Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and video games in particular. You can reach him on Twitter, circle him on Google+ and connect with him on LinkedIn.
Oggl for iOS, a photo-editing and sharing app from the team behind Hipstamatic, was updated to version 2.0 today with an Instagram feed and a plethora of new discovery features.
Similar to Flipboard or Pinterest, users can now save their favorite photos to a personal Collection. It’s a novel way of bookmarking content from the rest of the community, more so given that other Oggl users can also subscribe to other collections for a bit of photographic inspiration.
Hipstamatic has also introduced a homepage this time around, which splits the screen into a number of square, regularly updated icons. These are customisable, but by default show a window into the people who you follow on Oggl, your Instagram feed, and other Collections suggested by the team.
It’s easy to add a new item to your homepage, and Oggl supports a wealth of feed types: individual users, hashtags, filters, those shot in a particular location, or Collections curated by other people.
Unlike Instagram – it’s difficult not to compare the two – Oggl is focused on helping you branch out and find new, inspirational photographs. Rather than actively seeking out users to follow (who are usually people you already know) Oggl is making it easier to find different, perhaps under-appreciated photographers and explore their work.
The Instagram integration, to my surprise, works pretty well. None of my friends have made the jump to Oggl yet, but I don’t want to waste time checking both apps on a daily basis. The Instagram feed removes what littler clutter was left in the Facebook-owned photo and video-sharing app; images are shown one after the other, with no additional information such as the account holder, caption or comments. It’s refreshingly sparse, and you can always find out more by tapping once on the photo.
The implementation lacks the intricacies of Instagram, but it’s close to being a viable third-party replacement. If Hipstamatic can find a way to support videos and Instagram Direct, it would be possible to drop the official Instagram app almost entirely.
Searching in Oggl is vastly improved too, with a beautiful Discover tab that splits collections, individual hashtags, locations and categories into individual words. Oggl also offers a curated feed of ‘Editor’s Picks’ which often surface the very best photos from the community.
The in-app camera experience has been moved to a pull-down menu at the top of the screen, and Oggl has made some minor adjustments here to streamline the act of pressing a virtual shutter button. A particular highlight is the favorites area, which gives you the ability to save a combo, consisting of two different filters, for a later date.
The app is still free, but upgrading to the Member tier – priced at $2.99/£1.99 per quarter, or $9.99/£6.99 per year – will give you access to the entire suite of Hipstamatic filters, and new filters on the first Friday of every month. Furthermore, today’s update is only available for the iOS app; the Windows Phone 8 app will reportedly get the same treatment “in the coming weeks”. Hipstamatic is yet to release an Oggl app for Android, but we wouldn’t be surprised if that was next on their to-do list.
Read Next: Ready for a comeback: Hipstamatic’s CEO talks Oggl, subscriptions and backing Windows Phone 8
➤ Oggl | iOS | Windows Phone 8 (PRO)
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