InstaPin – Creatively Explore Instagram

InstaPin is now on App Store. Check it out here.

What’s InstaPin

InstaPin is an Instagram app for iPad, not only can you enjoy Pinterest waterfall view in the app,but also like,comment,share photos and check profiles simply with one tap.

We view iPad differently from iPhone. On iPhone, people take photos, check friend’s activities and stay connected with friends by liking or commenting photos. On iPad, we cannot take photos as Instagram hasn’t opened this API. While iPad is much more powerful in viewing and exploration. It is a fun to check out interesting photos and people on iPad. We designed InstaPin to make liking, commenting, checking profile much easier. In InstaPin, people can finish following features within 2 taps:

  • Like a photo
  • Comment a photo
  • Check others’ profile
  • Follow others
  • (┬áLet us know if you have other features to add to the list ­čÖé┬á)

Why we want to make InstaPin

After completing EasyPin, we sat down together to think about our next product and our idea was how to join Instagram with Pinterest. At that same time some media started to report Pingram.me, where Pingram.me was only providing web services not apps for mobile or any other platform, so we got the inspiration and decided to start our project.

How different we are from our competitors

During we make InstaPin, media reported Pinstagram web service, followed by its iPad app. we made an evaluation of the app’s fluency, experience and integrity, we feel that InstaPin is more superior in interaction experience. Some actions cannot be easily done in Pinstagram needs a single tap in InstaPin. The typical example is checking user’s profile.

Pinstagram is the first app integrated the Pinterest waterfall view on iPad for Instagram. But the first one is not necessary the best one, with our confidence and courage we believe that InstaPin has a very good perspective.

We want to differentiate us from other apps in exploration features. “Creatively Explore Instagram” is our slogan, there are several features in the works, such as:

  • Auto complete tags or users during searching or commenting
  • Photos nearby
  • Subscribe an interest tag
  • Subscribe an interesting place

Stay tuned!

(We do recognize and respect Pinstagram and its founder Pek, they moved really fast and did a really good design and promotion. We started at similar peroid as Pinstagram but late in schedule for almost 1 month, shame… We have a lot to learn…)

Feature list

  • Explore popular feed and your following or liked photos in Pinterest waterfall view. View just by a glance while it smoothly loads by scrolling down
  • Share photos to 6 social services: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Pocket (formerly Read It Later) and Sina Weibo
  • One tap to like and comment photos
  • One tap to check others’ profile (photos, followed and following users), follow them with another tap
  • View photos in fullscreen mode, and save them to Camera Roll
  • Search by tag or username
  • Portrait / Landscape support, so you can place your iPad in any orientation you like
  • Retina Display support for new iPad users

For any feature requests or comments, you can leave message on our Facebook App Page. Thanks~~~~

How to install developer build to iPhone/iPad

For testing purpose, it’s often required to install an app onto a iPhone/iPad without jail-breaking (if your device is already jail-broken, the procedure will become pretty simpler. ). We’ve not found much useful article on web to document this, so we write it here:

First step: provide UDID to the developer

An UDID (Unique Device Identifier) is a sequence, combinations of alphabets and numbers with the length of 40 characters. It uniquely identifies your iPad. Install Get My UDID on your iPad, and use it to email the UDID to the developer.

Second step: developer sign the app with your UDID included

It’s the developer’s job, to save the words here. The developer should offer two files:

  1. a file with *.ipa extension
  2. a file with *.mobileprovision extension

Third step: install ipa onto the device

Get your iPad connected to your computer and iTunes launched.

  1. Uninstall the existing Padgram on your iPad
  2. Back to iTunes on your desktop, Drag the ipa and provision file to “Apps” panel. Accept to override the existing one when prompted.
  3. Choose your iPad in iTunes, check the “Apps” tab, make sure the app is selected, finally hit the “Sync” button, the app will be installed onto your iPad

Toubleshooting:

  1. Sometimes there could be a dialog prompt on device saying certificate is not trusted. Don’t hesitate to blame the developer if that happens ­čÖé
  2. We believe there are various strange issues out there, leave us message if you encounter any

“Trying to reach your satisfaction whatsoever….”

Lessons we learnt from EasyPin

EasyPin is the team’s first app. It took 20 days to appear online after submission. It got rejected once by us and once by the App store. ┬áSomeone might say it’s not bad, but as a professional app provider, we should never forgive ourselves for any mistakes that we make.We’ve learnt some lessons from the process they are:

  • Don’t risk adding a hacking code for a feature that is rarely used: for a page deeply embedded in the app, we added some hacking code to determine the way a page is opened according to a white list, but the white list can be easily broken as the page could contain some frame and introduce a url out of the white list. The bug is serious. It caused users to be unable to login Pinterest and of course App Store rejected it. The lesson we learnt here is, for a feature that is rarely used, we should not do too much on it unless we have 100% confidence that it doesn’t damage anything.
  • We should set proper rating for the app. Apple replied to us “Since your application allows unfiltered access to the internet, where content with mature or suggestive themes can be accessed, it should be rated 17+. Applications must be rated accordingly for the highest level of content that the user is able to access.”
  • Require “Sneak Peak” if possible. We didn’t raise any pre-buzz before the app is published. This is fine for an app that is only for experiment. But if we have a killer app, we should prepare some buzz before it’s out.

EasyPin is our first app. We admit it’s not a killer app. While we take it seriously and try our best to learn in design, development and marketing. We believe our next app will be the killer app. So stay tuned for our next App.