Instagram gains enhanced camera, new Willow filter, nice little tweaks

iPhone photography fans, rejoice. Instagram today pushed an incremental update to its mobile app for iOS and Android, bringing a few improvements in the camera department, a brand new filter and more. The camera interface has been revamped with a nice Instagram-themed shutter button. The camera now displays a preview of the most recent photo on your camera roll and you can turn on an optional grid separately for the camera and the scale & crop screen.

You may also appreciate the enhanced Camera Roll picker as it now lets you quickly access the last photo taken, though that capability is inexplicably available only on the iPhone 5. More on other changes and the new Willow filter right after the break…

Instagram explains Willow in a blog post:

You’ve asked for more filters, and we’re excited to announce a brand new filter in both the latest iOS and Android releases! Willow is a monochrome filter with subtle purple tones and a translucent glowing white border. This filter works well on portraits, still life and architecture photographs with contrast.

Here it is in action.

Your image feed has been tweaked with larger photos and infinite scrolling on user profiles and other views. Filtered photos are now saved to a separate album called “Instagram” in the iOS camera roll. If you use blur a lot, you’ll love that there’s no difference in the effective strength of the blur between the preview screen and the output in your feed and camera roll.

Notice on the right how improvements to tilt-shift now produce way more realistic rendering of depth of field.

Another curious addition: deeper Foursquare integration.

When you attach a geographical location to your photo using Foursquare and later tap the location, Instagram opens a detailed page inside the Foursquare iOS app, if you have it installed.

Instagram is a free download from the App Store.

By the way, Mark Zuckerberg, how about giving the iPad some native love? The Android build has also gained the aforementioned enhancements in Instagram version 3.3 update, available via Google’s Play Store.


Instagram may have published its blog post prematurely as we couldn’t find the new iOS and Android builds at press time (UPDATE: it’s live now).

Also worth pointing out: some readers may not be able to download the new builds immediately when they go live as changes must propagate throughout the Interwebs.

Per usual, The Verge and MacStories go to greater depths in their respective reviews so go there if you’re hungry for more.

If you spot other tweaks, share your findings with others in the comments.