A picture tells
1000 words 140 characters
Android App of the Week At last, the much vaunted iPhone picture blogging app has arrived on Android and, judging by the one million downloads it saw on the day of release, it’s been eagerly awaited.
For the uninitiated, Instagram is a Twitter-like affair but with a picture taking the place of the 140 characters. You take a snap, jazz it up with some basic effects and upload it for other Instagramers to appreciate.
Takes snaps, tweak 'em and share
As with Twitter you can follow other users so their pictures appear in your photostream or they can follow you. Photographs can be also liked and commented on in much the same way as they can on Facebook - which now owns Instagram, of course.
You navigate around the Android app using the same five buttons you'll find on the iPhone version. These consist of the Instagram camera itself flanked by self-explanatory Home, Popular, News and Profile tabs. It’s simplicity itself to navigate around even for Instagram virgins.
Record your own images and follow other folks' photo activities
If you want to upload a snap you can either take one using the Instagram camera - you can use your phone’s stock camera interface if you prefer - or grab one from your handset’s gallery.
Once you’ve taken a picture or cropped any gallery imports to square - that’s the only shape you can upload pics in - you can start to muck about with the Instagram filters and effects.
All told, there are 18 effects filters as well as options to rotate, add a border and change the lighting intensity. It’s all very easy and fast and the effects themselves are not half bad, which is why Instagram is so popular.
View popular pictures, and see which snappers are the most favoured
Once you are happy with your efforts you can add a few words by way of a caption, geotag it and share it through Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Tumblr as well as your Instagram account.
The new live filter preview feature recently added to the iOS version of Instagram is missing, as is the Tilt Shift blur effect, which lets you fake a shallow depth of field by blurring parts of the image.
And the Android app currently can’t share to Flickr or Posterous which the iOS iteration can, though the developers promise Flickr support is “coming soon”.
Geotag your pics and select where to share them
I suspect the other more recent iOS features will also arrive in due time. The Android app has already had a fair number of updates, the most recent adding support for Honeycomb tablets and Wi-Fi only devices, so it is evolving rapidly even as I write this. ®
We make our choice of the best Android smartphone and tablet downloads every Tuesday. If you think there's an app we should be considering, please let us know.
More Android App of the Week Winners
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Re: It's a fast-changing app all right...
I used to like that band you like back when they only released their stuff on floppy vinyl and never appeared under their own name except on leap years but then they replaced the xylophone player with a drummer and got signed to a record label and lots of people started to like them and I don't listen to them any more but then I found another band that only play instruments that have been carved by people of unpronouncable ethnicity so I guess it's all good.
Android app of the week?
Surely you mean pointless app of the week?
you could add 100 million Android users but unless you start adding them to your "follow" list you won't ever notice.
I know three professional photographers who use Instagram and not one has departed because of the Facebook purchase while four iPhone using friends (and me) think the Android app is a good thing because more of their actual flesh & blood friends are now on the network.
As for the quality of the content being uploaded dropping since the Android app came out or the service slowing, that is just a load of complete and utter cock.
As an iPhone owner this sort of self-important, self-serving mealy mouthed bollocks from the iOS Instagram "community" - 30m people is not a f***ing community btw, it's just a lot of people with the same mobile phone - is frankly embarrassing.
Re: It's a fast-changing app all right...
Sure is hipster in here.
So, it lets you post 2/3rds of a photo? (Assuming my maths is correct in thinking 2/3 of a 6x4 photo would make it square).
So, you can apply a crap filter effect to your butchered photo... to make it more interesting.
Presumably installed by the same people who post their oh-so-hilarious photos of friends and family mangled by the aging and fat apps.