Instagram for iOS 7: You call that a redesign?


Look at Instagram. Now look at me. Now look at the App Store’s iOS 7 updates. Now me. Now look at Instagram again. Notice anything different? Sure you do. Look harder, maybe?

Instagram on Wednesday rolled out version 4.2 of its iPhone app, with the pleasantly succicent description, “Design updates and performance improvements for iOS 7.”

Edge-to-edge pics are nice. But my profile pic looks dumb in a circle, and the crop tools to change it are still square.

The company goes into more detail in a blog post, but all you really need to know is that this is an eye-rollingly minor update that makes the photos stretch to the very edges of your iPhone’s screen (good) while rudely shoving your square profile pic into a round hole (bad).

Calling it a redesign is a stretch, and this update doesn’t change the functionality of Instagram at all: same controls, same buttons, same filters. You still can’t pull to refresh, instead having to tap the oh-so-iOS–5 refresh button at the top-right. The fonts look a little more iOS 7-ish, and the background is appropriately white.

The circular-avatar move is pretty baffling for an app that made square pictures all the rage. My profile pic, for example, looks downright weird, due to the frame of the original photo—I made it in Instagram, after all—showing up at the top and sides of the circular cut-out even while the frame’s corners are cut off.

And if you try to select a new profile image, you’re asked to crop it into a (you guessed it!) square. Hopefully the company will improve that in the next so-called redesign. Anyway, the 4.2 update is available now for iPhone users, while the Android app is still on version 4.1.2 for now.

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