I didn’t sign up for Instagram during its most popular moment, and I don’t plan to sign up after Facebook bought its last year. But this app is the reason why I sign up for Instagram.
Flow for Instagram is developed by Codegent, a design agency based in London, as one of the idea that comes to fruition during their project for building an Instagram shopping app for Thailand. The lack of official Instagram app for iPad drives them to take one step further by building not only a discovery app, but a full supported third party app for iPad.
Codegent has released Flow 2.0 few days ago by adding portrait support, smart preloading, and updated design which you can get for free. It also added multiple accounts support, extended home feed, and themes selection which you can get by purchasing the Flow Plus+ upgrade. Overall, it’s still the same app as the first version, but more polished.
Flow Plus+ Photos
Flow delivers the smoothest experience to browse Instagram photos on iPad. It’s best used with LTE or WiFi connection because Flow loads everything asynchronously, in other words, you can keep scrolling and switching between views without waiting for the photos to finish loading.
The sidebar will hide itself automatically in landscape mode when you scroll to the right. If you happen to scroll far, you can display the sidebar by swiping from left edge. Returning to starting position is merely tapping anywhere in the sidebar background which works both in portrait and landscape mode.
By upgrading to Flow Plus+ for $2.99, you can get multiple accounts support, unlimited bookmarks, and two new themes — dark and light. What you probably need the most is Extended Home Feed. This’ll remove the photos limit when viewing your Instagram home feed, in addition for allowing you to save photos and videos. If you’re an active Instagram user, this upgrade is definitely worth it.
The team behind Flow know how to put the native iOS components together without overdecorating it — something we often see these days. The grid layout only features photos, but you can toggle the username by tap and hold the screen, or enable it in the preferences. Design wise, Flow manages to persevere the identity of Instagram while maintaining the simplicity of iPad.
Explore Popular Users, Shops, and Tags
“Who is the most popular Instagram users in other countries?”, I wonder as I open Flow. This is the feature I use often when I started using Instagram with zero following. Finding out the influencing users in Indonesia, South Korea, or China is just a matter of switching the flag.
Beside popular users, we can also find out the most popular shops and tags in a country. I don’t use this feature often except to find out what are the users are talking about now. But if you want to study market behavior in a country, perhaps this is what you need. You can tell the characteristic of Instagram users in a country from the tags they use, and popular users or shops they follow.
Flow is the most wonderful Instagram client for iPad I’ve seen so far. There is no other apps that deliver the same quality of animation, smoothness, and design. Browsing and discovering photos has never been this easy on Instagram. Now you can do it with Flow.