Instagram today released a major update to its popular photo sharing app for smartphones. The latest release, Instagram 6.0, packs in several new photo editing tools including light and dark adjustments, sharpening effects, color adjustments, filter strengths, and more.

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. You can also now adjust how much of a filter you apply to a photo by double tapping the filter icon.

The update comes just a day after Apple previewed iOS 8 which includes its own photo editing advancements in the native Photos app similar to those found in apps like iPhoto.

While Instagram is pushing forward with improvements focused on making your photos look better, the photo sharing social network is not budging on their app icon which tends to stand out among other app icons using the design language introduced last year with iOS 7. (That remains high on my wish list for Instagram right next to an official iPad version… everyone could use bigger filters!) 😎

Full release notes below:

What’s New in Version 6.0.0

The Instagram you love, now with 10 new photo-editing tools!

* Double-tap on filters to adjust the filter strength
* Perfect your composition with Adjust and Vignette
* Enrich colors with Warmth and Saturation
* Adjust lights and darks with Brightness, Contrast, Highlights and Shadows
* Make your photos crisp and clear with Sharpen

Other updates:
* It’s now easier to upload and share videos
* Improved design and bug fixes

Instagram 6.0 for iPhone is available to download now on the App Store.

(Via Instagram)