After much hype and anticipation the number one photo sharing app for iOS is finally here on Android. Instagram is a fast, free and a simple way to share beautiful, artistic looking photos to the world. Instagram is more than a simple camera app with image filtering effects though. Instagram comes packing its' own social network, making it a truly unique experience for taking, editing, and sharing photos.
How it works
Getting started on Instagram is quite easy after installing the app from the Play Store. You'll need to start out by registering and choosing a unique name on their vast social network. You can then link your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Foursqure accounts and setup your profile. Instagram helps you along the way here allowing you to import an existing profile picture from either Facebook or Twitter. You can start building your social network right away by scanning Facebook, Twitter or your phone contacts for friends already using Instagram.
Press the camera button to start snapping pictures or choose an existing picture from your gallery to share. Once you have selected a photo or taken a new one, you'll have the option of choosing from 16 gorgeous filters to spruce up your photo just a bit. After you've chosen your filter, you can add a photo caption, add geo-tagging, choose to share it with other social networks and finally share it to your followers on Instagram.
Do we need this on Android? The ICS camera can already apply many different filters to your photos. If you don't have ICS or aren't impressed with the built in filters, you can choose from other existing Instagram alternatives such as Pixlr-O-Matic, Hipster, Lightbox Photos, Streamzoo, or Vignette. None of these alternatives have their own social network attached to it though. That's okay, do we really need another social network? We already have existing social networks that allow photo editing. Google+ allows you to apply filters and fully edit your photos after you've uploaded them. Which can be done effortlessly with Instant Upload.
Instagram is more than a camera app with beautiful photo filters. If you're into social networking and use Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Foursquare, Instagram will make your life easier. Instagram has the ability to share your photos not only to its own social network but other popular networks with the tap of a finger as well. No longer do you have to make multiple posts on multiple social networks.
The app resembles iOS. It would be nice if Instagram for Android looked like Android. The ICS theme is gorgeous. Embrace it. Also, many users are reporting force closes and other issues. I myself experienced one while attempting to post and edit an existing photo. I'm sure this will get resolved as the app matures on Android. Remember, at this time it's less than 24 hours old.
It's nice to be able to see what iOS users have been drooling over for quite a while now. If you're looking for a free app to take photos that's backed by a vast social network dedicated to creating artistic looking images and sharing them to your friends, then Instagram is for you.