Android users, the time has almost come. Instagram, the popular photo-filtering and sharing app, is on its way to Google’s mobile operating system.
Co-founder Kevin Systrom announced at SXSW Sunday that the long-awaited Android version of Instagram is nearly here. He teased the version on stage, but didn’t provide a demo. The Android version is currently being tested in private beta and will be released “very soon.”
“In some ways, it’s better than our iOS app. It’s crazy,” Systrom said. In a Q&A following his presentation, Systrom said the app is fast, works great on large screens and can share photos to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and other networks.
What took the startup so long to bring what’s clearly an extremely popular app to Android? “I don’t think it took us so long. We just had priorities. Had we tried to be both on Android and iPhone at the same time, it would’ve been tough to innovate in the way that we have,” he said.
Systrom announced, in December of last year at LeWeb, that the Android app was in development. Knowing that it’s in testing now means Instagram for Android is at least that much closer to release — but nothing more specific.
Systrom also announced Sunday that the iOS version of Instagram — which was named Apple’s iOS app of the year last year — has seen some 27 million downloads.
BONUS: The Best Instagram Photos Ever Taken
Josh Riedel: “I love the way you can travel through photos. Maura (@folkfibers) travels the USA in her VW van, and her photos take you along for the ride. I like to imagine Maura pulling to the side of the road and leaning out her window to snap this shot as she’s leaving the park.”
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