BlackBerry Instagram app shoot-out: BlackGram vs. iGrann vs. Instagram for Android

Which one should you install on your BlackBerry 10 phone?

Instagram apps for BlackBerry
By Simon Sage on 30 Jan 2014 02:04 pm EST
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Now that we can load up the honest-to-goodness Android version of Instagram onto BlackBerry with a bare minimum of hassle, it's time to put it up against the native apps that have come to BlackBerry World as a stopgap: iGrann and BlackGram.

We've got instructions on how to install Instagram for Android on BlackBerry using the latest methods, but you're probably wondering if it's worth the switch if you're already comfortable with the apps purpose-built for BlackBerry. We're going to run through the nitty-gritty of each app help you figure out which of these Instagram apps you should be using. 

 

Editing

Editing Instagram pictures on BlackBerry

For editing, BlackGram provides a shortcut to the native photo editing app, and rotation in-app, along with access to all of the classic Instagram filters, though you can't get a live preview of what the filter actually looks like on your photo. iGrann doesn't offer access to the Instagram filters at all, and jumps right to the native photo editor, which is probably just as well.

The Android version of Instagram offers live preview of the classic filters and the usual editing tools that you won't find on BlackBerry, such as tilt-shift. The only real downside I've found on this front is that it uses the Android file picker for preexisting photos, which is hardly a deal-breaker. The official Instagram app might win this one by a hair, though it's a bit moot if you do your editing elsewhere before uploading anyway.

 

Features

Settings for Instagram apps for BlackBerry

Obviously the Android version of Instagram is going to be loaded up with all of the latest features, since it's coming right from the source. The biggies here are direct messaging, video uploads, and the picture map. It trickles down into smaller stuff too, like tagging people's faces in pictures and sharing out to smaller social networks like Tumblr, Foursquare, and Flickr. There are a few things the native BlackBerry apps can do that the official Instagram app doesn't, though. Namely, there's an easy mechanism to save images and videos, if so desired. iGrann even has a unique ReGrann feature, which replicates and posts someone else's update. 

iGrann and BlackGram still offer all of the major features though, like finding and following new users, viewing videos in the timeline, and leaving comments and likes. BlackGram is missing out on a few fronts, such as being able to share new photos to Facebook, full profile editing, and not populating the Explore tab with popular public images. In any case, the Android version of Instagram wins out here, hands-down.

 

Native integration

Instagram for BlackBerry apps

iGrann wins as far as feeling like a BlackBerry app goes. Instagram for Android and BlackGram do not make any use of the Hub, while iGrann lets you know when you get new followers. Unfortunately, that doesn't extend to notifications of new comments, which is sorely missing from every app. BlackGram loses a major point for not plugging into the native Share menu, while iGrann and even the Android port of Instagram do. 

Despite the inclusion of direct messages with the Android version, it's still not where it needs to be since you aren't getting notifications of new private messages in the Hub, even if the app is open. Smaller touches, like offering a shortcut to the native BBM smileys in the Instagram comment section and proper Active Frame previews from your news feed, really cements iGrann's BlackBerry feel. 

 

Performance and presentation

Instagram for BlackBerry app news feeds

In terms of sheer smoothness of navigation, it's a close race. BlackGram smartly loads lower-resolution versions of images in your news feed, and bumps them up to high resolution afterwards. This makes scrolling very smooth. By contrast, BlackGram's comment section is very choppy loading and hiding, while iGrann has no problems at all. iGrann also loaded the fastest out of the three, while Instagram for Android took the longest. 

iGrann lacks a bit of gloss for animations. Double-tapping a picture favorites it, but doesn't have the smooth animation found in BlackGram and Instagram for Android. BlackGram also enjoys nice loading animations and image pop-ups when viewing an individual user. On the flip side, the bottom icons in iGrann are sharper and smaller than BlackGram's.

Even though the Android port doesn't strictly follow the BlackBerry UI look and feel, it's not using the usual Android Holo standards, and actually looks closer to a BB10 app as is. There are even some nice touches that the native alternatives don't have, such as floating usernames that follow you as you scroll down through your news feed. It's a little bewildering that Instagram for Android and BlackGram both use a static refresh button in the top-right, while iGrann uses a much more elegant pull-to-refresh mechanic.

Overall, BlackGram's interface remains stark in a few places, while both iGrann and Instagram for Android 

 

​Instagram for Android

Pros
  • Direct message, video upload, and picture map support
  • Original Instagram filters with previews
  • Full social network sharing options
Cons
  • Long boot-up time
  • Requires installation over Snap

iGrann

Pros
  • Tight integration with Hub and share menu
  • Native look and feel
Cons
  • No access to Instagram filters
  • No video uploading

BlackGram

Pros
  • Fast scrolling
  • Smooth animations
Cons
  • Doesn't plug into Share menu
  • Missing Facebook sharing
  • Costs $1.99
Bottom line

Instagram for Android is going to offer the most fully-featured experience no matter how much the other two play catch-up. There may be a few inconsistencies in the Android version (not to mention requiring a sideload, which can be too much of a pain for novice users), and iGrann and BlackGram might feel like they belong on BlackBerry more, but the Android runtime is robust enough to to offer all the features you need to stay up to date with the official version of Instagram. iGrann and BlackGram certainly deserve a high-five for stepping up to the plate and making something when Instagram couldn't be bothered to make an officially-supported version for BB10, but ultimately shoehorning the Android version in is good enough. 

If you want something that feels like it belongs on a BlackBerry or couldn't be asked to go through the trouble of getting the Android version on there, I'd pick iGrann over BlackGram, especially since iGrann is donation-supported, but that's just me. Where do you guys stand? Which method of following Instagram do you prefer?

Download iGrann for BlackBerry
Download BlackGram for BlackBerry
Download Instagram for Android to BlackBerry

Reader comments

BlackBerry Instagram app shoot-out: BlackGram vs. iGrann vs. Instagram for Android

192 Comments

iGrann, considering video uploading, headless notifications, IG direct and IG filters are already planned for future updates.

I like seeing a good app grow even better over time, and I feel like I should not support IG official for taking the lazy way out.

BlackBerry 10 signed.

I agree. Support the native developer and send him a little cash. BBW first and well if you have too Google store second.

I'm with this guy. Well not really with him you know, I agree with his Instagram views and those of Igrann.

To recap, not with Glenn, sure he may be nice, but not with him, I agree with the use of Igrann

once that happens, it's over...

for me, just barely; Instagram > iGrann >>> BlackGram...

I have both installed, and use iGrann when I want to explore cuz the pull refresh is way better, I also use it when I need to make comments so I don't have to cut and paste, but regular IG when I'm doing mostly everything else for now...

I wasn't either until I downloaded iGrann...I'm not the most active user but I like the app, it functions smoothly but using the Q10 I tend to have to use the space bar to scroll through pis or the page will skip on me or maybe I'm improperly instagraming.

Keep The Faith  BlackBerry Q10 

I think a couple of missing points (unless i missed them, and if i did, i apologize) for iGrann is the ability to save images and videos to your device, as well as ReGrann a post. I know those things aren't native for Instagram, but those inclusions are pretty great. Those should definitely be added in the "Pro" list.

I didn't realize iGrann did all that nor did I look into settings to know about the dark theme.

iGrann for the win!

Keep The Faith  BlackBerry Q10 

Igrann is the best. Downloading, regranning, zoomin in on photos, dark theme and it will have video hub integration, IG direct and the IG filters

I never had Instagram before I downloaded IGrann. I like IGrann.

My question lies within that say an update for Instagram for Android becomes available, does the android app notify you of that update available, where in BlackBerry World, it would notify that there's an update available for IGrann.

Posted via CB10

If you use one of the App Store or SNAP, from within those applications you can check for updates. But no you will not get a notification.

I've never really used my Instagram account, but have tried both iGrann and Blackgram. Blackgram kept forgetting my password for some reason so that's the main reason I gave up on it, but iGrann might convince me to actually use my account.

While I still don't use Instagram at all, I think a short sidenote about QWERTY compatibility in terms of UI and presentation would've been nice for all Q10/Q5 users out there! AFAIK, the Android sideload always had some displaying trouble on the keyboard devices, while iGrann on the other side has been built from scratch to make everything look nice on those.

Posted via the awesome Blackberry Q10

Great review, hope to see more of these comparison type articles in the future, now we got android apps.

Posted via CB10

I've got all three - time will tell. At the end of the day though, nothin' beats Native Cascades. In the hands of a gifted dev...it's art!

#IchooseBlackBerry10
ETC.

Posted via CB10

I think there’s a minor error in the article. IGrann does have comment notification and other things, at least I've gotten a few. You just have to have the app at least in active frame.

Posted via CB10

Definitivamente iGrann, excelente control de fotografias, bajar etc. etc.

Definitely iGrann, awesome control of the pic. donwload etc etc...

I keep seeing that Instagram for Android has to be sideloaded via Snap but I didn't have to sideload. It works great though.

I don't think you need to sideload Instagram. At least I didn't. I downloaded it directly from the 1mobile app store. It is definitely the most feature rich of the three but it does have a few bugs.

When I comment on a post using the Instagram port it frequently tends to fail and requires me to "try again" two or three times before it succeeds.

I have to agree with the majority of people here though that iGrann is the better choice between the two. Hub integration, light and dark theme and the speed make up for not having all the features of the port.

Z10STL100-3/10.2.1.1055

i have all 3 lol.. mostly use instagram 4.0.2 and i grann.. waiting until the official 10.2.1 for tmobile to get instagram v5

How $2.99 a con? Two Dollars and Ninety Nine Cents.

Stand up and be counted as cheap, or too broke to own a smart phone.

Posted via CB10

I found none of the apps integrate with the share menu well. When I share a pic with Igrann or IG app it just opens the app, it doesn't even load the pic or the editing page. I've been using both. I also hate using file picker or Android gallery to select pics. So cumbersome.

Posted via CB10

I have instagram for android and Igrann. I find that I use Instagram for android more often bc of the filters

Posted via CB10 on my Z10

iGrann is my fav. I deleted the Android Instagram off my Z10.

No video - no big deal.

Posted via CB10

Blackgram I don't like every time I log in I get am email saying my Instagram account is being loged in by some one else so i.always got to go put in a new password every time Instagram app works some.times doesn't load a picture igrann works very well I like.it

Posted via CB10

I like I grann because of the BlackBerry ui. It actually made me like instagram whereas I didnt care for much when using the port.
I'll pay for an app, but don't see why I would when 2 free options exist. Plus now that I've actually tried I may donate to igrann dude given he's done a great job.

Posted via CB10

I still don't get th use of instgram I don't even use my Facebook. The only reason 2use my FB account was 4 candy crush n now I hav it on my z10 thanks 2 BlackBerry 10.2.1 thanks guys

Posted via CB10

I like iGrann which I loaded just before 10.2.1 came along so I will stick with it for now.
What I really like is this kind of comparison testing and reporting. Let's see more of that CB!

Posted via CB10

Yes these serious, informative comparative posts are the beez. Better than sex, if you catch my drift ;)

Posted by the inimitable Z10 handheld system

I bought blackgram when it first came out, since it was first on BBW... thought it would be better than igrann... then the problems I found, every time I tried to post a comment it asked me for my IG password, and seconds later an email from IG asking me to change the password. Then often I was logging in every time even when I select the "remember me" option in the app. When I downloaded the beta4 of igrann it totally blew me up, I love it since then... now blackgram is out of my app grid and donate the same 3$ to the igrann developer and I'm totally happy with that. Waiting for future updates!

Posted via CB10

when I can finally record a video with an IG client and directly upload it,, that one wins for me. Until such a time comes I cannot say which is better, well free is always better. Take from tht what you will.

so i definitely choose igrann as a native app, a big hand goes out to the developer but android instagram is a bit more complete with notifications and video viewing!

also won't instagram developers be a little bothered by this unofficial (igrann or blackgram) app that where using?

Might consider paying for Blackgram if it goes through a few more updates that makes it function a lot like the Android IG

Posted via CB10

I deleted BlackGram after having Instagram making me reset my password the 3-4 times I posted a photo using it. The UI is great but posting photos was tedious and frustrating

Posted via CB10

Blackgram?? It sucks. Igram is decent. Yes video uploading would be nice. But it works. Blackgram caused me many issues including login problems resulting in me having to reset my password after.each use.

Posted via CB10

Considering I don't upload vídeos or care for ig direct, I prefer iGrann. Also it is native and made out of love for BlackBerry.

Posted via my smooth and sexy Q10 running 10.2.1259 leak

IGrann it is for me... hands down. small application size and feature full... app loads fast very sweet experience

Posted via CB10.

I have had instagram side loaded on my Z10 for months now. However, I am not a power user. I was curious as everyone in the forums was lamenting the lack of instagram for BB10. I have uploaded some pictures and follow some friends. I loaded Igrann right after loading up the official 10.2.1 OS. I must say I love it more than the side load. I have deleted the side load, and will now use Igrann exclusively. I support devs who create for blackberry.

Posted via CB10

I use instagram on my iPad and igrann on the z10. I won't use a side loaded app if there is something in BlackBerry world that works just as well.

Posted via CB10

what about my favorite.... iGrann lets you ZOOM in to pictures.
never tried blackgram, I installed iGrann after using the official instagram

I use iGrann to view, comment, like etc... And I switch on Instaura when I want to upload a picture. just because of the filters.
I would definitely switch on iGrann when filters are coming in

Posted via Z10 on CB10

Sure...everyone is hollering iGrann now, but once Instagram drops the real thing in BlackBerry World, most of you will ditch iGrann within a day.

There's a lot of hypocritical BlackBerry cheerleaders around these parts.

Posted via CB10

The camera and video functions dont work on the android instagram. They work, but the information isnt transmitted correctly.

BBW Lovers Unite- OOLONG. The Eye of The OOLONG :C00121B8B

Great there is a choice now.

And no more "BB's got no Instagram" whinge.

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

I'm staying loyal to #iGrann now. First to take the need seriously, and released asap (betas first) and official release was free. iGrann is a stud!

10+ years. Since Black and White.

Igrann and Blackgram best. For one reason alone these developers are wise to support BlackBerry. We will support the developers.

When official Instagram comes they have lot catching up to do. Their CEO says they do not support NEW OS until it's 1 to 2 years in market. Ridiculous answer!!! BlackBerry is now in 2nd year!

In the future IGrann may take the throne. It looks like APP that will uphold "Made to Work" Legacy of a BlackBerry. Competition is good. May the best developer win.

BlackBerry

Lead. Do not follow

Posted via CB10

How is the video upload working on instagram? I've installed v4.2.4 and 5.0.5 and the video upload still making the app close :(

Posted via CB10

I wad using Instagram for Android for quite a while. I just started using iGrann. Except for the name, I like it so far.

Doesn't BlackGram require your pictures to be uploaded and encoded on their servers first? To me, that would be a con for BlackGram that isn't listed above.

Posted via CB10 from my Z10

Omg. Igram where you been in my life? I had side loaded instagram and I just got Igram. Its amazing and even better than original instagram

Posted via CB10

I'll stick with igrann. Native all the way,and support for the developer who made this for us.

Posted via my ever dependable Q10

And if in my opinion,changing the app name would be wiser. I-whatever sounds to ios to me. And im holding proud a blackberry.

Posted via my ever dependable Q10

Igrann is a much better app if you want smoothness and better performance. Native apps always work better!

Posted via CB10

I'm all about iGrann. Re-posting, pic downloading, zoom in/out ... I don't think was mentioned above, and features I find put this above anything else. I don't filter and edit photos that much, I use Vine for video, and I don't even think Direct gets extensively used amongst Insta users - these aren't things I miss.

igrann is free so it's better :) I don't understand why so many apps on BlackBerry World cost money...I have the Q10 and an iPhone 5s and the Apple App Store is the best app store and almost every app that's on both Apple and BlackBerry World, is free on Apple App Store....smh step your game up BlackBerry!!

Posted via CB10

I downloaded iGrann, I log in with a friend's account, but I was unable to upload a pic.
I have a Z10 with OS 10.1 (the 10.2 is not available in Argentina yet)

Posted via CB10

I must say that while the real app is nice to have, the igrann is better or I'm just used to using it.

Z10 on Telus

Can somebody please tell me how to get Apk apps to install and get pass the "processing " screen, irs annoying. And I went through the wait and trouble of updating to 10.2.1, so I know I should not have an issue with downloading Apk or bar files, but I do. Bar files do not open or stay open and Apk files will not install. Please help!!!

Posted via CB10

iGrann, tried BlackGram, didn't like it, problematic. iGrann for all it offers, and for all that is in the works, it'll only get better from there and it's built for BlackBerry, smooth BB10 feel, fantastic job by the dev!

Why would I ever pay more money for Instagram when it should be free anyway! The android apk is the current official app and the others I tried (instago and blackgram) were a huge disappointment. Use the apk

Posted via CB10

I Gram for me Happy with i Gram...
BlackBerry rocks...don't be a sheep..this is why I have BlackBerry & not a I phone Ba Ba Ba....

Rob32

I have both iGrann n Instagram on my Z10..
I like iGrann as it was a native app for BlackBerry 10 but I used Instagram more as my iGrann failed to link well with my Facebook for BlackBerry but every thing goes well with Instagram...

Hopefully the iGrann dev will fix this bugs ASAP so I can stick with it as I feel we should used our BlackBerry with apps that builds for BlackBerry 10

Just my 2cents

Posted via CB10

Have any of you that are using instagram and igrann getting your accounts disabled for breaching instagram terms? I've had two accounts disabled after only 3 photos
.. my dog my friends and a family photo. I figure it has to be instagram sensing a log in from a different server and flagging it as spam.

If any of you are using both without issue I'd appreciate knowing how. Are you logging out of one before using the other? I just don't want another account disabled.

If you had to chose only one which one would it be?

Thanks for helping an instagram newb out.

Posted from my Z30 on CB10

We wish to have the official instagram for BB10 that shows up in the HUB
With the same advance system that we see in igrann
:)

Posted via CB10

I was not on Instagram before, now I am, via iGrann. Tried it, liked it. Think I will enjoy using it and watching how it develops.

Posted by the inimitable Z10 handheld system

I tried Blackgram because it was first and it was very awkward with no updates offered in the few months I had it. It also queues the uploads and often fails at posting for whatever reason. I have just downloaded Igrann (I was following the developer for a while waiting) and I am happy to see it works much more smoothly. I have only sideloaded onto my Playbook so I'm glad I didn't have to get back into that can of worms.

ps - complaining about an app that costs two bucks is ridiculous. If two bucks is a game-changer for you it's time to start questioning your life decisions. Like how did you even afford this phone?

I can't watch YouTube video on my z30, my network is very much stable. It plays n stop, saying sever stop sending d request

Posted via CB10

You will laugh last by the mighty name of God,Everyone that has nursed hatred for you shall become an object of ridicule will triumph over your enemies in all areas of life.This is the beginning of a divine upward shift by God grace.Amen,Good morning and Happy weekend

Posted via CB10

Hi could u explan how I can remove ring tone mute icon from call incoming screen becoze it going silent in pocket when any person call.

Posted via CB10

Now I used the free version for a while and purchased the pro version a few months ago. Has anyone noticed how much data/storage iGrann has collected which for me is 4.7GB. The Cache is loaded and according to iGrann it can be cleared which in my case IT CAN'T, THE CLEAR BUTTON SIMPLY WON'T WORK. Have you guys noticed this with your devices, let me know, thanks

Posted via CB10