Earlier today, Instagram finally launched its filter-heavy photo-taking and sharing app for Android, and we loaded it up on a Droid Razr running Android 2.3 for testing. If you've ever used the iOS version of Instagram, you'll feel very much at home here. In fact, I was able to log into the Android app with my iOS account, and it pulled in all my photos, friends, and activity without any problems.

The app's basic layout is the same as on iOS, with the five main sections (home, popular, shoot, news, and profile) organized in the same order. The buttons and font choices are slightly different and feel subtly tailored for Android, but that's the extent of the customization. You won't be able to access settings or search tools quickly because the Android hardware and software buttons are disabled. One nice addition to the Android app is the ability to jump directly to your profile when tapping that menu; iOS users are greeted with an unfriendly menu and list of options. Similarly, Android has a clear search button for finding new users or browsing tags, something that's not as clear on iOS. One notable design issue in iOS regrettably made the cross-platform jump; your notifications settings are frustratingly hidden in deep in the edit page for your user profile.

Of course, your friends, family, and social network on Instagram are just as important to the app's success as the filters and photography options, and you'll find all the same iOS filters here. Android does lag behind though with the tilt-shift feature; the app simply doesn't have it. Running on the Droid Razr (side-by-side with an iPhone 4S), the Android Instagram app was often at least a good second slower than the iOS app in applying filters and moving from shooting a photo to adding an effect. Additionally, sharing options are a little slimmer than on iOS; Android users won't be able to share on Flickr or Posterous. It's not perfect, but the first Instagram release for Android finally gives millions of new users a way to jump in on the photo filtering fun.