The only image editor you'll ever need continues to rewrite how we share our lives with others
- Simple and intuitive UI
- Sign up using your Facebook account so you can get started quickly
- Over 20 filters let you tailor your photo to suit your style
- Individual sliders for contrast, brightness, warmth, sharpness and much more
- Record 3-15 second video clips and share with friends
- Share with followers, on social media platforms, or privately with specific users through the Direct feature
- Some start-up lag when taking videos
Instagram is a highly popular free image editing app available for Android which lets users snap, meticulously edit, and share their favorite photos and videos with their friends.
Instagram is for many the first port of call when it comes to image editing. With hundreds of millions of users worldwide, its filter system has become famous for its ability to transform photos to create the perfect mood or atmosphere. Since then, it has developed a bunch of new features which aim to deliver an even more personal photo sharing experience. Signing up for an Instagram account is simple. Since it is owned by Facebook, the software encourages users to sign up through Facebook, but it is not necessary. Once you have set up a username and password, you're all set.
Features and UI
Instagram's UI is simple enough. The Home page displays photos chronologically from people you're following, changing in real time. Photos are almost full-screen size and typically high resolution. It's a great way to scan through your favorite photos. Activity shows you who has followed you in the last while. For profile information, there is the right-most button.
The Camera button in the centre is the most important, of course, since it allows users to start the Instagram process of taking, editing and sharing photos. Tapping the camera will open the interface. This version of Instagram comes with an assortment of new modes which make taking the perfect photo easier than ever. The grid feature allows you to position the subject of the photo more precisely. Camera rotation lets you switch between front and rear cameras. Flash toggle lets you adapt to your environment. If you already have a photo available, just tap the button beside the blue button and choose your source (files, gallery, etc.) and from there you can begin editing.
The Editing Process
Editing photos is where things get interesting. The 24 filters on offer options for modifying lighting, color, contrast, saturation, and even eliminating such features altogether. Tapping a filter will select it, and tapping it again will allow you to adjust a filter's strength. This makes possibilities potentially limitless.
In addition to filters, individual aspects of a photo represented by these filters can be edited with the wrench button on the right. From here you can rotate and zoom into images, adjust brightness, contrast, warmth, shadows, sharpen and more. The editing interface utilizes a series of sliders to control strength, with the effect on the image displayed instantly after tapping the tick.
One notable feature that was added in recent times is the option to take short video clips, ranging from 3 to 15 seconds to share with your followers. This can be accessed via the video camera symbol from the main Camera screen. Holding down the red button will start a recording. For very short clips, this isn't the best option, since there is some start-up lag for recordings. The video editor displays the same filters as the image editor, as well as an additional button for choosing a Cover Frame (thumbnail).
The Social Side
As a social networking app, the Follow feature lets you track, view and engage with the photos particular people upload. This is particularly useful for viewing friends' photos, holiday montages, and so on. Once you have edited your photo and written an appropriate caption, you can start the sharing process.
Before sharing your photo, you can also include its location using the Photo Map feature. This is particularly useful for a single photo in a larger series, for an event like a wedding, a holiday, or some other cultural event.
When sharing photos, you are given two options: to share with Followers, or to share Direct. Sharing with followers is as it states, and is a standard blanket sharing option for generic, humourous photos. The Direct is a new feature for Instagram, allowing users to pick specific users to share photos with. Tapping Direct opens an altered, green interface, displaying a list of circular images of your friends and a set of corresponding spaces on the right. Picking friends is as easy as scrolling through and tapping the ones you want. Photos can be shared with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare and Flickr.
Before sharing your photo, you can also include its location using the Photo Map feature. This is particularly useful for a single photo in a larger series, for an event like a wedding, a holiday, or some other cultural event. Followers can then track where particular photos were taken to further enrich the social experience.
The Best Image Editor Out There
Instagram is a fantastic way to share photos quickly and easily with your friends. Still emphasizing the social side of the app, the followers option allows users to share and discover photos from all over the world. The classic filters are as enticing and attractive as ever, offering options for any situation to create your perfect photo. The new Direct feature competes with the likes of Snapchat by facilitating private photo sharing. And similar to Vine, the video mode lets you take short clips, edit them, and share them. Instagram has adapted well to the shift towards more private sharing, and it remains at the top of its game. For photo lovers everywhere, this is definitely worth a download.