For an app people use so heavily, the official Instagram app for Android has been a bit of a UI disaster since it launched back in 2012. It's about to be much better today with the release of version 5.1. The design is cleaner and flatter with a bit of an Android vibe. It's not super-holo, but it's a start.

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The update hasn't hit Google Play yet [Update: should be live now], but the Instagram blog says it's only a matter of time. When the update rolls out, it will be only half the size of the old app. Pages will also load faster – in some cases twice as fast. It doesn't sound like there are any new features coming in this update, just the UI change.

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We've got a few screens from the old version of the app below, preserved eternally for posterity. Once v5.1 hits the Play Store, those ugly old screens will be gone forever.

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Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play.

  • karthik nayak

    wow finally XD

  • Pratik Holla

    Its better than the beveled garbage they had before

  • Martin

    Looks like iOS 7 and I love it!!! More devs need to do this! Finally good looking apps in Android. Always hated how ugly apps are.. Most of Android apps are ugly as F... I like Twitter (close to iOS but still not as good), Instagram here looks great, maybe the best looking app in Google play store.. Wish Facebook to update like iOS.. Now it's disgusting to watch and use.. This is only my opinion of course.. In my vision of perfect world I am using Android with iOS apps and they are coming in the same time, not always LATER for Android.. :-)

    • Tim Gueusquin

      Sounds like you just need to use an iPhone lol

      • Martin

        No. I like customization and Google Now integration. Just need better looking apps.

        • Giampaolo

          So you shouldn't go with this one that is everything but attractive.

          • Martin

            Said who? Who are you? Because you don't have good taste, doesn't mean it's not attractive.

          • abobobilly

            Man you really gotta look at this: http://androidniceties.tumblr.com

            NOW say that you want more apps like iOS7. This wish "for android" is POISONOUS.

    • http://google.com/+derekross Derek Ross

      I was going to type out a long ass explanation, but this is good enough: http://androidniceties.tumblr.com/

      • Tuấn Ankh

        lmao... because of the cook books on top...

      • abobobilly

        lol I watched your post After i posted the link. Nevertheless, a MUST WATCH for all Android fans.

    • Giampaolo

      As they say: "de gustibus non est disputandum"

    • Nick Riley

      For Facebook just sign up for the Beta testing, you might be nicely surprised ;)

      • abobobilly

        I am a beta tester. I don't know what you are talking about :p

        • Nick Riley

          I can't say this is an ugly looking Facebook app :) I was just thinking that you maybe have the one with older US...

          • abobobilly

            WTF :S

            I didn't get any UI update :S HOWWWWW? :S

            The current version is 8.0 something on my device ... and i remember vividly that i applied for both Aplha and Beta testing.

            When i read this news about UI change in FB app, rumors were that this is "server sided" and "FB decides who'd get a UI update or not".

            Anyway, i'll hold my judgement until i actually use this UI. But i am not holding my breath to be honest ... i have totally lost faith from FB App devs.

          • Nick Riley

            I can confirm that it feel a lot fresher than the old UI, I still have lots of objections regarding the bars and abundance of buttons...

      • David Dudovitz

        The new FB UI is enabled by FB via their backend for certain accounts only, beta tester or not.

        • Nick Riley

          Oh, I thought that actually all Beta testers get to have this version. Oh well, seems that I just got lucky :D

    • http://androidintvfilm.tumblr.com/ wade_county

      I'm a design snob as well, but Android devs have been providing beautiful apps for awhile now.

      Here are some excellent sites to follow.

    • abobobilly

      So you think "Most of the apps are ugly" and yet you wish for "more like iOS7 looks"?

      hm, OK. moving on ....

  • TSON1

    More Android friendly...but still stolen from iOS.

    • Chapa

      Likewise with current iOS UI, stolen from so many Android home brewed customizations... It's a come and go between these two.
      Although it reminds me more to 6tag, the Instagram client for WP8, which predates both redesigns. ;-)

    • Martin

      It's made by the same company, so it's not stolen, just ported. Looks great :-)))

      • TSON1

        Just another way to say the same thing, really. They did not use their resources to make both look good in their own respective ways, they just gave us iOS layout/icons without the cool animations... an inferior product with half the effort - just like every other app. I don't get why we should praise that.

        • Chris

          A company stealing from itself. Isn't that patented by Apple?

        • http://blog.darkostanimirovic.com Dartanjan


  • morteum

    I wish they would utilize the gradient on the notification bar for KitKat, but I'll take what I can get.

  • Sven

    Hopefully swipeable.

    • r0xp0x

      That would actually be really great if they'd make it swipeable.

    • vyktorsouza

      it's not

    • abobobilly

      Or maybe just overhaul the complete app to make it more performance rich as well as visually stunning. But why would they ... :

      • http://www.geordienorman.com/ George Byers

        Considering they put minimal effort into this app and just ported it from IOS.... I would highly doubt that.

        • abobobilly

          I SO hate it when huge corporations act like a frigging lazy bum, having millions at their disposal. Can't even get ONE damn app right.

  • unBREAKable_Fs3

    I can't seem to get the update. Still stuck on the old one

  • http://instagram.com/chunkyboikilo Kalil Stoudmire

    It not live yet anybody got the apk

    • Kufre Udobong

      Its live

  • knocknock

    send the apk

  • qpinto

    its about freaking time !! then again facebook and instagram are starting to look like each other. im counting down the days until the merge, and id like to keep them seperate thanks.

  • nebula

    finally holo. Now I can use it.

    • nebula

      Does it also got a translucent navigation and status bar?

      • Damian

        I doubt it.

      • miri

        Why would it? There's no place in the design for translucent status/nav bars.

    • Giampaolo

      It's far away to be holo

    • Oğuz Can Ayverdi

      Not really Holo, just an iOS7 port with flat graphics. Still much better than the old one.

  • ArrTooDeeToo

    The big question is does it work in Landscape for tablet users?

  • nawa

    Guess we can thank Holofication Nation for this. They might have pushed Instagram to update the app faster.

    • Youri

      now they just need to updated the instagram icon to HD

      • Donna M. Coleman

        Let me know when they fix the downsampling bug that's been present since its release on Android.

    • AGWednesday

      The guys at HN were saying that the owner of one of the apps they'd holofied had gotten in touch with them about bringing their changes over to the main app. Maybe this?

      • nawa

        Never heard of this, can you link to it?

  • Sam Del Valle

    Finally the old UI on IG was growing old

  • mesmorino

    So basically... flatten your icons and you can impress the Andoid hoi polloi. Right.

    • KevinRajaram

      Well, they didn't just flatten them. The got rid of images that were used to program the graphics in. You should know this will reduce load times in an app that has less resources to call upon.

  • Chiragp6392

    Just got the update, here the app for you guys https://www.dropbox.com/s/zwvs34bt4g6w18h/com.instagram.android-1.apk

    • vyktorsouza

      I kinda doubt it, but Imma try it

    • vyktorsouza

      yup, that's the real deal

    • unBREAKable_Fs3


    • Hayden Lewis

      Also received update in Australia. Ask: ps://mega.co.nz/#!mkY2BRAQ!Op5ths6DUbvFeYQKYkcPWkZdzo-eoPbnMEWqBtuOdmY

    • http://tutvonline.org/ Scott Pilgrim


    • An

      Thank you!

      Are everything very soft and non-high dpi for anyone else?

      • adrn


      • adrn

        Download update from gp, it's sharper and higher dpi :)

        • An

          You are right, thank you!

    • James

      Chiragp6392's apk is not FHD version...

  • http://dabuxian.com/ Dabu

    Oh, they finally dropped an iOS 7 port to the irrelevant Android. How generous of them. [/sarcasm]

    • Android Developer

      they still remain - look at the editing screen : it has the back button on the top left corner...

    • miri

      Believe it or not, the Instagram app has never been a port. Though not 'pure holo' (which is hardly something to strive for anyway), most every screen has been redesigned for Android and falls within a reasonable tolerance of the design guidelines. The only typical iOS pattern in the app is the navigation bar on the bottom and that looks different as well.

  • Ben Goldenberg

    Its out!!

  • coreyspring

    Wow, they flattened the icons. Let me know when they fix the downsampling bug that's been present since its release on Android.

  • Daniel Traynor


  • Frank Barten

    Got problems with the new version already on my Nexus 4: When cancelling taking a picture, my phone went into a bootloop. It seems that I can't reproduce it, working fine now.

  • Carlos Rodríguez

    Installed from the dropbox link posted here, no transparent navigation and status bars. Really, instagram??? That would take you like about 3 minutes to enable!


    • MeCampbell30

      The buttons on the bottom make a transparent nav bar not desirable.

    • miri

      And several months to overhaul the navigation model to free up the top and bottom of the screen to accommodate the feature.

  • http://kennydude.me/ Joe Simpson

    I guess it might be partially due to Tim Van Damme moving to Dropbox. He's the guy that said "designing for Android is pretty much the same as iOS"

  • Cael

    Yay it doesn't force close on me anymore.

  • Rovex

    Looks better, still behaves like a bad iOS port. It reminds me every time I use it why I detest iOS so much.

  • bl8demast3r

    Why isn't instagram compatible with the verizon lg g2?!?!?!?

  • Fresh2infinity

    FYI: You can now copy and paste from the comments section...Finally!! no more retyping an entire caption after you realize you spelled it wrong :-D

    • Youri

      ah finally itll help when someone posts a link in a comment

  • WySSOne

    Does it fix the horrible battery drain issue on my N5 and i'm assuming all 4.4 devices? If i leave the app running in the background it will drain my battery in about 3 hours.

  • instagram sucks

    stupid instagram, crashed whenever i try to upload video android stock

  • Hayden Lewis

    Also received update I'm Australia: Apk: ps://mega.co.nz/#!mkY2BRAQ!Op5ths6DUbvFeYQKYkcPWkZdzo-eoPbnMEWqBtuOdmY

    • Miguel Almeida

      link pls

  • Android Developer

    back button on top left corner ?
    still not a native android UI.

    • miri

      Of all things to cry foul about, you choose the back button that's present in most all Android apps?

      • Android Developer

        Well since I don't use the app, that's what I can see from the screenshots.

        you know what, you are right. there are many other things, like the ">" button of IOS , and very confusing screen of the profile. There are also screens with tabs on bottom and top...
        Also, too many things are shown on the bottom, like on IOS. At first I thought that it's because it's a camera app so it's forgivable, but it's on other screens too, that have nothing to do with camera/editing of images...
        Even the "share to" doesn't have the same color on the action bar as the rest of the screens...

    • Liviu Sas

      The pictures in the post are from the old version :) No pictures from the new version available yet :)

  • Dimitris Manargias

    The new app is NOT half the size of the old app:
    Old: 11.1 MB
    New 9.84MB

  • abobobilly

    I am sorry how is this "Android Friendly"? More like a "Snake Friend" to Android, hiding under iOS clothes :

  • Guilherme Salles

    Bullshit, it's just the iOS 7 interface. -.-" Holo... tsc

  • http://www.geordienorman.com/ George Byers

    Ugh.... It looks like a port of the Instagram for IOS 7. Android users being treated like second class citizens yet again by Facebook -_-

  • ScratchC

    Did they improve image upload quality at all?

    • Nick Riley

      I'm afraid, not really.... I uploaded a couple of pics yesterday after installing the update, couldn't see any difference between the old and the new ones :(

      • ScratchC

        that sucks

  • alexandru savu

    Still can't post video on samsung galaxy s3 stock rom. Still useless.

  • Kufre Udobong

    Feels like using iOS7! Thank God for iOS and Apple. Apple is the future

  • shawn

    I have a Galaxy Samsung 3 running 4.3 jellybean and i updated to the new instagram and my instagram wont let people follow me but i can follow people. Any help?