Instagram Compared On iPhone And Android

Big screen, bad camera. Instagram on Android
Big screen, bad camera. Instagram on Android

The just-launched Instagram for Android is great news. Now all your Android-using friends who insisted on putting photos up on Facebook can finally leave the dark side. But will they get the same great Instagram experience as we do on the iPhone? Matthew Panzarino of the Next Web decided to find out, and loaded up his account on both his iPhone and a giant Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

The surprise is that — in some respects — the Android version is better than the iPhone one.

As you can see from his screenshots, the extra size of the Nexus’ screen gives a little extra breathing room, but this is mostly used for extra space round the other elements. Otherwise, the browsing and viewing experience is almost identical, with one big exception: Head to your profile screen (above) and you see a big grid of your photos and profile details. This is a lot better than the settings screen the iOS version dumps you into, and also makes it more obvious that you can view your photos as a grid or a list.

After that, though, things go downhill.

Probably because Instagram is designed to be compatible with handsets running Android 2.2, there are no live filters, and no tilt-shift. Neither can you frame an image while shooting. So, thanks to Android fragmentation, users of the latest phones get no advantage over those using shitty old phones.

According to Matthew, the Instagram also runs slower on the Nexus, pausing to render filters before posting, for example. The interface layout also slows you down — thanks in part no doubt to the hard-to-reach corners of the big screen.

Still, It’s a lot better than nothing. And remember, Instagram was designed for the iPhone back when it had a really crappy camera, and those filters are meant in part to hide its shortcomings. In this respect, it is almost a perfect fit for Android.

Deals of the Day

  • 4phun

    Why are the new posts from the Android app generally of such poor quality on Instagram?

    There has to be a flaw in the Instagram app that needs to be fixed.

  • Chad Estes

    Most modern Samsung phones rival if not outperform the iPhone 4s camera, and all HTC phones this year pretty much render that issue a thing of the past. The difference between Android and iPhone is that there are MANY models of Android to talk about, but only a few iPhone models. Your article(s) speak as though there is one giant Android phone somewhere that the iPhone can be compared to. It’s like saying ‘the gays’ or ‘the blacks’ and shows a big lack of knowledge.

    The Galaxy Nexus is a developer phone, therefore it does not have a lot of the proprietary imaging technology a branded Samsung or HTC phone would have. If you really wanted a fair test, you should have gone with a Galaxy S II or the HTC One series that’s available in Europe already. I mean, anyone can rig a test.

    And as far as the ‘large screen’ issue with Android…. Guys, the iPhone is multitouch in almost EVERY app. This negates one-handed use in the first place as you must hold the phone with one hand and manipulate it with your other! It’s a silly point on any phone comparison other than the Galaxy Note. Every iPhone owner that sees my Nexus screen is very impressed with it’s punchy AMOLED colors, and never says the screen is ‘too big’ frankly because it really isn’t that much bigger than the iPhone’s in reality.

  • Shane Bryson

    How can the Android version be considered as better than iOS when it doesn’t even include the basic functions of the app like live frames? It doesn’t even have Tilt-shift for god’s sake! Android is garbage and it is going to ruin instagram. Don’t believe me? Just do a search for the tag #TeamAndroid and look at all the idiots posting.

  • gigolo

    Iphone 3.5 OLD Technology TFT LCD vs GALAXY NEXUS 4.65 SUPER AMOLED HD latest technology screen…

    I know iturd, ifans, istupid, izombie and imorons will still say iphone…

    I have the iphone 4s (my son using it now) its not comparable to my new GALAXY NEXUS…

  • cbrueggenolte

    Great isn’t it? Lagging on a high tech dual core 1.2GHz CPU

  • ZeeKazim

    I use both iPhone & android, & what matters mostly to me is that it doesn’t freeze or force quits on me! Other than that, I could care less about those minor differences. ummm.. Actually, I think I’d prefer the profile screen on the android better & hope they implement that on the next iOS version..

  • fujerk

    Instagram is — bar none — the lamest photo app on my Android. When I saw the Android version was ‘better’ in some ways, I just about spewed my coffee. How bad could it possibly be? And what does that say about the breathless Instagram-loving hordes.

    I’m happy to see that, at least on iOs, Instagram is integrated with the camera.

    I have a number of cam apps — but Instagram is the only one that has to shell out to the native Android camera app — and then leaves you hanging there. You have to make your way back to Instagram and use your file system to find the picture you just snapped. No. Really.

    Understood that, unlike the mass of quasi-identical iPhones, the multi-maker Android market is extremely diverse — but NO OTHER CAM APP I’ve run across is as clueless and poorly set up as Instagram is in my phone.

    But even if the app was properly integrated with the cam — as other Android cam apps are — it would still be a big blah to me. I just don’t get what’s so special about it.

    Although that babilemos guy down in Rio does have some nice shots… but then, when you’re shooting from the top of the Sugarloaf, it’s easy to get an interesting snap.

  • rsmithing

    Ha, I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking of Facebook as the “Dark Side.” There has been a disturbance in the force for sure. I link to this article there and would welcome your thoughts in the comments if you’d care to share. Peace.

  • peercast
    ‘It should be simple and beautiful.’ is a fundamental concept of Recood. Also we planned to add analogue sensibility rather than digital.

    Instagram’s video version. You can download it from: