5 Apps for Interacting with Instagram on Your Mac

Posted by | May 29, 2012 | Apps | No Comments

An introduction to Instagram might be more than unnecessary, but for the few lost ones that have never heard of the service, Instagram is a mobile service that allows you to upload and share pictures right from your phone, with its characteristic vintage filters that make even the dullest photo look interesting.

However, Instagram has yet to come up with its own web service to view pictures from your computer, and right now the only way to browse through your Instagram feed (as well as upload pictures) is through your iOS or Android devices. That’s why today we’re going to bring you 5 third-party Mac apps that allow you to browse and interact with your Instagram feed right from your desktop.

Instadesk

Instadesk is perhaps the most “average” Instagram Mac client, but that doesn’t mean that it’s any less useful than the competition. In fact, it might be the most complete of them. Its interface resembles that of any usual Mac app, with its sidebar that works as the navigation menu, and its corresponding toolbars for interacting with the photos. Your feed is shown in the main frame with adjustable views, you can have it be seen as a “timeline” list view, or as medium or small grids.

While it might not be the prettier or most intuitive alternative of them all, Instadesk has it all in terms of features. Commenting, loving, notifications, tags, searching for users, sharing and even a custom feature for creating “albums”, makes this app worth the five bucks.
Price: $4.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Benedikt Terhechte

Carousel

I’m not gonna lie, Carousel is my default Instagram Mac client. It just goes very well with Instagram’s vintage feel, and its interface can’t be topped. It only features a list-like view of your feed, but everything inside the app is very well done and intuitive.

Despite its simplicity, Carousel does not leave behind any of the basic features for you to interact with your feed. You can easily comment and love pictures right from the app, as well as view the popular pictures on the service and search for tags or users. Oh, and it’s also one of the cheaper alternatives out there.
Price: $1.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Mobelux

Instaview

Instaview steps away from the usual viewing styles of most Instagram clients, by making you browse through your feed with only one frame. It has a pretty well implemented slideshow view, but you can also manually browse through pictures with a couple forward/back buttons. What’s interesting about it is that you can also have different windows setup, so that you can get creative with how you use it.

Getting used to using Instaview might be a little bit awkward at first, but to its credit, the app tries to be quite original in a market where originality isn’t so easy to come by. Instaview, just like most of the competition, supports features like commenting, viewing users and loving pictures, but not much else can be done with it.
Price: $4.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Rogue Sheep

Visual Grub

Visual Grub is the cheapest of the apps that we’ll be showing you today, but that doesn’t mean that it’s any worse than the competition. In fact, for the most part it looks quite good. It’s very simple and it kind of reminds me of a Twitter app with its navigation sidebar and its list-like view of your feed. At certain parts, it looks a little rough around the edges, but the simplicity that the app tries to achieve is much appreciated.

At the time of this review, Visual Grub has some major bugs around the edges, especially at the time of trying to love or comment a photo; but if you’re only going to be browsing through your feed without interacting much, it gets the job done. Hey, it’s free.
Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Swell Lines

Ratatam

Ratatam is one of the newest additions to the Instagram Mac clients, and it looks quite promising so far. Its interface resembles Carousel, in that it looks simple enough, but yet is very pleasant to look at and navigate through.

Ratatam supports all the usual basic features like commenting, notifications and loving, but the one where it differentiates itself from the competition is with its ability to backup all of your photos. Ratatam might not look like much right now, but it’s still a young app and more is said to be coming in further updates.
Price: $0.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.7 or later
Developer: Christophe Harmeling

Conclusion

With Instagram hitting massive popularity and notoriety recently, making headlines like Facebook’s expensive purchase of the app, and its very well received Android launch; we’re sure we’re bound to see much more support for Instagram in many more platforms, both from third-party devs and from the Instagram team.

In the meantime, we hope that the variety of Instagram Mac clients that we have shown you today will suit your needs, whatever they may be. If you’re looking for a cheap client and are not too serious about it, affordable apps like Visual Grub might be enough for you. However, if you’re looking for a much more complete app that can even help you organize the photos that you come across, then spending the $5 bucks for Instadesk might sound just about right.

Personally, I think you can’t go wrong with Carousel, in both features and price. But what do you think? Do you use any of these apps and which one? Would you rather just keep Instagram to your phone? Let us know in the comments!