Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Instagram

Want the best photo editing app you can get for a phone? You'll probably have to pay a lot of money for it. Want a really stinkin' good one for free? Instagram is your guy. Besides the fact that they were recently bought by Facebook, they've had over 15 million downloads on iOS alone. I know TONS of people who have this app and I'd still never used it going into the review. So what did I end up thinking of this free, photo enhancing app for Android and iPhone? Find out in my full review after the break...

App Profile:
Type: Photo Enhancment and Uploader
Platform: iOS and Android
Developer: Burbn Inc.
Reason for Downloading: You want to bring out the best in your pictures OR you want special effects added to you pictures and then upload them to your favorite social network.

Pictures are worth a thousand words and in this case, maybe a million. I can tell you about this app all day long and not get the point across as well as if I show you just one picture enhancement, so I'll be doing just that throughout most of the review. First, a little lesson on how this app works.

There's a couple different ways to go about using this app. You can simply take a picture with your native camera app on your phone and then edit it afterward or you can open up the Instagram app on the phone and take a new photo from there. In our case, we've basically started using Instagram to take all of our photos instead of the native camera app. The reason is, when taking a picture in Instagram, you have all the options you normally would with the native camera app, plus all the effects that are available through Instagram. There's no downside (that I've been able to identify) to using the Instagram app instead of the native camera app.

An example of the Instagram camera app with the effects menu open
The following pictures are some examples of photo enhancing that Instagram is capable of, featuring our dog, Dace.

The Original
Just hitting the "brighten" button in the bottom, left corner of the editing window

As you can see by the few examples shown here, Instagram has a lot of different effects to choose from. I displayed the ones that change the photo most dramatically.

The downside I've found with using Instagram is that you have to pick a smaller portion of the original portion of the original picture to edit or you end up with the black borders on both the top and bottom of the picture like the sample photos above. There's no way around it, unfortunately.

Other than that, using Instagram has dramatically increased the quality of my photos, especially when taken from a phone. It's also increased the amount of photos I share with people. Instagram has an integrated Social Network uploader, which means you can opt to share photos on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and many other social networking sites, immediately after editing them. Instagram makes it quick and easy to enhance and upload photos to any mainstream social networking site.

Because of it's high quality and it's free price tag, I give this app a definite two thumbs up and recommend it to anyone who wants to take quality pictures from their phone.

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