One of the most popular ways to share photos is Instagram. Its easy to use layout and widespread popularity make it the standard for photo feeds. For Windows Phone users there are two major options to use the service, third party app 6tag or Instagram BETA. 6tag is made by a lights out third party developer, Rudy Huyn. It receives regular updates and is up to date with the latest features and APIs from Instagram. Instagram BETA is still in Beta after what seems like an eternity, its last update is listed March 2014. This disparity sadly exemplifies a regular issue on Windows when it comes to apps; a third party developer shows up first party support and makes a better app than the company providing the service.
This narrative continued over this past week. Instagram changed their APIs and also added support for portrait and landscape images. The Android and iOS versions of Instagram were updated to accommodate the change but Instagram was slow, if not stagnant, to react when it came to Windows Phone. Meanwhile, Rudy Huyn worked on 6tag from the side of the road and a McDonald’s on his last day with his family before he moved continents. Here’s what came with one of 6tag’s most recent updates.
- upload non-square pictures
- view non-square pictures uploaded by other users
- add 3 new filters: Clarendon, Gingham and Moon
- tap and hold your picture to quickly compare with and without filter (on filters page)
- bugfixes and use last Instagram API
Rudy Huyn also later added a fix revolving around encoding a video while updating the app, as pointed out by Windows Central.
In contrast, Instagram BETA has received no update and for many is not working at all. Those at WMPowerUser stated that it isn’t working for anyone. That isn’t quite true, as I downloaded it to test it out and it works, but it is true that it’s broken for many. This is a sad example of a lack of support for Windows Phone. Its 3% global market share and the culture surrounding that make issues like this common with this Instagram saga being the latest example.
You can use the download links to download both apps. While 6tag is updated regularly, some people prefer to use first party apps only.
Further reading: 6tag, Instagram, Windows Phone