Popular image sharing service Minus has released an app for both iOS and Android platforms. While Minus’ web interface encourages you to share files, the mobile apps encourage you to make friends with other users of the service who are nearby, making it more of a proximity-based people discovery service in addition to merely being a photo sharing app. Minus for iOS and Android allows you to take pictures, add filters and edit pictures via the Aviary image editor that’s integrated in the app, and lets you find pictures taken near you by other users. ‘Pictures nearby’ is how you are encouraged to find friends to connect with, though you can search for users by name as well. A chat feature allows you to share messages, images and your current location with any user. Interface wise, the app has a lot going on and it will probably take you a little time learning where everything is.
Signing Up & Logging In
If you already have a Minus account, you can sign in to it and start using the app. If this is the first time you’re using the service though, you can sign up for an account from the app itself. The app allows you to use information from your Facebook account for the purpose. Uploading a profile picture when signing up for an account is mandatory, unlike most other similar services that have it as an option.
People & Pictures Nearby
Once you’re signed in, Minus will give you a brief tour of the app and then take you to the ‘Nearby’ tab. You can choose to view people as well as pictures taken near your current location. For users, you can see just how far they are from you, how many pictures they’ve shared, and when they were last active. For images, you can see how far away they was taken. Tapping an image shows you its details. You can view images in full screen, like them, save them to your camera roll, and leave a comment on them.
You can send a chat message to any Minus user who is using the Minus iOS or Android app. Visit a user’s profile and click the ‘Message’ button to send either a text message or an image. You can also share your current location with them. Your conversations are listed in the ‘Chats’ tab and separated by user name. You can also ‘Favorite’ a user you like.
The ‘Camera’ tab allows you to take pictures or load existing ones from your camera roll, and upload them to Minus. An image can be edited before being shared to your account. Minus does not provide any filters of its own, and relies on Aviary’s image editing tools for the purpose. Though considering all that Aviary has to offer, it should suffice for most of us.
Your Profile & App Settings
The ‘Profile’ tab allows you to edit your Minus profile information, and post a status message. It was a little buggy in our testing, and took us a couple of tries to save the ‘Gender’ selection. The cog wheel at the top lets you manage settings for both the app and your account. You can change the email address associated with your account, change your password, log out, and toggle chat notifications.
The Social Aspect Of Image Sharing
Minus seems to be encouraging users to socialize by sharing images – something Instagram popularized and still has an edge over. The Minus app is more like a chat client than a social network. Image sharing is very open, with no privacy settings available in the app whatsoever. The filters provided by Aviary aren’t unique to Minus either. As far as image effects and a proper social networking structure is concerned, Instagram with its custom filters and feature for following users is the clear winner for now.