It is no secret that Instagram is one of the most popular social networks today and it just keeps on growing. More than 300 million people users use Instagram every month, with the daily usage being estimated at a staggering 75 million users. According to recent numbers about 28% of the Americans are on Instagram and unsurprisingly; a vast majority of them use it from their mobile devices.
If you aren’t familiar with Instagram, you can check out these articles that explain how to use the popular photo-sharing service.
Think of Instagram as Facebook with a lot less personal drama. It allows keen photographers to share their lives in pictures. In fact, Instagram is so popular, there are a whole world of apps made to enhance it.
As an avid Instagram user who uses iOS devices (iPhone & iPad) to get his daily Instagram fix, I find it very cumbersome to navigate my way around the official Instagram app. Not only is it mighty unattractive (ironic for a social platform that relies on visual appeal), it is also without any advanced features. For instance, it won’t let you view pictures in full-screen view or zoom in to see details. All you can do is browse, comment on, and like pictures- not very ideal for people with small screen devices (like the old iPhones).
For quite a while now I have been on the lookout for a new Instagram app for my iOS devices and with Grab for Instagram, I think I have found the answers to all my problems.
What is Grab for Instagram?
Grab is a free iOS app that allows you to not only browse your Instagram timeline in a much efficient manner, it completely transforms the whole experience allowing you to do things that you didn’t even know you’d find useful. Let’s take a sneak peek at its features and show you how you can transform yourself into a power Instagram user within a matter of minutes.
If you have an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, just go to the app store and look for Grab for Instagram. Sorry, Android users. You’ll have to find another app.
Let’s take a look at what makes Grab so great:
Grab allows you to browse in full-screen mode and that, for me, is its best feature. A single tap on any picture will shift it into full-screen mode and from here you can swipe left (to go forward) and swipe right (to go back) to browse through your feed. You will still be able to read the picture descriptions, see the tags and know the username of the person who posted. (a feature many 3rd party apps do not have in full-screen mode).
A single tap on a picture in full-screen mode hides all the extra information, and a double tap (or a pinch) allows you to zoom into the picture. Considering that most people upload pretty high-quality pictures on Instagram, this is a very useful feature. If you are in the mood, you can also play all the pictures on your feed as a slideshow, which eliminates the need for manually swiping right or left. The time setting for each slide can be tweaked and ranges from 2 to 20 seconds.
Easy interaction with videos
Unlike the official Instagram app, Grab does not auto play the videos on your timeline. This not only saves you from extra bandwidth usage (very important if you browse on a mobile connection), but also allows you to skip videos you have no interest in. You can interact with the videos the same way you do with pictures- single tap for full screen and double tap for zoom. Yes, you can zoom into videos. Isn’t that amazing?
You can also fast forward, rewind or go to a certain part of the video by using the timeline control. No need to watch the video in a loop to see an interesting part again.
Feed management and Privacy
A lot of people use Instagram for getting ideas for their home decor, for their outfits and for collecting other pictures that might pique their interest. For example, many women follow fashion bloggers to get an idea of what is currently in vogue. Usually, you would ‘like’ a picture in order to ‘bookmark’ it for later viewing. The default Instagram app however, makes this tougher than it should be, by hiding the ‘liked pictures’ list deep inside your profile settings.
Grab, on the other hand, lets you create stacks, where you can store the pictures that you like. Don’t worry, none of these pictures are downloaded to your mobile device, instead a dynamic link to them is placed inside the stack. For example, you could create a stack called ‘outfits’ where you stack pictures that have clothing items you are interested in. You could create another called ‘Quotes’ where you gather quotes that you find interesting or thought provoking and so on. You can create as many stacks as you want and categorize different pictures appropriately.
These stacks are privat,e and no other users can see what you have stored inside them, so feel free to store anything and everything you want. Speaking of privacy, if you don’t want friends snooping around your app and checking out your Instagram feed, then you can lock the app with a passcode or by using the Touch ID feature if you have the newer version of the iOS device. Once you do this, it will ask for the passcode or the Touch ID every time you shift back to the app.
Similarly, if you are interested in the feed of an Instagram user but aren’t sure if you want to follow them, then you can simply bookmark their profile. This allows you to privately monitor their feed without them knowing that you are doing so. Parents can use this nifty feature to monitor the posts of their young kids to ensure that they do not post any sensitive or private information.
Now we have just gotten started on the features that make Grab great. I part 2 of this article, I’ll give you even more reasons to love Grab.