Update duel: Snapseed (Google) v Instagram (Facebook)
Seconds out, round 3. Ding! The two fighters’ seconds, Greg Google and Freddie Facebook, towel down their charges, slap them on the cheeks and send them back into the ring. Snapseed throws a heavy right hook with its latest update, the plucky Instagram counters with an upper-cut… OK, enough of the boxing analogy. Google’s Snapseed and Facebook’s Instagram recently brought out updates. Here are my initial thoughts:
The Googley developers (that is the correct adjective for Google isn’t it?) recently got a brand new toy to play with: Snapseed. They couldn’t have Instagram because it was too much, so they got Snapseed. They therefore perhaps begrudgingly set to work on this humble piece of software so beloved of many itogs. Here’s what they changed:
1) A new set of filters! Retrolux. I googled it and found “Retrolux: Quality Rock Band”, who, in the words of one fan, at a recent beer festival upstaged the mighty Letz Zep tribute act. A great feat indeed, but nothing to do with Snapseed, Google or photography. I hope Google got permission for the name. Or the hard-rocking Ian and Dave are in for a big pay day! Anyway, this new set of filters look like an attempt to replicate Hipstamatic, complete with light leaks and scratches, but with control over brightness, contrast, etc.
2) On my first go on my iPad, it crashed.
3) A new completely redundant stage to opening a photo in the form of an extra “use” button. What else am I going to do with the photo (there’s no alternative option to “use” apart from just going back)? You can turn it off in the iPhone setttings. Why would you ever want to turn it on?
4) Some nice new frames: the old ones were pretty weak and there is a lack of good frames in other apps.
5) The options for saving your photo now relegate Instagram to second tier “Open In…” status, with Google+ (is that still going?) promoted to top of the pile. It’s all a bit childish.
Meanwhile, Instagram’s new update treats us to the following improvements:
1) A new filter: the monochrome Willow. A bit darker than Inkwell and with a slightly transparant frame (an idea copied from Squaready?).
2) A new look to the way you choose your photos for posting, giving you a tiny preview of your last saved photos (quite sensible that one).
3) A rotate button: fair enough.
4) An ugly new IG-themed shutter button (does anyone still take photos in the Instagram app?).
5) They also say it goes faster. That’s good.
Google in training