When Verizon finally picked up the iPhone, I had a choice to make. I could go with the Droid or take the final step in becoming an iPeople and go for the iPhone 4. The deciding factor for choosing iPhone over Droid wasn't about battery life or functionality. It was all about Instagram.
I wasn't really jealous of people with iPhones. I've been in too many meeting rooms with users complaining about not being able to get on-line due to all the others in the space trying to do the same. I've also been on road trips with friends that didn't have cell coverage where I did. Whatever you want to say about the AT&T vs Verizon coverage wars, I had enough personal experience to know that I would be staying with the big V. And for what I needed, my Blackberry more than did the job.
But I wanted the cool apps on the iPhone.
When I started seeing all the Instagram links popping up, it was all I could do not to completely seethe with green-eyed envy. I looked up the app on iTunes and found out that Instagram gives you multiple filter options and a tilt-shift function that creates a depth-of-field look, turning your ordinary photos into framable art. Within a couple of weeks of Verizon's big no-surprise announcement, I had an iPhone 4 in my hands.
Instagram was the first app I downloaded.
Turning my ordinary daily moments into more artistic looking captures has been so much fun. Plus, the community within reminds me of my early blogging days when small groups all visited each other's offerings to leave quick comments. There's also the element of discovering other folks around the world, micro-blogging their daily lives so different from my own, that keeps me checking in on the "popular" photos.
Recently, I discovered two great ways to view Instagram photos.
At SxSW in Austin, I met the Keepsy people. Keepsy creates photo books of all your pictures. They can also quickly create a book of your Instagram snapshots with a click of the Instapages button. Friends can add photos to a book created for special events by sharing an event specific email address. This is a great option for special days like weddings, reunions, or birthday parties.
Here's a slideshow of my first Keepsy grouping, My Life in Instagram.
I found the next Instagram viewing site on accident. I was googling my name and Instagram to see photos I'd been tagged in. One of my friens, Calvin Lee had a few photos of us at a party on Saturday. The link took me to a viewing page for Instagrid. Instagrid allows you to see several Instagram pictures on screen at the same time. An enlarged photo pops up by clicking on individual photos, allowing for close up viewing of your mobile art.
Just in case you need one more thing to pull you away from your work while at your desk, there's another site, Webstagram, that allows you to view, like, and comment on your Instagram feed at your computer. Webstagram is free, but @jmworks, the brains behind the site will let you buy him a beer:
Signing up for Instagram on your iPhone is free, quick, and easy. And with all the third party sites popping up, viewing and sharing your Instagram photos is fun and easy.