Thailand has recently ousted every other country in the Instagram Statistics for 2013. Siam Paragon takes the top stop and Bangkok ranks second in most tagged cities. It comes with little surprise that the first useable ipad app for Instagram is a British-Thai co production. Codegent, well known for it various language learning apps – of which one recently top Thailand’s iTunes free app ranking – has released Flow for iPad, or “The missing iPad app”.
All the Instagram aficionados know that the only way of using Instagram on the iPad is to install the iPhone app and hitting the 2x button. On the one hand it makes sense for Instagram not to put its focus on an iPad app – who is going to take pictures with a 10” monstrosity anyway? – but on the other hand, the iPad is probably the best device to actually browse timelines and comment on pictures, and with Flow you can do exactly that.
What Codegent had originally in mind was to developed a Instagram shopping app, since many Thai stores post their product pictures on Instagram, but while browsing through Instagram on the iPad the team noticed one much bigger shortcoming: No Instagram for iPad. Flow now essentially has the same features as Instagram, apart from the capability of taking pictures.
Personally, I’m not a big Instagram fan. I do have the app installed and a lonely account somewhere. I would probably use it from time to time if could remember my password. What I like about Instagram is to browse through pictures, but I don’t like the limited phone screen. I think even the Galaxy Note is still too small for browsing through pictures. Flow is the app that delivers exactly the experience I would want from an iPad Instagram app.
I had the chance to play with the app at the Beer Idea #2 and was a very pleasantly surprised because of it really fast pictures loading and the very smooth scrolling. It looks gorgeous and allows digging really deep into different timelines and streams. Some features like pressing a picture for a couple of seconds to bring up user information are very neat, and don’t distract from “flowing” through the endless stream of pictures. The kicker is the additional feature that will automatically show you country related rankings about the most popular users (shops), which should turn out to be extremely popular in Thailand – and because the App is whitelisted by Instagram, you can actually comment as well. Flow is currently delivering the best Instagram experience and it’s available for free on iTunes.