Recently, I got my hands on a Nokia Lumia 920, and I now have about a week to test it. Being my very first experience with Windows Phone, I was overwhelmed at first by how different the OS is from Android, but quickly wrapped my head around this surprisingly slick and intuitive operating system. What I couldn’t quite wrap my head around was Windows Phone’s lack of popular apps, and especially Instagram.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an Instagram addict. With only a handful of photos to my name, I can easily live without this extra social network. There’s no denying, however, that Instagram is a great time-waster, and I do miss flipping through photos in those dead moments between work and life. Naturally, I read my Windows-Phone-expert colleague’s article about Fhotoroom, which should be the nearest thing to Instagram on Windows Phone, but as good as it is, Fhotoroom does not let me go back to the Instagram loop.
Seems I got lucky, and only a few days prior to my Windows Phone debut, an app called Itsdagram made its Windows Phone comeback, offering the closest thing to an official Instagram app I could hope for. Itsdagram is an Instagram client which costs $1.50, and while not being free like the real deal, it’s the best way we currently have of tapping into the Instagram world we left behind on Android and iOS.
Getting Started With Itsdagram
As mentioned above, the full version of Itsdagram costs $1.50, but you can try the app for free for as long as you like. The free version lets you upload only one photo to Instagram, but other functions such as browsing, liking, commenting and searching are unlimited. You also need to have an Instagram account in order to use the free version.
Unlike what the login screen says, you do not need to have an Itsdagram account in order to start using the app — an Instagram account is enough. Enter your Instagram credentials in the “Login” section, and you’re ready to go. If you don’t have an account, you can create an Itsdagram account through the app, which would act like an Instagram account while using the app.
Uploading Photos To Instagram
While there are many ways to browse Instagram, even from the comfort of your desktop or from the Web, the process becomes very limited when it comes to uploading images. Even Instagram’s own Web interface doesn’t let you do this, sending you to the mobile app instead. Itsdagram not only lets you upload images to Instagram, it even comes with some filters to boot.
This is Itsdagram home page. With its colors and hand-written logo, you can feel almost as if you were using a Modernized Instagram. The camera icon at the bottom is where you can upload photos, either from your camera roll or by taking a photo with your device’s camera.
After cropping your image to fit Instagram, you can choose one of 12 different filters (more should be added with time). There are no frames at this time, and most of the available filters are not as good as those you find on Instagram, and definitely not as good as those you can find on photo-editing apps such as Snapseed or Aviary.
You can then give your photo a title and upload it to Instagram. Itsdagram also supports Instagram latest addition of username mentions, and you can add these by tapping the @ button.
Once a photo is uploaded, all your Instagram followers, and all of Instagram in general will be able to see it, just as if you’ve used Instagram to upload it. Unlike Instagram, there’s no way to automatically upload the image to other social networks, but this is possible via a share option after the image is uploaded.
Browsing, Liking, & Commenting
Considering its not much more than an Instagram spoof, Itsdagram’s interface is surprisingly slick, and in some aspects, even tops its own mentor. The main screen is made out of your home feed, popular images, and your activity.
All these pages are straightforward, and very similar to the ones in the original app. Double tap a photo to like it, and tap the comment icon to add a comment. Sharing is done through Windows Phone’s share interface, and is possible only via services you’ve connected to your device.
When looking at individual users, you can browse their photos, and see who’s following them, and the people they follow. Using the bottom two buttons, you can either follow/unfollow this user, or pin this user to your Start screen.
As expected, you can also view your own profile, including your photos, photos you’re tagged in, your likes, your followers, and the users you follow. All Itsdagram pages are infinite, meaning, you can keep scrolling to the right to flip through pages, and eventually find yourself back where you started.
Using the lock button, you can change your Instagram password right from Itsdagram.
Instagram is not complete without searching, and Itsdagram offers beautiful and easy to use search interface, which you can access from the app’s main screen. Slide the screen sideways to toggle search between tags and users.
Despite its somewhat unfortunate name, Itsdagram is what Windows Phone users have been waiting for. It brings every Instagram feature you could wish for, with an interface that’s arguably better than the real thing.
The only downside is that Itsdagram is not very stable at the moment, and crashed several times just in the short span I was taking screenshots for this post. Since I did try it out on one the Windows Phone’s flagship devices, I expected it to be much smoother, but hopefully these issues will be fixed in future updates.
Yes, it’s not free, but $1.50 is a small sum to pay to get back in the Instagram loop, at least until an official app is released.
Download: Itsdagram on the Windows Phone Store
Is Itsdagram the app you’ve been waiting for, or are you content to wait for an official Instagram app?