Instagram lets you share your best photos fast

Instagram is an awesome photo app that lets you apply retro filters to your iPhone photos to turn quick mobile shots into art. It's easy to use, makes sharing photos simple and fun, and, best of all, it's free. Just beware: Instagram is addictive.

Instagram
Though there aren't many effects, adding a simple retro feel to your image makes it look great. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Instagram is a long-time favorite photo app with users that lets you apply retro filters to your iPhone photos to turn quick mobile shots into art. It's easy to use, makes sharing photos simple and fun, and, best of all, it's free. The app has been out for quite some time and is extremely popular with users, but if you haven't had a chance to check it out, we think it's an app just about anyone can appreciate. Just beware: Instagram is addictive.

Instagram (free) requires only a couple of touches to produce great-looking images, but what's really special about Instagram are the sharing capabilities that let you tell the story of your life through photos.

Start by signing up with Instagram with an e-mail address, username, and password. From there you can configure Instagram to autopost to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Foursquare, and Posterous, or just choose to share images from within the app or via e-mail. You also have the option to turn any of these on or off if you don't want to share your shots with everyone.

Instagram
The Most Popular list updates quickly so you'll always have new photos to browse. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Once you're all connected, you'll be able to snap a photo wherever you are, move and scale the image, add an effect with a touch of your finger, and then touch Done to share your photographic moment with the world. The app comes with several free custom-designed filters that can give your image various retro effects, a grainy black and white look, or even adjustable tilt-shift options. When you're satisfied with the look, you can add a caption along with optional geotagging, then share it right away.

Even with just the features mentioned, this free app would already be easy to recommend, but a couple of added features make it even better. Once signed up with Instagram, you can Follow other Instagram users on the Feed page, which shows recent images taken by you and your friends and lets you comment and "like" photos. Switch tabs to look at a Popular list that shows all the most popular Instagram images from all users. You also can look at a News tab, which shows the latest actions by your connected friends (liked, commented, or otherwise), so you can see what your friends are currently looking at. We think these features make Instagram an app you might look at every day, just to see what your friends are up to.

Overall, we think Instagram is an excellent way to take great-looking shots and share them with anyone. The in-app feed and news options make it a unique app for connecting with your friends across social networks. We highly recommend this app to anyone who wants to share images in fun and unique ways.

About Jason Parker

Jason Parker has been at CNET for more than 13 years. He is the Senior Editor in charge iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.

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