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Improve your iPhone Instagram experience

Improve your iPhone Instagram experience

Instagram has become a go-to sharable photography app. With the addition of video it has only improved over time, even after the Facebook buyout. While many have tried, they don’t seem to be able to knock Instagram down. It’s simple to crop, caption, add filters and share your square photos with friends. At the same time you can also send them off to sites like Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Email.

I’ve tried others like EyeEm for photos and Vine for six-second videos, but I always head back to Instagram each time.

Instagram, with the addition of 15-second videos, has raised the bar. I am really impressed with the added video interface. It gives you plenty of control, letting you edit your video down to 15 seconds either cropping time off from the beginning or end by dragging the click from left to right. There’s also a slider to make the durations shorter. Next, you pick a filter. It wouldn’t be a popular app without it. squarereadypPicking a cover frame is next, it’s just a slider along the bottom.

Now, there are a few limitations with Instagram for all of you artistic photographers who don’t always shoot square photos or video or want to include multiple photos in one shot.

No problem here, there’s a cottage industry of apps to expand your Instagram experience. And, you’ve come to the right place since acquiring apps has become one of my hobbies. It’s a good thing you can organize them into folders or I would endlessly be swiping across my phone trying to find them.

In no particular order, here are my favorites:

squarereadySquaready Pro  — While Instagram is a square format, there’s no reason you can’t beat the system with a vertical or horizontal crop. There are plenty of choices to pick from, but my favorite app for this is Squaready Pro. It gives you plenty of controls with a nice border and drop shadow to set your vertical or horizontal photographs against the background. There are plenty of these style of apps, but Squaready Pro gives you a variety of effects and controls which let you crop your horizontal or vertical photo and fills out the square with a background color of your choice. Ipicframe350 usually squeeze the photo in just a little to give it a slight border on its longest sides. It also has a button to center your image. You get choices of border width and color. It is priced at $1.99.

picanddipPicFrame or Diptic — Again, there are plenty to choose from in the multiple photos with frames category. Both PicFrame or Diptic come with plenty of options. These apps are used to produce multiple photos into one square image with a border in between the photographs. Most of the time you’re going to use two, three, or four photos; use the templates that will give you plenty of ways to showcase your photos in a variety of designs. PicFrame and Diptic are priced at $0.99.

pic-collagePic Collage — It sort of reminds me of a bulletin board. Just organize your snapshots in a collage fashion with a variety of colorful patterned backgrounds. It’s a simple process of picking photographs, sizing them for the layout and picking a color for the frame. piccollage350You can change the position later just by clicking on the photo and changing the level order and size. The app does layout in a vertical orientation, so you have to plan for the Instagram square crop. Pic Collage is free and comes with plenty of add-on stickers, but you can buy more for $0.99 for each pack.

picplaypostPicPlayPost – You probably want to share multiple videos in your square frame, and this is where the PicPlayPost comes in. Now you can have multiple 15-second video streams just like photos. Actually, you can mix still images and video with this app to make your square masterpieces. This app is a breeze to use and allows you to vary your frame colors and widths. Just save it to your camera roll and then share on Instagram, or the many other social media websites. PicPlayPost costs $1.99.

flipagramFlipagram — Remember when you were young and had a flip book? You used your thumb to quickly make the pages turn to see the stick figure turn into animation. This app lets you add photos to a make a 15-second slide show from a selection of your photos and added music. It’s a great way to add multiple square photos to tell your story. You pick the photos, sort the order, pick the speed and music. You can send the video to your favorite social media site or email. $0.99.

Photo credit: The Instagram logo is displayed on a smartphone on December 20, 2012 in Paris. (Lionel Bonaventure / AFP / Getty Images)

robert.lachman@latimes.com

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