Flickr Launches Instagram-Like Redesign of iOS and Android Apps
(Flickr and Yahoo Tech are both owned by Yahoo. This is a third-party report on Flickr’s new apps.)
Since Marissa Mayer took over at Yahoo, she has made a steady push to rebuild the photo-sharing community at Flickr by overhauling its products. Today Flickr is getting its most dramatic makeover to date, with a total redesign of the apps for iOS and Android that make it a more direct competitor to Instagram and other photo-sharing services. It takes the easy-capture and sharing features of Instagram and pairs them with the worry-free backup of Dropbox and Google+. The result is an app that is faster and more fun to use, even as its imitation of features that others made famous will likely draw charges of copying.
Previous incarnations of Flickr for mobile devices felt more like boiled-down versions of the website than an app built for capturing and browsing images. Flickr 3.0 improves on its predecessors with a faster, more fluid feed that replaces the previous dual-column view with a scrolling feed of single images. (Photo sets still display as square grids, but you no longer scroll side to side to expand them.) Flickr gently crops non-square photos in the feed, but tapping reveals them at their full dimensions. In a slick design touch, you can tap a button on each photo to see its embedded metadata, including which camera it was taken with — and Flickr commissioned wireframe drawings for 57 popular cameras that show up at the top of the metadata page.
A faster, more fluid feed
The redesign places a new focus on interaction, adding options to favorite, comment, and share photos below every image. And it adds a more powerful search option to the top of the feed, drawing on image-recognition technology acquired over the past year to help you find high-quality images of more than 1,000 objects recognized by Yahoo’s algorithms. (As on any image-search platform, you should start by searching for “monkey.”)
The camera view works largely as before, with 14 filters that can be applied live through the viewfinder or after the fact. After taking a picture, you can auto-enhance it, crop it, or use Flickr’s robust editing tools to adjust exposure, contrast, white balance, color levels, and other settings. More significantly, the camera can now shoot, edit, and upload high-definition videos of up to 30 seconds. As on Instagram, you can delete individual segments if you want to re-shoot part of your video along the way. And you can apply the same filters to videos that you can to your photos.