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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Here is my review of Instagram, the Android version. Anyone else feel this way?

So here is my Instagram review. It's long.

Months ago, the app Instagram became a staple on my Facebook news feed. Everyone I knew with an iPhone was posting these trendy, poorly developed, vignette pictures. Being an Android only home, I could only assume that this was a lot of fun for iPhone users. They seemed to use this program 90% of the time they were taking pictures.

I looked around the Android marketplace and found a few knock offs. There was Lightbox, and Pixlr-o-matic, Camera360, and RetroCamera. I tried a couple of them, notably the Vingette demo (which worked awesome) and decided that, though they took very unique pictures, it just wasn't something that I was that amazed by. I mean, it's just a bunch of pre-made photo filters (with exception of Vignette Pro, which is quite customizable).

Fast forward to today, the Android blogs have been all a flutter about Instagram coming to the Android platform after what seemed like an eternity. I can't say I was excited, as I basically knew what to expect. But, when it came out today, I decided to give it a shot. And honestly, it's worse that I expected. And not because of the trendy pictures it takes.

1) It crops my goddamn photo down to a square picture. The hell is that about!? We have these awesome widescreen devices that take wide angle pictures, and this app refuses to allow anything other than square?

B) The filters that it uses aren't revolutionary. They are simply pre-made filters. There are a couple dozen. But, that's it. Almost every app that I mentioned above has this exact same functionality. Most of them allow you to tweak and customize the filter to some degree or another.

Fourth) The app almost forces you to upload the photos to their Instagram server site. I say almost because if you stop on the VERY LAST STEP before you upload, you will have finally saved a local copy of the picture that you can upload as you wish. The app really wants you to use the Instagram site to host these photos. Or share to Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr through the app, which will just link those social media sites to the Instagram website, and not actually upload TO those sites. Which brings me to my final gripe.

Fuck You) Instagram. Why do I have to create an account with your website in order to use your shitty filters? Why do you force my hand to upload to your site and share within your own little ecosystem of Instagrammers? Do we really need another social media site based on photo sharing? These pictures all look the fucking same! I really think it is you, Instagram, with the ego problem. Not all these tweens with their first camera phone taking pictures of their cats and bongs.

In conclusion! I get the feeling that part of the reason Instagram operates the way they do is because of the iPhone/Apple regulations on iTunes. I feel like they have had such success in the iPhone/iPod market that they didn't bother to take a look around the Android market before finalizing the Android version. I could be wrong, but that's how I feel.

I'm glad the app is free. I'd rather give my money to a developer who actually innovates, instead of riding the gravy train all over the mobile market.

Published on Android

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