App Review: Retro for Instagram

Retro for Instagram

Retro for Instagram

Is Retro the best way to view Instagram on your iPad? Aditya Nair finds out.

The lack of a native Instagram app for the iPad is something that has always struck me as strange. Don’t get me wrong, the iPhone version of the app works just fine on the the iPad. But, I think a social network based on serving you stunning everyday images deserves something a lot better, especially for tablet users.

Enter, Retro for Instagram. A dedicated viewer for Instagram available for the iPad only. Released sometime in December last year, it recently released its first major update. And boy does it look gorgeous! Like most other viewers, Retro allows you to follow people, like & comment on images and get notified about comments, mentions etc. within the app itself. But aside from these basic features, there are a few things that make it truly unique.

Designed for iOS 7
Unlike most other viewers out there, Retro gives you the iPad experience you have craved. Faster and more responsive, the app has been designed for convenience. You can swipe through images, once they pop up to go next/previous. Two themes, Day and Night, that allow you to view images against white & dark blue backgrounds respectively.

The app allows you to view images in four different ways for either quick or detailed viewing. You can toggle between single column, gird with comments, grid without comments and thumbnail views when checking out images in the Explore and Home tabs. If you are looking at your own images you have a fifth list option that places all images in a two column list along with the number of likes, comments and shares. In landscape mode however, the design doesn’t show the same finesse.

I wish the pop up wouldn't get cut in the landscape mode1

I wish the pop up wouldn’t get cut in the landscape mode.

Lots More to Explore Unlike, the explore tab on Instagram, that just shows you trending images and images that people you follow have liked, Retro also gives you suggestions on who you should follow & places you can explore through images.

The Paid Features While the app is free, there is a Premium version that costs Rs. 190 and let’s you go ads free. The Premium version also let’s you log into multiple accounts simultaneously and download photos & videos from Instagram.

What’s It Missing? Unfortunately, Retro misses two very important features. First, Retro hasn’t yet incorporated the Map feature of Instagram, which is sad. I quite enjoy looking at places I have been to and the images that were shot there. Most importantly, however, Retro doesn’t allow you to upload photos directly to Instagram. Meaning you will need to switch on Instagram if you want to upload an image. The company claims that this is because of API restrictions imposed by Instagram. However, third party editing apps like VSCOCam do allow you to upload images to Instagram. So, whether this feature will be incorporated soon remains to be seen.

Aside from these though, Retro for Instagram is quickly replacing the native Instagram app as my go-to viewer.

Tags: Aditya Nair, iphone, instagram, iPad, VSCO, VSCOCam, Apple, REtro, viewer, ios7