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infltr

Infltr lets you filter your photos directly in the iMessage app

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Photo-editing app Infltr is best known for giving Instagram a run for its money with an app that lets you choose from an infinite number of photo filters – well, technically, it’s just over 7 million. The idea is that you can use color combinations to give your photo a unique look, instead of relying on built-in filter presets. Now, Infltr is bringing its photo editor to the iMessage platform, with a new version of its app that not only lets you apply filters to the live camera feed while in iMessage, but also filter Apple’s Live Photos, as well.

Explains co-founder Philippe Levieux, when Infltr was updated in February, it became one of the first apps that allowed users to edit their Live Photos. Apple selected it as an Editor’s Choice and a Best New App in recognition of its clever functionality.

With this release, Infltr is again breaking new ground by allowing users to fully take advantage of their iPhone’s camera while inside iMessage, including being able to use filters before snapping their photo.

After the app is installed, you can pull it up in iMessage where you’re presented with your camera’s viewfinder. By tapping buttons on the screen, you can either turn on or turn off Live Photos, the camera’s flash, or you can switch between the front and back cameras.

To the left is an endless, scrollable row of colored dots which let you filter your photo before you snap your picture. And like its iOS counterpart, you also can tap the screen to swap out your filter in the iMessage application.

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In addition, the new version of the iOS app can now apply photo-style filters to iPhone videos. But what’s different here, as compared with how Instagram works, is that you can actually change out the filter while you’re playing back the video.

Being able to apply the filter in real-time while the video plays is something that other apps aren’t currently doing, notes Levieux.

While Infltr definitely has some interesting tricks, it’s still challenged at finding an audience. According to data from App Annie, the app is ranked in the low 600’s in the “Photo & Video” category on the App Store. That will make it impossible for users to find, if they’re only browsing the charts.

More critically, the app is also not currently ranking for searches like “filter photos” or “filter live photos,” where rivals like EyeEm, Instagram, PicLab, Aviary, Prisma and MSQRD can be found.

That said, Infltr has managed to grow a small audience since its debut. The company now has 24,000 users, and has been translated into 22 languages. Longer-terms, Infltr hopes to use the data it has about photo filtering to help infer which filters are trending and where. This data could help other photo editors know which filters they should build next, says Levieux. It could also learn to predict which filter you’ll want to use for your photos, or create geo-filters that pop up in certain locations, like on Snapchat.

The new version of Infltr is available for download on the iTunes App Store.