Though the photo and video sharing site Flickr.com has been overshadowed by Instagram, it is still a powerfully popular and useful site for photo hobbyists and professional photographers, as well as a worldwide gallery of some of the most beautiful photos ever taken.
Flickr was launched and became popular as a website back in 2004. But now, probably the more convenient way to access and browse the site is on mobile devices like the iPad. Of course Flickr has own iPhone app, but it has not yet produced an official optimized version for the iPad. This is why we have chosen FlickStackr for Flickr for our Best iPad Apps page. Both the free and paid version ($1.99) of FlickStackr include features for getting the most out of sharing, viewing, and managing photos and groups in and beyond your Flickr account.
The homepage of FlickStackr lists all the major areas of Flickr, including Recent Activity, recent photos posted by your contacts, the popular Explore page – consisting of the most liked photos from around the world – Upload capabilities, as well as a link to all the Flickr Groups you belong to. And though there are several other apps for searching for photos on Flickr, FlickStackr contains its own built-in search tool.
One unique feature of FlickStackr is Stacks, which enables you to build custom collections of photos, photo albums, and photographers. So for example, when you tap on a thumbnail photo, you can favorite it and is added to a Photo Stack.
FlickStackr includes menu items at the top and bottom of the app, which mirror most of the main tools and features on the web version of Flickr. When you tap on the top-right Details button of a selected photo, the bottom menu appears for adding comments and tags, viewing its EXIF and location data, and a listing of the Sets, Groups, and Galleries a selected photo belongs to.
Collections of photos can be viewed as thumbnails, or list in view which includes both thumbnail images, the photographer’s name, the date the photo was posted, and the number of views it has received.
You can view a collection of photos as a Slideshow, and the feature includes options for playing music in the background, viewing photos in random order, and applying the Ken Burns Effect – which zooms into and pans across photos. By default, each photo is displayed for about five seconds, but you can change the time in the Settings area of the app. The slideshow feature also includes support for external displays including TV, HDMI, and VGA.
You can also browse photos in FlickStackr in landscape orientation, which opens in two-column view with a set of thumbnail photos on the left side, and a larger selected photo on the right. Tapping on the main photo will put it into full screen mode, and the two menu bars will slide out of view. In both landscape and portrait position you can swipe back and forth between photos in the collection, or play them as a slideshow.
Upload & Sharing Features
FlickStackr also enable you to upload photos directly from your iPhone and iPad. You can select and add photos to your Flickr account either as you take photos with your device’s camera, or select existing photos from your Photo Library, iTunes File Sharing, or from one of four cloud sharing services including Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive.
The advanced features of this photo sharing app also allow you to create default settings for uploading images and videos. So for example if you are taking a lot of photos at a particular vacation spot or event, you can set up the default title, tags, set and group for how you want images managed when uploaded to your account. This feature saves you the trouble of going online to manage your photo collections.
You can also share photos via email, social networking sites, or save them to your Photo Library or file storage service.
As an aside, I was surprised to see that FlickStackr enables you to participate in text threads of the Flickr Groups you belong to.
Though FlickStackr is not the official iPad and iPhone app for Flickr.com, it seems to have all of the main user features from the web version of the site. If you’re an avid Flickr user with an iPad or other iOS device, FlickStackr is well worth installing on your device. The limitations of the free version of the app include viewing no more than the recent most 50 photos for you and your contacts, and a search limit of 100 hits.
Whichever version of the app you use, let us know what you think of the app. Are there features you find missing?