App review: Instagrio 18
Being a webOS fan can be a bit of a hard pill to swallow as the number of apps on other platforms continues to grow. Even Microsoft's Windows Phone has recently hit the magic 100,000 app mark. Granted, sheer numbers aren't everything, but within these numbers there are apps for services that we have never and probably will not see in the near future on webOS. One of these services is the ever popular photo sharing service Instagram. In case you haven't heard of it, Instagram is an extremely popular social photo sharing service that Facebook just purchased for a whopping $1 billion. Originally available only on iOS, Instagram fever spread onto Android in recent months.
With Android and iOS being the only two platforms to have a legitimate Instagram app in the mobile space, all other platforms (including webOS) have been left shivering in the cold, filter-free wilderness. However, that hasn't stopped some of our hard-working developers from trying to deliver at least a little bit of the Instagram experience to us. This is where Instagrio from developer Tsung Wu (@ioNull on Twitter) comes into play - this app is an Instagram viewer only (no uploading your own photos) but it at least delivers part of the experience of the popular Instagram service to webOS users in a really nice package.
This app is straightforward and mirrors the official app in many ways, so veteran Instagram users will feel right at home. Upon initially opening the app you will be prompted to enter your username and password. After signing into Instagram, your timeline will be pulled up for your viewing pleasure. Needless to say the sign-in process is a painless endeavor and has you ready to start viewing your Instagram stream in no time at all. It should be noted that you can not create an Instagram account with Instagrio (you need the official Instagram app, which as we mentioned earlier, is only available on iOS and Android). So if you don't already have an Instagram account you either need to get one or this app will be utterly useless to you.
Navigation in this app is almost identical to the official Instagram app with a few tweaks to make make it possible to navigate on webOS. That said, this app is very un-webOS like in operation, so don't expect gestures to work the way we've all grown accustomed to. As a matter of fact the only gesture you will use will be the back swipe on the gesture area. However, back swipe will not take you to a previous view, it will instead bring up a little menu in the lower left corner of the app that will give you the options of navigating to the Home, Hot, or Mine categories. If you see a particular photo that you would like to save, comment on, or "Like" a simple long press on the picture will bring up a menu that will allow you to select one of these options. One issue we noticed with the long press is that sometimes it just pulled up the picture instead of giving us the options menu for that photo. It's a minor complaint but aggravating all the same.
Ultimately this is a great little app and we appreciate the hard work Tsung has put into it. Instagrio is currently only available on webOS smartphones, but Tsung has said that a TouchPad version may be on the horizon if he has the time. This is as close to the real Instagram experience as a webOS user can get given the limited API for the service. If you're an Instagram user and want to interact with the service while on your webOS smartphone, Instagrio is perfect for you. We would have to say this app is a steal for the paltry sum of $0.99 so head on over to the App Catalog and pick it up today!