Yesterday popular iPhone application Instagram, well-known for its vintage hues and dreamy blurs, launched a big update which welcomes in a couple of exciting new features and tweaks to the way we take our photos.
Obviously this will mean very little to you if you’re not a serial Instagrammer, apps get updates all the time, right? True, but this one is pretty big and if you’re a fan it WILL change the way you use the application for better or worse.
BUT, did such a popular app that’s so achingly simple and easy-to-use really need tweaking?
Here’s a quick rundown of what’s changed and what we think about it:
As any Instagram lover will know, in the older version of the app you’d take a photo or pick one from your library THEN apply a filter to it. However, the newest update means you can see the filters live before you even take your photo, simply flick through them along the bottom menu bar to select the one you want.
You can obviously still choose a photo from your library to edit too, or even pick a filter and then change your mind and replace it with another.
It’s also worth noting that the filters are even faster as well, there’s a split second of rendering time which makes it easier to flick between them.
I’m a big fan of live filter apps, see Lumiere Lite, another favourite, so welcomed this change with open arms. If you’re serious about filters and picky about how things look, the fact you can play around and see which one suits your subject best is pretty special (and not at all nerdy).
As well as the filters, you can now preview tilt-shift live too. Use the same pinching and dragging movements to move the blurring effects around the screen as you normally would and then just take the photo when you’re happy with it.
Like the filters you can go back into your image and tweak it you’re not happy with it the first time round.
Like the live filters we’re VERY happy with this addition and think it works well. It’s also good that you can amend things after the photo has been taken too, as often you can’t capture an amazing image AND put lots of thought into blurring and filters all at the same time.
Brand new filters
There are a few new filters to play around with, Amaro, Rise, Hudson and Valencia which you can see in the image from the Instagram blog above.
The new filters are certainly in keeping with the way all of the other oldies look, but at the same time they aren’t too similar to seem like pointless additions. My personal favourite has to be Amaro, slightly faded with a blue/green hue.
My only concern with the introduction of more filters is that the Instagram team may keep adding more and more to the point where they’re all too similar and there’s too much choice. However, I’m hoping they’ll continue putting quality over quantity in the future.
One-click border and rotation options
You can now quite simply toggle borders on or off and rotate your images.
I’ve always been a big fan of Instagram’s borders but for certain purposes they make the image look a bit too fake and silly, so it’s great we now have the choice to scrap them and I’m not sure how many times I’d really need to rotate a photo in Instagram, but it’s certainly a ‘nice to have’.
Better photo resolution
Photos have increased in size from 612X612 to 1936X1936.
Obviously a hit, the higher resolution means better quality images which is a huge plus but also means you can go on to use your photos for other things and not find they look too grainy.
The changes are all mainly to the way we edit photos as apposed to the way we interact with the app itself, but it’s still a pretty substantial update and in many user’s eyes a much needed revamp.
Overall every tweak is definitely a big hit in our eyes, but we are worried that Instagram will continue to make even more changes to the app we know and love so well. The updates are brilliant, but more and more features and more and more buttons means it might lose its edge.