Instagram improves camera, editing, and adds new filter

The photo-sharing network boasts a faster camera and lots of new features for its iOS. Android users get a new filter.

Donna Tam Staff Writer / News
Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.
Donna Tam
Instagram new iOS app. Instagram

Instagram rolled out new apps today with promises of a better camera, scaling and cropping functions, control over the blurring of photos and -- of course -- another filter.

The company touted its upgrades in a blog post highlighting the camera's new features for iOS. This includes an Instagram-themed shutter and shutter release button, a preview of the most recent photo on the camera roll, a grid guide for the scale and crop screen, and for those using the iPhone 5, an improved camera roll image selector.

Another improved feature, tilt-shift, allows for more precise blurring and a "vastly more realistic rendering of depth of field," boasts Instagram.

The new filter, called Willow, is a black-and-white filter "with subtle purple tones and a translucent glowing white border. This filter works well on portraits, still life, and architecture photographs with contrast," according to the post. Android users will also get access to Willow in the latest update released today.

It's just more ammo for Instagram as it continues to wage its filtered photo wars against other companies trying to move in on its action.

Instagram recently disabled the ability for its photos to show up on Twitter. This was after news leaked of Twitter's plans to start adding a way to add filters to photos directly from the Twitter app. Coincidentally, Twitter launched its new feature today.