Instagram’s official app has improved considerably over the last few years, but it still lacks some fundamental functionality.
For example, why can’t you swipe left and right to browse photos? Why can’t you follow hashtags and locations just like you can follow users? And why can’t you stop videos from auto-playing? Users have been asking for these features for years.
Alas, if you’re not a frequent uploader, you should consider using a combination of third-party alternatives for your Instagram fix.
Here are five alternative Instagram apps that add extra functionality to the network’s official app.
A Word About Uploading
Before we get started, there’s an issue we should clear out of the way. Every time a new third-party Instagram client goes live, many of you are disappointed that it doesn’t let you upload photos.
This is not due to some laziness or skimpiness on the app’s developers’ part. It’s due to API restrictions that come directly from Instagram. Recent API changes have broken almost most third-party apps, so we’re lucky these few are functional.
None of the apps mentioned in this post let you upload photos to Instagram. But they do enhance Instagram in many other aspects. So, do the math, and decide what’s best for you.
Available on: Android
OGinsta+ comes in two variants. There’s the original OGinsta+ and a newer Insta+. Despite being broadly similar, the apps have one significant difference: OGinsta+ requires the official Instagram app to be installed on your phone for it to work. Insta+ will work without the official app. The developer recommends OGinsta+.
The app offers four key features you need to be aware of:
- Download: You can download any photo or video from Instagram directly onto your Android smartphone
- Story Download: You can also download your amazing Instagram stories straight to your device
- Follow Indicator: The app shows you who is following you on your timeline
- Zoom: You can zoom in and out of any image or video on the network
Both versions of the app are entirely free. Neither is available in the Google Play Store; you need to download the APK file from the app’s webpage and sideload it onto your device.
Download: OGinsta+ (free)
2. Repost for Instagram
Available on: Android, iOS
Instagram still doesn’t offer a way to “regram” (i.e., repost) content from another account onto your own account.
It’s an oft-requested feature, but Instagram’s developers have stood firm, presumably worried about the effect it could have on the famous photographers and other creatives that use the service. Nonetheless, there are third-party apps that let you do just that.
One of the best is Repost for Instagram. Not only does it let you regram content, but it also provides a way to add the correct attributions. The app works with videos and photos. Just grab the URL of the post you want to republish (use the menu behind the three dots on the official app) and paste it into the Repost for Instagram app.
If Repost for Instagram isn’t sufficient for your needs, check out some of the apps that let you download content off Instagram. Many of them can also repost material.
(Note: If you repost someone else’s work, make sure you always give them proper credit in the accompanying text. Failure to do so could land you in trouble with the copyright owner.)
Available on: Android, iOS
Boomerang is the first of three official apps from Instagram that can complement the primary client. Amazingly, many non-hardcore users don’t know about them.
Boomerang can create short mini-videos of everyday moments in your life. Using either your front- or back-facing camera, it takes 10 rapid-fire photographs, then stitches them together into a loop video. There no feature like it within the main app.
Because Boomerang is an official app, you can easily share the video on both Instagram and Facebook at the press of a button. The video will also be added to your library for future reference.
Available on: Android, iOS
The second app from Instagram is Layout. Natively, Instagram doesn’t offer a way to organize your photos into cool displays for use elsewhere. Given the high number of quality snaps on the network, it’s a shame.
Layout fulfills the need. You can choose photos from your camera roll or snap images while you’re on-the-go, then see them laid out in multiple different arrangements.
The app lets you mix up to nine photos at a time and use Instagram’s filters and creative tools in post-processing. It will also recognize faces in your creations so you can tag your friends.
Available on: iOS
The final Instagram app is Hyperlapse. It lets you create time-lapse videos that you share straight onto the network.
Best of all, the videos look incredibly polished; Instagram incorporates its own stabilization technology into the app. It means you can create awesome videos without the need for a tripod or other expensive photography equipment.
You can speed videos up to 12x normal speed.
Download: Hyperlapse (iOS) (free)
Which Instagram Apps Do You Use?
Ever since Instagram shut down its API, it’s been tough to find apps that work with the network. However, using Instagram’s three official support apps alongside OGinsta+ and Repost for Instagram will unlock chunk of functionality that’s oddly missing from the official client.
Now it’s over to you. We want to know what apps you use to fill in Instagram’s missing features. Are they easy to use? What makes your apps so unique?
As always, you can leave all your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below. And remember to share this article with your friends and followers on social media.
Originally written by Yaara Lancet on 1st January 2014