Instagram for Android has finally arrived. The reigning Apple "App of the Year" made its iPhone debut in 2010, and has accumulated a whopping 30 million users in its short life. Instagram's premise is simple: Users snap a photo and apply a variety of retro-style filters to imbue their shots with a "studied hipster cool." And photos on Instagram, unlike those other photography apps produce, are socially shared with followers who can click a heart to show their approval, or leave comments. On Tuesday, after 17 months of anticipation, Android users were finally able to join the photo-filter fun, and the app was downloaded more than a million times in a single day. Was it worth the wait?
It lives up to the buzz: The Android version of Instagram is "largely the same as the Apple equivalent," says Matt Warman at Britain Telegraph, and that's a good thing. While it's true that the application's artsy filters make your phone's shots look "dramatically" better, the real secret to the platform's success is its unrivaled "sense of community." Indeed, "plenty of others on Android tried to fill the void [created] by Instagram's absence, but none have succeeded."
"Instagram for Android review"
But it's not quite up to par yet: Instagram for Android is still missing a few key features, says Thomas Houston at The Verge. Unlike the iPhone version, the app lacks the tilt-shift function, which lets users zero in on a specific part of a photo. It took a "good second" longer to apply filters on a Droid Razr that in IOS, and the Android app lagged when users switched from "shooting a photo to adding an effect." Also missing: A few sharing options — like the ability to sync with Flickr and Posterous — but maybe they'll be added with future software updates. Instagram for Android is "not perfect," but at least it's a start.
"Instagram for Android hands-on video"
Some Apple snobs would rather keep Android users waiting: A few smug iPhone users are worried that an onslaught of Androids will "ruin" Instagram's social network, says Dan Frommer at SplatF. But that's an irrational fear. With Instagram, you only see the shots of people you follow. "Android rodentia can't just stuff ugly photos into your Instagram feed without your taking the initiative to follow them." Instagram remains great. Whether it loses its charm or not, however, is completely "up to you."
"Why Android won't ruin Instagram"