My Top 5 Free Instagram Helper Apps

We have reach an Instagram-obsessed time. Admit it, you like to overshare your #OOTD, #foodporn, #TBT, or #selfie (god, I hate that word) for everyone to see. Sometimes, Instagram isn’t even enough. The filters just don’t cut it. You need MOAR! You need better filters, an option to remove that zit, or to fit the entire photo into a square–features that Instagram doesn’t offer.

So I’ve rounded up my four favorite IG “helper apps” for fellow Android (and iOS, if available) users. Hopefully you’ll find some of them handy, and if you already use them, *high five*!

1. #SquareDroid

squaredroid

Download from the Play Store

You have a whole photo that you want to post to Instagram but don’t want to crop? Use #SquareDroid! This app will frame the photo into a 1:1 image, with a border color palette sampled from the image itself. You can either stick with one color or use a gradient. Or you can crop a photo your way, then zoom in or out so it sits on a frame.

I did not want to crop this photo because I thought the movement of the hair and the direction of the oak’s branches above me provided great contrast. So I used #SquareDroid to fit everything into the 1:1 frame.

2. InstaShape

instashape

Download from the Play Store

So you want to frame your photos with a clean circle or a triangle? There are many apps for that. iOS has Afterlight, which is a great one; too bad the Android version doesn’t quite compare. I found InstaShape after numerous trials and errors. What I like about this app is it allows you to control the transparency of the borders or use one of the preloaded backgrounds and patterns instead of just leaving it white or single-colored.

I used PicsArt to collage two pictures together, then imported to InstaShape (discussed below) for the circle and the blue background.

3. LINE camera

line

Download from the Play Store | App Store

I love the Beauty feature on the LINE camera. It allows me to touch up blemishes much like the Spot Healing Brush on Photoshop. The app also allows you to slim or pucker up certain facial features for your selfies–natural-looking eye enlargement, plumper lips, skinnier jawline… Apparently a lot of makeup gurus on IG swear by this app. LINE also have hundreds of brushes, stamps, filters, fonts, and frames.

There was a zit on my chin at the time, but you totally can't tell now.
There was a zit on my chin at the time, but you totally can’t tell now.

4. PicsArt

picsart

Download from the Play Store | App Store

I use PicsArt mainly for the Collage function, where there are a lot of choices for 1:1 photos. You can adjust border size and edges, the background/border color, and the placement and size of photos. You can’t control the ratio of the pictures within the frame, though, which is my only complaint about this app. It also has other functions such as cropping, flipping/rotating, and more. PicsArt has a wide selection of filters, cliparts, and masks as well.

Two photos in one frame, with border background and rounded edges through PicsArt.
Two photos in one frame, with border background and rounded edges through PicsArt.

5. Snapseed

snapseed

Download from the Play Store | App Store

Snapseed is my go-to app if I want to extensively adjust the colors of my photo. You are given options such as Tune Image and Selective Adjust. There are filters such as Grunge, HDR, Vintage, Drama, Center Focus, and Tilt-Shift. I personally like Retrolux and just keep hitting random until I find something I like, then tweak the effect myself.

I used a random effect on Retrolux for this photo of bright orange poppies. Then imported the image to #SquareReady. No filter on Instagram to preserve the white border.
I used a random effect on Retrolux for this photo of bright orange poppies. Then imported the image to #SquareReady. No filter on Instagram to preserve the white border.

What apps do you use before you post on Instagram? Doesn’t matter if it’s Android or iOS only. I’d like to know. 😀


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