Developer: Keeple
Price: $4.99
Version: 1.0

Design Rating: ★★★★☆
Features Rating: ★★★☆☆
Integration Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

The iPad’s 9.5″ display makes it small enough to carry with ease and large enough to enjoy videos and photos without being constrained by a small screen. Flickr Studio aims to satisfy the photo side of things with its latest application built exclusively for the iPad. The application takes into account the benefits of Flickr Pro for registered users who have a Pro account.

The opening screen of Flickr Studio provides users with a slideshow (and automatic zooming) of photos, similar to the iPad’s photo slideshow feature, along with their title and owner’s account name. This home screen is customizable through the Settings tab to show a certain set of photos. A custom-designed navigation menu along the bottom of the screen provides five tabs: You (personal account), Contacts, Explore, World and Settings.

The personal account tab, You, provides your photostream, photosets, collections and any photos you’ve tagged as favourites in three different varieties: list, which provides photos along with snippets of information; block, where the entire screen is filled with a block of photos; and world, where photos are placed on Google Maps to reveal which photos have been geotagged and where. A built in function allows you to Search your collection of photos. Contacts follows a similar layout, providing recent photos from everyone you follow on Flickr. Again, three different viewing options exist, making it easy to see who took what and where. Unfortunately, you can’t seem to comment on photos or edit details of your own photos, the latter of which the developers are currently working on. The interface is relatively clean, with precedence given straight to the photos at hand.

Explore is where even non-flickr users can reap the benefits of photography from the millions of users who’ve uploaded their photos for the world to see. Four sub-tabs within Explore allow you to see photos that are interesting (500, no shortage of choice), just uploaded, photos from common places like the Library of Congress or NASA, and photos that have been tagged with words that a number of other users have also tagged, eg. ‘fourmilefire’ for the recent fire in California. The picture loading interface is very clean, and photos themselves can be viewed in three different ways: 100%, fit-to-screen and full screen. Full screen differs from the other two options in that there is no information provided with the photo, just the photo itself taking up the entire screen. In contrast, 100% makes the photo actual size, but provides information about the photo and the comments that people have added to it.

The World tab reveals quite a cool feature when viewed in geotagging mode – you can zoom in on the map to see exactly where people have taken their photos. Each time you zoom in further, Flickr Studio updates your search to account for more photos in the same area, and you can zoom in as much as you can on ordinary Google Maps. The result is that you can see exactly which area a flickr photographer was in when he or she took that particular photo.

Overall, Flickr Studio’s design is smart, in parts reminiscent of the site itself and in others more unique and thoughtful. Disappointingly, the application is limited in the creation side of things, with no ability to upload or (as yet) edit details of photos. In addition, I feel that the search is lacking in options – an ability to search for users and tags rather than a general search would significantly improve this feature. The menus and tabs and options are their own design rather than Apple’s, and although they are minimalist, it changes the feel of the application. The integration doesn’t feel as strong as it should – as it would if the application were made by Apple – but the content provided more than makes up for it. In terms of viewing photos, Flickr Studio does exactly what it should do – provide an interface that shines the spotlight on photos. With some future updates planned, the application’s future looks even brighter.

Posted in: iPad Apps and Games, iPad Photography, Reviews

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