Instagram Gets A Much Needed Update

Instagram Update

Instagram Update

Word just filtered through Twitter that iPhone photo share app Instagram just updated with some very exciting features. For people who don’t use the app, this is just noise and fanfare from iPhone nerds. But, for the nerds, this is huge. In a blog post revealing all of the updates, Instagram details that they have added four new filters (seen above), quicker filter switching, instant tilt shift, rotation, optional borders, higher resolution photos, more supported devices, and a new, somewhat cuter icon. To all non-Instagrammers, these are all seemingly normal things you would have thought already existed on the app but they did not. News of these things are huge! Particularly the fact that you can remove borders, rotate photos, and switch through filters and tilt shift much faster is a blessing.

I played around with the new app and it is very, very good. Let me show you some of the features that I captured, while using my dog Dottie as a model.

Instagram Update

As you can tell from these three, the whole photo editing experience is completely different. Gone is the beige backdrop and somewhat invisible tilt shift button and in are new features and clearly noted functions. On the left, you will see how the tilt shift works. Although there is no longer a way to adjust how much tilt you are getting, you can now more clearly and easily see what is being affected by the tilt shift as a white glow displays the tilt shift. The middle photo displays the new filter carousel which loops the filters into a constant stream. You’ll also see there are new icons to represent the filters, which look much cleaner and crisper than the previous version of the app. Also, the shoes are gone and trees are in! On the right, the photo is upside down which–although seemingly silly here–is very valuable when you take a photo that you want oriented in a specific way so you don’t have to use another app to get it as you like. Although you cannot crop your photos (yet!), rotating your photo is a step in the right direction for Instagram to combat other photo sharing systems like Hipstamatic and Camera+.

You’ll also notice that all three of the photos do not have a border, which you can turn on or off with the icon on the top left. Speaking of icons, the second to the left icon rotates the photo, the middle reverses camera view, the fourth icon manages tilt shift, and the fifth exits from photo editing back to your stream. The fifth icon–the X–is a bit redundant in conjunction with the lower red X, which simply takes you back a step to retake a photo. Beware of which X you employ! The eye on the bottom right also turns off/on the filter carousel, making your view of photo editing less congested.

All in all, I think the Instagram update is very great and much needed. Granted, the updates are mainly only in regards to editing the photo versus the interactivity. The update gives users the power to make their photos look better than Instagram has ever allowed, which is a very, very good thing. Now, go forth and update your Instagram, iPhone nerds…and let us know what you think in the comments!


13 Comments Instagram Gets A Much Needed Update

  1. Adam September 20, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    “Although there is no longer a way to adjust how much tilt you are getting…”

    I’m pretty sure you can still adjust it. Once you go into tilt shift mode, pinch your fingers on the screen and it should adjust.

    Great write up and loving the new features!

  2. Justin Sullivan September 20, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    Hadn’t even updated instagram to 2.0 yet! Thanks for the tip off, Kyle.

  3. Duane September 20, 2011 at 3:30 PM


  4. Roh September 20, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Have you tried Luminance yet? Only just got it and offers control far beyond any other app I’ve seen. Every automatic filter is made up of editable adjustment layers and you can stack and many (or as few) as you want. Great for creating more subtle photos that look nice but don’t scream ‘Instagram/Hipstermatic’!

  5. jacob September 20, 2011 at 5:36 PM

    Where’d my Apollo filter go?!

  6. Alie September 21, 2011 at 3:23 AM

    But they changed all the old filters (they’re all a bit more similar now)!
    Walden used to be nearly grayscale and is now colourful, they decided to drop Gotham and keep Inkwell (???), and they lost Apollo alltogether?!
    Sure, the interface improved and I love being able to lose the frames, but the filters lost their personality.

  7. MZA September 21, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    I am SO glad they now allow you to turn off the image borders. there were a few filters I liked but hated the corresponding border.

    On a related note: just found a temporarily free camera ap called snapseed. Allows for spot adjustments (burn/dodge, contrast, sat). pretty sweet!

  8. Melissa September 21, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    Maybe it’s just my phone, but it definitely lags now and just uploaded a blank photo in place of the real photo… grr.

  9. John L September 22, 2011 at 5:21 AM

    Since they have removed the filters Gotham, Poprocket and Apollo, also tweaked the other filters so they do not look the same. Destroyed the blur control of tilt shift. I’ll not update, this was many deal breakers. Updates, please but do not wreck the feeling…

  10. Maggie September 22, 2011 at 1:41 PM

    Do you know of a equally accessible app for the android system? Also do you know why Instagram hasn’t capitalized on the Android market; exclusive iphone contract?

  11. Bobby Solomon September 22, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    @Maggie – I don’t know of any, not sure there are any. I think they’re staying clear of Android because of the fragmentation, there’s just too many models running it. That’s why I don’t make wallpapers for Android, there’s a million different resolutions and screen sizes.

  12. Timsta September 24, 2011 at 5:51 AM

    If you enjoy using instagram do not, I repeat do NOT update your app. The interface changes hurt the user experience and we lost some great filters. Perhaps the worst thing is how terrible the got shift is now… You no longer have the ability to fine tune the blur ie soften the edge/sharpen the edge – this literally makes the App borderline useless. I am very disappointed with the update and wish to roll my version back.

  13. Sten Martin September 25, 2011 at 3:02 AM

    Anyone who know how to acess friends’ Instagram photos? I just can’t find any way to share, or get a link to other’s images. Surly there must be a way…?

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