Instagram is perhaps one of the coolest apps available for iPhone (and soon to be available on Android). The app is popular because it lets you get more out of your iPhone’s camera, making your images stunning to look at and providing you a sharing/showcase platform. Instant is a Mac app worth $4.99 (for a limited time) on the Mac App Store that lets you combine a polaroid camera and 28 filters to make your photos amazing. The app also lets you connect with your Flickr account and share photos directly to it. You can customize the filters and add a caption to the image. When you add a caption using Instant, the app adds a frame to your image, giving it an authentic polaroid shot look.
The app’s interface is a simple polaroid camera. Double click it and browse for the photo you want to use. The app, sadly, doesn’t connect with your webcam. When you open a photo, Instant asks you to choose how much you want to capture and apply a filter to. Use the small knob at the center to rotate the image and drag the sides to increase or decrease the capture area. Click Shoot to begin processing it or click Cancel to select a different picture.
Wait for the app to develop and dry, which is just the time it takes to apply a random effect to the photo. Mouse over the image that comes out of the app, and you will see two buttons at the bottom right corner; one looks like a callout cloud and the other looks like the sun. The Sun like button opens the filter panel and you can choose which filter you want to apply. Use the sliders at the bottom of the panel to customize the filter effect. The callout cloud button opens the caption panel; you can select a font and its size and give the image any caption you like. Click the save button at the bottom right to save your image with the filter and caption.
You can change the speed of development and drying of an image from the app’s preferences and choose a color for the frame. Your choices are limited to white or beige. When you process an image, the app can either apply a random filter or the one you last used. It doesn’t make much difference as you can edit and change the filter before you save the image but the choice is there nevertheless. To connect your Filckr account with Instant, either click the Flickr button on a processed image or the Authorize button in its preferences.
The images may appear small once they are processed but they maintain their original size. The app neither resizes nor compresses them. The final results of out tests can be seen below (resized so it will fit here).
The app isn’t Instagram, but it is definitely a great desktop app that applies excellent filters. The customize feature available for the filters makes it better. Ordinary image editing apps apply only a color effect to images, but this app lets you edit them as well. However, you can only apply one filter at once to an image.