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How to upload photos to Instagram from a Mac with Bluestacks, part 1 of 3

You’re reading the first post in a three-part series about uploading photos to Instagram from a Mac, which goes against nature.

[If you’re looking for Windows Instagram hack instructions, start here.]

Here’s what’s up. You can move photos from your Mac to Instagram. Using  software called, “Bluestacks.”

Now is neither the time nor place to tell you why you’d want to do this. There are two types of people in this world. Those of us who have been searching for this  are silently nodding to each other, and others are like, “But…? why…? it’s…?”

We do not want to take away your happiness. We should all be so lucky as to be happily managing one Instagram account from our phone with only a built-in camera.

Until today’s Bluestacks update, this hack was waaaaaay more annoying, and I didn’t blog it here coz you pretty much had to be a Linux system administrator. But now it’s relatively easy.

Here’s how it’s gonna play out: There are gonna be three blog posts, this is the first one.

  1. How to Install Bluestacks on a Mac and install Instagram on Bluestacks [you are here, now]
  2. How to get Instagram to see your Mac file system and photos you have saved there, method one
  3. How to get Instagram to see your Mac file system and photos you have saved there, method two

Now let’s get started.

Basically you’re gonna install a fake lil Android on your Mac. It’s an emulator. It’s similar to when you’ve run Windows on your Mac using VMware Fusion or Parallels or VirtualBox. (If you don’t know what that is, forgetaboutit. Short version: Fake Android. On top of Mac. Like an App. Boom)

The company who makes this Android emulator software is called “Bluestacks.”

1. Go to Bluestacks.com, download the Mac package.

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2. Double-click the .dmg file. Nothing new to see here. You’ve done this a million times before, right?

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3. Drag the Bluestacks icon to your Applications folder. You’ve done this before. Same as many other app installs on a Mac. Look at you go.

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4. Bluestacks installed! Let’s launch it by clicking. (Maybe you’ve even dragged it to your dock for convenience? I don’t want to backseat drive or anything.) Anyways, it’s launched. It’s a cute lil (fake) Android start-up screen.

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5. What the heck is going on? Yep, it’s a messy start screen. Focus.
You’re seeing a “Top 25 Apps” screen. Scroll down. Instagram is waiting for you.

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6. You see an Instagram app icon. It’s not installed yet. Click it. Now it’s searching FOUR (?!) APP STORES FOR YOU (idk either. ah, Android, your Linux is showing). Choose the Instagram icon in the left-hand column with the “1.” You’re gonna click it and it’s gonna install from the 1Mobile Market (just go with it.)

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7. It’s installing Instagram. [note: for a part of 12/28 and 12/27, the store app itself needed to be updated for this to work properly. If you get a weird message about an “installation recipe,” you probably tried this before 2PM Pacific on Dec 28th 2012. Give the service (1Mobile always running on this version of Android) a second to breathe, or restart Bluestacks which may speed things along, and try this step again.] 

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8. Boom. It’s installed.

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8. Click it. Launch it. Oops. It’s sideways. Forgive it.

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9. Let’s fix it. Click the settings icon, and then “Change App Size.” Change Instagram from “Default” to “Tablet.” (I know, not optimal. But the best option for now.)

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10. Restart Bluestacks.

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11. Guess which app is rightside-up, now? Work it, own it.

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12. Now we have to tell Instagram to not exclusively use its (virtual) camera, but instead consider “local” existing photos. Go into Instagram’s settings, uncheck “use Instagram’s Advanced Camera.”

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OK, now Instagram is able to look at a local “gallery” instead of just new stuff from the camera.

You’ve done a lot today. Stay tuned. In less than 24 hours, part two will be up.

Head on over to part 2: getting Instagram to see your local Mac’s file system, and all your awesome, existing photos.