RE: Instagram for Android. Little Photo? No. On UX.

Huawei Ascend P1

Huawei Ascend P1

I tend to test chinese smart phones as a hobby. Back in the days I was testing the ZTE Blade, a phone running on Android. Money well spend? Well, yes and no.

The phone did things. But he was quite frustrating as well: its inability to install those apps you truly wanted. Right, seems there’s no such thing as a default Android OS.

As there wasn’t an Instagram for Android at that time I decided to install “little photo”. I even wrote an article about it, stating that Little Photo was a valid alternative to instagram for Android-users waiting for Instagram to run on their OS.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. To start with, it was wrong to compare both “apps” as they are in fact not to be compared. But if we ignore the above, here’s why Instagram is great.

Huawei Ascend P1

In my struggle testing chinese smart phones I’m currently dealing with the Huawei Ascend P1. It’s not really a struggle this time. It’s a fast machine (it beats my friend’s iPhone5 in browser start-up etcetera), running every app I tried so far. And it also runs Instagram. So now that I’m on Instragram for Android, I realize Little Photo is -sorry- crap. What is it then that makes Instagram a “waw” and little photo a “boo”?

Instagram: it’s all about the User Experience. UX.

UX – user experience – is all about how a person feels about using a product, system or service. User experience reflects on the experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human-computer interaction. As a result, one could state that user experience is in fact subjective in nature because it’s about an individual’s feelings and thoughts about a technology.

Next to that, UX is dynamic, in a way that it may change over time.

Finally, user experience and usability are closely linked but are not the same. In my view, usability does not define the overall user experience but it has a powerful contribution to that overall experience.

Today I have to say: it’s a pleasure to work with Instragram while it’s frustrating to handle apps like “little photo”. The experience is just great. And it’s very easy to use.

Little Photo failed on UX & Usability

And that was the entire issue with “Little Photo”. In the end, you could get nice results. But until you got there… you probably cursed numerous times at your phone. The user experience was crap. And deploying the filters onto photos wasn’t very “userfriendly”. The product failed on UX and Usability. It results in not using the product any more.

Guess it’s time to take UX seriously

User Experience, UX and Usability matter. No doubt. Or do you have a different view?

Instagram for Android: Little Photo.

Little Photo - Instagram for Android

Little Photo - Instagram for Android

You probably dropped across beautiful instagram pictures by now. Instagram is an app (or a way) to share your life with friends through pictures. The idea is fairly simple: snap a pic with your iPhone, apply a filter to transform the look&feel and share it to your social network.

I have to say, Instagram instantly turns people into wonderful photographers. As I’ve always dreamed of being a good photographer myself, I believed the tools to turn into a photographer were finally within my reach.
All I need to do is getting the Instagram app, right?

Wrong! Unfortunately I use an Android device and Instagram is an iOS application. So I’m unable to use Instagram without getting a stylish (over-priced) iPhone. It turns out however that I’m not the only Android user who wants to use Instagram – as Google search suggestions demonstrate.

Instagram is iPhone only

Instagram search suggestions - Instagram Android.

Instagram search suggestions - Instagram Android.

As mentioned before, you need an iPhone to run Instagram. The photographic talent amongst Android users remain untapped. And regardless of the rumours about Instagram coming to Android I believe and notice that people are looking for alternatives. The best alternative I encountered so far is the free app Little Photo.

Little Photo: Instagram Android

I’ve experimented with a lot of Android photography apps up until today. But I really like Little Photo. Here’s why.

When accessing the app, you can take a picture with your camera or start from an existing image. Once you’ve done that, just touch the pic to experiment with filters and effects. The application has a bunch of filters and effects and you can go easily through all filters and effects and see how it transforms your image and consequently decide whether you want to apply it or not. The app supports multiple filters applied to the same image.

Next to the brilliant filters, it’s possible to save your image without overwriting the original file. Little Photo automatically creates a separate directory on SD card.

Finally, the app allows to easily share to different social networks. And as far as I know, it doesn’t create an additional social network as is the fact with Instagram. This sounds like a plus to me as I don’t want to engage on yet another social platform.

Little Photo example

Little Photo - White Shine

Little Photo

The above Little Photo example started from an existing photo that I did not take myself. I received this image from @JuliaPentcheva. It depicts a scenic winter landscape near the small mountain village of Momchilovtsi in Bulgaria. As the village is known for its “magic” I tried to “LittlePhoto-ize” that magic into it. Below is the original picture.

Original image

Original image

What after the Instragram Android release?

I wonder when Instagram becomes available for Android devices. Does somebody knows the ETA?
The question however is whether I will feel like making the switch after falling in love with Little Photo before…

Dumbo the Elephant and the Battle for Standards. Poll!

arrival at the right spot: vermeiretim extension switch.

arrival at the right spot: vermeiretim extension switch - photo:


Just arrived at this new destination:

“Hey, this has the same extension as my twitter account! And it feels the same as my previous blog.
I feel very at ease. Yes, think I should settle here. “

But you’re here already, so I better cut the crap and inform you that I was formerly whispering at

Moving content from a blog to another blog sort of works like this (or at least, that’s how I think you’re supposed to handle it):

make new domain, export xml old, import xml into new, wait 20 sec, site is there! But afterwards, you need to do organize your blog. Settings and things like widgets and themes are apparently not in the XML.

Annoying? Absolutely not.

Just modifying a name shouldn’t take that much time. I guess any non-technician will agree. But while going through this entire export/import/tweak-process, I noticed that the WordPress back-office has a “Polls” option. Hooray! Always wanted to poll. The question is below and if you’re into stories, elephants or brain concussions I think you should VOTE!*

What a stupid question! Haven’t you heard about Mobile HTML5 yet?

I have to say, I’m a bit tangled by the entire mobile market thing / marketing (phones, tablets).

If you want to “go mobile” for whatever business reason – don’t just do it because you can – what platform do you develop it for? As it seems a mobile app is OS-dependent and thus requires some different coding.

From what I’ve understood (mobile) HTML5 would overcome this issue. So as long is this language isn’t completely there yet, mobile marketing could be a big effort and a lot of money.

Guess best thing today’s marketers can do is to find out which mobile devices have the biggest market share within their customer base.

How to obtain that kind of knowledge? Well, I would say use your senses when you meet a customer. He’ll probably do something with his mobile device at some point. Or just look when one uploads an image to Facebook or something similar. Yfrog for instance shows the device that shot the picture. Another approach is to organize a poll. As I did with my poll on the battle for standards.

My poll is about the battle for standards

Don’t underestimate the battle for standards within high-tech industries. It can be an important factor for the adoption of innovation. It can also make or break a company.

battle for standards - video recorders

battle for standards - video recorders

I learned this pretty early. At an age of about six to seven, I was quite into Dumbo the Flying Elephant. And back in the eighties one had to record video on a physical tape with a video recorder. And those tapes showed me that the same product can be different and one had to “win”. Here’s what happened. Remember I had age six.

Dumbo is on but Samson is on too.

Easter holidays, rainy day. You’re not allowed to play outside. So is your friend living across the street. Good thing: big afternoon on the tele. Dumbo was aired. But Samson, which I was equally into, was on too. And at the same time. Bummer!

Me and my friend (read: their dads) decided to each tape a show, not realizing they couldn’t exchange the tapes because one of the dads had a betamax and the other had a VHS. Battle for standards, there you go!

Let’s play Dumbo. Hell yeah, I believe I can fly!

As a result me and my friend watched the Dumbo movie together and we didn’t watch Samson anymore. Rain stopped by the way. It was logic that we went out to play. We always did that. We often played football. Not that day.

We played dumbo that day, only that day that is. We took a bucket and a feather. Climbed on top of our red brick postboxes. I jumped believing I was about to fly, exactly in the same way as Dumbo does in the below video. Crashed on my head but scored the bucket though! Guess I didn’t fly because I miss the elephant ears.

Few hours later I woke up. Diagnosed with a brain concussion. Maybe that’s why I remember this entire story anyway?

Oh yes, VHS won and I love Samson more than Dumbo since then.

*It would be truly awesome if the site only showed the video after poll participation.

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