Instagram finally comes to Windows Phone — but with some problems


posted Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 12:22 PM EST


Just one month ago, Microsoft promised that an official Instagram app was on the way for Windows Phone users. Yesterday saw the app launch, but with missing features, and a cloud of misinformation and confusion about whether it could even take photographs or not.

As on other platforms, you can run your images through the well established litany of Instagram filters, as well as use tilt-shift effects. But there's an awful lot that's not there in the official Windows Phone version. No video, no GPS, no tagging of other people. But perhaps the most peculiar problem is how it actually takes photographs — which is one of its primary purposes.

When the app launched, a number of outlets originally reported that you couldn't take photos in-app. However, these initial reports ended up being false — you can take photos from the app, it's just handled bizarrely. Instagram for Windows Phone defaults to pulling up your camera roll when you want to upload an image. But you can press the camera button from there, which causes it to switch apps to the phone's own camera application, and after you take the photo, it switches back to Instagram. It's inelegant, but basically functional.

The reason why it was misreported to begin with isn't entirely clear. At Engadget, Brad Molen said that both Instagram and Microsoft told them that "it would not have in-app image capture". So it appears to have been a substantial miscommunication on all fronts.

However, the app is still being billed as a "beta", so hopefully a fully featured version is in the near future, which fixes all these problems.