HolidayBuyer's Guide

Dropping Instagram already? Try these Android alternatives

Has Instagram's new terms of service policy left a sour taste in your mouth? These powerful Android alternatives might just quench your social-photo-sharing thirst.

It seems like almost immediately after news broke of Instagram's updated terms of use policy, the hip photo-based social app became a lot less cool. Droves of Instagram users have been crying bloody murder, and many are already committing themselves to jumping ship.

Dramatics aside, the reality is that Instagram is not irreplaceable. We Android users should know, since until earlier this year, we were perfectly fine without it. As I said in my review, Instagram is fantastic for its bustling network of users, but it is certainly not a powerhouse shooter, and its filters are even getting a bit stale. This means that ample alternatives are available.

So, for those users who aren't so keen to stay on this photo-stealing, photo-selling ship, here are a handful of my favorites. They may not be able to boast the kind of photo-sharing clout that Instagram can, but they all have strengths that are worth a look.

Photo by Snapseed

As one of the most powerful mobile photo-editing apps I've seen, Snapseed is certainly an adequate replacement for Instagram when it comes to sprucing up your photos. Looking for filters? Snapseed has them. What's more, this powerhouse lets you tinker with individual properties of each filter like texture and color, which makes for an almost unlimited number of options. Snapseed also lets you crop and straighten photos, add focus effects, and tons more.

Photo by Twitter

There are few social networks as big and bustling as Instagram, and Twitter is one of them. And with last week's app update bringing photo filters to Twitter's mobile users, now is as a good a time as any to migrate your entire photo-sharing routine away from Instagram. Admittedly, the filters may not be quite as good as Instagram's, but at least it lets you share your photos with just as broad an audience, if not broader. And my guess is that Twitter's photo polishing and sharing functions will only get better from here on out.

Photo by Flickr

I know. These days, Yahoo is anything but "cool." But the fact is, the Yahoo-owned photo site Flickr still has at least a bit of swagger. And this app connects with the site beautifully. Overall, it's dead simple, looks nice, and is a nifty tool for storing select mobile photos in the cloud.

If you're looking for a powerful snap-and-share photo app, then Flickr may not be it. It offers a few filters, a caption field, the ability to share with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or e-mail, and that's about it. So really, its draw is the Flickr community. Since Flickr has long been a destination for photo enthusiasts on the Web, its users are incredibly active, which is reason enough to give it a try.

Photo by Path

If privacy is your primary concern, then perhaps you should try Path. It scales down the social networking in favor of sharing items directly with only those you are closest to. It lets you share tidbits like who you're with, where you are, the music you're listening to, and of course photos. And of course, the app has filters as well. Heck, Path even lets you notify those in your network when you're sleeping.