Lack of Instagram support has been a thorn in the side of WP8 for quite a long time now, and although a few upload-capable unofficial clients of the service have recently been released, there is still no word on the official app. If you are a fan of the image effects offered by Instagram, your wait must continue, but if you just want to post photos to the service after editing them, the newly released Hipstamatic Oggl might be more than enough for you. The app has been around on iOS for quite a while, and has gained quite a reputation owing to the quality and quantity of real-time camera filters it offers. The collection of photo effects is similar on the WP8 version of Oggl, but one thing that can make the app an instant hit is its ability to let users upload pictures to their Instagram account, making this Hipstamatic offering the first major app to officially bring Instagram support to Windows Phone.
By default, there are only a few lenses and filters in Oggl, but more can be unlocked via in-app purchases by heading to the ‘Gear’ section of the app. If you are a Nokia Lumia user though, it is possible to access all the Hipstamatic gear without any charges for 60 days. Before doing all that, however, you must register for a Hipstamatic account from the sign up screen that shows up within the app. If you have been using the service on another platform, there is no need to create a new one.
The first section that comes up once you have logged into Oggl is the camera screen. Before snapping a photo, users can preview different filter/lens combinations by hitting the ‘Manual’ button and then scrolling through the icons listed on either side of the camera button. When you are satisfied with the way the preview looks, hit the camera button in the middle of the screen to snap a photo. The app also supports tap-to-capture, which is helpful in focusing on a particular spot in the scene.
Even if you choose to shoot a photo without a filter, it can be edited later by heading to the Oggl gallery. Pictures aren’t shared with others automatically, and it is via this same gallery that you have to post your photos to the Hipstamatic network or social networks including Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Hipstamatic Oggl is not just a photo editor, and its own social network is quite comprehensive. You can follow other Oggl users, view trending posts and go through editor’s picks. A really helpful feature of the ‘Feed’ section is that you get to see the lenses and filters that have been applied to a photo, which helps in recreating a similar effect in your own pictures in the future. Providing feedback on these images is possible via the like and favorite buttons.
Oggl has been released for Windows Phone 8 devices only, and there are two versions of it. Hipstamatic Oggl can be downloaded by anyone on WP8 (although Lumia users get that free 60-day trial), while Hipstamatic Oggl Pro is only available for Lumia 1020 and makes good use of that device’s better camera options. Both apps are free, and can be downloaded from the links given below.