Review: Lens brings Instagram to your Apple Watch, but is especially clumsy

In some cases, a Watch app is the ideal way to not always reach for your iPhone. With Lens for IG you use Instagram on your Apple Watch, but the question is how useful that really is.

Lens: New Apple Watch App for Instagram

In the past, Instagram itself has released a watchOS app for the Apple Watch, but it has been discontinued for a while. Developer Reuben Catchpole has therefore now created an alternative that brings almost all functions of Instagram on your iPhone to the Watch.

The only thing you can’t do from Apple’s watch is post a photo or video or watch live streams. Furthermore, you can use Instagram with Lens as usual, without needing your iPhone. Once you have installed the app, you only log in once on your iPhone with your Instagram account. Then you can open Lens on your Apple Watch.

Lens for IG

The app is initially nothing like how we know Instagram on iOS. Lens for IG consists of a menu with all the parts that you can find in Instagram. Think of your feed, Stories, your activity, the Discover menu, posts, your profile and the search function.

Scroll through your Instagram feed with the Digital Crown or just with your fingers. Under each photo you can see the number of likes and comments, and you can like it by tapping the heart. It’s a great way to quickly go through your timeline without reaching for your iPhone. One downside is that this isn’t the case with videos in your timeline. It takes a very long time to load, which makes the speed and ease of scrolling disappear again.

Free, but not quite

But then the trouble begins. Because in the free version you can actually do nothing more than scroll through your feed and like photos. The ability to comment under a post is behind a paywall, just like all other features outside of your timeline are paid features. To gain access to this, you need to pay a one-time payment of 2.29 euros.

Not a huge amount, but no less frustrating. Because although the app offers an easy and above all complete way to check the social medium from your watch, in our opinion it is not good enough to place so many functions behind a transaction.

Many Instagram photos are already square, but still too large to be fully displayed on the small screen of the smartwatch. This is not so bad on the larger screen of the Apple Watch Series 4, but with all older models scrolling through your timeline is not very convenient. Moreover, responding, a private message or looking up something is a hassle, because typing on the display is difficult.

As far as we’re concerned, the app is mainly intended for quickly scrolling through your Instagram feed from your Apple Watch. But Lens for IG is definitely not a full-fledged Watch app that can replace the iPhone version. The effort of reaching for your iPhone is rewarded by greater ease of use and decent access to all functions.

Do you want more apps for your Apple Watch? Check out our app reviews of sleep tracker AutoSleep and Spotify on your Apple Watch.

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