With Oggl From Hipstamatic, Vyclone And More, Nokia Focuses On Camera Features (But Still No Instagram In Sight)

Nokia is going big on the camera features in its new 925 and 928 Lumia devices, continuing on in its PureView legacy first introduced back when it was still making Symbian devices. Within that it is adding a few key apps to the device — Oggl from Hipstamatic, the slick video sharing app Vyclone and Cinemagraph — but there is still no sign of popular picture-taking and picture-sharing app Instagram.

“We hear the voices on Instagram,” Matt Rothschild, head of sales for Nokia in the Americas, said in an interview, indicating that the company is still working on a deal: “For now, we see great technology complementing Instagram; we are continuing to work on that.”

In fact, TechCrunch understands that Nokia and Microsoft have been working hard on closing an agreement but still there have been no dice. Both CEOs have visited the company, we understand, and have even offered to put up investment reaching into the millions of dollars to create the app. Many (although not all) see Instagram as a deal-breaker, holding back some from making the switch to Windows Phone as their next startphone platform. (This point can be argued against, of course: Android has been growing like crazy, but it only got Instagram around a year ago.) In any case, given how much of a song and dance Nokia is making about its camera features — with its own Smart Camera software leading the pack — you can see why Nokia was so keen on securing the Instagram deal, which also included waging its own viral campaign.

In the meantime, we are getting other things, led by Oggl. Launched only three days ago for iOS, Nokia has secured a partnership with Hipstamatic to put its new app — itself an attempt at a comeback after free Instagram and other apps have stolen Hipstamatic’s paid app lunch — on to its Lumia devices. Because of the existing relationship between Hipstamatic and Instagram, from last March (before Instagram was bought by Facebook), users will now be able to post pictures that they take via Oggl on to Instagram.

(Pictured here is Jo Harlow, EVP for smart devices, who introduced the new 925 and Oggl on stage today in London.)

Nokia plans to take its Smart Camera software, which offers best shot, action shot and motion focus, to other Lumia devices in Q3 later this year. But unlike Nokia’s mapping technology Here, which is coming to many other platforms — this will be staying only on Lumia’s devices.