Sunday, October 2, 2011

5 Websites/Apps to Instagram Your Photos Without an iPhone

I've been seeing friends uploading cool, artistic photos via Instagram app, a cool photo app that lets you apply retro-style filters to your pictures and share them on Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, if you want to use Instagram, you'll need an iPhone or other iOS device -- you can't use it on Android or even on your PC. But that doesn't mean you have to go out and buy an iOS device just to get cool filterized photos. Here are five free websites/apps I found online that will let you get the Instagram and Hipstamatic filter effects!

One useful website I found is Pixlr-o-matic, one of the most true-to-Instagram services on the web. It's not a photo editor -- you can't use it to crop, rotate, or resize your photos -- but it does let you add cool retro-style filters, textures, and frames to your pics. To use Pixlr-o-matic, first upload a picture from your computer. If you don't have a good photo, you can take a photo with your webcam or use one of Pixlr's stock photos (if you just want to play around). Pixlr-o-matic has 26 filters, 30 textures, and 31 frames for you to choose from. With each photo, you can use one filter, one texture, and one frame.

Pixlr-o-matic is also available as a download, on Facebook, as an Chrome web app and for your iOS or Android device.

Picplz is another Instagram-like app for iOS, Android, and your PC. Unlike Instagram, Picplz has a browser app. Though it only has only 12 filters (and no frames), Picplz makes a nice alternative to Instagram if you're looking for a quick and dirty way to filterize your photos and share them with your social networks.Picplz is very simple to use. First, sign in with Facebook or connect with Twitter. Next, upload a photo from your computer--there are no editing options, so you can't resize, rotate, or crop your image. Then pick a filter, add a caption, and post the creation to your Facebook page or Twitter account.

Phixr is a photo editor with numerous capabilities. It lets you manipulate your photos--crop them, rotate them, resize them, or even use them to make photo collages with multiple photos--as well as add filters to them.Getting started with Phixr isn't hard, and you don't have to set up a Phixr account to use the service. Just agree to to the service's terms, and you can upload a photo right away--from your computer or from another service (such as Facebook, Flickr, or Picasa). If your photo is too large, Phixr will offer you the option of shrinking it or cropping it.

Picnik is a full-featured, in-browser photo editor with a clean, easy-to-use interface. You can use it to rotate, resize, crop, and adjust the color/contrast/exposure of your images. Picnik also has a number of fun filters, textures, and frames--including 30 free filters and 7 premium filters.Before you can get started using Picnik, you have to create an account. Luckily, it's a quick and painless process; and once you're done, you can start uploading photos right away. Picnik lets its free users upload up to five photos at a time (premium users can upload up to 100 photos at a time). You can also import photos from other sites, such as Photobucket, Picasa, and Flickr.

Lo-Fi isn't free and it isn't browser-based, but it's still kind of fun. A downloadable desktop program for both PC and Mac, Lo-Fi mimics a digital camera. The program is similar to Instagram and Pixlr-o-matic, in that it features different filters, textures, and frames. Lo-Fi lets you save your edited photos on your hard drive or share them on Facebook and Twitter.Getting started with Lo-Fi is easy, and you don't have to shell out $15 right away--Lo-Fi offers a seven-day trial, with no credit card necessary. (The trial includes all options, and even lets you save your photos without a watermark.)Lo-Fi's interface looks like a camera. On the left you'll see the photo you're working on (where the screen would be on a regular digital camera), and on the right you'll see the available filters, textures, and frames. One cool feature of Lo-Fi is the ability to add a second photo on top of the first to create a double-exposure effect.

Source: PCworld