Instagram is one of the most popular apps for iOS. Earlier today, the much coveted photo-sharing app landed on Android. Does the Android app stack up to its iOS counterpart or fall short? Well, for the most part, Instagram for Android is everything users of the little green guy’s OS have been waiting for.
The general UI of Instagram’s iOS app is almost completely the same here on Android. The app looks great, but I can’t help but wish that Instagram had opted to change the app’s aesthetics to match ICS’s new Holo UI. Android 4.0’s Holo look could look great on this app, and it could very well be included in an impending update. But let’s face it, Instagram for Android is still a great looking, well designed app. The buttons along the bottom make navigation as simple and intuitive as possible, and the app does it’s best to showcase the real meat and potatoes of the whole experience: the pictures.
The cool thing about Instagram is that you can take photos with the native Camera app, and import the photo into Instagram’s editor through there. Or you can snap a pic directly from the app itself by hitting that big blue icon at the bottom of the screen. It’s nice to see Instagram deciding to take advantage of Android’s open .api, when it could’ve very well left people to ONLY use their app for taking pictures of their cat. The charm of Instagram are its (in)famous creative filters. After snapping a pic in your camera app, or via Instagram itself, you’re then brought into an editor of sorts. The editor allows you to make minor tweaks like cropping, rotation, brightness, contrast, and of course apply hip filters. The filters themselves are varied and work surprisingly well. If old looking photos are your cup ‘o tea, then Instagram will deliver in spades.
The biggest selling point for all of you cellphone photogs out there will undoubtedly be the social network integration. In fact, that’s kinda Instagram’s main attraction. Instagram allows you to sync your account with Twitter and Facebook, and pulling in all of those who use Instagram themselves, and congregating them into a single feed. Instagram uses existing social networks to create one all its own. Think Twitter, but only with photos and you’ll have a good idea about how it works. It’s a simple idea, executed with perfection. It’s a blast scrolling down your feed and looking at all of the pictures being posted by people you follow on Twitter, or are friends with on Facebook, but in one place. It’s a micro-blog format exclusively for visuals, and it’s great.
Even if photo apps aren’t usually your thing, Instagram for Android is more than just that. It’s a whole other social network that Android users can finally get in on. It’s amazing seeing what kind of stuff my iOS using pals have been posting without me ever knowing about it. It’s a fun, cool, and addicting way to engage in visual medium, and it includes some pretty intuitive photo editing tools too. Instagram is now available in the Google Play Store for a mere $0.00, so you’ve really got no excuse not to give this one a shot.
Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5