There are a few paid options for iPhone Flickr apps, such as Mobile Fotos [iTunes link], but Yahoo has developed a free app, called of course, Flickr [iTunes link]. And a 3rd party developer, Connected Flow, produced both free (with inline advertisements) and paid options for Flickr browsing and image uploading. It’s called Darkslide [iTunes link].
Now both apps are useful, especially since they are free. But as a Flickr fan, I recommend Darkslide over Yahoo’s own official option. Here’s why.
Yahoo’s Flickr App [iTunes link]
The UI of Yahoo’s Flickr app is clear and easy to navigate, but it lacks some important features that they could have borrowed from Darkslide.
When you launch Yahoo’s Flickr app, you get this great panning slide show of randomly selected images posted of course on Flickr. As images slide by, a tab appears with the name of the photographer who took or posted the photo in view. You click on the tab to find out more information about the selected image. However, you’re not given the option to use this cool slide show for your own images or the images of your contacts. The application does all the selecting.
The Yahoo iPhone Flickr app does have useful features, including the ability to browse your own photos and images of your contacts. In addition, you can select to view only your recently uploaded or those by your contacts. There are also an options to view images in both in list and grid view, as well as viewing images by your sets and tags.
So browsing in the Flickr app is pretty straight forward. You can easily click on an image and write response comments. You can also upload images from your iPhone photo library, or you can take a photo and upload it directly to your Flickr account, as well email posted photos and save them to your iPhone or iPod touch photo library.
Finally, one of the advantages of the iPhone Flickr app is that it’s free, with no inline advertising. But here’s why I recommend that you download Darkslide in addition to Yahoo’s Flickr app.
Darkslide [iTunes link]
Connected Flow is a long-time producer of Flickr related apps, including plug-ins for Apple”˜s iPhoto and Aperture.
Darkslide contains all features of the Flickr app described above, but it has a few additional features that every Flickr fan will want.
Groups and Nearest Me
Darkslide includes not only browsing images posted by you and your contacts, but it also downloads the Flickr groups you belong to. Most Flickr fans are regular participants in their groups, so why this feature is missing from the Yahoo app is pretty interesting. You can’t view the discussion threads for your group, but you can view the pool of photos.
Darkslide also provides a few other sharing options not found in Yahoo’s Flickr app; they include posting images to Twitter and mailing links to photos.
Finally, one of the reasons I especially like Darkslide is that it contains a feature for searching for images taken by location. When you click on the Nearest Me button, the app will use the GPS features of the iPhone to find photos taken near the place you’re currently located.
If you use this feature at home, and depending on where you live, you might just get a bunch of personal photos by other Flickr members in your neighborhood. That’s cool, but I use the Nearest Me for when I’m looking for places to shoot. If for example when I visit San Francisco, I click the Nearest Me button of Darkslide to see if there are photos taken by other Flickr members of interesting landmarks and other public places that I don’t know about and can visit and photograph.
In many of the most popular touristy cities in the world, there undoubtedly will be photos taken in those places by other Flickr members. When you select such a photo in the Darkslide app, it links you to the exact location where the photo was taken. You can even click to get GPS mapping and directions to the selected location. The settings for Nearest Me also allows you to widen the search radius for up to several miles. Unfortunately, though, you can”˜t type in a specific location search. I’ve used this feature even in areas where I live and have discovered a few places I didn’t know about for great shots.
Darkslide has received criticism for crashing while viewing group images, but I have never experienced that problem. Its UI is as easy to navigate as the Flickr app, but it has a few additional features that make it the best of the two free Flickr browsing and image uploading apps.
So what Flickr app do you use on your iPhone or iPod touch? What other features would you like to see?