I like to take photos. I dare say that most people do. While very few of us count ourselves in the “Professional Photographer” camp, there’s something about being able to freeze a moment in time. And it’s something that has become significantly easier with the advent of the cell phone camera.
Being the iPhone 4 user that I am, there are a lot of great iPhone and iPod touch photo apps out there. Today, we’ll take a look at one of the hot ones at the moment, Instagram.
The idea for Instagram came from the mashing of the love for “instant” photography and the concept of telegrams being sent “over the wire” (or Internet as the case may be). What you get is a stream of photos that come from all over. They can be from your friends, your co-workers, or even perfect strangers. Once you download the app (which is free, by the way), you’re well on your way. How this all works is you can either take a photo with the Instagram app or select an image from your Photo Library and then, inside the app, you can add one of the filters to your photo or leave it untouched. There are a nice set of filters that are included with the app to help transform what could be a generically okay photo and help it look a bit more professionally processed. Once you filter (or not), then you add some info about the photo, some tags like on Twitter, and you’re done. Right now, when you post a photo, you can share individual photos on Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter. If you specify a location with your photo, you can tell the app to check you in on Foursquare.
Overall, the app is very simple and easy to use. The interface is very minimalistic and clean. The only place in the app that seems a bit off compared to the rest of the interface is the camera screen. It seems to almost be something that was an afterthought when the interface was designed. It’s simple and usable, but design-wise, it looks like a disconnect from the rest of the app. Some of the text links and buttons are a bit on the small side, but are still usable. You may have to try to tap some things a couple of times, but it’s not anything that should cause you to stop using the app. It’s just too much fun to see all the other photos that people post and all the other ways that you can post and filter your photos.
The app is free and available from the iTunes App Store.
You can catch my Instagram stream with my username, @tekitsune.