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Instagram is a big player in the mobile space these days, and it was already growing into a big deal long before Facebook splashed the cash to bring it under the social network’s roof. It has shown no sign of slowing its progress since that acquisition either, even launching an Instagram for Windows Phone app for those that have been waiting impatiently for such a thing to be released.

But even with all the progress and changes that Instagram has gone through since its inception, the photo-based social network still doesn’t have an iPad app to call its own. It’s an omission that many would call inexcusable, and it’s been something we’ve expected to be on the horizon for some time.

Today we learned about a new app on the App Store that while not an official Instagram app, is nearly as good as the real thing.

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We say nearly for no reason other than it’s always nice to have an official app installed. This 3rd-party app, going by the name of Flow for Instagram and created by Codegent Bangkok actually looks rather lovely. The list of features is a lengthy one too, so this is more than a quickly knocked together shell of an app.

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Users of Flow will have access to all the usual array of search and viewing options as well as the ability to AirPlay everything across to a big screen TV. Comments are also part of Flow, meaning you can tell your friends just how delicious their breakfasts look.

• Smooth browsing experience
• Super fast loading of photos and videos
• Carefully crafted interactions: scroll, tap, like, swipe, peek & more.
• Search and bookmark #tags @users & places
• Discover top ranked Instagram accounts and #tags
• Shopping & fashion feeds for every country!
• Video playback with fullscreen & airplay
• Share to Facebook & Twitter or save on your camera roll

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Flow itself is free and available to download from the App Store now, with its official name being ‘Flow for Instagram.’ In the absence of an officially licensed Instagram app for the iPad, this has to be worth a shot if you’ve ever wanted to give Instragram a proper viewing on an iPad. And let’s be honest, we all have!

(Download: Flow for Instagram for iPad on the App Store)

Be sure to check out our iPhone Apps Gallery and iPad Apps Gallery to explore more apps for your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

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