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The 3 best things about Instagram’s Android makeover

Instagram just slimmed down and sped up its Android app.   


Kate Knibbs


Posted on Mar 11, 2014   Updated on May 31, 2021, 3:47 pm CDT

Instagram is a sleek app. The minimalist design has always been part of its appeal. But the photo-sharing app was developed for iOS, and the Apple version has always been better-looking than its Android counterpart, especially on lower-end Android phones.

But Instagram for Android just got a major update that boosts its performance on Android phones of all shapes and sizes that will go a long way to closing that sleekness gap. 

There are a lot of things to like about the new update, but these are the three big changes Android users are most going to appreciate. 

It makes Instagram faster without increasing the app’s size.

In fact, it made the app faster while decreasing its size. According to The Verge, Instagram doubled the speed of profile-loading and cut the size of the app in half with this update.

It makes Instagram look better on a wide variety of Android phones.

IG for Android’s aesthetic game is finally on point. “By making our design cleaner, we’ve also made Instagram for Android easier to use. We’ve simplified our visuals throughout our app, making use of valuable screen space for small devices and feature phones and rearranging our design to keep buttons within easy reach as you navigate the app on a larger device,” Instagram wrote on its blog. You’ll notice lighter visuals, especially in the Explore section, which now has bigger photos and smaller everything else.

It means Instagram is considering a wider audience.

Instagram frequently releases updates to improve speed, and this might just appear like one of its larger speed-boosting efforts. And it is. But this update also represents the company’s focus to bring the app to lower-end Android phones, which is where the Android problems were most apparent. This update may attract users whose phone models made Instagram look less attractive than it does to people with pricier, up-to-date phones.

This update comes the same day as WhatsApp released an update with some tricks to expand its user base, including a way to pay for a friend’s subscription and the inclusion of Hindi for newer Android models. These updates may have been orchestrated by Facebook to push WhatsApp and Instagram usage, since the social network’s strategy for 2014 involves prioritizing its standalone mobile apps.

H/T Instagram blog | Screenshot via Instagram

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*First Published: Mar 11, 2014, 4:36 pm CDT