Friday, April 6, 2012

Instagram comes to Android - What the fuss is about

Instagram is a photo editing and photo sharing app. As a photo editor it is not nearly as powered as Autodesk Pixlr-o-matic with its 84 effect 287 overlays and 193 borders. Instagram has 17 filters, 15 of which have border that can be removed. While Instagram allows you to crop and enhance photos your are limited to squares and the enhance option is a one click affair with no options or fine tuning. This is nowhere as powerful as PicSay. 

Instead of numerous options, Instagram gives you a few, but well selected choices which would satisfy most users. At the same time, by keeping thing simple it makes photo enhancing and sharing quick. I had no problems using it on a 3G connection. The main issue I have with Instagram is how much the photo quality degrades when enhanced.

My own 8 MP crops resulted in 612 x 612 pixel outputs with a fair amount of degradation in the quality of the photo.

Instagram also allows you to share photos on Facebook, Twitter, Foursqaure and Tumblr all of which can be done from within the app in Pixlr-o-matic and PicSay. In addition Instagram also has its own photo-centric social network, where you can share and view pictures of other instagram users, as well as comment and like their work.

All-in-all Instagram is a well balanced app with access to a well populated social network, with the main drawback being limited to 612 x 612 pictures and some the degradation of picture quality. I really do not need another social network to share pictures on. I use Facebook for that. I also have tend to share pictures now in 720p, which looks great on smartphones and tablets. Finally, I like my pictures to reflect what I see with my own eyes and not create faux vintage shots.  In sum, I do have no plans of using Instagram, but 31 million people do. If you want to join this community you can download Instagram from Google Play at this link.

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