Android users enjoyed a significant upgrade to Flickr in August, but iOS users were left languishing with a fairly basic app that didn't offer half of the functionality of the website. In fact, using the mobile site was a superior experience to the app. That changed around lunchtime (here in the UK, anyway) today. An updated Flickr for iOS is now available, complete with in-app camera and snazzy new layout.
Ignore the moaners and groaners who are dyspeptically lamenting that Flickr has added a filter option to the camera function. Yes, they included the option to wash your photo, taken on the newly introduced camera, with some kind of filter. Everyone's doing it now and it isn't really new or exciting. In fact, it's probably the scourge of modern photography and we'll succumb to scurvy if we continue to apply them.
But you know what? This upgrade is about a whole lot more than a selection of filters. Some much-needed functionality has been added to the app, which was quite frankly rather poor before hand, bringing what you can do with the app closer to what you can do with the website.
For me, the most exciting addition is the ability to interact with the groups you belong to. You can see the photos that have been submitted to them and you can participate in their discussions. Previously, I found not being able to do that from the app highly frustrating.
When you explore your contacts' uploads, you can select from two layouts. One shows you the uploads by adte alone. The other gives you the streams of your contacts organised by most recent upload.
As for uploading your own images, take a picture, make your edits with Aviary, apply a filter (or not), and then upload it to your photostream, add it to a group or set if you want, write a description, and complete everything with tags. Or you can select one from your phone's camera stream.
This update improves the functionality of the app hugely, but even I, in my rose-tinted Flickr-adoration, know that Flickr has suffered from stagnation. I don't know if it's enough, but it's a start. And I'm very happy about the improvements.
Whoah! And there's more! Flickr has just announced that over the next few days it'll be rolling out an improved navigation bar and a new-style Explore page on its website. I'm not seeing that yet, but I'm looking forward to trying it.