Editor Mobile App Development Team 

The best thing you can do to expedite your app’s market deployment is to hire a mobile app development team as early in the process as possible. Since the team will have experienced and skilled experts, they will be better equipped to help you select features and tech stack. Ideally, your team should consist of- 

  • Project Manager 
  • Android Mobile App Developer 
  • iOS App Developer 
  • UI Developer 
  • QA Engineer 
  • Back-End Developers 

Once you have hired your dream team, you can focus on creating your app’s plan. In most cases, your project manager will be able to create one for you. They will help you understand the feasibility of all the features you have in mind for your app and will even suggest more of them that you can add. They will also lay out the entire development plan and the different Agile sprints, and the deployable features. With all that set out, the development will become a self-perpetuating process that is structured to give you results most efficiently.

Step 3: Enlist the Features of Your Concept App 

Since you want to develop a clone app for Glitch Lab, it is understandable that you would want all of its features. However, it is to be noted that the app has patented some of its features, and you can only offer a variation of it for commercial purposes. Furthermore, please see that creating an exact replica of the app will not help you gain a competitive edge to grow your user base. This is why it is suggested to make your picks of features with some consideration. That being said, here is a list of the basic features that you must add to your app. 


Adding Photos

You cannot edit a photo that is not there. Therefore, the foremost feature of your photo editor app should be adding photos to it. You can either allow your users to upload an existing photo or ask them to take one with the built-in camera feature of the app. To make this feature work, you will need to gain access to the users’ storage manager as well as the camera.

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Basic Editing

Whenever it comes to a photo editor app, no matter what its specialization be, it must always have basic image effects. These include adjusting the image brightness, contrast, tone, vibrance, vignette, clarity, shadows, highlights, etc. Having these features in-built will keep your users more engaged and allow them to edit the image they want without having to switch to a basic photo editor app. 


Image Transformation

Transforming images is another range of basic photo editing features without which you will lose value for your app. These transformation features will allow your users to crop, resize, and rotate the images. They can do so with the images they add to the app as well as to the images they edit with the app. All the transformations can either be freeform or come with preset ratios and degrees.


Glitch Filters

Now coming to the main feature of the app, the glitch effects. Here you should list down all the major glitch effects of not just the Glitch Lab app but also the other competitors mentioned above. You will find many of these effects to be present on almost all the other apps. These are the features you can use without worrying about copyright infringement. For the rest others, you will need to research whether they are patented or not. In the former case, you can change the filter to make it more useful and different from the original app to make yours more useful. Here is a list of some of the glitch effects that you can add to your app. 

  • Pixelation 
  • Streaks 
  • Light Leaks 
  • Grain 
  • Noise 
  • Color splashes 
  • Textures 
  • Scanlines 
  • Corrupt text overlays 
  • Gaussian Blur 
  • Motion Blur 

You can further play with these basic glitch effects to create new ones. Glitch Lab at present offers 70+ such glitch effects, and you should also keep your game up to be a good competition.


Additional Details

Glitch Lab, like any reliable photo editor app, offers overlays for extra details. Users can add texts, frames, and clipart to their work to make it even more interesting. You should also help your users by letting them add such additional details. To make things more interesting, your app can even allow users to draw such extra details with free flow brushes and markers. 


Save and Share

With all the manipulation your users can make on an image, it would be useless if they could not save and share it with similar ease. Users must be given the option to save the image on their device or basic common cloud storage. They should also be able to share the image directly through popular messaging and social media apps.

Step 4: Decide the Tech Stack  

Now by this time, you will have the entire list of glitch features for your app. It’s the correct time for you to sit down with your team and decide on the technologies to be used for the app. You will be using the primary tech stack, regardless of the features, Swift for iOS app and Kotlin for Android. The rest of the features will require you to embed various libraries into your app. 

Besides the development kit, you will need a tech stack for UI, QA, data, and project management. Some of the technologies you can include are Django, JavaScript, React Native, PostgreSQL, Vue.js, Eclipse, Jira, Selenium, Trello, etc. For the image editing, you can use OpenCV, OpenGL, or other libraries as deemed fit by your development team.

Step 5: Build and Launch MVP 

Did you know that 29% of startup ideas fail because they run out of money before they can even realize their product completely? This is why, no matter how great your app idea is, you should always start with MVP development. Doing so will allow you to launch your photo editor app with basic features, gain a user base, and even attract investments.  

Besides assuring the business’s sustenance, launching an MVP will also give you a competitive edge. Deploying an app this early will help you get crucial feedback from your users, which you can then use to improve your app by launching the next version.  

For this to work efficiently, your team needs to prioritize the features based on users’ expectations and feature dependability. The ideal way to do that is by using Agile methodology. Through it, you can streamline the version updates and improve the effectiveness of QAs work. 

Step 6: Employ Your Preferred Monetization Strategies 

Now when you have your MVP built and launched, you can finally think of ways to monetize your app’s services. Primarily, most new apps start out as free ones and gain enough user base to start to earn through in-app advertisements. However, since your photo editor app is so full of potential, you can also consider other monetization strategies.

  • In-app Purchases: For your Glitch Lab-like app, you can keep the basic features free for use, charging a fixed amount for the advanced ones. To see how this can work, you should look at the existing photo editor apps that offer in-app purchases. Some of these include Adobe Lightroom, Snapseed, Face lab, and Glitch Lab itself. These apps charge for premium features like richer filters, selectively erase functionality, better output quality, etc. Doing so ensures that your app is open for all users, which will ultimately make it more popular in your target market. Additionally, it will help you gain the real artists among your user base, who would like to use those advanced features to create their signature arts. 
  • Paid App: Making your entire app a paid one is the easiest way you can streamline a revenue source through it. However, since most apps that offer the basic glitch features are available for free, you will have a difficult time convincing your potential users to pay for the same. The only way you can pull through a paid app as such is by offering truly premium services and market it right too. App marketing can really prove to be a game-changer in this situation, especially so since you do not have the support of a sizable user base that you could have acquired had your app been free for use. 
  • Advertisement: Last but definitely not least, advertisement is one of the most easily achievable methods you can earn through your photo editor app. pp. In 2021, too, when finally other monetization strategies have begun to pick pace, in-app advertisements are still ruling the market, with over 38% of app publishers making provision for the same in their apps. With the highest conversion rates, interstitial ads are becoming pricier every day, so if you can think of some relevant ads for your users, you should definitely opt to display them to ensure a steady flow of revenues till the time at least your premium features are ready to raise your top-line.

Step 7: Grow Your Glitch Photo Editor App 

When developing a feature-full app like Glitch Lab, know that no matter how futuristic features you plan in the beginning stages of the app, you will always have something you can improve upon. Besides, elementary features are simply not enough if you really want to improve your monetization strategies to offer a best-in-class user experience. 

This is why you should take your photo editor app development process like an ever-growing one. Once you have developed and launched your app with the primary features, you can start collecting reviews from your users to improve it. You should also keep your app updated with the latest advancements in technologies. For example, you can improve image manipulation by embedding your app with ML algorithms, or


Now you know everything you need to know to build your own photo editing app like Glitch Lab. From planning the basic features to deploying and growing with advanced ones, the entire process can quickly become overwhelming. This is why it is important to have a tech partner beside you to simplify the entire journey. And when you are anyways looking for a reliable development partner, why not choose us? 

Matellio, with its team of 200+ skilled experts and decades of experience, is a leading photo editor app development company. Our work in the industry has helped many of our valued clients grow their businesses exponentially. Regardless of the complexities involved, our team is adept at building your desired glitch photo editor app most efficiently. Contact us to book a free consultation and start your app’s journey today!

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