Flickr review: Browse and share photos in style

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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Flickr sports new search tools that makes it much easier to find photos in your library. The interface is extremely intuitive letting you manage your own photos or browse what others are posting.

The Bad You can't edit personal info and the app is sometimes slow to load.

The Bottom Line If you like seeing what you're friends are shooting or want a way to share your photography skills, the Flickr app offers better search and filters to make your photos pop.


8.1 Overall
  • Features and Support 8.0
  • Interface 8.0
  • Performance 8.0
  • Installation and Setup 9.0

Editor's note, June 5, 2015: This review has been updated to reflect features added in the newest version of the app.

Yahoo overhauled its Flickr (iOS|Android) app last year with a refreshed design that made browsing a much smoother experience. It also gave all Flickr users a free terabyte of space (roughly 500,00o photos) with the intention of getting you to put all your photos into the service.

The only problem is, with that many photos, it makes it really hard for people to find the photos they want.

With the latest version of Flickr released today, new tools help you focus your searches on both dates and events, but also on colors that help you get the photos you want quickly.

If you're primarily a desktop user, many of the same Flickr features you're used to are still available in both apps, including your photo stream, albums and groups. You can also still view original-quality uncompressed photos. Both versions automatically back up everything you shoot with your phone. The apps are dead simple to use and make Flickr a useful tool for storing all your mobile photos in the cloud.

Setup and design

To get started, you must have an account set up with Yahoo, or you can create a new account right from the app, which lets you use your Facebook or Google+ credentials if you like. Once you're all set up, you'll get free access to Flickr, which comes with the ability to upload up to a terabyte of photos or video to your account. Before you start worrying about running out of space, Yahoo points out that you could take a photo once every hour for more than 60 years before using it all up.

Both the iOS and Android apps have a similar look, but some features live in the different places. In the iOS app, there's a prominent camera button at the bottom of the screen, which launches the camera. On the left and right are toggles for the main photo stream and your profile, respectively. With the Android app, there are icons at the top of the screen for search, your photo stream, your profile and notifications. The camera button is in the far right corner.

In both apps, your profile page shows your profile photo at the top, which you can customize from the app, with your most recent uploads right below that. There's also a stock background photo behind your profile picture, but you can't swap that out. You can jump to your albums, the photos you've liked, and your groups from your profile page.

There's also a notification menu in both apps, which shows new followers, comments and likes.

Better search tools

With the increase in storage capacity to a free terabyte for every user, it means that people can have up to 500,000 photos available to post. But the problem is, finding a specific photo among that many becomes extremely difficult.

To make it easier to find individual photos or groups of photos, the latest version of Flickr uses image recognition technology to make it easier to find photos even if you didn't provide extra information when you uploaded them. Even search terms like Easter or Christmas will gather photos that fit that time frame instead of relying on whether you tagged or labeled them directly.

The latest version on desktops also has the option to use a search filter that seeks out specific colors. (This feature isn't part of the mobile apps, but will probably be added at sometime in the near future.) So, selecting the color of sand on a beach would turn up most of your beach photos. It's a great idea, so hopefully it will be available in the mobile versions soon.

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