April 20, 2012 in Uncategorized
Photography is always on the move and has seen many trends. It is becoming more and more common for people to edit their photos using their smartphone through apps using different filters etc then sharing them via social networking sites. These apps are becoming so popular that even the big dogs want to get involved. Social network giants Facebook recently bought out Instagram for a reported $1billion, that’s some serious dough. So are other competing apps just as good.. if not better? That’s what we’re going to find out.
In the red corner we have Instagram that has a two year history of being an iOS app and is now available for the Android market.
And in the blue corner we have Lightbox. Which is a much younger app compared to its rival Instagram as its not long out of beta stage. But toe to toe, this could be a good fight.
Instagram is a free app for both Android (2.2 and up) and iOS (3.1.2. or later)
Lightbox is also a free app currently only available on the Android market (for Android 2.1 and up)
Both are social networking apps. You can share pictures to various social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr for Instagram or additionally to Flickr and Foursquare for Lightbox. You can even upload your own pics to the Lightbox website too which is pretty cool.
Smartphones apps like this need plenty of people using them in order to survive and prove its worth on the marketplace. The heavyweight Instagram has a huge user base of around 40 million including several celebrities like Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. Instagram’s younger opponent Lightbox has a relatively small user base compared, at around 5 million but amongst their users include National Geographic and NASA.
Instagram: At first glance seems very simple and easy to use, not many options and different settings to choose from which in my opinion can be improved upon. With Instagram you cannot access your phones camera functions such as macro, black and white etc.. you use a basic one that’s built into the app. The different settings you can pick from are changing the frame, brightness and contrast and rotate. There are several filters to choose from though you have a choice of Normal, Amaro, Rise, Hudson, Sierra, X-Pro, Lo-Fi, Earlybird, Sutro, Toaster, Brannan, Inkwell, Walden, Hefe, Valencia, Nashville, 1977 and Kelvin. All examples are listed below.
It’s easy to upload pictures on Instagram, just tick the social networking sites you wish to share your pictures on and done, simples. You can even enable geo-tagging to your photos so other users know where it was taken.
Lightbox: First impressions, there are a few cool settings to choose from but I would like to see a few more. The great thing about Lightbox is you use your phones camera, so you have access to all the other settings that your camera has, unlike Instagram which is far more simplistic. The options you can choose from with Lightbox are; flip which reverses the image on screen (pretty cool), rotate and you even have a crop option where you can choose different aspect ratios as well as standard cropping. There are a multitude of filters to choose from such as Original, Instafix, Ansel, Lomo, Testino, Retrom Redscale, XPro, B&W, Sepia, Cyano, Portia, Fisheye, Dotty, 8 Bit, Georgia, Sahara and HDR. All examples are listed below.
Example of Lightbox’s cropping option below.
Uploading pictures on Lightbox is fairly similar to Instagram.
Both apps have a different feel and I also think a slightly different target market. The Instagram app is very simple, both in terms of interface and usability. I feel it could be a bit more advanced but at the same time the whole point of Instagram is that it’s simple, after all it was developed on iOS for Apple users.
Lightbox on the other hand has many more options to choose from as you can use your phones own camera and settings. I also think the filters are a bit more creative and fun. My choice if I had to pick one I would go for Lightbox, it’s a bit more technical with more options to choose from.