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In true iPhone style Instagram is beautiful. Many people like the Android black and blue theme, but I can’t stand it. I much prefer the pretty designs on iPhones, so I’m happy ‘taste’ has been forced upon us.
The design does seem unnecessarily bulky though. It’s as though they’ve taken the iPhone version and scaled up the user interface graphics for larger screens instead of keeping the scale the same but giving us more room.
As well as looking like an iPhone app, the user interface also has some of the strange features found on iPhones. Instagram doesn’t use the native menu button, but dots them around the screen. Sometimes at the bottom, sometimes under an image, sometimes at the top right. I do love the find-the-menu-button game, but I’m pretty sure the fun will wear off quite soon.
The ‘share’ menu is pretty common place on Android. It allows apps to send any content to any installed app via a convenience menu. So in the gallery I could post an image to Google+, Facebook or upload to Dropbox. Instagram have decided not to use this, but instead give users just five sharing options: Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr and the Instagram network. Not only is this bad news for Google+ users, but if you want to share to Facebook you’re required to install the Instagram Facebook app and hand over your profile details, just so you can post an image.
On a +1, the app has a vast array of filters; 18 in fact – 11 more than the native photo editor, and they’re actually pretty good! The camera is inbuilt, so no possibility of using your fancy Android 4 camera app, but you do have the option to fetch one from the gallery.. as long as you make it square first.
Searching for images via ‘tags’ (hashtags) is a breeze. The photos load incredibly fast; even over 3G. And I’ve yet to find a tag that hasn’t been used. There is literally an image for every topic.
Overall it’s a good app, but I would like to see better integration into Android.
Install it at Google Play.