Instagram on Monday rolled out a major update for iOS users that aims to improve the photo-taking experience. On top of making a phone’s camera roll more immediately accessible, the overall app has been updated to better replicate an onboard camera. So now, users will have access to optional grid guides and a grid when scaling and cropping.
Additionally, Instagram is integrating with Foursquare for the first time, making the photo-sharing app’s location pages a bigger function of interest. In the update, a Foursquare button will be present that will help users (and perusers of photos) get more familiar with their surroundings.
The update also includes a new filter called Willow (monochrome filter with purple tones), and improvements to Instagram’s tilt-shift blur feature, which allows users to make photos more dramatic. Instagram said on its blog that when previewing a photo, tilt-shift will mirror exactly what’s published; there was previously a small difference in accuracy.
Nothing revolutionary has been added to Instagram’s growing list of features, but the company is always striving to make the experience better. Other smaller improvements include a News Feed redesign, infinite scroll on users profiles and other grid views, and the ability to saves to a “Instagram” folder in the iOS camera roll.
I gave the app a quick spin and, maybe it was my particular phone, but it seemed pretty slow, especially the new camera interface. Having my camera roll right there is nice, but tapping an image seemed to slow the application down significantly, almost to a freeze. It’s still fresh off the manufacturing line, so I’ll keep playing around to see how it performs overall. Let us know how you like the update.
Update: We’ve found that the new update doesn’t allow users to access their Albums (other than Camera Roll) or Photo Stream, which is annoying. Whether that’s an oversight or by design is unclear. Because the app automatically accesses the Camera Roll by default, it seems like this was a design choice by default. We’ll continue to dig around and see what else is different.