Samsung is looking to make a phone that can please everybody with the Galaxy S10, and a built-in Instagram Mode for the phone’s camera is another step in that direction. Demonstrated at the Unpacked event by Instagram head Adam Mosseri, the feature brings all the trappings of Instagram glamor shots right to the full-featured stock camera app on the Galaxy S10. It also enables instant sharing to Instagram, allowing you to go from capturing a moment to sharing it, complete with hashtags, in a matter of seconds.
When you shoot a photo in the Instagram app, you have a number of filters, beauty features, and other little bits and bobs at your disposal. The Galaxy S10 has all of that and then some right within its stock camera app. In every single camera mode, Instagram tweaks and sharing are never more than a couple of taps away, whether you’re shooting video, stopping for a selfie break, or capturing a breathtaking panorama. Mosserri even demoed the feature’s versatility by pulling Samsung exec DJ Koh up on stage for a selfie.
Naturally, since Samsung announced it’s opening up its camera APIs and providing an SDK to partners with the release of the Galaxy S10, purists can still use the Instagram app and expect their shots to look just as good. That can also be said of a small number of partner apps for now, such as LINE, but that number will grow in the near future. Partner apps have full access to all features of the Samsung Galaxy S10’s stock camera, including under-the-hood features and user-facing features like shooting modes and tweaks.
This is the first time that Samsung has ever opened up its camera APIs, and also the first time that the company has ported the full feature set from another app into its onboard camera offering. This historic moment does offer one thing that’s not a first, though, and that’s Samsung partnering up with Facebook or a company it owns. Samsung’s implementation of Oculus for its Gear VR ecosystem is the first thing to jump to mind, but it’s far from the only occurrence.
This move aims to put the Galaxy S10 at the top of the social sharing ladder as far as smartphones go, and if you happen to frequent Instagram, it’s a compelling feature indeed. Skipping all of the in-between and app-switching to go from taking a photo and touching it up on-device to setting it up for Instagram and then finally getting it out is a much less impulsive process than simply having all of the Instagram features right at your fingertips when you take the shot. Naturally, Galaxy fans who may have previously not been so active on Instagram may also jump on this feature and start to favor the platform a bit more.
Arguably more exciting is the opening up of the camera APIs and Samsung providing companies with an SDK. The Galaxy S series’ well-loved camera prowess has always leaned heavily on software tricks and optimization, and now everything that Samsung has learned over the years can be utilized with ease by any developer who has an app that uses the camera. This isn’t just exciting news for Galaxy S10 owners; any partner app that implements Samsung’s camera tweaks could potentially open them up for users on any device. What this means is that devices with good camera hardware and poor software could jump into an app that’s partnered with Samsung and churn out great shots.