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For all of its popularity, Instagram has always been something of a joke when it comes to optimizing photos: you snap a pic, slap some faux vintage filter on it, and you're presumably happy. With today's update, however, it finally gains a lot of the features long enjoyed by its more robust cousins.
The new tools include the ability to adjust the brightness, contrast, warmth, saturation, highlights, and shadows of your images. The long-awaited ability to apply vignettes also makes its first appearance here, thus allowing aspiring photographers to subtly darken the corners of their photos for a more artsy look. Much as with apps like Google's Snapseed, you can also choose the intensity of these values via a slider.
Other options made their way into the meaty update as well, such as the ability to crop and straighten photos with the same tool and a feature that sharpens your images. Fortunately, none of these options is intrusive and the new tools mesh well with the existing design. As Instagram said in their announcement, "When you go to select a filter, you'll now see a new wrench icon. Tap it and you'll find a tray of photo editing tools ready for you to explore." Easy peasy.
Interested? It's up on the App Store for free right now.
Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.