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Instagram photo filter and sharing app for iPhone

Here at Download Squad, we're always on the lookout for cool little mobile apps that are both fun to use and useful. Sometimes that involves tickling our creative side and that's where Instagram comes in. Instagram, like many other apps available on the iPhone, allows you to take an image and apply effect filters to it. Some like 'Lord Kelvin" age your photo, others such as "Inkwell" desaturate it turning it black and white. Instagram comes packing no less than 11 filters, but what really sets it apart from others like Hipstamatic, is the inclusion of photo sharing.

Sharing

Of course export to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr and even Foursquare is a cinch, but Instagram also has its own photo sharing stream. It allows you to upload and share photos with followers and friends who also use Instagram. You can find fellow users by searching your address book on your iPhone, through Facebook or Twitter, or by searching for Instagram usernames within the app. Once you add your friends, you follow their stream just like Twitter, but instead of 140 characters and the odd image, you get a stream filled with beautiful and creative images -- well that bit depends on who you're following, so I guess it's not guaranteed.

Function

Actually getting your image into the app is a breeze. You can either take a new photo directly in the app, or use one from your camera roll. The latter option allows you to use HDR images should you be wielding an iPhone 4, adding an extra dimension to your photos. Once the image has been pulled into the app you're presented with an image crop tool that allows you to adjust the area of the image you want to play with. Unfortunately it looks like Instagram is limited to a square image, so if you were hoping to get the whole photo in the picture you're going to have to crop it or shrink it quite considerably.

Instagram for iPhone



Once you're happy with your selection you're presented with the 11 pre-defined image effects, plus the option to leave the image as-is. Selecting the desired filter shows you a live preview ready for you to save and get your image uploaded. The sharing process is simple. Name the image, give it an optional location and check the services you want it to be published to. Pressing done then uploads the image to the various services and into the Instagram stream for any of your followers. Once it's in your stream people can like it and comment on it in a similar manner to Facebook. Finally, your pictures are available direct from the Instagr.am site (like this one).

Verdict

Instagram is a nifty little free app, it's got plenty of filters and is simple to use and share the results. While there are many competitors available for the iPhone -- some free, some not -- Instagram sets itself apart through its sharing services. So if you're looking for a photo app it's worth considering; it could be the next big thing in photo sharing.

Instagram [iTunes] - Free

Tags: camera, facebook, flickr, FourSquare, instagram, IOS, iphone, photo, photo sharing, photosharing, review, twitter

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