APP OF THE DAY: Flickr review (Android and iPhone)
So, Instagram is dead, basically. Facebook may have backed-down on its stance that it can pretty much do what the hell it wants with your photos, but we all know that the company is, at a cellular level, incapable of respecting your privacy.
So, the hunt for an app to make your cameraphone photos look interesting continues. And, surprisingly the answer seems to come, in part, from Yahoo's Flickr. A well-liked photo storage site that's as old as the hills but - if we're honest - has seen better days in terms of features.
But we're not here to talk about websites, we're here to talk about apps, and the Flickr app leaps beyond the abilities of the companion website, and brings with it all the things we need in a photo-sharing and capture app.
Of course, there are the filters. Take a photo of your latte, and the next minute you can be festooning it with all manner of digital effects. What was once a stupid photo of your stupid coffee now becomes an objet d'art, something that future generations will hang in the Tate with sighs about how the artist really understood coffee, and the story of how that humble beverage became a must-have morning accoutrement.
As an app, there's more to it than just filters though. You've got a news feed that hauls in the photos from your contacts. If you're a long-time user of Flickr, then you'll have lots of friends, and you'll see some great stuff here. Flickr really does have some amazing talent locked up in its vaults.
You can also look at photos that are either "interesting" or close to you. Interesting is already filling up with shots of coffee - we're sure these are ironic - and other things that people have been looking at. In our lonely Surrey corner of the country, there wasn't much happening when we looked, just a few aerial shots of London that were pretty impressive, but nothing "real".
One of the things we really like, that will appeal to proper photographers, is the ability to easily access the EXIF information from photos. So if you're browsing images, and you see one you admire, you can then see what equipment was used, and the settings. It's things like this that it that beyond the casual snapper tool that Instagram is, and in to a more interesting place.
To take this further, the camera tool also allows you to change the frame format. So if you have a camera that shoots in 16:9, you have the option to switch that to a more "photographic" ratio, more akin to 35mm that most cameraphones will manage. It's a small thing, but it might suit some photographers.
And that leads us to forgive the slightly limited filters. But then we didn't want or need filters in the first place, because we love photos for what's in them, how they are composed and the beauty that arises from the combinations therein. So from that perspective, Flickr gets a solid thumbs up.