Instagram on Android - Why you want it

Rene Ritchie is the editor of and knows a thing or three about Instagram on iOS.

Why do you want Instagram on Android? Because Android users have the right to take beautiful, modern, digital pictures and filter them down to look like bad 1960s-era Polaroids just like iOS users. I kid. Seriously.

Instagram isn't Facebook or Twitter. It's not big or as broad. It's smaller and more sharply focused. More important, it doesn't exist on the web at all -- it's a purely mobile network. Sure, you can see individual Instagrams on the web, but that's all you can do on the official site -- just see individual Instagrams.

To take or upload, filter or share, your photos with the Instagram community, you need the mobile app, and right now that only exists on the iPhone. And that's a pity.

I joked about the filters at the beginning of this article, but the community is no joke. It's filled with passionate mobile photographers fully in tune with the idea that the best camera is the one you have with you, and the one you have with you is on your smartphone.

Android has some great camera phones like most everything from Samsung in the past year (save for the Galaxy Nexus), as well as some great photographers. And HTC's upcoming line looks to impress. And right now, as an Instagram user, I can't experience and appreciate their photography. I can't interact with them in place where other, like-minded mobile photographers are interacting with them without the annoyance or distraction of Tweets about politics or Likes of Bieber videos (whatever those are).

There are many iPhoneographers on Instagram whose work has elevated the medium well into the realms of art. Androidographers (live with it) deserve the same access and Instagram deserves the greater talent pool.

Android is a serious platform that's not always taken seriously by developers. It doesn't always get the great apps it deserves as fast as it deserves them. Instagram has taken its time coming to Android, but that it's coming is important. It's not as big a deal as Twitter or Facebook, but it's a much sharper deal, perhaps sharper even than Path.

Plus, Android's got gallery and sharing hooks that make some iPhone users green with envy. (Being able to share a photo as soon as you take it in the stock camera app is something you all take for granted.) 

Mobile photography is a big deal. Having Instagram on Android isn't just great for Instagram or Android, it's great for us.

Now please, for the love of Ansel Adams, go easy on those '60s filters when you get 'em, will you?

Rene Ritchie has been covering the personal technology industry for almost a decade. Editorial Director at Mobile Nations, analyst at iMore, video and podcast host, you can follow him @reneritchie on [Snapchat](, [Instagram](, or [Twitter](
  • Just read an BGR article about how the developers of the app are saying the Android version is better than the iOS version. Should be good.
  • COUGH. Instagram for Android shown off at SXSW, 'better than iPhone app' say developers |
  • I like the fact the editors of the different SPE sites can say nicer things about other platforms than most the readers can. Interesting article, kind of makes me look forward to the app.
  • When is this actually going to be on the market?
  • on the what?
  • Lol
  • I don't know, I can't even find my market anymore. I think I accidentally deleted it or something... =/
  • Hmm try to look for the google play store which should be the new name :-)
  • I'm still not interested, and I do a lot of photography.
  • Only will work with ics roms currently
  • Source? Why? There is only one ICS phone right now (correct me if wrong), it would be stupid to limit it to just that.
  • I don't think that's the case. I believe this was an extrapolation from the demo being done on a Nexus, but I haven't found this stated as fact anywhere.
  • Filters Scmilters.
    If I had my way no one would use this app. IMO they waited to long to take Android seriously and they should pay for it. For the last year(one could argue since it started) Android has been a legitimate option for those wanting to have a serious smart phone. It angers me when devs neglect such a growing segment of users. I'm not a dev just one of many users and I realize that it does take a lot of work. Work which devs have a right to do or not do, it's their creation, it's their choice. IMO they chosen to ignore Android and in return I'll ignore them, not that they need me to use it. So all morning long I've been reading about how it's "Not just filters, it's a social network too". Honestly, I don't care, I don't want yet another empty social network to update. I hate the fact that all of my friends are on facebook. Facebook sucks, but everyone is there so I'll be there with people I know. I don't care to follow folks I don't know or care about I couldn't care less if you take cell pics rotated 45 degrees and applied some hipster filter. Like most people, I am not a "cellphone picture enthusiasts". I care what people are doing, people that I know not people that have managed to take a single great picture with a cellphone. Just my 2 cents.
  • I dont know if I can knock them as devs on this one. It may be that they knew that this app isn't worth anything on Android. It just fixes shortcomings of iOS. But on the rest I agree. Android users don't tend to fall in line and get stuff just because the next person is using it. BUT.... In the end when this doesn't become hot on Android like it did on iOS the devs will point the finger at Android as usual and claim that Android users don't use apps or the play store doesn't let them find good apps or fragmentation caused a bad experience or some other common excuse. I really hope they would step up and say look. Android as a platform just doesn't need our app and we were late to the party where others have stepped in anyway.
  • Ok, so maybe it's not the devs, but who ever made the descicion to wait so long... I geuss that it is probably the same person/s who are cashing the checks, either way I feel the same. I wonder if there are any apps out there that we (android folks) have that ios folks are wanting badly.
  • I think it is a good article and glad that Instagram will arrive on Android and that it will be a polished app. I'm sure there will be a large following. But as for me i don't need another social 'hub' for my pictures. I have that with G+ and Facebook. Instagram filled a weakness which that other phone couldn't do which is quickly upload pictures from our gallery with nifty filters and share. Android already can do this. One example is Pixl-o-matic(which I use) does a great job of this and they have ton and tons of filters and very nice UI. So I come back around again. I don't understand why I would use Instagram if I already have the listed above? I feel also Android users don't have that same iLemmings, where if 'everyone' is doing it attitude. While it maybe a great success yonder hill *cough**Mika**cough* doesn't always compute here. Hopefully, they will have added features that I might be more compelling for me to drop what I'm using now.
  • One of the biggest complaints that we get from users who switch from iOS to Android (or any other platform for that matter) is that apps that they are used to are not available on the other platform. Yes in most cases there are apps that do the same things, often times equal to or better than the one they used on iOS but it takes time for them to search and find then. In the meantime they get frustrated with the new platform. For this alone I welcome high profile apps like this to Android. The fact that the Android version is "better" is sauce for the goose. It's all about choice people. Having this on Android does not suddenly make alternatives disappear or become mess usefull. It just provides more options for people.
  • this is exactly what i said on the previous post about not nearly as many words. i just want access to the network. as an app, i like lightbox better
  • I am really looking forward to it coming to an Android. I have been using pixlr-o-matic like crazy and am sure I will be the same way with instagram. I'm still rocking my Droid X and I am still amazed at the quality of my photos.
  • Thanks for this little blurb/article. Guess I was confused on what Instagram actually is: from their website, it just says you can "Snap a photo with your iPhone, choose a filter to transform the look and feel, send to Facebook, Twitter or Flickr" to which I said "seriously? A measely 3 sharing options?" I guess I can see the appeal for mobile photographers, but I think I'll just stick to the stuff I'm already using: Android's built in gallery sharing options, PicSay Pro, and I just picked up Camera Zoom FX for 25 cents, all of which appear to do pretty much the same thing, minus the "mobile only" aspect I guess. But at least I now understand a little more what Instagram is or strives to be. I guess they want to be kindof a mobile-photography only type app (as well as adding some basic sharing functionality to a couple social network sites that iOS lacks). I can see the appeal to mobile photographers who would get laughed out of "serious" photography sites for using a camera phone. And yes, the point the article makes about taking Android's sharing functionality for granted is definitely true: I have an iPad 2, and if I pull up a photo in the gallery, all I get for sharing options is email and Twitter. Assuming the iPhone is the same, I see why iOS users would be excited about something like this. I think Android users will look at it (like many of us here are) and say "Yeah, we've been doing that for years."
  • pass i rarely take pics even though i do have an 8mp on my phone but do i want a 12mp on my next phone? u bet ur ass i do
  • I prefer better lens with backside illuminated sensor, than a high MP camera with crappy quality, as you know more pixels doesn't mean better image
  • How much are Apple users paying for this application?
    Free is for me.
    I don't really see the benefit of the program over what I have.
    The way I understand it is: I could alter a picture I take using the filters and effects, then share it with a community of Apple users. Everything else I can already do more efficiently.
    Maybe they realize this and are baking in more valuable features for Android?
  • If anything, I picture this starting Instagram phone camera fanboy wars as Android users start uploading photos from a variety of devices (some with good cameras, some without, but all inferior in the opinions of the iPhone-is-the-greatest-thing-ever-and-can-do-no-wrong-and-must-be-proven users)
  • The app is free on iOS.
  • A good Instagram competitor:
    Works great, shares to multiple social networks, and cross platform.
  • I'm still not understanding the desire or need for yet another photo manipulation software. Yes, Instagram was the first (maybe not, maybe the most popular).
    Yes, it was on iOS first. But, they took too long to come over to Android. There are dozens of copy cats that do the same thing and possibly better. I'm using Camera360 and it's pretty good. I don't do a lot of photo taking, but it's nice to know I don't have to wait for Instagram to get ported to have fun with my pics.
  • I don't see the big deal about this application. There are already plenty of applications in the Android Market (Google Play) that do the same thing. e.g., Pixlr-o-matic, Vignette, etc. The only unique thing the Instagram app does is allow you to post your pics to the Instagram site. What's so great about being part of that community? I can use one of the above apps to achieve the same effect and post on Facebook, Google+, Picasa, Flickr, etc, etc....
  • Hooray! Now tons of people can take a crappy photograph, run it through a couple filters and call it great. Of course, when discussing F-stops with these folks, they want to know if there's an F-stop button in their camera app. Ugh.
  • When we get Instagram, I will make it a point not to use the "60s Ansel Adams" filter. talk about played out lol
  • The reason I want the app is more for social networking rather than actual photography because really, there's better photo apps like lightbox, streamzoo, etc, the downside there though is, the social networking aspect isn't as big as instagrams. I've been with android since the G1 and refuse to switch to the darkside aka iPhone when I think android is better. Hell, out of 10 friends only 2 of us have androids, the rest are iPhone users. However it sucks that so many people in general, especially in the teens-late 20's that I know refuse to get off the bandwagon and trash android because they have instagram and we dont, they have temple run and we don't, but both of those apps are coming to android, so I think as a whole, having these apps come over to android will open up some of their eyes. Also, the fact is, instagram has done so good with the social networking aspect, that many of the users don't even post on facebook, twitter, tumblr or any other sites anymore just instagram, which also sucks because I never know what friends, coworkers, or anyone is talking about, with this app, I will. Instagram has pretty much become their default photo/social network place and they use it like an exclusive club, but now this takes that away from them. So many of the iUsers are bummed about Instagram coming over to android that it makes me smile, they're starting to see they're really not better after all.
  • I've talked Instagram with some iPhone people and they say they can never buy an Android because Instagram's not available. So maybe this will take away one reason for being an iPhonographer. Don't get me wrong, they'll never leave until Tim Cook has run the thing into the ground. "Wow, look! A mobile device with ultra high resolution! You've never seen it before. EVER!" Same story, different guy. On the other hand, I've seen the app up close and was surprised by how many Android apps are available that simply crush it. They don't have the whole social network thing, but that's what facebook, G+, Twitter, etc., etc., etc. are for. How many places am I going to have to look for pictures of your new baby or your dog?
  • Instagram is welcome as an option more, but With the native studio efects on nmy galaxy nexus (ics) i not needthis or an other photo edeting/ shering app
  • After reading this article I still have no idea what the hell Instagram is. All I know is that it has "sharper focus than Twitter or Facebook". Yeah, thats not vague at all. 3/10
  • Please no.. no instagram. We don't need another reason for people to post crappy looking photos of their dogs. No I don't care how cute you think your dog is.
    Or how awesome the sunset is when you apply craptastic filters when you are actually ruining the splendor that is the sunset.
    Or how hideous your duck face is at the bar at 3am. Down with Instagram!
  • Having been a former iPhone user (yes, I'm ashamed), I can't wait for Instagram. But where there is still a huge void in Android (the only void as far as i am concerned) is the lack of Hipstamatic.
    That has to be the best photography app ever invented, and I can't for the life of me understand why they won't come to the Android platform. Are they giving up millions of dollars just to be spiteful and arrogant Apple users? Glad instagram came to their senses, and will buy it the day it comes out. And if Hipstamatic ever comes to Android, I will instantly forgive them, and buy it too.
  • My company issued me an iPhone 4S and after using Instagram a couple of times it's not nearly as useful as the FX Camera app on my 2 year old Incredible. FX Camera has much more customization options than Instagram. The best comment about Instagram I've heard is that it's an app for 14 year old girls.
  • So question. If we have all of these apps on Android why don't "we" publicize them up to the level of some of these iPhone apps. Because let's be real. These iPhone apps are only hot because sites like Mashshable and TechCrunch pump them up like every other article. Otherwise nobody would give a crap.
  • Agreed totally. Instagram has been big on iPhone, but that doesn't make it superior when coming to Android. Lightbox is Instagram+iCloud. Its photo journals is ahead of Instagram, and it has a really cool website that blows Instagram away. So why should we be getting excited over Instagram coming to Android simply because it is more hyped? We really should be publicizing our cool Android apps more, giving them the attention that they deserve (Lightbox has taken an Android-first stance, remember?)
  • Really, AC? I don't understand how Instagram is better than the hundreds of options that have existed for quite some time & most Android users are more than comfortable with - including the options baked into Android. That would've been a good place to start this article, instead it didn't even make it there besides a passing mention of Android's "sharing options". Sounds to me like this bad boy is obsolete on day 0...
  • People will only use this app cause their iFriends have it and dont want to feel left out
  • Yea, still not interested. If I REALLY, RRRRRRRREEEEEEEEAAAAAAALLLLLYYYY wanted an OLD look to my photos then I might be interested. To each their own.