Windows 10 finally gets an official Instagram app

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Back when Microsoft unveiled its new “Metro”, later renamed “Modern”, app platform, it was ridiculed for not having most of the most popular apps and games available on mobile platforms. For example, it was only recently that Windows actually got Candy Crush Saga, years after the game’s rise to fame. One app that has so far eluded capture was Instagram . The day, however, has finally arrived as Facebook finally unleashes official Windows 10 versions of its apps, including Facebook, Messenger, and yes, finally, Instagram.
Instagram is a very picky service. Officially, you can only upload from its official mobile apps. You can’t even upload via its official web page, at least not officially. There are many third party Instagram apps, even on Windows 10, but they are almost all limited to browser and searching. That has pretty much left Windows phone users, be it 8.1 or 10, out in the cold.

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The problem with that setup is that there will always be third party apps that try to circumvent Instagram’s limitations and there will always be people trying to use those. Unfortunately, not all those apps and services are trustworthy, which will end up giving Instagram itself a headache. Now, at least, the problem is solved.
Windows 10 mobile users will now finally be able to post on Instagram, officially and securely. At least hopefully securely. Naturally, the apps supports a great number of filters to enhance your photo’s mood. Live Tile support means you can pin Instagram to your Start screen and be notified of changes right and there. The bad news, this is limited to Windows 10 Mobile only. Windows 10 tablet users, you’re still not considered a valid Instagram audience.

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Facebook is also rolling out new Facebook and Messenger apps for Windows 10 PCs and tablets. This newer version makes better use of the width of the screen instead of feeling like a humongous smartphone app. The app also supports Reactions, finally allowing users to do more than just a thumbs app, and stickers in comments. Ironically, Facebook isn’t yet available for Windows 10 mobile, but it will soon be, which sadly isn’t the case for an Instagram PC/tablet version.

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How to reduce your Android or iPhone data usage

Mobile Apps as displayed on phone screen

Mobile Apps as displayed on phone screen

It’s a familiar feeling when you get a text from your phone provider saying you’ve nearly run out of data for the month. Depending on what sort of mobile phone contract you’re on, if you don’t keep an eye on the amount of data you’re using you can find yourself landed with a hefty bill.

Here’s 10 simple ways to minimise your data expenditure on both Android and iPhone.

1. Switch to Wi-Fi wherever possible

It may sound obvious, but checking you’ve got the correct log in details for Wi-Fi at work, home and on the tube can save you a lot of unnecessary expenditure. Logging into The Cloud where you can, or remote BT and Sky hotspots if you’re a customer can also help.

2. Check your settings

Your smartphone’s Settings menu will display which apps have access to data,  allowing you to turn off the unnecessary ones.

On an iPhone, open Settings > Mobile Data to see the apps you’ve allowed to use data and to toggle them off accordingly.

On Android, open Settings > Data Usage > Open each app you’d like to turn off and select Restrict app background data.

3. Sync your playlists

If you’re an Apple Music or Spotify user, make sure you sync your playlists to your phone so you can listen offline, avoiding accidentally racking up bills while you’re out and about. Apple Music playlists can be saved to your handset by tapping the Cloud icon in the right-hand corner of a playlist and waiting for it to download, while Spotify playlists just require you to hit the Available Offline toggle to on to save them. Note – this feature is only available for Spotify Premium subscribers.

4. Disable background app refresh

This is one for iPhone users only, but turning off background app refresh by entering Settings > General > and either turning off refresh altogether or going through and selecting individual apps will not only help to cut down on your data usage, it has the added bonus of helping to preserve your battery life. Win win!

5. Set a data alert

You can view how much data you’ve used on both Android and iOS handsets, but you may only find this useful if you reset the limit each month to get a full idea of your average use.

On Android open Settings > Wireless & Networks and select Data Usage to check your amount, and turn Set Mobile data Limit on to trigger an alert when you’re entering your own specified data danger zone.

On an iPhone, open Settings > Mobile Data and scroll down to the bottom of the menu to hit Reset Statistics. Any reminders to reset the stats each month, you’ll need to set separately through the Reminders app.

6. Turn off data altogether

It’s a bleak option, but if you’ve got extremely limited data left before you’re over your limit, turning it off altogether can help.