updated 12:10 pm EDT, Tue April 3, 2012
Instagram reaches Android at last
Instagram ended one of the more conspicuous gaps in Android's app library with its first Android version (Google Play). The new version brings most of the feature set of the most recent iOS version, including the same art filters, Lux image boosting, and support for both cameras when they exist. It can share to Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter, but it lacks the iOS version's Flickr support, which is due "very soon."
Device support isn't universal. It requires Android 2.2 or later, but also requires that a phone or tablet supports OpenGL ES graphics.
We gave the app a try on our Galaxy Nexus, and despite claims of it possibly being better than the iOS version, it feels fundamentally the same. In many ways, of course, that's a good thing: Instagram has been known for striking a balance between looking good and being purely functional. While we have one of the more advanced phones to try, it runs quickly and benefits both from the larger screen and the fast camera.
The advantages are slight and, for us, included Facebook integration; oddly, it didn't recognize Twitter, so iOS users still have an advantage if they primarily intend to share through Twitter first. However, it's a more enjoyable and social experience than most equivalents on Android so far, most notably its obvious competitor Picplz. More importantly, it now gives Android and iOS users a common platform for social photo sharing that had mostly been denied until now.