There can be few people with a cell phone who have not used it to snap a photo when out and about. Long gone are the days when phone cameras were sub-par offerings – now you will find that the camera component of your phone is comparable to a dedicated camera. With photos stored on your camera memory you can show off your snaps to people you meet, you can transfer them to your computer, or you can share them by posting to the likes of Facebook or attaching to an email.

But if you’re looking for something a little more interesting, you might want to take a look at Instagram. This is a free app that not only helps you to share the photos you take, but also provides you with various tools to transform your photos into something truly stunning. You might think that using a phone limits your image editing potential, but Instagram features a range of filters and effects that can do everything from creating tilt-shift effect to giving shots a vintage look.

The service has come in for some criticism of late due to its popularity and the sheer number of photos that make use of the effects it has to offer, but this does not take away from just how great it is and how much fun there is to be had. In addition to the special effects and filters, there are a series of borders to choose from, and you can not only share your images with other Instagram users, but also via the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

There is integration with other services so you can opt to use Instagram as an image host in other apps and in many respects the app is comparable to Twitter. You can opt to follow other people using the service so you keep updated with their latest photos, and you and view a photos stream of their images as well as others you may be interested in. There’s support for liking and commenting , and all of this is wrapped up in a well-designed interface that is a joy to use.

What's New in Version 9.1?

Introducing Instagram Stories, a new feature that lets you share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile. As you share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format: your story. 


• Zoom with one hand as you're recording a video. Slide your finger up while holding the video record button.
• Switch camera mode while recording a video. Double tap to flip between the front and back camera.
• Lots of bug fixes and improvements to make stories even better (and faster).

Introducing Instagram Stories, a new feature that lets you share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile. As you share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format: your story. 

• Share multiple photos and videos (as many as you want!) to your story. Bring them to life with text and drawing tools. They disappear after 24 hours and won't appear on your profile grid or in feed. 
• Watch stories from people you follow in a bar at the top of your feed, from your best friends to your favorite popular accounts.
• View stories at your own pace: tap to go back and forward or swipe to jump to another person's story.
• Comment on someone's story by sending them a private message on Instagram Direct. Unlike regular posts, there are no likes or public comments.
• Your story follows the privacy settings of your account. Swipe up to check out who's seen each photo and video in your story. Hide your entire story from anyone you don't want to see it, even if they follow you.
• Feature a particular photo or video in your story by posting it on your profile.
Instagram Stories will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks.

Verdict

Instagram is an incredible phenomenon. If you’re yet to try the service, you just don’t know what you’re missing out on – install a copy this instant!