With a new tvOS app, you can browse Instagram photos, videos and stories on the Apple TV.
Created by Greywolf Labs, the Watch for Instagram software works as advertised.
Instagram on your Apple TV
Upon downloading the app from the tvOS App Store, I was presented with the end-user license that I had to agree to before I could log in with my Instagram account. Thanks to tvOS’s AutoFill Password feature, I quickly pulled my Instagram credentials from the saved passwords on my phone instead of having to use Dictation or the remote to manually enter details.
Upon login in, you’ll see three tabs alongside the top: Home, Search and Settings.
Under the Home tab, you can find all the stories, photos and videos from the people and accounts you follow. Similar to Instagram’s official mobile app, you’re presented with an endlessly scrolling feed of posts that you can click with the remote to go full screen.
Instagram on a big screen TV
Unfortunately, posts are shown without captions, comments or hashtags, but that’s OK because Instagram wants to be browsed visually on a big screen TV. When viewing the content on full view, you can click and hold the Siri Remote to reveal a pair of options allowing you to report and hide the post or block the selected user/account.
Stories from the people you follow are found at the top of the screen. Select a desired story and click the remote to view it. Then, you can click to advance to the next screen of a story.
To explore new posts and search for hashtags, use the Search tab.
And lastly, you can see your Instagram account that you’re currently logged in with, as well as log out if you’d like to use a different account, under the Settings tab.
A solid start
The app feels native rather than being a simple web view, and I like that it’s a good citizen on the tvOS platform with all the usual conventions like tabs at the top and so forth. That said, the non-existent option to follow or unfollow accounts from within the app would be helpful.
I should mention that I was left wishing for additional features as well, including support for multiple accounts, However even at the current state of development the app is a good start and it should only get better with future updates.
Pricing and availability
Watch for Instagram costs six bucks a pop. I’m not going to lecture you on how you should spend your hard earned cash, but I understand that this is on the high-end of the price gamut for Apple TV apps. For those who use Instagram on a daily basis and have always wanted an Instagram client of sorts on their TV, this is a viable choice.