If you enjoy looking at photos on the Internet you will be familiar with the social photo sharing site Flickr, and may even have an account on it. Aside from Flickr many have also shared photos on the social network Facebook. The user experience for exploring photos on both of these sites are okay but they are rightfully focused on an individual rather than on the photos as they would if it was a photo browsing site, because both are social sharing web sites. Until now there are no tools to view these photos from your social graph on both of these networks together in one place, which the iPad app, Flickpad, is designed just for this purpose.

After you provide your Facebook and Flickr accounts credentials, the app will begin to load thumbnails of the new photos from your contacts on the respective sites. The nice things about this app compare to most photo viewing apps, is that it mimics the metaphor of a group of slides dumped onto a table top. As you can see from the app's Home screen that is exactly what you see. Each photos looks like the traditional slides, and you manipulate the photo slides by dragging them around on the screen. On the edge of the slides there are several useful information:

  • Title of the photo as entered by the photographer/owner of the photo.
  • Name of the person who shared the photo
  • Depending on the service the photo is from you can see either the number of people who viewed the photo (Flickr), or both the number of Likes and number of comments left by viewers (Facebook).

This real life metaphor begins to differ when you start to manipulate the photos. The app takes advantage of the iPad's multi-touch capabilities and created a set of gestures for managing the photos and manipulating them on the screen. Getting familiar with these gestures may take some time. I personally keeps going back to the Info button on the Home screen to review the gestures and I had been using this app for several months; although not daily.

Some of the natural gestures:

  • "Click on a Photo with one finger" = zooms into the photo view, displaying the full size of the photo with details of the photographer/owner and any captions they may have added. On this photo details page there is an option to view and contribute to comments for the photo. There is also an Options menu to enable the user to:
    • Email the photo
    • Open the photo in Safari
    • Even save the photo into the user's photo library

    The Favorite button allows use to add a photo as favorite or Like it depending on the site from which the photo is from; its icon changes accordingly to reflect the function. Initially it may not be obvious but the Slideshow button here will scroll through the individual photos of the set you were previously viewing.

  • "Flick the photo off the screen" = mark the photo as seen
  • "Pinch on a photo" = Pinch out will zoom in a single photo or a group of photos. Pinch in will zoom out or close a view.

Some hidden but useful gestures:

  • "With two fingers clicks on a photo and drag slightly" = will bring all the photos in the album together; remember sometimes there may be only one photo in an album. With the two fingers still on the group you can flick the group off the screen to mark them all as seen.
  • "Pinch" = in many cases you can use this gesture to close the screen you are viewing.

Conclusion

Overall there this is a well polished app for the iPad to address the purpose of browsing photos from Flickr and Facebook. Even if you only want to view photos from one of the two sites this is a great tool. The developer had recently updated the app to make many of the above functions behave even better. If you enjoying browsing photos this is definitely an app to get for your iPad.

Like all apps there are several features on my wish list I will be forwarding to the developer. One very useful addition will be to invoke a 3rd party helper apps to share a link to a photo or album. For example, invoking one of the iOS Twitter app to allow the user to tweet a link to one of the chosen photo. Similar to the behavior in the Mashable iPhone app, but definitely not the way the Mashable iPad app handles this same function.

Also, it will be nice to enable the actual display of the photo in the native service web site within mobile Safari.

Where to Get It

The developer, Shacked Software, is asking USD4.99 for Flickpad Pro available in the iTunes App Store and there is a free ad support version also.

Posted
AuthorVinko
CategoriesiPad, review

Flickr logoYesterday I received an email from Yahoo informing me that Yahoo Photos will be closing down and asked if I want to move my photos from there to Flickr or one of the other photo sharing sites. Although, I did not have any photos in Yahoo Photos, I thought i still follow their instructions for transferring my Yahoo Photos account's photos to my Flickr account.

Today, I received an email from Yahoo Photos that all my photos had been transferred to my Flickr account within their own photoset and set to "private" status. This so far is no big deal to me, as I did not have any photos in my Yahoo Photos account.

What was surprising was the last part of the email, where Yahoo Photos wrote, due to my continue support they have extended my Flickr Pro account three more months. I immediately signed onto my Flickr account, and was happy to confirm that its expiry date was indeed extended three months.

So for all you guys who have a Flickr Pro account and a Yahoo account, be sure not to ignore Yahoo Photos' email to transfer your photo collection.

Posted
AuthorVinko
CategoriesNews, opinion
DSC00062 DSC00061

It is about time that Hong Kong advertiser; or to be more exact window dressers, come up with some original ideas.

It is rare that any retail stores in Hong Kong takes the time to create a window display that is original, attractive and able to draw the passer-by into the store or at least stop and look.

This particular retailer used the pictured window display to set up two XBox game station for visitors to try a racing game that contains ads of the products that the store carries.

Posted
AuthorVinko
CategoriesObservation

In the past year I had signed up for services that are now no longer independent. First it was Blogger which was purchased by Google.

Next it was Skype, which everyone knows was purchased by eBay. I personally feel that the future of Skype is numbered with eBay at the helm.

A few months ago Flickr was purchased by Yahoo. Like Skype I hope Flickr will not be destroyed by Yahoo.

Today the creator, of Upcoming announced on his blog that it will be purchased by Yahoo.

What is happening? Is everything I signup for going to be gobble up by the big guys?

There are many who thinks of Microsoft as the evil empire who tries to take over the world from the technology perspective.

Others who falls into this category are: Starbucks, Disney and Virgin. Although these other three are not as commonly regarded as Mr. Gates' company.

At least for the software industry there are new kid(s) on the block trying to take the title from Microsoft; namely Google.

Although I cannot totally disagree with the critics about their new label for Google. I personally do not have as much dislike for Google as I have for Microsoft. I like Google, except for their recent decisions to keep releasing services that are platform specific (Windows). Rather than developing service that are based on Open Standards, which is what the Internet is.

Will the new "Evil Empire" be Google or Yahoo. I guess we will soon know.

Posted
AuthorVinko
CategoriesGoogle