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metrogram

The popular Instagram client Instagraph was updated just a short while ago to version 2.0 and as promised, Metrogram is now part of the mix.  The two apps really didn't become one but rather integrated where you can access Metrogram's features from within Instagraph and visa versa.

The Metrogram integration is only for the Windows Phone 8 version of Instagraph. Windows Phone 7.x users shouldn't feel left out in the cold though.

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There are a few criticisms levied against Instagraph, the third party “work around” for Instagram on Windows Phones, including price, upload limits and feature set. That last one is a bit interesting because as of right now, users can only upload photos to Instagram but they would need another app to view their friends’ feed, comment, share photos, etc.

That’s coming to an end though as Metrogram and Instagraph are air-high-fiving to bring a single use system. We’ve actually been privy to the info for awhile (shocked?) but it wasn’t our place to announce the news. But now the developer behind Metrogram, a highly stylized Instagram viewer that we recently covered, has posted a pic teasing the pseudo-merger (see above).

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Instagraph landed in the Windows Phone Store last week. The app had a rough start but seems to be going strong at the moment, letting users upload pictures to their Instagram accounts on Windows Phone, sans iOS or Android. The one thing it can't do it, is view apps on the popular social network. Instead you've got some fairly good apps in the Store that let you view, comment and like photos on Instagram. One of those is Metrogram.  

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Last weekend we broke the news of an unofficial Instagram client coming to the Windows Phone Marketplace and it was to be called Metrogram. Developed by Bil Simser (@bsimser), the app would give users access to viewing and sharing Instagram photos. Simser was also working on trying to get permission from the Instagram folks to actually allow Windows Phone users to submit photos--if that permission was granted, he would have a client with a few weeks to enable that feature.

Now, we got word that a Metrogram app has indeed landed in the Marketplace but this is not by Simser but rather by Nazer Aminou, the same guy behind WP Shortcut Tiles. Still, it's an interesting app but no, don't expect any ability to take pics with your phone and submit them to the Instagram network--indeed, all you can do is browse their network and login into your account. It's not bad per se, but obviously quite limited and not the full-featured Instagram client that Windows Phone users want.

Anyways, we figured we'd clear the air a bit by posting this. We're still expecting an app from Simser but we're unsure if it will offer anything radically different from this or maybe, just maybe he'll get Instagram permission to post photos. Of course there is also the possibility that Microsoft may step up and perhaps have made a deal for an official Instagram client. We'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, if you want give Metrogram a spin here in the Marketplace. Thanks, peestandingup, for the tip in our Forums!

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Okay folks, now that it's Monday morning afternoon, we have the skinny on Metrogram, the Instagram client for Windows Phone that we learnt about late last night. The app is being developed by Bil Simser and should be available in two or three weeks.

First the bad news. Indeed, as per Instagram's API requirements, the app is read-only. Still, it offers a lot in terms of functions e.g. browse tags, search for pictures, view details, profiles, leave comments, like pictures, etc.

Now the potential good news. Bil is in contact with Instagram and is trying to get a waiver on their read-only policy and to allow the app to post. If that permission is granted Bil tells us "...a full client will be about 3-4 weeks off (including photo effects similar to the iPhone client)".  However, if Instagram does not grant an exception, Bil may try other means by which to get photos up, perhaps something analogous to the MetroPandora SDK i.e. look for workarounds.

Instagram claim that they don't allow 3rd party access for uploads to  “fight spam & low quality photos” which at first makes sense until you realize no one is monitoring photo uploads to their service, making it a hollow promise. Surely safeguards could be put into place to prevent spam, such as limiting the amount of uploads over a given time-frame.

We'll definitely keep you posted on what happens with Metrogram and what Instagram has to say about it. One way or another though, we'll get this service on our phones. Just take a look at Pandora. For more info on Instagram, read here at iMore.

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Details are a bit fuzzy on this right now, but developer Bil Simser has been working on an Instagram client for Windows Phone called Metrogram. Instagram is an extremely popular photo client on iOS, analogous to BubbleGum for our phones, that allows users to apply somewhat kitsch filters to their photos and share them within the Instagram network (and Twitter/Facebook). File it under "arbitrary but must-have apps" for Windows Phone.

What's interesting is how quickly Simser coded the app, once again demonstrating how easy it is to write apps for Windows Phone. According to his Tweets, it did not take very long at all:

"58 minutes later an a new wp7 Instagram client is born. I think that's a record for me" "Writing the Instagram client for #wp7 has been so freaking easy. 2 hours and I have a fully functional client"

By the sound of it, this isn't just a viewer of Instagram photos but rather something to create photos with directly. However, we're not sure if this is official (and Simser was hired as a contractor) or this is just a side project. Looking at the name Metrogram, we're betting unofficial. We've reached out to Simser to hopefully find out more info, so until then, just relish those screenshots.

Update: Developer M.Saleh Esmaeili chimes in that this is just a viewer-only, as Instagram APIs restrict access (though some sites do interact with Instagram). Hopefully we'll hear from the developer soon.

Source: Twitter; Thanks, Amir, for the heads up!

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