Almost six months ago, Facebook-owned Instagram debuted on Windows 10 mobile devices. The photo sharing app had been loved by iPhone and Andriod owners for all of six years prior to its debut on Windows 10: The app’s initial release was October 6, 2010. Now, six years later, Instagram announced that the famed app will make its way to Windows 10 tablets and PCs. Puzzlingly, there is still no word on an iPad version of Instagram, as iPad owners are merely using an unoptimized iPhone version of the application. Furthermore, at the time of this writing, there doesn’t seem to be a dedicated Instagram app for Mac either: When I browsed my App Store, something called “App for Instagram – Instant at your desktop!” pulled up in the results, but it isn’t distributed by Instagram, Inc. like the iPhone version is.
Everything you’d expect from your iPhone or Android (or Windows 10 mobile device) Instagram experience is present: You can browse your feed to see what people have recently posted, you can check out Snapchat—I mean Instagram Stories, you can message people privately via Direct, and Explore Instagram to find new people to follow. Additionally, you can capture, edit, and share photos and videos, but, “you’ll need a Windows 10 tablet or PC with a touchscreen to be able to actually upload images,” according to The Verge. Strange that this is a restriction, considering most tablets are touchscreen. What’s more interesting is how uploading via PC will work: Since not every Windows 10 PC has a touchscreen or rear-facing camera—and Instagram requires both to capture, edit, and upload photos and videos—some PC owners will not get the full Instagram experience. This sounds similar to the browser version of Instagram, where things are significantly more limited and diluted because of the hardware limitations. If you were hoping to simplify the process of getting the perfect selfie by using your computer’s webcam and uploading it directly to Instagram, the process is still complicated: You’ll set up your lighting so your selfie is perfect, snap your picture, text or email the photo to yourself, then edit and upload it to Instagram via your mobile device.
This announcement was made on Thursday evening by way of a blog post, where the company said they are “excited to expand to more of the Windows community by bringing Instagram to tablets running Windows 10.” And, although all of the same features will be present as stated above, it seems there will be some Windows exclusive features, like Live Tiles and being able to see new photos and notifications directly from a device’s home screen, something I imagine Macs will also get whenever its App Store receives the official Instagram app.
Instagram was first unleashed onto the world back in 2010 and has received a plethora of updates that changed the app’s interface to make it more or less intuitive, depending on your position. Instagram first launched its Windows app back in 2013 but hadn’t been updated it until April of this year. This update, only available to Windows 10 users, finally brought video functionality to the platform, something iPhone and Android users have enjoyed for a long time. Moreover, this update introduced Instagram’s use of the Windows Universal Platform, “a common app platform that allows developers to build apps compatible with every device running Windows 10,” as stated by GeekWire. So, if you have an Xbox One, the app could debut there as well, though its functionality may be severely limited. Only time will tell.