I for one welcome our new Android Instagrammers

I for one welcome our new Android Instagrammers

Instagram for Android finally hit the Market Play Store yesterday -- check out our Instagram on Android vs. Instagram on iPhone shootout -- and the reaction by some in the iOS community was... decidedly negative. It was almost like a TV sitcom when the pristine private pool is suddenly, forcibly opened to a flood of marauding masses. You know, like when AOL users finally got unrestricted internet access. (No doubt Android users would have felt them same way when Google+ opened up, had there been a similar flood...)

Some of it was obviously in jest, but a lot of it wasn't, and not just from the general population -- but from the higher profile technorati as well. And that's too bad. See, I love my iPhone, but I don't hate other phones, and I certainly don't hate the people who use other phones. Just like I don't hate the people who drive different types of cars, drink different brands of beer or soda, drive-through different franchises of fast food restaurants, or read comic books printed by different companies. I'm as tribal as the next person, but my tribe really doesn't give a crap if your tribe is into something else.

A while back, when Instagram for Android was first introduced, I wrote a guest editorial for Android Central trying the explain why Android users might enjoy Instagram. Let's face it, most modern smartphones can easily share photos right out of the box (tap Action button, tap Tweet, get on about your day). Some Android phones and user interfaces even have filters built right into the camera apps. But Instagram brings focus. It's just photos. If that's what you want to look at and enjoy, they're right there ready and waiting for you, without having to wade through tons of text tweets or likes to get to them.

Until yesterday, those photos were exclusively from iPhones and iPhoneographers. Today we have a much richer diversity in lenses and eyes. I can see photos from people I've known and admired for years, like Phil Nickinson, Jerry Hildenbrand, and Alex Dobie. I can also see photos from some great mobile cameras like the Galaxy S II and some of the HTC kit. (I can also take some iPod touch photos and upload those so the Galaxy Nexus owners won't feel so bad by comparison...)

Sure, there's some gentle ribbing to be given over things like the latest, greatest HTC One X not being supported, but that'll get fixed and then we'll see some great shots from that pretty damn good camera too. And frankly, I've got a right to see what ALL my friends can do when they take state-of-the-mobile-art images and reduce them to 1960s Polaroids, not just my iPhone friends.

So instead of hating on Instagram for allowing them in, or Android users for crashing our here-to-for exclusive iPhone party, I'm offering them a lounge chair and giving them a place to put down whatever beverages and snacks they brought to the party.

It's natural to fear change and a massive addition of divergent userbase to any social platform is about as big a change as online networks can have. But once everyone settles down and gets acquainted, it can be pretty great as well.

Goodness knows, something needs to disrupt the monotony of iPhone chick pics, bobble heads, pet shots, food pr0n, and landscapes. May as well be Android chick pics, bobble heads, pet shots, food pr0n, and landscapes...

(And if that's terribly disappointing to you and you would have preferred some fervent denouncement of all things Instagram and Android, topped with a hearty rah-rah for iPhone-über-alles, then my apologies. Feel free to read this piece backwards.)

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

Apple passes Motorola to become third largest mobile manufacturer in U.S.

Next up →

50% off Belkin ProFit for iPhone 4S and iPhone 4

Reader comments

I for one welcome our new Android Instagrammers


This whole outcry about Android getting Instagram is by status obsessed idiots who now have one less "unique" thing that Android users don't. I too welcome Android Instagram users. Too all the teens and 20 somethings whining about it (most tweets I've seen are in that category), get over it.

Yeah I don't understand the behavior I have read on twitter. One person actually said..
"This is great, now my feed will be flooded with pictures of what poor people eat"
This made me seriously furious. I spent $300 on my Galaxy Nexus from Verizon and I chose it over the iPhone 4S because it has features that I personally want. It was my decision. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and no iPhone or android phone is perfect for everyone.

I really don't see the problem, I have an iPod touch, that's where I use Instagram but now that it's out for Android I'm eagerly awaiting to get my One X and if I can't use it in the One X I'll still use it on the iPod, it's not that big of a deal

As an Android user that deeply respects iOS, I appreciate this post. Too many people online, and in real life, have been giving me crap because I can "be a photographer" now. I'm glad to see that (most) professionals still have their heads on straight and are able to extending a sharing hand to us. Thank you.

i totally agree with your post here,it will be good to get some new talent on board.
But i think the main problem thats hit initially is because there are bajillions of android users downloading and trying the app the "popular" sections and majority of new influx has been silly pictures or your typical teen self portraits which a lot of people dont like.
once the initial buzz wears off things will no doubt return to a calmer level and the photos coming in will get a lot better, its not androids fault the same would happen if it dropped on windows phone tomorrow.

I did not think anything about Instagram running on an additional platform (OS). The thing I noted was how much better the IPhone screen looked (brighter and sharper) running the same app on the UTube video.

I definitely agree. It's insane the amount of immaturitythat is being shown towards android users having instagram. I like it because it just means there's more excellent pictures of my favorite cities or things to look at.
I don't get why people are complaining that android will be nothing but spam photos. Has everyone missed the past couple of months where iOS users are spamming it up with photos of memes or their stupid tweegrams? How are those not spam? Or the kids who post photos specifically asking for a shout out or to gain followers. It's so pathetic, this elitism that exists. Just welcome the android users and have some fun instead of being uptIght douchebags.

lmbo @ "No doubt Android users would have felt them same way when Google+ opened up, had there been a similar flood…". That's a funny I hear often but I have very few Android friends on there. :)
Good post and the ending is perfectly hilarious [read it backwards]. :-D

Did Android users cry foul when iPhone users were allowed to install a native Gmail app? Nope. Why? Cause we don't think our social status is determined by the phone we carry. Glad to have Instagram but the stock camera already does all these function PLUS I can post to G+.

*NOt directed to all iPhone users, just the ones who are getting pissed about an APP going to another platform.

I welcome them too. The stream of fuzzy images showing up in Instagram makes me appreciate my iPhone even more.

Instagram has never been about real photographic skill. Whatever pond is supposedly being diluted, the waters weren't magical up to this point anyway..
As for the allegiance with a iPhone or Android, I welcome all! I do, however, have one caveat to that- I will NOT fix your phone unless it begins with i. You telling me my phone works so great doesn't mean I can breathe joy into a dilapidated Palm Pre.. But if you're like my brother, loves his Android and it works for him- fantastic!

Excellent post, Rene. I agree with you 110%. I am excited that now my brother who prefers his Evo to an iPhone can join me on Instagram. His wife has an iPhone and enjoys hers as much as I enjoy mine. He tried the iPhone but preferred his Android device. I've had Android devices but prefer my iPhone. We have fun learning from each other's phones but at the end of the day, it's about personal choice. I welcome the opportunity to explore other peoples' photos, not just iPhone photos.

You my friend are a complete moron... Free iPhone 3gs giving out last year like crazy by ATT and Verizon was selling the iPhone 4 for $99. I wonder how many "poor people" got iPhones now.

Instagram isn't owned by Apple, so I don't see why iOS users feel they have the right to be negative the company wants to expand their product's platforms. This was the ONLY next decision for the owner's to make.
Props to Rene for the nice usage of the strikethrough. I'm still SMH at the Google Play Store name.

Instagram isn't owned by Apple, so I don't see why iOS users feel they have the right to be negative if the company wants to expand their product's platforms. This was the ONLY next decision for the owners to make.
Props to Rene for the nice usage of the strikethrough. I'm still SMH at the Google Play Store name.

I don't see the big deal either. Hell, get BlackBerry and Windows phones in the mix and make a family affair of it. It's not like this is the first cross-platform app. Besides, competition makes all of the smartphone builders better. Well said Rene.

I to am upset ,but not because of android in particular but because this owas the one app I had to get away.. I like many others who've used instagram for awhile now see it as a social network and with Android this becomes one more social network now flooded ..with it only on IOS u were at least limited in a way.. But with their being so many Android phones out and Google being such a fragmented os I'm nervous to what it can do to the app but competition only makes things better in this case lets hope so.. I will always be teamiphone.. Well until I see the galaxy s3 lol

Welcome to all the Android users. Those of us who enjoy photography can always learn new tricks by seeing what other photography enthusiasts come up with. IMO, at least some of the unfortunate backlash was just a little tit-for-tat back at the Android fanboy community, which typically denigrates all things Apple whenever the opportunity arises.

As Android now makes up 50% of the US smartphone market (vs. 30% for iOS based phones) this is a natural move for the developers to make.

Good point.
iphone vs android im over it.
go with what works for you.
But i will say when i had i devices i used apps alot. Not so much android. THEY JUST DONT POP LIKE ON IOS

I just love how pissed iPhone users are! Ur anger ain't gonna change a damn thing.... So suck it! Some people prefer keyboards to text... Therefore, I love my HTC MyTouch 4g Slide! And I'm lovin IG, whether u like it or not!