Flickr has enjoyed something of a resurgence ever since Marissa Mayer took over as Yahoo!’s CEO. With their excellent Flickr iPhone app and storage limits being increased to a whopping 1TB, the popular photo sharing site is back with a vengeance.
Unfortunately, the experience of using the Flickr website on the iPad, for both browsing photos and making edits to metadata, has always been something of a mixed bag and is usually not a pleasant experience. Flickr Studio aims to bridge the divide between Flickr’s extensive service and your photos, letting you make all sorts of changes to both photo and metadata in an app that really pushes the envelope when it comes to Flickr’s API.
Introduced back in 2010, Flickr Studio is a complete Flickr management app for the iPad that offers you a great way to interact with your photostream, as well as find photos from other Flickr users.
The primary purpose of Flickr Studio is to provide you with the tools necessary to manage your photos that are currently stored on Flickr. The app’s rather vibrant colour scheme looks even more at home within iOS 7 than it ever did before, offering a very large contrast to the general look and feel of many of the whitewashed apps that have been labeled as “iOS 7 ready”.
With the app, you can add photos to new sets or collections, edit tags and descriptions, even change the privacy settings for each photo. In order to do this, you need to authorise the app to access your Flickr account, though you don’t need to grant write or delete access if you simply want to view your photos.
Speaking of which, allowing Flickr Studio read and write access does not allow it to delete photos, should you chose to. Instead, you have to explicitly authorise the app to have read, write and delete access if you want to delete photos from your Flickr account, a great way to avoid any potential data loss.
Viewing your photos can be done in a few different ways, from a list view with photo titles and descriptions, to a collage or even map view, showing you where your photos were taken (should they have any location information stored within). A built-in slideshow function provides a great way to turn your iPad into a Flickr-driven photo frame.
Photo previews are quick to load, thanks to the apps clever way of only downloading the necessary resolution images for the view you’re currently looking at. This makes the app feel snappy and browsing through photos fast and fluid, only loading the higher resolution images as and when needed.
The same set of views are available for viewing photos from your contacts, as well as browsing the “interesting” feature of Flickr, being photos that are trending. It’s also under this view that you can search for photos, though there aren’t many options you can use beyond keywords, date range, content type, location and license. You can’t search by camera model, unfortunately.
Flickr groups are a great way for photographers to share pictures of a similar theme or nature, such as night photography or kittens. With Flickr Studio, you are able to search groups and explore the photos within, something that a lot of other Flickr apps lack.
Viewing images provide a whole range of options, from viewing comments and group memberships to sharing to social networks and even editing the photo and associated metadata. Flickr Studio even benefits from using the Aviary photo editor, a plug-in developed for iOS apps to provide some exceptional photo editing tools.
The toolset is more Instagram than professional photo editing and is a very useful feature to have if you’ve uploaded a photo and noticed it isn’t cropped or straightened properly.
Around The World
For those who just want to see what people are submitting to Flickr from around the world, Flickr Studio has a dedicated section just for viewing a map that will have geotagged photos taken overlaid, showing you where photos were taken. It’s a great way to find popular photo spots and you can organise and display photos on the map, then change the view to a list or grid. However, I often found that trying to view popular tourist destinations (such as London and Tokyo), I would often receive a memory warning before the app became unusable and would need to be closed. While this can certainly be attributed to the hundreds of photos being uploaded every few seconds, the app would likely benefit from some form of throttling to prevent overloading.
Perhaps one of Flickr Studio’s best features is its batch management of images, allowing for tags and adding to sets to be performed en masse. I often upload a bunch of photos and usually spend time organising them on Flickr afterwards, but it can get tedious to do it one by one. Flickr Studio offers a built-in Lightbox that you can assign photos to, then perform a range of batch processing tasks, from privacy and tags to sending to groups, downloading or even deleting.
Anyone regularly managing their Flickr account will certainly find this an indispensable tool and it really does allow for even easier management of photos and their metadata.
For anyone wanting a better way to browse Flickr on an iPad, Flickr Studio offers just as much functionality for finding photos and viewing sets and collections as the website.
But where Flickr Studio comes into its own is, perhaps, its fantastic level of organisational tools, making this the most fully featured Flickr photo management app available on iOS. Even for experienced Flickr users who use the service on a daily basis, there really isn’t much you can’t do with Flickr Studio. Organising your sets, collections and groups, as well as editing metadata is breathtakingly easy, too.