10 free apps to improve your Instagram stories

Level up your IG story game



Using Instagram’s basic editor is easy and adds some flair to your stories. But if you want to be extra and add even more creativity, these apps should help.

These are all free but there are monthly and yearly subscriptions that unlock each one’s full potential. It’s not mandatory but it sure helps. Here are the apps in no particular order.


The templates may already be familiar to most of you since Unfold has been used by a lot of people. You can choose from several templates including classic, film, or ripped paper. Inside the app, you can create a “story” and add several pages so you can export them all at once. Aside from changing background color (or texture), you can also add stickers, texts (font selection is a tad limited), and even GIFs.

Download: iOS | Android


With Made, you’ll get templates not just limited to classic, film, and ripped paper as there are also travel boards, golden frames, and more. What’s great is the selection of photo filters and page backgrounds — glitters, marble, wood, paper, food, you name it. You can even add your photos as the background proving how versatile the app is. The text editor is a bit tricky as you can’t resize it as freely as Unfold, but its font selection is still a great addition.

Download: iOS


Nichi is your best pick if you want your stories to look more like a journal. Aside from various paper textures and organic-looking graphics, you can also change your photo filters between film, polaroid, and other retro-styled choices. The font system isn’t limited to English letters as it supports Korean, Japanese, and Chinese characters. Best of all? The template board isn’t fixed as you can freely resize assets depending on your liking.

Download: iOS | Android


Just like Unfold, this app also has the versatility of adding texts and videos. But unlike the apps aforementioned, you get more free fonts, graphics, and templates, even without additional subscription. You can even add your own graphics (such as logos) and install your own fonts — making it more flexible. Each project you make is saved, so that you can re-use the layouts in your future stories.

Download: iOS | Android

Canva: Stories

Canva has been a popular editing website for presentations and print layouts. Now, Canva isn’t limited to computer systems anymore as you can access it across your devices with their app. What’s great with Canva: Stories is the inclusion of free 700 templates and enjoy their quality assets as much as you like. Canva: Stories may not be available yet for the Android system but you can use the regular Canva app as it still has a dedicated Instagram Stories maker with free templates.

Download: iOS | Android (Canva)


The Mojo app is perfect for those who want animated templates — which makes it stand out from the previous apps that all include static layout. There are more than 100 templates to choose from and animated text styles aren’t limited as well. Other than that, you can also customize fonts, colors, sizes, positions, alignments, and many more.

Download: iOS

Story Art

Story Art has huge selections of story templates of more than 1000, including 300+ animated templates. There are also 70+ themes (like film, marble, retro, and minimalism), as well as 100+ highlight covers. Aside from that, it features vintage film filters, and even a VHS camcorder that adds a retro effect to your stories. Just like other layout apps, you can add and customize texts, plus adjust video speed when needed.

Download: iOS | Android


There are 500+ static and animated templates alongside 50+ themes (love, summer, travel, memory, among others) when you use StoryChic. Other than that, this app also features several high quality filters to match your story’s mood. There are more than 40 fonts you can select and rotate, plus hundreds of color options and several effects to add context to your stories. Not something most people will use but there’s a blur option for the photos and videos you’ll add.

Download: iOS | Android


Just like StoryChic, this app also includes more than 500 photo and video Instagram story templates in various styles such as film, paper, love, collage, and even neon. You can also add backdrop textures to fit your aesthetic. There are 16 fonts that are color customizable. Powerful and unique photo filters are also present, including a vintage selection. Its great reviews prove that you don’t need to break a sweat as its easy and fun to use.

Download: iOS


StoryLab consists of over 200 customizable collage and layout templates. You can choose from different styles of frames and borders and supports both photos and videos. Other than that, there are dozens of high-quality background options, even for your highlight cover. Texts, stickers, and filters are the usual features of a layout app but what makes it unique is the inclusion of a unique brush set which you can use to draw over your stories.

Download: Android


Apple isn’t encrypting iCloud backups because of the FBI

Public security is their concern



One of Apple’s selling points for its products is encryption by default. For a long time, the Cupertino company advertised device encryption for its iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks.

For users, it means better security and privacy against malicious hackers wanting to steal sensitive information. All device data is securely stored and encrypted so only the users can access them.

However, there is one thing missing from Apple’s encryption clause. By default, iCloud backups are unencrypted — Apple can see any data users store in the cloud service.

Privacy no more

While the company remained mum on the issue, a report by Reuters revealed why Apple didn’t encrypt iCloud backups for many years.

It turns out, the company planned on encrypting all iCloud backups last 2016. During that year, the company successfully fought a court battle against the FBI for unlocking the iPhone of a school shooter. The encrypted iCloud plan has the code name “Plesio” and “KeyDrop”.

Apple discussed the encryption plans with the FBI but the agency complained about its implications. Pressured by FBI and several US agencies, Apple later caved in and dropped plans to encrypt iCloud backups.

Sources gathered by Reuters also suggest one reason for dropping encryption: more users will find it hard to retrieve their data once they lost their password.

Implications and repercussions

With iCloud backups remaining unecrypted, FBI can easily request a court order for Apple to turn over precious data to the agency. As such, iCloud data became one of the preferred evidence for the agency, with more than 1,568 cases involving its use.

Apple has not yet commented on the issue. However, expect the fallout from this relevation to be swift and widespread, as more tech companies face the dilemma of balancing users’ privacy against the need for upholding public security.

Source: Reuters

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WhatsApp is finally getting a dark mode for Android

Currently available only in beta



Android’s dark revolution is finally in full swing. Following the launch of Android 10, the operating system has slowly updated its supported apps to accommodate the much-awaited dark mode. Android apps are getting darker, potentially saving millions of eyes at night. The revolution has already swept the heavy hitters like Twitter and Instagram.

Now, the popular messaging service, WhatsApp, is getting the same treatment. More specifically, WhatsApp has rolled out the feature for its Google Play Beta Program.

On the updated app, users can access four types of display modes. The first two are the basic Light and Dark modes: dark text on a white background and white text on a black background. The third automatically switches between the two modes, depending on the time of day. The fourth, dubbed as Set by Battery Saver, switches depending on your current battery.

Unfortunately, the Beta Program is not accepting new members at this time. Only current members of the program can access the new mode. Currently, if you want a makeshift dark mode, you can change your chat wallpaper to a dark image.

Given the timeliness of the beta update, a public release will likely roll out in the near future.

SEE ALSO: WhatsApp may soon get disappearing messages

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5 best makeup filters on Instagram Stories

Nothing like the convenience of virtual makeup!



Since time immemorial, apps and smartphones’ built-in beauty modes have allowed us to apply airbrushing, contour, lipstick, blush, and eyeshadow without lifting a makeup brush. But there’s nothing like the convenience of the virtual makeup we get through filters on our favorite social media apps.

Here we’ve rounded up the best makeup filters you should save on Instagram Stories. Apologies for the barrage of selfies you’re about to see!


If, like me, your go-to everyday look is the winged eyeliner then Francesca is filter you need to save on your Stories. It’s best used when you haven’t drawn anything on your lids yet as it might be difficult to match your wingtip with the filter’s.

Try the Francesca effect here.


If you’re the type who can’t leave the house without mascara, Eyelashes is the one you need to save. It won’t curl your lashes in real life, but any selfie you post from here on out will look like you made the effort to look nice even when you just got out of bed. There are 3 different styles of lashes because one size does not fit all looks!

Try the Eyelashes effect here.


Want to look fresh at 5pm even without retouching? As its name suggests, Natural will remove blemishes and blot oil from your face and the resulting selfie will still look as natural as possible. It also adds a little bit of tint to your lips without going overboard.

Try the Natural effect here.

Glitter Lips

Smudged lipstick after a greasy meal is a problem we all deal with. Get that selfie on point even without a trip to the powder room with Glitter Lips. Choose from 7 different glossy shades — there’s nude, pink, even gold!

Try the Glitter Lips effect here.

+2 Vintage*Blush II

This filter adds freckles and blush to your cheeks, and smoothens your skin out. But +2 Vintage*Blush II isn’t just a makeup filter — it also changes the mood of your entire photo to something warmer. You get a total of 4 different looks, with two adding noise to the entire image for more of that vintage feel.

Try the +2 Vintage*Blush II effect here.

We all get by with a little help from friends and technology. As with anything, use makeup filters in moderation and with the best of intentions.

Do you use makeup filters on Instagram Stories? Let us know what your favorite is in the comments below.

SEE ALSO: PSA: Snapchat dysmorphia is real

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