Oggl is Hipstamatic’s new social networking app for the iPhone that allows users to share their hyper-filtered photo creations with others in a supercharged version of Instagram. You can only participate after you’ve been invited, but don’t worry. The cool kids at Hipstamatic are not elitist. If they let me in, they’ll let anyone in…
As is typical with anything that the Hipstamatic team puts out, this app is sweetly adorable. We’re talking Zooey Deschanel adorable. The colors are pleasantly subtle with light blues, yellows, and peaches. The shapes and lines are rounded and clean with simple icons.
Users snap pictures from within the app and add filters to create the perfect shot, which is then uploaded to the Oggl feed. If the Hipsta-crew likes your picture, it will be added to the Editor’s Pick section.
To access the different feeds, swipe from left to right on the screen. You’ll see a list of other users that you follow, any mentions about you, the Editor’s Pick feed, the Global feed, and two special “Curations.” Sometimes, you will see a feed of hashtag themes (like dandelions), sometimes you’ll see a feed of San Francisco-based uploads.
When you see a picture you like, you can tap on it to view the filters that were used in its creation, plus the photographer, when the photo was taken, and the title of the picture. To go back to full-screen view, scroll up or down. The bubbles of information will float back outward to show just the image again.
You can see other user’s profiles to view their images, plus other images that they have added to their personal Curated story. You can add anyone’s image to your Curations and follow your favorite Oggl users.
In order to use this app, you must enter an invite code. To get invited, go to Oggl’s website and enter your email address. I know it sounds pretentious, but I think Hipstamatic does this to try to avoid server overloads. I received my invite in less than 24 hours.
In order to sign in, you must have a Hipstamatic account. This gets a bit confusing if you normally log into Hipstamatic with your Facebook account. You must go to your Hipstamatic app and log out. Then, log back in using a Hipstamatic account. If you don’t already have one, you can create one through the app. After you’ve logged out of Facebook and logged in with your Hipstamatic account, you can go back to the Oggl app and start taking pictures.
Tap the yellow circle at the top of the screen to get to the viewfinder. Set up the shot and either scroll through a quick view of the available filters, or take a picture and edit the image in post.
Just like Hipstamatic’s other apps, you can’t upload pictures from your device’s camera roll. Oggl creates a faux-analog experience that makes it feel more like using a film camera than an iPhone app.
The quick filters include Landscape, Portrait, Night Life, Food, and Sunset. They are special filters that combine a certain lens and a certain film type. For example, Landscape uses a combination of the Jane Lens and BlackKeys Supergrain Film.
Even after you take the picture, you can change the filters. You won’t be stuck with the one you just used.
To change filters in post, tap the icon at the bottom of the screen that looks like a film canister. You can choose from five different lenses and five different film types.
However, Hipstamatic is offering a very special deal to Oggle users. For $2.99 quarterly, or $9.99 per year, you can subscribe to Hipstamatic’s entire collection of lenses and films. According to the company’s website, they will be adding new filters every month.
After you’ve taken a picture and edited it, you can share it with friends and family through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, and FourSquare. After you’ve connected your Oggle app to your favorite social networking sites, just tap on their icon on the Share page and they will be uploaded. It will also be added directly to Oggl’s feed. If you don’t want to share your photo with anyone but Oggle, just tap the Share button without picking a social networking site first.
In addition to taking cool pictures and adding sweet filters, you can view other user’s uploads. Swipe from the left to view the menu screen. Then, check out what the editors think is cool, see what is trending, or just ogle the Global feed, which is where all images are sent when they are shared.
If you like a photo, you can give it a “heart.” If it relates to you on a more personal level, add it to your “Curated” collection. When you collect images from others, you can express a little something about yourself to others who view your profile.
I have always loved Hipstamatic’s clever apps. They make some fantastic virtual filters and I love that you can’t use images from your device’s library. When you take a picture, it goes directly into your development section so you don’t even know how it turned out until you are done shooting. I appreciate the faux-analog themes that Hipstamatic incorporates into their apps.
Oggl is great because there are so many interesting images being uploaded. Unlike Instagram, there is much more going on than a bunch of selfies or pictures of your friend’s “chill-axin” feet shots.
Because it is still in its early stage of development, there are a few rough edges. For example, there is no way to log into Oggl using your Facebook account like you can with your Hipstamatic app. Plus, if you are logged into the Hipstamatic app using Facebook, you can’t log into Oggl at all.
There is also no way to remove an image from your Curated section. I accidentally tapped the Curate icon and ended up with a photo that I can’t get out of my collection.
I also had trouble logging into Flickr. Apparently, there is an issue with an invalid permission set that needs to be fixed on Hipstamatic’s end.
[Update] It turns out that the error with connecting to Flickr is not on Hipstamatic’s end. After a few more tries, I was able to log in and connect my account successfully. If you experience an error when trying to connect Flickr to your Oggl app, just keep trying.
Since the app is free, it is definitely worth downloading. The only problem is waiting for your invitation to arrive. However, it shouldn’t take long. If you think you’ll use this app a lot, you can subscribe to unlimited filter use, which is a good deal if they really do launch a new filter every month. That is, if you normally buy every new filter that comes out of Hipstamatic.
If you are a fan of the Hipstamatic family and want to share your photos with others who enjoy the photography filter apps too, then you’ll be happy to get your Oggl invite and be posting moody pictures of your doorknob in no time at all. This app is available for free. You must be invited to join.