5 Awesome Apps to Make Your Instagrams Pop

Tired of the same-old Instagram filters? Or maybe you have some extra time on your hands… or maybe, you use Instagram as your main photo editing tool. Whatever the case may be, the editing tools are getting better by the second.

I just spent the majority of my morning playing around with these fun apps that do different things for your pics. Each one has it's super power, so you can download them all, or if you just want to figure out how to brand your ‘grams all special, this is the post for you.


Do you like the vintage collage look? Hey, even if you're going for the 90's deconstructed graphic design look, or 50's advertisements, Retromatic app is the one for your. Take any of your pics, select the part of the image you want for your collage and you're off like a racehorse!

retromatic extract image

Retromatic has plenty of shapes, backgrounds, fonts and colors to play with. It's great for promoting contests or posts that aren't so image heavy.

5 awesome apps instagram


Make the focal point of your image pop with Rakuga Cute. It's actually a Kawaii app loaded with cutesy bows, macrarons, and collage techniques for your Instagrams, but I'm not into that so much. What I do like is playing around with color, and this was pretty fun. Much like the masking technique used in Retrogram, you can preserve the color in one part of your photo and turn the rest black and white.

rakuga cute app


I am pretty sure a lot of those inspirational pins on Pinterest are made in  PicLab. Loaded with trendy fonts, filters, and embellishments, this app will make pretty much anything you type in here a life-changing inspiration. I'd like to see what this app can do for my breakfast pics.

piclab app


Tired of those same-old-same-old squares and circles? Diptic is a collaging tool with all kinds of cool designy shapes. (thanks Crosby for sharing this one!)

diptic app image 1diptic app image 2

Frame Swagg

Say fancy collages just ain't your jam. I get it, I just said I wasn't into cutesy! Frame Swagg has pretty much every kind of composition you can think of to collage your Instagrams. Now all you gotta do is get snappin!

frame swagg app image 1frame swagg app image 2

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About The Author

Ana is a Travel Blogger and Blogging Coach at The City Sidewalks. With her expertise in online marketing, she's able to help other bloggers, creatives, and entrepreneurs grow their businesses so that they can achieve financial freedom to travel the world on their own terms.

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52 Responses

  1. Mrs D

    It would have been useful to mention that these apps are for Iphone only. correct me if I am wrong but I couldn’t find any of these on the Google Play Store. Long gone are the days that Instagram was only available for Iphone so the heads up would have saved me going through all of these!
    Other than that, cool post – now I want these apps too!!!

      • hello

        jeez Barbara, way to be yet another snarky hateful member of the internet.

        Android actually holds the largest share of mobile sales internationally at the moment and the market for Android devices is continuing to grow, so the fact that apps aren’t available on the Android app store is kind of a big deal.

      • JJ

        Judging by a later comment by this same person, I don’t believe she was being snarky and hateful. She was being a bit hyperbolic, maybe, but it came across good natured and silly. I understand that so many people are, unfortunately, mean on comment threads, so I get assuming otherwise, but as she states later that she wishes to see apps for androids, in this case, anyway, she wasn’t making fun of anyone. All on the same team here! 🙂

      • Onianwah

        Didn’t mean to rub it in you know, just had to sob cos I was just coming on the Instagram train back then. Actually having fun with my android now and wouldn’t change a single thing.

        Lagos, Nigeria

  2. CynthiaCM

    Diptic is one of my favourites. In fact, it’s my go-to frame app for Instagram. I think I might also try Retromatic. For filters, I sometimes take pictures with Hipstamatic which automatically gives photos a retro look, depending on the “lens” and “film.” It is a premium app, though, so it’ll cost some money.

  3. Amber

    I’ll definitely have to check these out! Thanks for the tips! I just started using A Beautiful Mess and Afterlight. So far, I’m really digging those!

  4. Hemal

    None of these apps are available for android phones…. sad 🙁
    I use Pixlr-o-matic app on my android phone to make my Instagram pictures pop! What about other android users?

  5. Pamada

    Dood. Where’s the Android love? Or even research? None of these are for the Android O/S system (minus Diptic which is apparently really handicapped). Last I checked there are just as many Android users out there as there are iPhone.

    • Joana Duarte

      It’s a shame this article works only on Iphones. On my android I use Pixlr-o-matic and now downloaded Instanote, to add text. Let’s see how it works…

  6. Barbara

    Can we please have Instagram photo apps for Android too?
    Thanks Jennine

    Lagos, Nigeria

  7. Aya

    Not a fan of these apps or any like them. Their tone correction and lighting adjustment tools aren’t worth much of anything, and the font tools they are being “marketed” for are presets that really extract from your creativity and originality! Why would I want to decorate my photos with tacky sayings and hipster symbols that everyone else is using and can recognize as a particular app? I’d rather make those myself in photoshop/illustrator so they are at least original. Vsco and Snapseed are the best apps out there right now.

  8. Nasreen

    wow I love ALL of these! Sometimes I just wanna get a post up without the fuss but I’m definitely going to try these all out :


  9. rosemary nardone

    I agree We need some for Andriod Iphones are not the only phone being used by some of us fabulous bloggers! Thanx much !!

  10. Jennine Jacob

    Thanks Shannon, I don’t have an android phone, so it’s hard to recommend apps you haven’t tested… so thanks!

  11. H&H

    Is it just me or are there no links to the Apps mentioned? Seems like a waste of a post if it doesn’t inspire action…

  12. Melanie Wickwar

    Love these apps! I’m so tired of the same, old boring Instagram ones — these will be so much fun to play with! 🙂

  13. Sanne

    If these were available on android I would have definitely downloaded them!

  14. Gilbert Samuel

    I use piclab and i must confess it’s great/ I’ve not heard of most of others mentioned, I’ll definitely check them and see if they can help. Thanks for sharing this.

  15. choolee

    i am such a big instagram fan!!! i edit my pictures with adobe PS express and picture frame. these are the best i think :))

    come and visit my blog

  16. Sharon Lindsay

    Thanks – these look great. I’ve downloaded them all. Can’t wait to get creative now!

  17. Maggie A

    This is soo exciting I love finding new apps …makes my iphone that much more addicting.

    Love Mavin

  18. Victoria

    PicLab was exactly what I was looking for, not for my instagram but for my blog photos, to give them a fun little twist.

    Thank you for this article!

  19. Adela

    I expected a beautiful mess to be here. Will be trying some of them – thank you 🙂
    Adela x

  20. Loma Sernaiotto

    I LOVE this post! Thank you for sharing this!!!!
    My favorite is Snapseed, I use it every single time ^.~
    But I need some new ones to try 🙂

  21. Sandra

    I love Instagic.com!
    Great service for anyone who takes photos with Instagram.

  22. shelby

    I am a Android user only one works which is piclab . But I use Pixlr! Which I love! Check out my instagram ajissexy to see what ive done with Pixlr. Seriously only works for android too 🙂

  23. fiona

    Great post. I am new to instagram and would like to know what app I can use to do a giveaway? I come across all these cute background with, caption/text and items that instagram have as prizes for their contest and would love to do something similar but cannot see to find a app to do so. I have an iPhone.

  24. chris

    Did you try ArtShaker? It always combining filters and to use much stronger effects.

  25. Jenny Winters

    Great list of apps, a few that I haven’t tried yet!
    I agree, snapseed is a great editor!

    For text, you might also want to try out Letterglow. great fonts, easy to use, create your own templates. www.letterglow.com

    While it’s not an effect app, you might find some inspiration for your fashion shoots with the photo assignment generator. It’s a cool app that has lots of assignment but tons of random objects, places, combinations, etc!
    has a daily reminder too, perfect if you are taking part in a photo365! www.learnphoto.ca/apps

    Thanks for this list!

  26. Steffi Romero

    Wow! I have to download these apps asap!


  27. Swattkidd

    Awesome list, PicGrid – Animated is another awesome one! These apps can really help you gain followers and impress your current one. Thanks!

  28. Maria

    I have an iphone 4 anyone knows which application makes pretty heart effects on pictures? Thanks

  29. sourav

    Instafusion Image Blender-The Best Apps to Improve Your Instagram !!Instafusion Top iPad Photo-Editing Apps for Iphone and Ipad(Universal)!!

  30. Sabrina

    I don’t find most of this apps in my playstore. If I enter the names I end up getting apps with different names.

  31. shuvosri

    Make your image look creative in seconds through effection app… i just love this app…

  32. Charlie

    Thanks for that! And also I like zen-promo to get real followers and other cool stuff. They really know what to do on instagram to rock