Back to Home

A Guide to Instantly Enhance Your Photos with Polaroid Camera Apps

Polaroid cameras have been around since the late 1940s, allowing users to instantly capture and develop their photos. However, the emergence of digital cameras and image editing software made Polaroid seem like a thing of the past.

In recent years, Polaroid has returned with the rise of immediate camera applications. These software programs function as quick cameras, allowing users to produce photos with a Polaroid frame, the best Polaroid filter, and the instant picture effect. These applications can be downloaded from application stores, allowing users to capture Polaroid-style photos with their mobile devices.

In addition to capturing Polaroids, these applications offer editing features, enabling users to tweak their images and apply various filters. Polaroid apps appeal to those looking for a retro vibe and help recreate the look and feel of traditional Polaroid.

Benefits of using Polaroid camera apps over traditional photo editing software

Using Polaroid camera applications instead of conventional photo editing software has a number of advantages. They are

  • Simplicity: Polaroid camera apps are easy to use and do not require complicated editing tools.
  • Authenticity: Polaroid camera apps aim to mimic the look and feel of traditional Polaroid cameras for a more genuine experience.
  • Immediate gratification: Instant camera apps allow for real-time editing and instant gratification.
  • Nostalgia: Instant camera apps can evoke pleasant memories of a simpler time.
  • Portability: Instant camera apps are available on mobile devices, making it easy to take and edit photos.
  • Limitations: While Instant camera apps can be enjoyable, they may not provide the level of sophistication that classic photo editing software can offer.

Examples of how Polaroid camera apps can enhance your photos

Here is an example of how Polaroid camera apps may make your images look better. They are

  • Retro filters: Filters that resemble vintage Polaroid cameras to give your pictures a retro vibe.
  • Customized borders: Personalized borders add character and visual intrigue to your photos.
  • Immediate prints: The ability to print photos directly from the app for instant gratification.
  • Live filters: Real-time filter preview to experiment with different looks.
  • Multiple exposures: Capability to take multiple directions for creative and original compositions.
  • Basic editing tools: Basic tools for cropping, adjusting brightness and contrast, and boosting colours to enhance photos.

Polaroid camera apps are popular for recreating the retro look of instant photos. These readily available apps offer a range of features, such as frames and borders to add authenticity to the images. The best instant frame apps allow for customising templates, text, and colours on Android and iOS. As the trend for a vintage look grows, these apps are a good choice for creating unique and beautiful instant photos.

Top Polaroid Camera Apps

In an age where smartphones have replaced traditional cameras, many people still love the feel of a classic Polaroid camera. Fortunately, a wide range of these camera apps can give you the look and sense of an immediate camera right on your smartphone. Some of the top Immediate camera apps include Polaroid Originals, Polamatic, ShakeItPhoto, and Instant. Each of these apps has unique features that make them stand out, such as adding borders and captions or adjusting the saturation levels to yield the perfect vintage aesthetic. With these apps, anyone can bring the nostalgia of instant photography to their mobile device and capture memories in a way that feels familiar and fresh.

1. Polarr 

 The polar app is a great photo editor app that enables users to create beautiful Polaroid-style pictures on their IOS devices. This editing application is a must-have for anyone who loves adding vintage charm to their photographs. The app enables users to add a border to any image they want, transforming it into a perfect Polaroid-style photo. Additionally, the Polarr app includes features like free templates and border apps that let users customize their images further. The app is one of the good apps to create polaroids, and it’s easy to use, making it a fantastic addition to any photo editing enthusiast’s collection. So if you’re looking for an app that can add a vintage touch to your photos, the Polarr camera app is the perfect editing app.


The Polarr app is more of a photo editor than a polarised camera software. Users may easily enhance and customise their photos using the app’s numerous features and functionality. Listed below are a few of Polarr’s main attributes and qualities:

  • Polarr app is a photo editor with multiple features for users to enhance and customize their photos.
  • Users can apply Polar’s filters and advanced modifications, such as selective colour, curves, and HSL, to change the mood and tone of their images.
  • The app allows users to adjust exposure, contrast, and saturation in various ways and provide advanced modifications.
  • Polarr’s retouching features can help users eliminate wrinkles, blemishes, and other image flaws.


  • Immediate satisfaction: Polaroid Originals offers instant photo printing, providing a special and nostalgic method to preserve and share memories.
  • Traditional Polaroid format: The square images from Polaroid Originals film have a distinct and identifiable look similar to conventional Polaroid instant film.
  • Style cameras: Polaroid Originals cameras feature manual controls that offer a distinctive and hands-on photographing experience. They have a throwback look and feel.
  • Remarkable and unpredictable results: Polaroid Originals film produces original and unexpected images, making it a fun and gratifying choice for photographers. It also delivers a distinct and unusual aesthetic.

Overall, Polaroid Originals offers a distinct and nostalgic way of capturing and sharing memories, with unique and unpredictable results that appeal to a wide range of photographers.


  • high learning curve: The programme offers a wide range of advanced editing choices, which may be overwhelming for certain users, especially those who are just getting started with photo editing.
  • Limited free version: The free version of the software offers fewer features than the paid version, which may not be enough for some users.
  • Resource-intensive: Polarr’s sophisticated editing capabilities might use a lot of system resources, which might cause sluggish performance or shorten some devices’ battery lives.
  • Some users may find the software to be more expensive because some of its more complex functions can only be accessed through in-app purchases.
  • Limited video editing Polarr is primarily designed for photo editing, however, it includes comparably less video editing functionality as compared to other specialised video editing tools.
  • Polarr offers a powerful and feature-rich photo editing experience, but users should be aware of the possible learning curve, system requirements, and limitations of the free edition.

Absence of cloud storage: Users must save edited photos to their device’s internal or external storage, which may eat up space because the app does not enable cloud storage.


VSCO is a popular photo editing app that offers a wide range of filters to enhance your pictures. One feature that sets VSCO apart from other photo apps is its instant template app. With this app, you can easily create an effect by turning your photo into an instant. You can also take an instant photo directly from the app, giving it a vintage camera feel. If you’re looking for an instant photo effect, this app is a great option. It’s available for download on both the Play Store and App Store and using this app; you can easily make polaroid-style edits to your pictures. Overall, VSCO is a must-have app for anyone looking to add a unique touch to their photos.


  • Using filters to change the mood and tone of photos and videos features for advanced editing,
    such as curves, HSL, selective colour, contrast, and saturation
  • Composition options include cropping and rotating
  • Clarity and honing tools can enhance details.
  • Grain and fading effects for a vintage or film-like look
  • Cropping, altering exposure, adding filters, and adding effects are features for editing videos.
  • A resource that the community uses to share and locate information written by other authors. Users of all skill levels can utilise the flexible editing software VSCO.


  • High-quality filters
  • Advanced editing tools
  • User-friendly interface
  • Social features
  • Creative Community
  • Free version available
  • Saves original photos
  • Syncs across devices


  • In-app purchases: Some of the features in the VSCO Polaroid camera app require in-app purchases, which can add up quickly.
  • No manual controls: The VSCO Polaroid camera app doesn’t offer manual controls, which can be frustrating for photographers who like to have full control over their images.
  • Limited resolution: The resolution of the images captured by the VSCO Polaroid camera app is limited, which can be a drawback for those who want high-quality images.
  • Limited social sharing options: The VSCO Polaroid camera app has limited options for sharing images on social media, which can be a drawback for those who like to share their images online.
  • Limited editing options: The editing options available in the VSCO Polaroid camera app are limited compared to other editing apps.

3. Polaroid Originals

Polaroid Originals is a company that allows people to create Instant photos in today’s digital age. With their free app, available for Android and iOS devices, users can take Instant pictures with their smartphones and add an instant-like filter. The app offers various other features, such as editing and crop photos and even printing them through the Polaroid Lab. For those who prefer the look of a classic film camera, It also offers cameras that use its instant signature film. Overall, It is an innovative solution for those who crave the nostalgia of Instant photos but want to embrace the convenience of modern technology.


Polaroid Originals makes instant cameras and film. Following are a few characteristics of their products:

  • Polaroid Originals offers instant photography film that allows for the immediate printing of photos.
  • Polaroid Originals film produces square-format prints similar to classic Polaroid instant film.
  • Polaroid Originals offers both colour and black-and-white instant film options.
  • Polaroid Originals cameras have retro aesthetic, manual controls, multiple exposure capability, and self-timers.
  • Despite their vintage appearance, Polaroid Originals cameras have modern features such as rechargeable batteries and built-in flash.
  • Specific Polaroid Originals cameras have Bluetooth capabilities, allowing users to pair them with a smartphone app for extra features like remote control and augmented reality filters.


  • VSCO offers a wide range of filters to enhance photos and videos
  • The app includes extensive editing tools such as exposure, contrast, and saturation adjustments
  • Users can fine-tune their edits with sophisticated adjustments like selective colour and HSL
  • VSCO offers cropping and rotating tools to modify the composition of photos and videos
  • The app includes clarity and sharpening tools to improve photo and video details
  • Users can add grain and fade effects to their images to give them a retro or film-like atmosphere
  • VSCO offers video editing tools for trimming, exposure adjustments, and inserting filters and effects
  • The app has a community feature where users can post and find modified images and movies from other creators


  • Some features and filters are only available with a paid subscription.
  • The app can be slow and laggy on older devices.
  • Limited social media integration compared to other photo-sharing apps.
  • Some users find the interface to be confusing or unintuitive.
  • The app may consume significant device storage due to high-quality image processing.
  • The community aspect of the app can sometimes lead to negative interactions or criticism.

4. Huji Cam

 Huji Cam is the most popular Immediate camera app allowing users to take instant-style smartphone photos. This vintage photo app adds a unique retro style to modern phone photography. Using the app features, users can recreate the look of an actual immediate camera by adding filters to their photos. The app has an instant photo frame app, which allows users to add instant frames to their images. With the instant pop, the app users can have a new twist on the vintage classic. The app doesn’t replicate an actual instant camera, but it does offer the filter effect that makes images look like they were taken from the classic camera. An app is an excellent tool for anyone wanting to add an instant touch to their images without a physical camera.


  • Huji Cam applies a filter to images that imitate the appearance of disposable cameras from the 1990s. This effect includes light leaks, lens flares, and a warm, vintage colour tone.
  • Random filters: The software applies arbitrary filters to each image, simulating the erratic and distinctive outcomes of using a throwaway camera.
  • Huji Cam also has an in-app camera, which automatically applies the filter as the user takes the picture.
  • Huji Cam users have two options for sharing their images: upload them directly to social media sites or store them in their camera roll.
  • Overall, Huji Cam provides an enjoyable and nostalgic approach to taking and editing pictures, with a distinctive and recognised aesthetic that has gained popularity on social media.


  • Huji Cam filter imitates 1990s disposable cameras with light leaks, lens flares, and vintage colour tones.
  • Random filters simulate unpredictable results of throwaway cameras.
  • The in-app camera applies a filter automatically as the user takes photos.
  • Timestamps were added to photos, similar to old disposable cameras.
  • Basic editing tools allow for brightness and contrast adjustments.
  • Images can be shared directly to social media or saved to the device’s camera roll.
  • Huji Cam offers a popular and nostalgic way to take and edit photos with a recognizable aesthetic.


  • Limited editing options: While Huji Cam offers basic editing tools, more advanced users may find them lacking.
  • No control over filters: Users cannot choose which filters are applied to their photos, as the app applies them randomly.
  • In-app ads: The free version of the app contains ads, which some users may find disruptive or annoying
  • No video support: The app only allows for the editing of photos, not videos.
  • Limited image resolution: Some users have reported that photos edited with Huji Cam may have lower resolution than the original image.
  • No landscape mode: The app is designed to be used in portrait mode only, which may be inconvenient for some users.

While Huji Cam is a fun and nostalgic way to edit photos, its limitations may not be suitable for all users.

5. Gudak

Gudak Cam App is a simple app that is free of charge and has been downloaded by many fans of instant photos. This app is a great tool to turn pictures into polaroids, just like the classic ones we used to love. With Gudak Cam App, users can apply an instant filter to their photos with just one click.

The app also has a feature miming the old-school printing process where you must wait a few moments before the image appears. Gudak Cam App has made it to the list of good apps to create instant photos, with many users praising its user-friendly interface and ability to produce real polaroids. Overall, if you are a big fan of instant pictures and want to experience that classic feel without the hassle of purchasing a physical camera, Gudak Cam Immediate Camera App is worth a try.


  • Retro film camera feel
  • Limited shots per roll (24 shots per roll)
  • Delayed viewing of photos
  • No editing feature
  • Random light leaks and vintage effects
  • Social sharing
  • In-app purchases for additional film rolls and filters.


  • Retro aesthetic
  • Creative limitations
  • No editing feature
  • Simple interface
  • Social sharing
  • In-app purchases for more options and styles


  • Retro aesthetic
  • Creative limitations
  • No editing feature
  • Simple interface
  • Social sharing
  • In-app purchases for more options and styles

6. Instant 

The instant App has become a must-have for many people who love taking photos. This app is free to make and has been downloaded by many people. One of the best features of this app is that it allows you to apply a polaroid-like frame to your photos without using a primary camera. This means you can take a photo with your phone and apply the unique instant effect.

The app has a list of different frame options that you can choose from, and it is easy to use, even for those who are not familiar with photo editing. With this app, you can enjoy the benefits of having an instant camera without any of the expenses that come with it. You can add a unique touch to your photos for free and share them with your friends and family.


  • Filters
  • Crop and rotate
  • Basic adjustments
  • Frames and borders
  • Text and captions
  • Stickers and emojis
  • Collages
  • Sharing


  • Quick and easy editing
  • Enhanced photo appearance
  • Creative options
  • Time and effort savings
  • Wide accessibility


  • Limited editing options
  • Reduced photo quality
  • Over-reliance on presets
  • In-app purchases
  • Privacy concerns

7. Retrica

Retrica is a fantastic app to make your photos look like they were taken with an Instant camera. You can easily apply Polaroid effects to your pictures, making them look like they were taken years ago. Many users have downloaded the app, making it one of the top apps on this list. If you do not want to buy an Immediate camera, downloading this app is an excellent addition to your collection of photo apps. The app enables you to take pictures and apply Polaroid filters right away. The results are strikingly similar to the traditional Polaroid prints, making it a fun alternative for those who love the original Polaroid experience.


  • Filters: Retrica offers a wide range of filters that can be applied to photos to enhance their appearance.
  • Editing tools: Retrica provides basic editing tools such as crop, rotate, brightness, and contrast adjustments to help fine-tune the image.
  • Collages: Retrica allows users to create collages from multiple photos, giving them the ability to create more complex and creative compositions.
  • Stickers and stamps: The app provides a variety of stickers and stamps that can be added to photos to make them more fun and un
  • Social sharing: Retrica allows users to share their edited photos on popular social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
  • Real-time filters: Retrica has a feature that allows users to preview and select filters in real time before taking a photo.
  • Vignette: The app has a vignette effect that can be applied to photos to create a more dramatic look.
  • Timer: Retrica has a timer feature that allows users to take photos hands-free, making it easier to capture the perfect shot.


  • Easy to use
  • Wide range of filters and editing tools
  • Offers real-time preview of filters
  • Allows for creative and personalized photo editing
  • It has a variety of stickers and stamps to add to photos
  • Allows for easy social sharing
  • Provides a timer for hands-free photo taking.


  • Limited free features: The Retrica Polaroid camera app has limited free features, and many of the best features require a subscription to be unlocked.
  • Ads: The free version of the Retrica Polaroid camera app has a lot of ads, which can be annoying.
  • Limited editing options: The editing options available in the Retrica Polaroid camera app are limited compared to other editing apps.
  • No manual controls: The Retrica Polaroid camera app doesn’t offer manual controls, which can be frustrating for photographers who like to have full control over their images.
  • Limited resolution: The resolution of the images captured by the Retrica Polaroid camera app is limited, which can be a drawback for those who want high-quality images.
  • Limited social sharing options: The Retrica Polaroid camera app has limited options for sharing images on social media, which can be a drawback for those who like to share their images online.

8. Afterlight 2 

Afterlight 2 is an app that is like having a primary camera in your pocket. This app is an excellent addition for polaroid enthusiasts as it lets them capture moments and turn them into vintage photos. Afterlight 2 offers a top-rated polaroid photo frame app with many options for framing your prints. This fantastic free app is known for its user-friendly interface and various options. Not only does it have a disposable camera app, but it also has an Instax frame app that enables users to add an instant Instax frame to their photos. With many apps, Afterlight 2 is a top choice for those who love the instant aesthetic.


  • Filters: Afterlight 2 offers a wide range of filters that can be customized with adjustments to brightness, saturation, and more.
  • Advanced editing tools: The app provides advanced editing tools such as curves, selective colour, and HSL adjustments for fine-tuning images.
  • Double exposure: Afterlight 2 allows users to create unique double-exposure photos by blending two images together.
  • Texture overlays: The app has a variety of texture overlays that can be added to photos to create a more artistic and creative effect.
  • Frames and borders: Afterlight 2 provides a variety of frames and borders that can be added to photos to give them a polished and finished look.
  • Cropping and straightening: The app has basic cropping and straightening tools to help users adjust their photos to their desired composition.
  • Social sharing: Afterlight 2 allows users to share their edited photos on social media platforms easily.

Overall, Afterlight 2 offers a variety of features that cater to advanced photo editing needs, allowing users to customize and enhance their images with creative effects and unique styles.


  • Wide range of editing tools: The Afterlight 2 app has a wide range of editing tools, including advanced features like selective adjustments and curves, making it a powerful tool for photo editing
  • User-friendly interface: The interface of the Afterlight 2 app is intuitive and easy to use, making it accessible even to beginners.
  • Customizable filters: The app offers a large selection of customizable filters, which allow users to create unique and personalized looks for their photos.
  • Text and sticker overlays: Afterlight 2 also offers text and sticker overlays, which can be added to images to create personalized designs or captions.
  • High-resolution output: The Afterlight 2 app supports high-resolution output, making it ideal for photographers who want to create high-quality prints.


  • Price: The Afterlight 2 app is not free and requires a one-time payment to download, which may be a drawback for users looking for a free photo editing app.
  • No video editing: Afterlight 2 is primarily focused on photo editing and doesn’t offer any video editing features, which can be a drawback for users who want an all-in-one editing app.
  • Limited sharing options: Afterlight 2 has limited options for sharing photos on social media, which can be a drawback for users who want to share their photos online
  • No batch editing: The app doesn’t offer batch editing, which can be a drawback for users who want to apply the same edits to multiple photos at once.
  • Limited free features: Some of the more advanced features in the app require a paid subscription, which can be a drawback for users on a tight budget.
  • Limited photo adjustment controls: While the app offers a wide range of editing tools, some users may find that the photo adjustment controls are not as advanced as those offered by other photo editing apps.

9. Adobe Lightroom 

 Adobe Lightroom is one of the best immediate camera apps available. If you don’t want to purchase a primary camera but still want to get the photo quality that it offers, this app is a great option. It is a decent app that lets you download the instant effect to your smartphone camera. With Adobe Lightroom, you can adjust the saturation, exposure, and other factors to make your photos look like they were clicked on a primary camera. Apart from this, it also offers a great range of editing options that can help you enhance your photos’ overall look and feel. If you are a fan of primary cameras or want to give your photos a vintage touch, the Adobe Lightroom camera app is worth checking out!


  • Professional-grade editing tools: Adobe Lightroom offers advanced editing tools such as curves, colour adjustments, and selective edits for precise control over your images.
  • Presets: The app has a wide range of built-in presets that can be applied to photos with a single tap, saving time and simplifying the editing process.
  • Cloud storage: Adobe Lightroom allows for easy synchronization with the Adobe Creative Cloud, making editing photos across multiple devices easy.
  • RAW support: The app supports RAW image formats, allowing for more flexibility and control over your photos during editing.
  • Easy sharing: Adobe Lightroom makes it easy to share your edited photos on social media platforms and other channels.
  • Organization: The app provides tools for organizing and managing your photo library, including metadata editing, tagging, and keyword search.


  • Professional-grade editing tools for advanced photo editing.
  • A wide range of built-in presets simplifies and speed up the editing process.
  • The ability to easily synchronize edited photos across multiple devices with the Adobe Creative Cloud.
  • RAW support for greater control and flexibility in editing.
  • Easy sharing on social media and other channels.
  • Robust organization tools for managing large photo libraries.


  • The steep learning curve for beginners is due to the app’s advanced features and tools.
  • The subscription-based pricing model may be expensive for some users.
  • The app can be resource-intensive and slow on older or less powerful devices.
  • Some users may find the user interface to be cluttered or confusing.
  • Lack of support for certain file formats and camera models.

10. A Color Story

 A Color Story is considered one of the best instant apps. This app lets you capture and edit your photos to give them a unique instant touch. Its wide range of filters lets you add a retro feel to your photos. However, the app lacks features like the ability to adjust shutter speed or aperture, which might be a drawback for serious photographers. Nevertheless, this app suits casual users who want to add a vintage touch to their photos. You can easily download the instant app on your iOS or Android device and create your Polaroid masterpieces.


  • Filters for adding colour and texture to photos.
  • Advanced editing tools for precise control over images.
  • Overlays for adding texture and light leaks to photos.
  • Text tools for adding captions and quotes to photos.
  • Frames for adding a finishing touch to photos.
  • Crop and rotate tools for the perfect composition.
  • Easy sharing on social media platforms and other channels.
  • Built-in presets for quick and easy edits.


  • A User-friendly interface makes it easy to use even for beginners.
  • A wide range of filters and editing tools for customizing and enhancing photos.
  • Texture and light leak overlays add a creative touch to photos.
  • Built-in presets provide quick and easy edits.
  • Easy sharing options for social media platforms and other channels.
  • Regular updates with new features and tools.
  • The app is available for both iOS and Android devices.
  • Offers advanced editing tools such as curves and selective edits for precise control over images.
  • Affordable pricing for premium features and tools.


  • Some premium features and tools require in-app purchases.
  • Limited control over the intensity of filters.
  • The app may run slowly or crash on older devices.
  • Some users may find the app to be too basic compared to more advanced photo editing apps.
  • The app may not support all file formats and image sizes.
  • Limited text options for adding captions and quotes to photos.
  • The app may not be suitable for professional-level photo editing.

How to Use Polaroid Camera Apps

  • Download a Polaroid camera app from your smartphone’s app store. There are many options available such as Polaroid Originals, Polamatic, and ShakeItPhoto
  • Install and open the app on your phone.
  • Allow the app to access your phone’s camera and photo library if prompted.
  • Once the app is open, you’ll see a virtual Polaroid camera on your screen. This camera simulates the look and feel of an actual Polaroid camera, including the classic square frame and instant development feature.
  • To take a photo, point the camera at your subject and press the virtual shutter button. The app will simulate the sound of a Polaroid camera as the photo is taken.
  • After taking the photo, wait a few seconds for the app to simulate the development process. You’ll see a white square on your screen with the classic Polaroid frame around it.
  • The app may also include editing tools such as filters and frames to enhance your photo. You can access these tools by tapping on the photo and selecting the “Edit” option.
  • Once you’re happy with your photo, you can save it to your phone’s camera roll or share it on social media directly from the app.
  • Some Polaroid camera apps may also offer the ability to print your photos directly from your phone. If this is the case, follow the instructions provided in the app to connect to a compatible printer and print your photo.

That’s it! Using a Polaroid camera app is a fun and easy way to capture and share your favourite moments in a classic, retro style.


In conclusion, immediate camera apps are a great alternative for those who want to experience the nostalgic feel of an immediate camera without the cost and hassle of actual quick cameras. The app’s features, such as filters and borders, enhance the overall experience of using an immediate camera. However, it should be noted that these apps cannot replace the unique physicality and charm of a real instant print. Additionally, some apps may not be as user-friendly as traditional smartphone camera apps, which may be a downside for some users. Nonetheless, immediate camera apps are a great option for those looking to relive the magic of instant or have fun with retro-style photos.