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Sneak peek: Itsdagram is a full-featured Instagram client for Windows Phone 8 with direct uploads

What’s that? You need some more Instagram news for Windows Phone to keep going? Well, we don’t have any more info on an official app, though May keeps popping up. In the meantime, it looks like a new contender is getting ready to enter the field: Itsdagram.

Made by developer Daniel Gary (who also makes the popular Pinsation app), Itsdagram steps up its game against the current uploader Instagraph in that it allows unfettered, direct access to Instagram’s service. That means you can create an account, upload directly for posting, deleting, commenting, liking, searching, tagging, etc.--just about everything else an official client can offer. Check out the video below to see it in action.

So how does it work if there is no middle-man server? Well, it uses the Instagram API, ahem.

Now that raises all sorts of issues, including if Instagram alters it and whether or not they will tolerate such an app on the Store. There is some precedent for either way, after all, all of those HD YouTube video and Pandora apps on Windows Phone are using “hacked” APIs too and they’re still alive and kicking. However, Instagram is kind of a prickly company, so who knows how they will respond to this app.

Pricing looks to be set for $1.49 with a free trial (one upload to test) and we’re looking at one to two weeks for submission as final features are being instantiated. The app itself has no filters, but with the small army of apps that already do this for Windows Phone, many of which are free, we don’t see that as a problem.

Once again, the Windows Phone community finds a way. The only questions remain is if an official client is on the way and if it is any good (rumors suggest it’s an iOS port with very few features—then again, it’ll be free).

Stay tuned for more information on Itsdagram here at Windows Phone Central. Leave a comment and share your thoughts on this option for your heavy Instagram users. Yay or nay?

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

298 Comments
  • Sweet, another win for our platform.
  • not really if it's not official.  It's more of a win for our community of developers!
  • DEVELOPERS!!!! DEVELOPERS!!!! DEVELOPERS!!!!
  • HA!
  • How can this have no filters? The only party not requiring and instagram API...
  • Balmer... Such a classic stage presence. Lol
  • WinPhanDev WOOT!!!
  • Our platform always finds a way to win.
  • Very interesting.
  • Another knockoff? Oh, for sure.
  • I feel uneasy paying for this app when it could break from an API change at any given time :/
  • True, though as we've seen before with MetroRadio, MetroTube and more, when that happens the dev can push out an update within a few days to "fix" the issue. It's a hassle, but it's also a great solution when it works. It's all tradeoffs. Personally, I like 3rd party devs as they have more on the line and can move faster than "official" ones. MetroRadio, for instance, can do more things than the official Pandora app (including not being limited to WP8).
  • I will prefer a more legal way to upload as official or instagraph.. I don't like to support "illegal" usage of API.. However, I do think is awesome and a good way to make the platform better..
  • It's about showing instagram there's a market that they are losing out on... So yes you should use it.
  • The best way to show them is to not use their service at all. Why force yourself to support somebody who doesn't support you (by providing an official or sanctioned client)? Personally, I think Instagram is pointless since I can apply filters with a myriad of apps that are free and fully-supported with Windows Phone (including Nokia Lens), and post them to Twitter right in the OS without even using a separate app. Being able to do all that, what do I even need Instagram for anyway?
  • Well.. Some people use it for the social networking side of it, not for taking pictures and applying filters..
  • Right, but I can post any photo to Twitter or Facebook without the Instagram app. If you're not using the filters, then why not just use the native app for whatever social networks you're posting to anyway?
  • I think he also means the social aspect built into instagram..
  • Exactly.. Instagram is a photo only app meanwhile FB is more about what you like, share and other stuff.. Not mentioning all the info that FB gets from you.
  • Yeah, since Instagram makes money out of you by applying some undiscovered aspect of quantum dynamics as opposed to selling your soul to Satan via advertisements... *sheesh*
  • Does Instagram even make money? I always assumed it was like every other mobile app tied to a web service out there that has little to real revenue and will likely be non-existent in 3 years. Facebook is probably one of the few expections. Pinterest and all those? They'll be gone by 2016.
  • You ARE aware that they are owned by Facebook, right?  They aren't (unfortunately) going anywhere.  I still think they'll be swallowed up by Facebook and be a part of the real network's photo feature set.
  • I've never understood what is so amazing about the Instagram "social" aspect. I see EVERY square cropped pet pic and filtered lunch photo in my Twitter and Facebook feed. The Instagram network can't be THAT great if all of these pics are being reposted on real networks.
  • Instagram is not that great, and it isn't even that popular. There are only about 30 million users. To out that into perspective mysapce has about 25 million active users.
  • Well, you gotta think about it from a "I want WP to succeed". I know most of us really don't care much for instagram. Some b/c they really don't use it, other maybe a bit out of spite :) But it is a top requested app for the platform and people are basing a purchase decision on it (at least a factor). So getting Instagram on WP is good for us since more phones will sell and we get more apps that we do care about.
    Not using this to show Instagram that we don't care won't help. They won't realize it. But when they see traffic coming from Windows Phones in decent numbers, that bolsters the argument for making an official app. They see the need. For all those companies, it's a numbers game. Simple.
    Just a thought :)
  • Instagram IS a social network just like Facebook or Twitter. You post to Instagram because you have followers there just like you do on Facebook or Twitter. It is not an app that just takes pictures.....
  • Oh. Seems redundant, but I guess there's a social network for everything else...
  • Yeah, I agree...  I don't use it.. I hardly have enough time to pay attention to Facebook, then Twitter.    Pinterest... Path... Google+... Instagram...  who has time for them all?
  • " I don't like to support "illegal" usage of API."
    Fair enough, but even the Windows Phone Central app mis-uses the YouTube API to give you guys the "HD" option that everyone so clamored for. If Google won't allow that and we have crap quality for vids, it reflects badly on us as people think the app is crap. Just think: every YouTube app on Windows Phone that uses HD video is "illegal" usage of an API. Every one of them. It's the reality of the market.
  • Shhhhhh ;)
  • Lol...
  • Hey Daniel, you just broke the magic... :)
  • Man just don't download the App bro! Everyone else is quite happy for our so called illegal usage of API's.
  • I am just commenting.. Lol anyways I'll give it a spin just to see how,it works and support the dev..
  • Uhhhh doesn't instagraph manipulate the system to make it think your W8 phone is a Android phone? That's just as illegal as using API's.
  • Nope. It actually uploads your photo thru actual Android/iOS hardware, which in turn is not a violation. It doesn't manipulate the system. It's like if you took a photo, gave it to a friend on iOS and he uploaded it to your account for you using the official app. No different.
  • Yeah but you're still using a W8 and instagram thinks your phone is either android or IOS. That's manipulating the system. Which I have NO PROBLEM WITH. I was just saying re-routing or API methods are work around and not official. Therefore to me there's no difference. I actually think it's great that these devs come up with these tricks. GOD knows we need'em since a lot of companies neglect W8.
  • Using logic, I find many flaws with this statement as a knowledgable programmer.
     
    There is something illegal going on and there is no way around it. If they aren't spoofing the devices, that means there are actual physical phones that run 24/7. If this is the case, the only way they can get access to upload is through the "official" Instagram app on either iOS or Android.
     
    Unless Instagraph has employees monitoring and using these phones 24/7 to submit uploads, then the process on the phone has to be automated.
     
    If the upload process is automated, then there isn't ANY possible way to do that without hacking/modifying the "official" app.
     
    If they hacked/modified the "official" app: Illegal.
  • Who cares about the mumbo jumbo lol. W8 devices have 2 alternate methods to use instagram now. We should be happy. It doesn't matter how they do it. Neither is official but they both work.
  • +1
  • Instagram will C&D these out of existence when their app hits the store.  And rubes will have thrown away money on apps that will never get updated.
  • Not necessarily. At least on Desktop Windows you can send keyboard/mouse inputs to any programm without modifying the program itself. This is used e.g. for automated testing. If you do just that on an Android device there again is no breach of the term of service (given that you're neither using the APIs from an alternate App nor modifying protected code).
  • So is my account info stored on this Android or ios device? I'm sorry I'm just trying to understand how it works. :)
  • I'm not sure how Instagraph works, but I can assure you your account information is stored only on your phone with Itsdagram.
  • Thanks for clarifying. :)
  • I believe they (instagraph) have to store some user info on their servers (probably encrypted) since it's not instant and has to be queued and batch processed. 
  • We use real, regular iOS and Android devices and we did not even touch Instagram official app.
    We carefully studied Insta ToS with our lawyers to be sure not to sell an illegal app to users.
    Direct Insta private API call is explicitly forbidden in the ToS, so we chosen not to take that way, but if they will tolerate this, it will be good for the WP community :)
    All user data is completely wiped from servers and devices just after publishing, privacy is our first rule :)
  • Glad to know ^.^
  • Suffice to say....I didn't.... :)
     
    I love the clever way you guys solved the upload problem.  Also, I did some reading that you guys are running virtual Android devices on Windows Azure?  That's so awesome.
  • Thanks for clearing that up for us guys....and that right there is why WP community is a cut above the rest.
  • If its illegal then most likely Microsoft won't approve of it in the store. But this could be a clear sign that the real app is on its way. At least that's what I assume .
  • Quite often the people doing those tests don't know enough about those things to actually discover a problem. Perhaps there are certain Apps they are called to look for but aside from that this most likely only becomes a problem once Instagram picks up the phone and calls someone at Microsoft telling them that there is a problem with the App.
  • It's not that they "can" move faster than official parties, they just happen to. Official app developers have the ability to, they just devote resources to other platforms. As they probably should.
    It's a good thing Verizon and AT&T don't focus all of their resources on rural Iowa and Kansas. Same principle.
  • We keep hearing that the actual Instagram is coming this month. They need to get this app out now or why would anyone buy it with the official one available? 
  • I would like to point out that they can't break this app without breaking the apps for their other platforms.  Not saying it won't ever happen, but it would lock alot of people out of their apps until they update if they do that.
  • Not necessarily. If Instagram changes the API, it might hurt third-party folks, but they'd certainly push out updates for THEIR apps with an API change, so it's not like they would do anything but affect developers to whom they have no ties.
  • No, they also risk alienating users who don't update their apps frequently.  My wife, for instance, never updates her apps.
     
    It's a real problem.  Not saying they won't do it, but they have to know if they lock out older versions of their apps, they risk locking out a decent number of users.
  • Keith is right on this though. Unofficial Pandora apps "broke" frequently because the APIs they used were unofficial ones, separate from the ones that the real apps used (although MetroRadio is now using the real APIs meaning it will rarely break). Itsdagraph could break but it would mean that Instagram changed the official APIs and their iOS and Android apps would also have to be updated.
  • I would like to clarify that I am using the "official" API, just the undocumented one that the official apps use.
  • WP 7.8 please, we are not getting any love!
  • Just posted to say "Thank You!" for your effort, Dan! Its developers like you who make the platform and we are fortunate to have your support. I may not be your target as I don't use Instagram now, may just buy it to show my support :)
  • Any chances to WP7.8 users to have the app?
  • I posted below, but my sister-in-law is using an HTC Titan...no commitments on a timeframe.
  • So there's a hope for WP7 user? Yay
  • As long as there's a committment to it being released on 7.8, you already have my money.
  • Huh.. Interesting.. Good luck.. Hope it passes certification.,
  • "It's a real problem.  Not saying they won't do it, but they have to know if they lock out older versions of their apps, they risk locking out a decent number of users"
    First things first, thank you for giving this a try.  Always good to see people shoot for creative solutions on this platform.  Second, I think you are on to something.  IIRC, Hipstamatic is allowed to post to instagram via that API, too.
     
     
  • Thanks for posting this.  I didn't realize they had opened up access to some third parties.  Very interesting...
  • I just find it funny that people will be hesitant to buy an app that's less than $2 but will dish out almost any amount in real life for food, games, clothes, etc. It's only $1.50, and its helping us get our message across to Instagram that we can do it without them. So as long as it's a quality app, I'm buying.
  • I will pay for an app if it is 'worth' MY money. If I pay for something food, clothes, etc., no matter what the cost, I've deemed it worthy of my funds! This app, regardless of the price, is not something I would use, and even if I were interested, I don't deem it worth my money.
  • The problem is not with people not willing to buy an App that they would not use anyway - why should they? It's also not with people interested in an App but unhappy with it's features or it's implementation (bugs, etc.) But there is a problem with people complaining that Apps do in fact cost money to make and maintain. 99 Cents is not a lot of money. It's about the same as a coke at McDonalds and most people pay that without thinking but act as if they are being robbed if an App they would like to have does cost money. And the matter of fact is that 1 Download of a 99 Cent App make the developer about the same money as 10 - 20 thousand ad impressions (and people are complaining about Ads as well).
  • Don't worry. Instagran are actually amateur company got luck for a popularity. Because they came up first with the idea. They can't make a web version and tool lol of time to make Android version too. They don't have a solid API. So can't change easily.
  • I'm uneasy paying for an app that has all kinds of fine print like the one before this one. I have to admit, the video helps.
  • Take the Risk!!! If it backfires we can take up a WPCentral collection where the first 10 contributors each send you $0.15 by PayPal.
    :-)
  • The Devs for Windows phone are truly something.
  • Yea, they are God like, I saw one walk across water once. They are good. Much appreciated!
  • Yeah they are! They make some very attractive alternative apps! I don't even mind paying for! I also couldn't stand buying apps on IOS and android because the apps UI blew.....
  • Will it be available to WP 7.8 Users? :D
  • Well still not worth my money. I wish I hadn't paid for Instagraph. It does work as stated but the editing and filters are crap.
  • Well, that's Aviary, not their fault--you don't need to use Aviary to edit/fitler your photos on Instagraph, you could just Save. On Nokia, I use Creative Studio first and then just post directly through Instagraph. You can do that with any filter app out there and there are *plenty* of amazing and free ones. So honestly, that's not a valid criticism of Instagraph (of which there are a few others ones you could make).
  • *their not there. ;)
  • @Quin 2013: You are wrong. Daniel's grammar is correct. Plus, if you understand the sentence, don't try to be an English teacher. He already has a job with Mobile Nations...doesn't need your advice.
  • You failed, because he went back and changed it. it seems that you're the one that needs an English lesson on how to write a sentence.
  • I doubt it. This is a blog. I already have my undergraduate degree. I don't need to worry ab blog grammar. Mine is just fine anyway. What's the point in trolling a blog for grammatical errors?
  • So you doubt that you need lessons? You sound unsure. Did you have food yet? You sound grumpy. And it's"about" not ab. :D
  • You are right Daniel. And I meant no disrespect to the devs. I commend them. Just a personal thing is all. Having to go in and out of apps is a pain. But, I do use the app. And I appreciate all you do. Thank you sir.
  • Can't you filter with #2InstawithLove and save? :)
     
  • It crops the picture because the aspect ratio is different. At least that is what happened to me.
  • Manual cropping is coming :)
  • It does have that annoying peeve, however, where you cannot choose what part gets cropped. It's like freaking science
  • I use lomogram for filters
  • Lazylens is the best app by far but I don't know if it's available for WP8
  • Instagram just needs to stop being lame and give the people what they want!
  • Exactly
  • oh common........not again
  • I think you mean c'mon or come on. Common means something occurs frequently, among other things.
  • I think he meant, "Oh (instagram apps are) common.......(there is a)not(her one) again
  • Haha.
  • i feel like instagram would work well integrated directly into the OS.  maybe some day that will happen lol
  • +1
  • Definitely a yay, though I'd be worried if Instagram would change/break their API.
  • The official Instagram App is in tests...don't go spending money on these Apps. Learn to wait. Unless your need to share your meals is THAT big...:P
  • As Daniel Rubino mentioned, some people prefer 3rd party apps because of the support and the creativity. I understand your point though, but not everyone wants or cares for "official" apps as long as the 3rd party apps are functional.
  • I agree Cory....chances are the official app is gonna be a cheap iOS port.....no thanks. I'd rather pay for a better designed 3rd party app. Ad long as the functionality is there.
  • It's a $1.49, dude..   Why do people get all weird about pocket change when it comes to apps?
  • $1.49 here, $1.49 there, and when you notice, you've spent tons of money on Apps you don't really use or aren't official and at the slightest whim from the companies who own the brands, you're with a useless non-functional App. I understand some want to support developers, and I support that, but in this case, I think it would be better to wait for the official App and then see what does it offer and what it doesn't and then see 3rd parties.
  • That will be the people's choice whether to buy 3rd party apps or not, But why are you actively commenting here and asking people NOT to buy this app?
  • I'm not asking people not to buy this or that App. I'm just giving friendly advise. People also went along with the Instagraph thing and then I've read complaints and seen bad reviews on the WP Store because it lacked this or that or wasn't official or didn't do this or that. The official App is very near, I would advise people who can't live - for some reason that I can't grasp - without Instagram to be patient and only go and buy a dozen not-exactly-Instagram Apps after the official release. But hey, if you want to go ahead and buy them, I'm not stopping you ;)
  • It doesn't look like a friendly advise,it looks like you are on campaign or something to tell others not to buy this app.
  • I agree, DJCBS, it can add up, but in this case there is no legit proof that there IS an official Instagram app coming and if it does come, it could be Nokia exclusive for a while even. I just grew up with Atari and Nintendo, and Sega and XBox... We drop money on games all the time that we only play for a month or two and look at those prices..
  • The Instagram App is in testing already. I was told that directly by a friend at Nokia. Which adds up with the information Nokia in Sweden gave etc. So I have all the reasons to believe the release is very near (according to what I was told, the only thing delaying Instagram on WP is...yeah, you guessed it. Google. They're putting pressure on Instagram to delay release in yet another attempt to cripple WP). I grew too and precicely because of that I've learned to be patient and to exercise caution. But as I've said, I'm not preventing anyone from buying whichever Apps they wish. It's not my money.
    I won't do it. But then again, I have no intention of getting the official Instagram anyway. God knows Facebook and Twitter already distract me enough, I don't need a 3rd social network for sharing food and feet LOL
  • "$1.49 here, $1.49 there, and when you notice, you've spent tons of money on Apps you don't really use or aren't official and at the slightest whim from the companies who own the brands, you're with a useless non-functional App"
    The hyperbole though....
     
    it's 1.49.  Chance are, people spend the money on apps they feel is worth it...then again, I've seen people blow $20 on microtransactions on the 360 and PS3 (here's looking at you NBA 2k13).  In the end, it's still less than the price of a gatorade. 
  • +1 because you mentioned 2K13 ;)
  • Exactly.  The people compalining about $1.49 for an app probably just got out of the bathroom from putting a $1.79 bottle of Coke into the toilet 45 minutes after drinking it.
  • Yeah, but they ENJOYED that Coke!  No guarantee they'd enjoy this app.
  • No guarantee you'll enjoy that Coke when you buy it...there might be a finger in it...(Friends reference)
  • Pinsation was pretty bad, i think that was the pinterest app that showed the wrong profile when you logged in and didnt even show your boards. 
     
     
  • Actually, no, that was Pinspiration.
  • sorry, you are correct. 
     
    I thin pinsation was the app that is the mobile version of the site i believe. 
  • Sorry, wrong again.  Pinsation uses the latest version of the Pinterest API.  It's how I got started doing this, porting apps to Windows Phone that aren't available.
     
    Right now there's a bug I haven't had time to address that causes it to crash intermittently, but other than that, it's the only fully working Pinterest client.
  • Pinsation has a very well laid out "Metro" interface. It is stunningly beautiful, Other developers should look to it as an example of what a Windows Phone app should look and work like. If Itsdagram is anything like Pinsation, it will be a winner.
  • Agreed +1
  • Yep, pinsation is pretty great other than the occasional crash.
  • I wish you had a "Buy Me a Beer" button...I'd push it lol.
  • The Pinterest users I know prefer the Pinsation app to the official Pinterest apps on other platforms, or even their website. That says something for the app to me. Though I don't use Pinterest or Instagram.
  • My biggest issue with pinsation is I can't see my private/secret boards
    Any ideas why this is?
  • Yeah, Pinterest did something funny with how they handle secret boards.  It's not a huge deal, and I will hopefully include it in the next update.
  • Brilliant, thanks for responding!
  • don't buy this rubbish.
  • -1 for not giving reasons why this app is rubbish.
  • -2 for using the word "rubbish"
  • Don't like the original comment, but don't hate on the English ;)
  • Is "rubbish" still used that often? I honestly thought I would've just been stereotyping for assuming English individuals used it a lot. I apologize :'(
  • -3 for being a jerk
  • fools and