By: Hillel Fuld
We have been writing this blog for a few years now and there are some posts that despite being published years ago, still remain among the most popular Appboy articles of all time. My initial review of Instagram is one such post.
If you are not familiar with Instagram, then first of all, you need to get out more. No, but seriously, Instagram was the photography app that started a whole trend of photo editing apps and photo filters that include tens of apps and millions of users. Having tried them all, Instagram is still the best…
I used Instagram as my default camera app for quite a while. Then I met Quickpix, and realized just how many pictures I missed in those few seconds it took Instagram to launch, apply filters, and share the result. Quickpix was faster but did not offer half of the features Instagram did. Except speed trumped features and I said goodbye to Instagram.
Then Instagram released version 2.0 of the app and that all changed. Yes, there are many new features and UI elements, which I will go into more below, but Instagram 2.0 launches and applies filters up to 200 times faster than the first version. 200!
As of this morning, Instagram has become my default camera app again, and I do not see myself replacing it with something else anytime soon.
Now for the new features:
- Real time Filters: Upon launching version 2.0, the first thing I noticed is the speed at which the filters are applied. I thought that was pretty cool. Little did I know that you can actually apply the filters in real time. No, not a one second delay real time, I am talking about as you point your phone to take a picture, before you snap the photo, you can see how it will look with the filter applied. It is that fast. That to me, is the most impressive part of the new Instagram.
- New Camera UI: When you launch the new camera in Instagram, you will notice that everything makes a whole lot more sense. You can toggle the flash, you can reverse the camera, you can enable or disable the frame (which was impossible before), and you can apply the tilt shift effect. Of course you can also close the camera. On the bottom you have the option to preview the photo before you snap it with any filter or effect you want to test. Very straight forward and intuitive.
- Four New Filters: Not much to say, there are new filters including Amaro, Rise, Hudson, and Valencia.
- High Res Photos: This is huge!! One of the main issues I, and many people, had with Instagram was that it was a photo killer. It destroyed the quality of your pictures and shared a low resolution copy of your work. No more. The new Instagram increases your photos from 612×612 to 1936×1936 on the iPhone 4 (1536×1536 on the iPhone3GS). Much needed feature.
Those are the major new features, with others including one click rotate of photos and optional borders. There is also a new icon for the app. The most important update in my opinion by far, is the speed and intuitive nature of the new app. Like I said, if you follow me on Twitter, you can expect to see a whole lot of Instagramming from here on out.
You can (and should) download Instagram here.