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App Differences on Different Operating Systems

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For quite some time, Instagram was exclusive to iOS. Then it jumped to Android devices. In November 2013, Instagram launched its app on Windows Phone.

And there are quite a few glaring differences.

For one, the navigation buttons are all mixed up. Instagram on iOS and Android have the feed, explore, camera, notifications and profile buttons are found at the bottom of the screen. This is not so with the Windows Phone version. At the bottom of the screen, you can find the search, refresh and camera button. All the others are on the top right part of the screen.

We really do not know why this change was implemented in the Windows Phone version. Maybe Instagram is trying out the new layout, maybe there are deeper reasons to this move.

But what it highlights is the fact that app developers would need to ensure that user experience is consistent for their apps no matter what platform it is in. As it is, people who are familiar with Instagram on iOS and Android will be finding the Windows Phone version odd. This might discourage them from downloading the Windows Phone version of their app if they have Instagram installed on their iPhones, iPads and Android smartphones and tablets.

The Instagram differences might be aesthetic and layout related. Some apps have features that are not available on all platforms. For instance, Instagram first released its video sharing feature on iOS. For a short time, Android users did not have the capability to post videos.

Developers would have to take up the challenge too. The development kits for each mobile OS are quite different, which is why developers work hard to release a version of their app on different OSes. Android and iOS users prefer to stay because of the wealth of apps available for their devices. If Windows and other OS players would like to get a piece of the pie, then they need to make sure that more apps are available on their platforms. And for this, it helps to have a software development kit that is compatible with the dominant iOS and Android OS.

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