There’s a funny fact in the world of iOS apps: Whereas one-man shop can manage to have a radically new version of its app available day and date with a big iOS update, giant software companies seem to take years to get things done. Spotify took (literally) years to come up with a ho-hum iPad app, and Instagram still isn’t on the iPad. One can only assume it will never be designed for the tablet.
And speaking of Instagram, this new iOS “update” is a sham.
The Good: edge-to-edge photos, flatter buttons and interface elements, higher-res uploads.
The Bad: Circular avatars.
Let’s think about this for a second. Instagram’s main gimmick, its big distinguishing feature, is square photos. It has filters, but many of us don’t use those anymore (I use Snapseed to pre-process pics). But in its entire history, the only aspect ration available has been square, like a Polaroid. And yet now the user avatars are cropped into circles. How does that make any sense?
Next up: everything else. I understand that one of the things big software teams do is test, test and test again to avoid crashing bugs in their app updates, which can explain why things take longer, but this Instagram update really is little more than a lick of paint.
And the lack of decent changes makes me dwell on the problems the app has had since forever. For instance, if you’re signed in with Twitter (so you can easily post your photos to your Twitter stream) then any @mentions of you in Instagram are automatically cross-posted to Twitter, even if you have a different username on each service. My Instagram name is Charlie, which means that ever time some moron posts a picture of their breakfast from “@Charlie Brown’s Cafe” it ends up in my Twitter.
And what about the hidden settings, way over in your profile page? Or the dialog box that pops up to tell you that you’ve blocked a user, after you’ve already double-confirmed you want to block them? A dialog that needs to be dismissed, no less.
Or the lack of any way to save a picture to my camera roll, even if it’s my own photo?
And don;t get me started on the death of the Gotham filter, whose demise was most likely caused by Instagram wanting to feature parity across platforms, and ditching the best B&W filter ever when the Android version of Instagram launched.
So, thanks for the flatter UI, Instagram, and double-thanks for the bigger photos. But how about fixing some things up already?
- Source Instagram