Computers

Get Instagram on your Mac with Photoflow

With Photoflow, Instagram becomes available from the Mac's menu bar. Browsing and liking photos are enabled, but it's limited from uploading images or comments.

Photoflow is a $4.99 app in the Mac App Store that gives quick access to Instagram from the menu bar.

The well designed if limited app is handy for chronic Instagram checkers when their smartphone is just out of reach, but does not allow for image uploads nor leaving comments.

After installing Photoflow and authorizing it onto an Instagram account, an Instagram-esque camera icon will be added to the menu bar. Click on it and Photoflow displays a narrow window with the Instagram feed. It offers a similar look and feel to the original app, but comments are placed to the right of photos instead of below them.

The photos are fairly small, but can be dragged to resize the Photoflow window to be wider while making photos larger. Clicking on a photo will expand it. Photoflow also supports videos, with a click on one expanding and playing it.

photoflow.jpg

Photoflow is a Mac app for viewing Instagram photos when the smartphone is just out of reach.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Along the left is a navigation bar to view popular photos, check notifications of who has liked or commented on photos, search the social network and bring up the user profile. Clicking on the profile pic in the upper-right corner allows for adding and switching between accounts. Notifications of when someone has liked or commented on a photo can be set up in Preferences.

Photoflow also supports gestures, with a two-finger swipe to the left on a tiny photo in the feed showing an enlarged version of the image along with who has liked it and comments. Swiping again to the left brings up the person's profile page. Swiping right from that screen heads back to the main feed. Arrow keys can also be used instead of the gestures, as well as to highlight a photo.

Last week Instagram removed its square-photo restriction, now allowing for images in a variety of sizes on the service. The service counts more than 300 million users signing in at least once per month, with those users sharing about 70 million photos each day.