Mar 24 AT 9:49 PM Taylor Wimberly 42 Comments

Instagram for Android still coming soon, so check out these 12 alternative cameras


Instagram describes its service as “A fast, beautiful and fun way to share your photos with friends and family.” It’s already one of the most popular apps on iOS with over 27 million users and early this month Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom announced his popular iOS app was coming to Android very soon.

Systrom promised it would be “one of the best Android apps you’ll ever see.” Today they opened a sign-up page to let fans “be first in line” for the Android version when it’s available. Unfortunately, we don’t know exactly when Instagram for Android will be ready in beta or final form.

Thankfully, Android has a number of quality camera apps that have all the features offered by Instragram and even more extras. We gathered up the top 12 camera apps with the highest ratings and the most downloads and listed them below. We think Pixlr-o-matic offers the closest experience to the Instagram camera effects and Lightbox has the best social features.

Look over the list below, try some new apps out, and let us know what your favorite alternative camera app is.













Source: Instragram

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Nate B.

    Mobli app for Android already made a big splash and for iOS. Its a great alternative.

    • kazahani

      I hope they don’t charge much. I don’t think that these “trendy” iPhone apps are going to do very well on Android. Much different user base.

      I wonder how many of those 27 million iPhone users downloaded the app over a Starbucks free WiFi connection…

      • hoosiercub

        Why would they be charging anything? Where are people getting this stupid idea that it’s not going to be free?

        • kazahani

          Bad assumption on my part. Just looked it up and it is in fact a free app on iOS.

          My point about hippies and Starbucks still stands, however.

    • Cs

      Has anyone heard if android will come out with a CamWow?

  • Jim

    How about SnapBucket?

  • Galen20K

    I own Paper Camera and Camera Zoom FX both are really terrific. Honestly I also use Instagram on my iPod touch 4 and its alright, but I don’t see the draw everybody has for it.

    • inviolable

      Clearly you have yet to embrace all the spoils that come with attention whoredom.

      • jonathan3579

        And clearly that’s why my girlfriend can’t wait for Instagram to come any faster.

  • bryan

    Pixlromatic is an awesome app.even if insta makes it to droid im fine with what i have.polaroid app is great too not aure about beauty camera just makes photos bright.lame..

  • thel0nerang3r

    I like Paper camera, the “sketch” filter lets you take “aha- take on me” type of videos, plus it has some other nice filters.

  • dpleus

    I have Pixlr-o-matic, Camera Zoom FX, Paper Camera, Camera 360, Retro Camera, and Lightbox. The ones I really like out of these are Pixlr-o-matic and Retro Camera. I would include Photo Booth in there as well.

  • Casper
  • Brendan
  • Alex Belko

    Cool article! thanks, I personally a fan of pixlr-o-matic gotta try camera zoom fx, vignette, retrocam

  • cb2000a

    What about Pic Say pro…does anyone use this program?

    • LeMarr

      PicSayPro is the best. It’s amazing that no one mentions this app.

      • jonathan3579

        PicSay Pro is more of a photo editing app than a standalone camera app.

  • awundrin

    I’m really impressed with Paper Camera

  • hopscotchjunkie

    Vignette’s been my default camera app for as long as I’ve had my phone; tried a couple of the others but I never really liked them as much.

    • Anne A

      Same! I’ve enjoyed Vignette for awhile, but have recently switched to Pixlr-o-matic. I find its UI more intuitive and the effects/filter selection is numerous. It’s worth a shot ^_^

  • cthonctic

    That’s really what I was thinking all the time re: this whole Instagram hype. How is this going to be anything special considering the camera/effect apps we already have?

    Kinda sad that often there is a bit of a latent “app envy” for iOS-exclusive stuff – actually even more sad that devs continue to do iOS first, Android second at all. Looks like the fragmentation FUD campaign in mainstream tech blogs has paid off for Apple. :/

    • PhilH

      I was coming here to say almost the exact same thing. What I want to know is why none of these great camera apps has been made popular. Are some or all of these Android only? And I’m about 100% sure I saw a mainstream blog say that Android simply doesn’t have the camera apps that iPhone has for “iphoneography”. These fads are completely media created around the iPhone to keep the hype up. Maybe its time we start creating our own.

      • Glen

        Well, when you have stuff like iPhoto and Snapseed etc which are way more powerful and feature packed. than any of those 2 bit apps, then you have something called iPhonography. There are professional photographers today who hold exhibitions of photos just clicked with an iPhone. Hype, or not, iPhone gets a lot of love from photographers.

        But Instagram’s main draw is not the filter, its the network built around it. There are apps today that allow to upload to instagram, along with twitter/facebook/flicker. So instagram is slowly becoming a mobile flickr of sorts.

        Its another thing that instagram has zero revenues today, but thats another story for another day

  • hoosiercub

    So which one of these *just as good* apps has an ajoining social network built around sharing these photos into a stream with your friends?

    I’ll wait for it..

    • Glen

      Exactly. People are assuming its just a filter app. Heck there are much better apps if u want to photo editing like the ones listed. I love the instagram network. Forget friends, tons of popular photogs also use it too.

  • Dmtdroid

    LITTLE PHOTO LOKK IT UP ANDROID COMMUNITY 100000 million times better then instagram TRUST

    • Geraldo Riviera

      Agreed. Little Photo is a great app. These people are downranking you because of the caps, I suppose, or because you appear to be selling a product. 34,500 reviews at 4.5 avg. (just looked).

  • Dmtdroid


  • Carol

    I’ve been using Streamzoo lately. On the social side, it seems to have a really good community of users and sharing options. You can use it to take photos and add effects, or share images created using the other camera apps listed.

  • revs

    someone explain the point of instagram to me ?
    my phone has always had sharing capabilities since my g1

  • spazby

    paper camera is great, does the job…

  • donger

    better be soon!

  • kzlife

    why isn’t snaptastic and magic hour listed?!
    They are the best photo effect editors I’ve ever used.. mostly using snaptastic atm.

    • kzlife

      why no edit button? >:

      The apps doesn’t have the same community functions as instagram but as a filter editor, they are superb imo.

  • Nek

    I think Man with Camera is very good camera app. I used retro camera and vignette and it beats them in quality and ease of use.

  • Geraldo Riviera

    I recently purchased a competitor’s tablet (based mostly on screen resolution) and have found the much heralded Instagram to be truly underwhelming. Almost all of the apps listed above are vastly superior. Retro Camera, Paper Camera and Pixl-r-matic are awesome products. Little Photo should also be on this list, although it’s not necessarily the most intuitive one to use. Hell, even the native ICS picture editing app has more interesting effects than Instagram in my estimation.

  • Eric Rossman

    The only picture app I want is one that demands people can only share the original un-altered picture.

  • jlschulz

    For crying out loud, why does every fracking android blog talk about instagram every fracking day like its the second coming !!!!!!!!! cell phone cameras are second rate at best, so apps that try to work with tyem are useless! Just because apple users are bozos stop insinuatung that everyone is.

  • AvantGuard

    I’m more excited about this than I should be. I hope the camera starts up quicker than the Camera360 app I’m using now.

  • Sarah

    I am surprised that it has taken so long for Instagram to release an Android version of its app. I will be interested to see if it achieves the same success on the Android platform, now that it is not an exclusive app to one OS. Between this and the Temple Run release, Android is getting a lot of popular iOS apps lately.

    Mosaic Technology

  • youdontneedtoknow

    I know some of you are wondering why people are so hype about instagram coming. Its because many celebrities use instagram to connect with their fans by keeping them updated with pictures.Its not just a photo editing app, its kind of like twitter put in picture form. People follow you and comment and you can to if you want. Also there are always a lot of interesting people to follow.