Mild-Mannered Canadian Fury

Doug Stephen is Politely Peeved

Instagram for Android Now Available

Tue, 03 Apr 2012 Ā«permalinkĀ»

Looks good. Not “Good for an Android app”; it just looks good.

The Instagram team made mention that they felt the Android app would, in some ways, be better than their iOS app. And I made comment on how this wasn’t an outrageous claim, as long as they put some elbow grease in to it. While they have apparently not added any functionality to the Android app that isn’t present in the iOS app, which is a tad off from one of the points I had made previously, they still did a great job of not trying to directly emulate the iOS app on another platform. They embraced the native traits of Android and crafted a great-looking app around that.

One thing did stand out to me:

Supported Devices: You can run Instagram on any camera phone with Android 2.2 or above with support for OpenGL ES 2.

How many people do you think know or even care what OpenGL ES 2 is? Further, how many phones running Android 2.2 don’t support it at the hardware level? It would be like an iOS app saying that it has a system requirement of a 1GHz processor or an A4 chip or better. Sure, if you’re reading this blog you probably know those things about your phone. But if I were to ask my mom what processor her iPhone was running or what its clock speed was, her head would probaby explode. However, if I told her that she has to have at least an iPhone 4, she’d understand that. But these sorts of hardware requirements, a holdover from the desktop environment, are common on Android apps. I’m failing to see the benefits to the “variety is good” argument; I’m sticking with “fragmentatin is bad”.