The move is seen as long overdue in some quarters, with many smartphones capable of displaying higher resolution images.
Vlad Savov of The Verge wrote an article on the low resolution of Instagram pictures around a week ago, and it seems he will now get his wish of higher resolution images on the photo sharing app. Until now users have only been able to upload 640 x 640 pixel images, which Savov calls “archaic.”
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A necessary upgrade
On Friday last week, it appears that Instagram moved to address the issue, as some users started to notice that their pictures were being stored in 1080 x 1080 pixels. Although images are still displayed in the lower resolution by default, some users have checked the source code for the browser version of Instagram, and found that new images are being saved in the higher resolution.
The update was discovered by Verge reader Alejandro de la Torre, who received a link to a larger picture via Telegram. The update features real 1080px photos, not just stretched 640px photos, so quality should be almost as high as in the original image.
Pictures uploaded to both Android and iOS Instagram apps are now being stored in the higher resolution.
Instagram late to react to improvements in smartphone technology
A spokesman for Instagram has since confirmed that the company started “gradually rolling out 1080 across iOS and Android” last week. Most users of the mobile app should now see higher resolution images, however those on desktop will go wanting. The spokesman said that “right now we are focused on mobile, with no plans to share in web.”
The move may have been provoked by an increasing number of complaints from iPhone 6 users concerning the reduced quality of Instagram photos on their devices. The iPhone 6 Plus features a screen which is both wider and has a greater pixel density than previous models of the Apple smartphone.
It seems Instagram has finally moved to update its images to keep pace with the rapidly developing capabilities of smartphone screens. The length of time it took the company to make an appropriate upgrade is certainly curious; it has been 10 months since the release of the latest edition of the iPhone.
Certain Android phones have been able to render 1080p photos since March 2013, and the Android LG G4 is capable of rendering photos up to 1440p.