Feature Article

March 13, 2014

Instagram Android Update Brings Cleaner Experience, Broader Device Support

There was a lot of excitement late last year when Instagram finally made its way to Windows Phone users and for good reason; Instagram was one of a few major holds outs yet to reach the platform. And yet, it almost seemed premature since the Instagram team hadn’t even done the Android version of its app justice yet.

Like many apps that begin their life in Apple’s App Store, Instagram never really offered a proper, unique Android experience. Instead, the Instagram Android app has always felt like a direct port of the iOS version, making it feel almost wrong, especially on older Android devices. Fortunately, this has all been addressed with the latest update to Instagram for Android.

Indeed, Instagram for Android 5.1 brings with it a complete visual overhaul that puts it more in line with Android’s ‘Holo’ design standards for a cleaner, more native feel. More importantly, though, the update boasts a bevy of significant performance improvements which include halving the size of the app itself and doubling the speed of profile loading.

For Android users, this is a big deal. Now they are greeted by a redesigned camera screen and updated iconography that are quite a departure from the pre-iOS 7 look the app sported previously. Meanwhile, even users of very low-end devices should now have a pretty good Instagram experience — which is actually a pretty big deal for Instagram itself.

Previously, the Instagram team had trouble adapting its Android app for the broad ecosystem of Android devices. With version 5.1 of the app, though, the team has put special effort in to adapt it for low-end devices like the Samsung Galaxy Y and other phones that are popular in emerging markets like Brazil. That’s right, this update is actually a way for Instagram to breach as-of-yet untapped markets, making it a clear win-win situation for all involved.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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