Hands-on with Instagram for Windows Phone 8 [Video]

The wait is finally over. Instagram has been the most highly anticipated app to come to Windows Phone in a long, long time. Now that it’s here the big question is “was it worth the wait?” The short answer is “no,” but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad app. With apps like 6tag and Instance there is already stiff competition for Instagram. Let’s take a closer look at the app.

instagram platforms

Instagram has altered their usual UI for the Windows Phone app just a bit. They have moved the Home, Discover, Notifications, and Me tabs from the bottom bar to the top. The refresh button has been moved from top to bottom, and there is a search key in the bottom bar. Other than those slight rearrangements this is basically a flat version of every other Instagram app.

First, the good news. The app is very smooth and fast. It opens up quickly and loads photos and video without much buffering. Adding filters and editing photos is always very snappy. There is no delay when switching between filters or adding frames and blur. The best thing we can say about the app is it’s not just a port. Instagram did take time to build this specifically for Windows Phone.

instagram screens

Now the bad news. The ability to create 15 second videos is not present in the app at launch. This is our biggest disappointment. We also would have liked to see WP8 lens support. Some people won’t like that pressing the camera icon takes you to a list of photos instead of allowing you to immediately take a new photo. Microsoft urged Instagram to do this because of camera apps like Nokia Camera.

With all things considered this is a very “meh” app, but one that we desperately needed. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done. It’s nice that new users will be able to find an official Instagram app in the Store, but when they realize it doesn’t have video they will be frustrated again. If you are serious about Instagram we still recommend 6tag.

  • Honestly I don’t care if it lacks the video creating feature, I JUST WANTED THE DAMN APP TO BE RELEASED! Sure it’ll come in the near future but I think releasing it was more important than what it lacks today.
    I think it’s a huge responsibility for us Windows Phone user to support the app because I don’t think we’re in a position, not yet, where we can ignore a certain app and choose its 3-party equivalent instead. The last thing we want is Instagram removing its app for “lack of interest” or “focusing on more important mobile platforms” like Runkeeper did. I for one will be using both Instagram and 6Tag for now.

  • Edgar Cervantes

    Crazy to see this actually happening. All the issues will be worked out, but I still think it shouldn’t have been a half-assed job.

  • Well said.