Oggl: Hipstamatic’s Answer to Instagram?

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Oggl… needs less bugs

Last week I saw the news that Hipstamatic was ready to release a new photo sharing app that was in the same vein as Instagram. The difference was that it was invite only, and there would be memberships. Mid-week I entered my email address to get the early access. On Saturday I got my invite.

This is not a review… rather, this is my first impressions.

First off, leading up to this new app, I went out and took some photos with Hipstamatic. You know… have something ready to share.

Opening the app after the whole sign-up stuff brought me into this new camera interface. I tried to get out of that to look for a way to upload the Hipstamatic photos.

Mistake #1: Oggl does not allow you to share Hipstamatic photos. When I opened the Hipstamatic app, I had the option to share everywhere BUT Oggl. Let me run that by you again… Oggl does NOT allow you to import photos from the original app that started it all… you know, the one with all the fans and stuff.

Nope. All photos have to be taken with Oggl’s camera.

Brilliant!

Upside #1:

The app allows you to add the lens and film effect in post rather than making your selections beforehand. That’s pretty cool.

Mistake #2: At this time, you only have a small selection of lenses and films to choose from. It’s implied that in further updates you’ll be able to import your lens/films from Hipstamatic in later editions, but currently if you want to use the larger selections, you need to become a member and pay $2.99 for 3 months or $9.99 for the year.

And when you do pay, you have to go and download each film and lens one by one… it was not fun.

Mistake #3: Buggy as all hell. Seriously, it’s nuts. When I uploaded a photo, the app crashed. It crashed a lot the first weekend. And when downloading films or trying to upload later on, I got server issues, couldn’t connect, etc. Also, when using this app, my iPhone 4S is heating up. This app – for me – is a pretty big battery drain.

I can forgive the server issues. I get it, it’s new. But the app stability is not as easily forgiven. You have Instagram miles and miles ahead of you. Your app that’s going up against it needs to be as flawless as humanly possible.

Mistake #4: Navigation is a little unclear. You seem to have only one feed of photos going. Not sure if friends are shown as a higher priority. There’s photos that you can curate… basically there’s a lot to learn. The only mistake here is the lack of simplicity. When I learn more I might change my mind.

First impression Overview: I was going to add a 5th mistake in that this app is very late to the party, but that’s neither here nor there.  Overall, I can definitely see the potential in this app. I have a lot to learn – clearly. But Hipstamatic needs to clean up their code and make this app sing technically and effortlessly. This all feels like Beta testing.

The one thing that I cannot overlook is the lack of connection between the Hipstamatic app and Oggl. It’s such a miss. If it comes later in a patch, whatever. But the die-hard fans use and love Hipstamatic. And now that you’ve given them a way to FINALLY show off their work, you cut them off. It’s stupid.

And I don’t want to hear about how the code is too complicated, etc. Suck it up. Instagram has a bazilion users and it’s growing more and more every day. This should not have been launched until that connection was established. I honestly don’t care HOW it would be done as long as it WAS done. Period.

So once the app fixes its bugs, I’ll give it a thorough rundown. In the meantime, it’s promising but ultimately disappointing.

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