If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch you are probably familiar with Instagram. Instagram is a great way of sharing photos. However unfortunately it is not a great way to view photos. Two applications for the iPad (both original and 2nd generation) are attempting to solve this problem.
The first is Instagallery by InfinitiApps for $1.99. With Instagallery you can view the photos by your feed, what’s popular and your own photos. You can search by tag or user name. You can like or comment on a picture and check how it was tagged. You can view pictures in a slide show. In settings you can set how long a picture stays up during a slide show. You can also turn on and off Auto Repeat. Instagallery also allows you a choice on backgrounds. To pause and play a slideshow you hit the play button in the upper left hand corner. By clicking on the User’s picture you can see how many people are following them and how many they are following. If you want Instagallery allows you to view that user’s pictures in a slide show. Instagallery also allows you to search for pictures by tag or by user name. Instagallery allows you to view popular pictures whether you are signed in or not
Instamap by NextRoot is similar to Instagallery in that it allows you to view Instagram photos. However the first difference you will notice is that in order to view pictures within Instamap you have to sign into your Instagram account. After you sign in with Instagram and Instamap first opens up on the left hand side are the subscriptions which are divided into two categories location and tags. The default locations are London, Paris, New York, and Tokyo. The default tags are door, street art and flowers. You can add a location or tag subscription by clicking on the plus button on the upper left hand side. If for some reason you log out of your Instagram account on Instamap. you will lose any tags and location subscriptions that you added. Unlike Instagallery Instamap does not have an auto slide show, you have to scroll through the pictures manually. There is also no way to change the background color. Instamap doesn’t have any way, that I could find to view an individual users pictures or information about them. Each location and tag has a number next to it to indicate how many pictures are available. You can delete a subscription by swiping and hitting the delete button. However I didn’t see any way to mark pictures as viewed, fortunately when a new picture is added it does appear first. I am not sure how often the subscriptions update and older pictures drop off. On the right hand side of the screen you have a choice of viewing the pictures in a mosaic or if you want you can click on the map icon and search for pictures by location on the map. The one thing I didn’t like when using the map search is that if when a picture is added to a location, Instamap automatically goes to that location. I wish there was a way to turn that off. Also because of the way Instamap is set up it depends on the user tagging their pictures or having geo-location on their phone turned on. If you are like me and forget to tag your pictures or have location turned off, your pictures will not show up on Instamap.
Both applications have their strength and weaknesses, however if I had too choose I would choose Instagallery. It just has more options then Instamap. However if you want to view pictures from a certain location, then Instamap is great. Both applications are $1.99 so install both is not a bad idea.