Since Instagram has yet to offer an Android version of the incredibly popular photo-sharing app, Android users are always on the hunt for decent alternatives. But what about those who have neither an iPhone or an Android phone?
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With PicYou, the most recently launched of these sites, you can sign up using your Twitter or Facebook account to apply filters to your images, with a choice of eight cool vintage, sepia and grunge-like filters. What’s cool about PicYou is that you can apply the filter to the image with the dimensions as is, or you can add a Polaroid-like frame to the image, just as Instagram does.
If you do choose to use a Polaroid-like frame, PicYou also gives you complete control over which part of the image is cropped. After selecting your filter, you can add a title, tags, and auto-share the image with your connected accounts.
PicYou is also a social network unto itself, where you can follow other users, add images to your favourites (or ‘Like’ them), and leave comments. The site also makes it incredibly easy to share images posted on PicYou pretty much anywhere on the Web.
While PicPlz is essentially a mobile app, there is no reason you can’t use the site without having access to the app at all. Simply uploading your images through the browser interface gives you access to all of PicPlz’s cool features. Apply one of PicPlz’s 11 filters, add a caption, and share the image with your followers. With PicPlz, you can choose whether or not to share the image across your connected accounts, including Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, Posterous, Dropbox and Foursquare.
As with PicYou, the social aspect of PicPlz is just as integral to the site, with the ability to follow other users, add their images to your favourites, and leave comments. An additional feature available in PicPlz is the ability to create collections, so you can keep your own photo library a little bit more organized.
While Photoshop might not be web-based, there’s a one-click solution that makes it easy to apply the exact same filters to your images. Daniel Box put together a set of actions that mimic some of the filters available on Instagram. After applying the filter, you can choose to crop your image, and add a white or black border.
If you want more control over how your final image turns out, the How-To-Geek has put together a guide on how to get the Nashville and Lord Kelvin effects on your images.
Pixlr-o-Matic has a ton of features you can play around with. You can apply one of 25 filters, 31 film effects, and choose from 30 border styles. Upload an image from your computer, or even take an image with your webcam and experiment with the many effects the site has to offer. Once you have the image looking just the way you want it, you can save it to your computer, or save it online to the integrated storage service, imm.io. If you do choose to save it online, there is no way to delete the image from the site.
You don’t have to sign up to use InstantRetro. You can simply upload your images and work on them straight away. Alternatively, if you want to share your images with your Facebook friends, you can connect your account to InstantRetro. The site is slightly different to the other options listed here. Rather than providing specific filters to apply to your images, you can tweak and adjust certain settings to give your images a vintage look. Once you’re done, you can save the image on the site, but can also choose to keep it private, viewable only to anyone who has the link.
The online photo editor, Picnik has a few vintage effects in its arsenal of features, including a 1960s look and cross processing, as well as a Holga and Lomo effect. The list of effects that are similar to Instagram isn’t too long, but the site also gives you access to basic photo-editing features including adjusting exposure, colors and sharpening, so you can tweak the image to your heart’s content.
Rollip is another site you can use without having to sign up at all. It does things in a bit of a roundabout way, where you choose one of 40 filters, after which you can upload your image to see how it looks. You can then easily share the image on Facebook, or save the image to your computer to share wherever you like.
One of Instagram’s many effects, which isn’t available in any of the previously listed sites, is the tiltshift effect. If you want to get the tiltshift effect, the aptly named Tiltshift Maker gives you an easy way to get that unique, toy-like look that the tiltshift effect provides. With Tiltshift Maker, after uploading your image you can adjust the settings, widening the scope, and intensifying the blur, after which you can save the image to your computer.