Sources claim that the photo-sharing site will not be developing a native app and that BlackBerry users will have to settle for a ‘ported' version of the Android app.
The BlackBerry Z10 features a high-performing camera but no Instagram app. Photo: AFP
According to AllThingsD, a source at Instagram has ruled out the possibility of building a native app for the latest
BlackBerry operating system. "There will be no [native] Instagram for BB10 for now," said the source. "Frankly, I'm not sure there will ever be."
Highlighting yet again that a handset's processing speed, internal storage and screen size are all secondary considerations compared with the number of decent apps available for its operating system, Instagram's decision is bound to have an impact on potential buyers' resolve to reject the established players -- ie, Android and Apple -- in favor of something different and, in terms of quality, performance and native features, very good.
Despite being the last guest to the party, BlackBerry has done very well to launch its latest handsets and operating system complete with a number of the apps that Android and iOS users take for granted. The sources that spoke to AllThingD suggest that, in the short term at least, the BlackBerry platform will have to make do with a converted Android app. Known as ‘porting,' an app built for one operating system is adapted so that it will run on a different platform. Within the app development community, porting is often cheaper than developing a bespoke app from the ground up but, because it is not a native app, it won't be able to take advantage of other features of the platform and won't integrate with the smartphone or tablet's other features. The result is a poor user experience or severely limited features. What's more, if this user experience is too limiting, Instagram will refuse to rubber-stamp it and BlackBerry users could be left with nothing.
Although BlackBerry's biggest direct competitor (in terms of market share) Windows Phone also launched without an Instagram app, it is widely expected that Nokia's Lumia handsets will be getting a custom-made app which will help it stand out from other Windows Phone manufacturers.
However, Microsoft has also found itself in the same position that BlackBerry finds itself in now. In December, Google announced that it had no plans to build apps for the Windows Phone 8 platform. In the same month, Google also announced that it was doing away with a number of Gmail support features that it deemed unnecessary that would result in Windows Phone 8 users being unable to set their Gmail account as their default inbox on their handsets -- leaving them no choice but to access Gmail via their web browser every time they wished to check their mail.