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Instagram for Android gets leaner, faster, prettier in latest update

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Instagram is wildly popular, but it could always be more wildly popular, right? Part of making that happen means making the app run well on the hundreds of millions of low-end Android phones that are popular in markets like India, China, and South America. That's what today's update to the Android app is all about.

The changes were announced on the Instagram blog, and if you're looking for new features, you're going to be disappointed. The app doesn't really do anything it didn't do before, it just does it faster, and on more phones. Instagram promises that the app is now half the size, and you'll load up your profile page twice as fast. If you're rocking the latest high-end Snapdragon 800-powered monster phone, you may not notice the difference, but usability on low-end phones should be a lot better.

The developers slimmed down the app, in part, by "simplifying visuals." That means flatter, simpler icons and less text throughout the app. The result is an improved look, more in keeping with the aesthetics of the latest versions of Android.

If you don't have the update yet, don't sweat it. It's rolling out to Google Play right now, so the new version (5.1) may not have hit your phone just yet. If you tried Instagram before and found it wouldn't work on your phone, now might be the time to try again.

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