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Hands On: Popular Instagram App Now on Android

By - Source: Instagram | B 13 comments

Instagram is now available on Google Play, waiting for inspired Android-based photographers to share their unique perspective of the world.

A couple of turkeys hanging out at the local fair.A couple of turkeys hanging out at the local fair.On Tuesday, Instagram released the long-awaited Android version of its photo sharing app on Google Play, allowing a new crop of users to shoot, edit and share photos with friends and strangers alike. For those who haven't used Instagram before, it's a social tool that relies solely on image sharing, and broadcasts the uploads across four popular social platforms: Facebook Twitter, Foursquare and Tumblr.

While the premise sounds somewhat simple, Instagram is surprisingly addictive. It's a way for users to share their world in an artistic way without having to use words. Images are initially either pulled off the device's SD card, or taken through the camera. Honestly it makes more sense to shoot first and then edit later, as other one-chance imagery may crop up while the user is busy editing the previous shot.

While Instagram's editing capabilities are limited, it can get tough to choose the right setting. Pictures must be cropped to an equally-sided image, meaning all those rectangular (landscape) shots previously taken will lose some imagery if users haven't taken the shot with a box format in mind. Once cropped, the image is pulled into the editor where users can add or remove a frame, brighten or darken the contrast, and apply a filter from a choice of 18.

Instagram can fix contast problems with a simple touch.Instagram can fix contast problems with a simple touch.To some degree, users seemingly receive 36 filters if you count the results from the contrast button. That means they may spend some time checking out the eighteen filters on one contrast setting, and then press the contrast button and cycle through the eighteen filter settings again. For a perfectionist, this can be maddening -- good thing this app doesn't allow for filter imports.

Once the picture is perfect, users then add a description and upload it to the four platforms if desired. The Instagram app itself is simple to set up, and even provides an option for geo-tagging. The only drawback to the Android app is its overall size after installation, measuring a hefty 16.93 MB -- sorry, no app2SD support as of this writing.

Instagram isn't all about taking pictures and showing them off to the world. It's also about socializing with other photographers. Users can import other Instagram members from their Twitter, Facebook, and phone's contact list, and choose to follow their uploads. To "like" someone's photo in the app's Home page, simply double-tap it. There's also a place for leaving a comment. Likewise, images piped to Facebook can also be "liked" and commented on, but these messages don't show up in the Instagram feed.

According to the Instagram blog, there are actual Instameets and photowalks happening locally. "It’s a fantastic way to meet other great photographers, and to get the most out of Instagram’s greatest feature: our users!" the blog reads. The blog also provides links to the Help Center which provides info on taking photos, editing and sharing, and even combining multiple photos to produce one Instagram shot.

"For the over 30 million people already using Instagram, this is a big step forward for the community as a whole," the company said on Tuesday. "When we started working on Instagram, we tried to imagine what the world would be like if every single person on earth could share the world around them through the lens on their phones. With the release of Instagram for Android, we’re one step closer to making that goal a reality. Now, more of your friends and family can share their lives, and follow yours, through a series of beautiful images."

To get started, download Instagram from Google Play here. Just remember: it can get addicting, so don't say we didn't warn you first.

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  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , April 4, 2012 3:15 AM
    i dont think this is important enough to be a news story
  • 1 Hide
    festerovic , April 4, 2012 3:39 AM
    dequo, this is tech for real life.
  • 2 Hide
    biofrog , April 4, 2012 4:53 AM
    I'm not sure what the fascination is with this over the standard camera apps and all their social media sharing.. but figured I would give it a go and see for myself.

    Then it told me it was incompatible with my Asus Transformer O.o

  • Display all 13 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    amigafan , April 4, 2012 6:58 AM
    What is this? News or marketing?
  • 2 Hide
    darkavenger123 , April 4, 2012 9:13 AM
    I don't see the big deal...you can use your phone camera app, shoot a photo and share it instantly to facebook....what's the difference????? I've been doing that since last year on my first Android phone.
  • 2 Hide
    tsnorquist , April 4, 2012 11:06 AM
    Count me in the "old" group, i have no idea what the appeal of this instagram is. Why would you want to take a photo then purposely filter it back to a 70's Polaroid is beyond me (having been someone to have used one).
  • 2 Hide
    alvine , April 4, 2012 12:48 PM
    Hipsters will love this
  • 1 Hide
    cknobman , April 4, 2012 1:14 PM
    No App2SD???? This app can suck it then.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , April 4, 2012 2:26 PM
    Never liked Instagram, added too much fakeness to images. As a budding dSLR photographer I absolutely hate any post-processing that I can't have precise control over.
  • -4 Hide
    seels , April 4, 2012 3:03 PM
    Hahaha, as usual Android behind iOS. iPhone > any Android phone.
  • 0 Hide
    computernerdforlife , April 4, 2012 5:33 PM
    I don't mean to sound like a stoner but I thought they managed to turn our phones into minor scales by the title.
  • 0 Hide
    __-_-_-__ , April 4, 2012 10:21 PM
    "Instagram can fix contast problems with a simple touch."

    Toms can't fix the text using a spell checker.
  • 0 Hide
    son1tus , April 6, 2012 4:41 PM
    I see the appeal for those who don't know anything about photography who want their photos to have a more "post production" or edgy look. But by no means does this make the user a real photographer. I've already seen my FB wall inundated with useless high contrast, washed out, grainy photos of people's cats and other such "artistic" expressions.
    Yet again, I see no problem with the tool, but as usual I am afraid of the intentions of the user.

    tl;dr: hipster cam
    also WTF 17MB and no xfer to SD?!?!?
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