I have a very interesting relationship with Instagram. It’s the social network I love to hate and hate to love. I won’t get into those reasons today; that’s a post for another day. However, with iGrann was finally being released for BlackBerry 10 in BlackBerry World today, I might just change my opinion of the photo-sharing, filter adding, video making network. Here are a few reasons why:

1.  iGrann is Free

ADVERTISEMENT

There is no official Instagram app as of yet for reasons that pretty much boil down to everyone hates BlackBerry, however, there is another unofficial Instagram client out there. That app and iGrann are very nearly identical with one big difference: iGrann is free. I’m all for supporting developers and their apps (in fact, it’s one of my main reasons why I don’t sideload apps), but I’ll take free any day. Free trumps all. Give me more free. For free.

2. iGrann is Beautiful

I have a leaked version of OS 10.2.1 that allows me to download Android apps directly on my phone without having to pirate, er, I mean sideload them. That means I’ve got the latest Android version of the official Instagram app on my Z30. It’s a nice app and runs smoothly with a good layout, but it’s an Android version of the app. I can’t stand Android’s user interface. It feels so clunky and cluttered to me. I’ve been spoiled by the smoothness of Peek and Flow on BlackBerry 10. While iGrann doesn’t utilize Peek and Flow, it does operate in the wonderfully fluid and beautiful layout of BlackBerry 10.

It also lets you customize the way you view pictures. That’s probably my favorite (so far) feature of iGrann. I don’t have to look at photos in the same way if I don’t want to.

IMG_20140127_113950

If I want to view my photostream in the regular way, I can. If want a more modern look, I can choose this option above. That’s what I’ve chosen and I love it. I love minimalism. Show me more of the picture and get rid of wasted space on my screen. You can also choose if you want a dark or light theme. Since I have a Z30, I chose dark because that helps out the battery life.

Did you know you can also pinch to zoom in on pictures as well? You can also download photos and pictures that are posted. These tiny choices help make iGrann a truly beautiful social network that I’m slowly starting to enjoy using.

3. iGrann Has No Filters

While some of you might find this as a flaw, I absolutely love it. My main gripe against Instagram is the filters. To put it in a nutshell, everyone thinks they’re a genius photographer just because they add a fancy filter to their photo. While I’m no professional by any means, I’ve always been bothered by that aspect of the social network. Take a picture, add a filter, and all of the sudden you’re a pro. To that I say no! Photography takes more than just a fancy filter! And to make things worse, I started to find myself thinking that a picture I took would look better with a certain Instagram filter on it! Oh, tragedy of tragedies!

ADVERTISEMENT

Ok off the soap box before things get out of hand.

As of right now, iGrann is missing a few features. Namely, filters, Instagram Direct, and video. I’d like to have the latter two, but I’m overjoyed that the filters aren’t there. Instead, when you snap a photo, you’re taken to the native photo editor. Yes, that has its own filters you can use, but it has one other thing: the choice to touch up different aspects of the picture. The photo you see above has no filter. Instead  I adjust the saturation, brightness, contrast, and sharpness of the photo until I thought it looked nice. I feel more accomplished when I painstakingly adjust my picture until I think it looks perfect.

Since iGrann is a natively built BlackBerry app, that means you’re using the BlackBerry camera with all it’s features intact. (Well all except TimeShift. I imagine that will come around with a future update.) You can do everything you would normally be able to do when taking a photo with your phone. That’s really one of the biggest things I was hoping to see because I love what I can do with my BlackBerry camera.

4. iGrann Has Active Tiles and Hub integration

IMG_20140127_114047

When you swipe up and put iGrann in your active tiles, your timeline of photos is shown as a slideshow in an active tile. This, of course, can be customized. You can change the interval at which the pictures change. It’s a great way to check for new photos without actually scrolling through the app.

You’ve also got integration into the Hub, so when you receive a like or comment on a photo or video, you’ll get a notification. Thankfully I don’t have too many followers yet, and even if I did, I wouldn’t get tons of notifications because most of my pictures are of my dog. I can see myself turning this feature off, if by some miracle I start to get more followers and notifications.

I can’t say that I love Instagram yet. Actually, it’s more like I won’t say it. A man has his pride, doesn’t he? But iGrann has definitely changed my perspective on the app. If you’d like to see what all the hype is about, head on over to BlackBerry World and download iGrann today! Also, feel free to join the conversation in the comments below and our troll free forums!