All posts tagged ‘Flickr’

File Under: Mobile, Web Services

Flickr Goes Native With Windows Phone 7 App

Flickr, the grandfather of online photo-sharing sites, is giving the kids a new way to use the site with their fancy Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7 devices. Yahoo has announced Flickr for Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7 — native Flickr apps for Windows phones and tablets.

Flickr already offers an iOS app for Apple devices, but the new Windows 7 apps look considerably slicker and offer a much better interface than what you’ll find the iOS app. The new software won’t be available until the end of January, but you can check out the video below for a teaser.

According to our friends at ReadWriteWeb, the new Flickr for Windows 7 apps use Windows Azure, Microsoft’s foray into cloud-based software, behind the scenes. It’s an interesting choice of platform considering Flickr is already, well, in the cloud. Given that Yahoo has a considerable infrastructure of web-based services, why use Azure?

Marcus Spiering, Flickr’s mobile product manager at Yahoo, tells RWW that “Azure allowed us to build an app quickly and do it with quality.” Reading between the lines it’s hard to escape the subtext: Yahoo’s own tools weren’t up to the task.

Whatever the case, Flickr for Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7 is a slick looking app and we’re hoping to see the iOS version get a similar makeover. Curiously, there’s still no official Flickr app for Android.

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Mining Flickr to Build 3D Models of the World

Microsoft’s PhotoSynth tool is jaw-droppingly awesome. But, because it’s a Microsoft project, the technology is unlikely to appear on some of your favorite non-Microsoft online apps, like Google Maps or Flickr.

However, our friends at ReadWriteWeb stumbled across a very similar tool — at least in terms of the end result — developed by the University of North Carolina in conjunction with Swiss university, ETH-Zurich.

The team has developed a method for creating 3D models by pulling in millions of photographs from Flickr and using some fancy algorithms to generate 3D models of local landmarks. Perhaps even more impressive the results can be generated using a single computer in under a day.

Project lead Jan-Michael Frahm touts the project’s efficiency saying, “our technique would be the equivalent of processing a stack of photos as high as the 828-meter Dubai Towers, using a single PC, versus the next best technique, which is the equivalent of processing a stack of photos 42 meters tall — as high as the ceiling of Notre Dame — using 62 PCs. This efficiency is essential if one is to fully utilize the billions of user-provided images continuously being uploaded to the internet.”

While the results are cool and would make an impressive addition to any number of geo-based services, more serious use cases include helping disaster workers get a better idea of where they’re headed and the extent of damage.

So far the researchers have released a movies demonstrating the technique on landmarks in both Rome (get it? built in a day…) and Berlin, and the results are impressive. For more information on how the process works, check out the UNC website.

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File Under: Identity

Flickr Adds Limited OpenID Support

Large web services from the likes of Google, Yahoo and others love to tout their OpenID support. But when these companies say “support,” sometimes what they mean is that you can use them as an OpenID provider — and store all of your precious personal information on their servers.

What’s much less common from the big companies are sites that let you sign in with OpenID. Today the popular photo sharing site Flickr has taken a small step in that direction.

The site has stopped short of true OpenID support, though that appears to be the end goal. For now its offering a way to sign in with your Google OpenID. Yahoo, which owns Flickr, is using Google’s authentication APIs to power the sign-in experience. Sadly, the new feature is only available for those signing up for Flickr. If you’ve already got a Flickr account, you have to authenticate using your original login.

Given that most of you probably already have Flickr accounts, today’s news isn’t all that exciting. But hopefully, it means the wheels are turning at Flickr and one day you’ll be able to sign in with any OpenID account.

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File Under: Multimedia, Web Apps

New Flickr Is Bigger, Wider and Uncut

The new Flickr photo page

The grandfather of online photo-sharing sites is rolling out a revamped design. Photo pages on Flickr have been redone to feature larger images, maps, and a much cleaner, more intuitive interface.

For now, the new look is opt-in, but Flickr plans to make the new page design the default some time next month. To see the new photo page in action, log in to your Flickr account and visit any photo page. You’ll see an option to test the new look. You can also use links provided by Flickr to switch between the two experiences.

Flickr's old look: Click for larger.

It’s been a long time since Flickr did anything major to its main photo pages. Flickr started with a limited set of features and has been bolting new features onto the old design ever since. The result has been a slightly cluttered collection of buttons, tools and bits of data that can distract from the main point of the site — your photos.

The new look changes that, streamlining the navigation and tools while “embiggening” your photos (as Flickr refers to it).

The first thing you’ll notice is that the primary image is much larger. The long edge of your image is now 640 pixels across, a 30 percent increase. If that’s not big enough for you, just hover your mouse over any image and you’ll notice the icon changes to a magnifying glass. Click the image (or the new button between the Newer and Older buttons) and you’ll enter what Flickr calls the Lightbox view.

Similar to popular JavaScript slideshow tools, Flickr’s Lightbox view enlarges the image and overlays your screen with a slightly transparent black background. The nice thing about the new Lightbox view is that you can browse through photos without closing it, as well as leave comments and favorite photos.

Perhaps the single most-useful enhancement to casual viewing found in Flickr’s redesign is the addition of new keyboard shortcuts — yes, left and right arrow will now flip through photos just the way you’d expect. The keyboard navigation works in Lightbox mode as well.

The new look consolidates all the tools previously scattered around the page — adding notes, viewing EXIF data, editing images and a dozen more — into a single Actions dropdown menu. The result is a far less-cluttered page that still offers easy access to anything you’d like to do with your photos.

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File Under: Social, Web Services

Flickr Hooks Up With Facebook for Photo-Sharing Love

Photo-sharing website Flickr has announced a new Facebook integration tool that syncs your Flickr photos to your Facebook account. Flickr’s sync tools are built on top of parent company Yahoo’s Updates platform, and will push photo thumbnails, titles and descriptions to your Facebook feed.

Of course, Facebook also offers way to pull in your Flickr images with RSS, as well as about a dozen third-party photo syncing apps that let you post to both services at once. If you use any of those tools, make sure you disable them before turning on Flickr’s new features, otherwise you’ll end up with duplicate photos in your new feed.

The integration of the two services is the result of a new partnership between Yahoo and Facebook announced this week. Yahoo will continue to let its visitors consume Facebook feeds on various Yahoo properties and post to the social network from its pages. Once users link their Yahoo and Facebook accounts, they’ll see news feeds from their Facebook friends on the Yahoo homepage, the web’s most popular news page, and in their inboxes in Yahoo Mail, the web’s most popular webmail service. Flickr, a powerful social network in its own right, is the next testing ground for this integration. Yahoo plans to integrate other social networks, like Twitter, this summer.

To enable the new Flickr-Facebook integration, head over to Flickr and turn on the Facebook Updates feature. Once that’s done, any new photos you post will be pushed to Facebook. By default, only photos marked public will be sent, though you can tweak the privacy settings on your Yahoo Pulse page (bet you didn’t know you had one of those, did you?).

The new Facebook support certainly makes it easy for fans of both sites to get the best of both worlds, but we’re hoping this doesn’t signal a mad rush to add dozens of sharing tools to Flickr.

Flickr, which helped popularize social photo sharing when it launched in 2004, has long been something of a lone wolf on the social web — the Share This tool on its photo pages is admirably spartan. But it’s also a great reminder that, before the isolated model of Facebook gained popularity, there was just the open web. To that end, anyone clamoring for more sharing tools on Flickr are missing the obvious — all your photos and photo collections have a unique URL attached, and you can share that anywhere you like.

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