It is a mystery why after all these years there still isn’t an iPad version of Instagram. It is only available for the iPhone, which is really irritating. Fortunately, there are alternatives and Padgram is one of the best, and it is free.

Padgram has a lot of great features, but posting to Instagram is not one of them. This is one of the few flaws in what is otherwise a good alternative in the absence of an official app. You can do pretty much everything else in Padgram and Instagram photos look so much better on the iPad’s big retina screen than on the iPhone’s diddly display.

You still need Instagram on your phone to post photos to the service, but Padgram on the iPad is the best way to view them. You can view your feed in landscape or portrait modes and on both orientations multiple posts fill the screen.

In portrait mode, a large thumbnail view shows three posts per screen, 9 posts or 30. You can switch from one view to another with buttons at the top. The amount of information displayed varies with the number of thumbnails. With three large ones you can see the comment posted with the photo, the number of likes and comments, and the first comment. With medium size thumbnails you see the name and age of the post. With small thumbnails you just see a screen full of images.

Padgram Instagram viewer

Tapping a photo displays a much larger version and the comments people have posted. You can a comment yourself or like the photo, just as with Instagram. The photos look fantastic on a retina iPad screen. There is an option to download posts and save the photos and videos.

A search facility enables you to find people or photos (hashtags) and searches are saved, so you can view them again. It is a useful way to find people and topics to add to your feed. In addition to your own feed showing posts from people you follow, you can go to the Explore section and this shows popular posts. You can view the photos and follow people.

A Nearby function fills the screen with a map and on it are the locations people have taken photos and posted them on Instgram. It can be interesting to browse your current location to see what others have posted, to explore somewhere far away that you intend to or would like to visit. It can feel a bit creepy looks at pictures of people in your area, but it is fun when they post pictures of local features, buildings, parks and so on.

Padgram for iPad

You can visit your own home page and view your posts, followers and people you follow. 

Padgram had a major update recently and this was annoying and buggy, but after a recent update, it seems to be better. The lack of any posting ability isn’t a big deal and you can post when you are out and about with your phone doing exciting things and visiting interesting places. When you get back home you can put your feet up and relax by browsing your feed, viewing other peoples’ photos and adding comments.

Title: Padgram 
Price: Free
Developer: Pinssible Labs
Size: 32 MB
Version 7.2.0
iOS: 7.0 or later