Flickr launches Android app, real-time photo sharing

Photo-sharing service unveils its first app for Google's mobile OS, as well as Photo Session, a tool that allows people to view photos together, whether or not they're in the same place.

Daniel Terdiman Former Senior Writer / News
Daniel Terdiman is a senior writer at CNET News covering Twitter, Net culture, and everything in between.
Daniel Terdiman
3 min read

Flickr announced its first official Android app today. Yahoo

SAN FRANCISCO--Yahoo today unveiled the first official Android Flickr app, as well as a new feature that will allow users of its popular photo service to quickly and easily share pictures in real time with family and friends.

Released at a press event here that was meant to highlight part of Yahoo's overall mobile strategy, the new Android Flickr app is the first Yahoo has released, although developers have already built dozens for both Google's and Apple's mobile operating systems. There is already an official iOS app.

The new Flickr Android app gives users the ability to see their own photos, albums, and photostream, as well as that of friends and contacts. Yahoo

Within the new Android app, users will be able to access all their own photos, as well as their albums and contacts. They can see activity streams, and photos that friends have uploaded.

In addition, Flickr developed its own camera experience that is built into the app. It has a custom viewfinder that allows a user to select different photo ratios, and lets him quickly name new photos and add metadata. The app also automatically appends geolocation data. Any new photograph taken inside the app can be instantly and automatically uploaded to Flickr, and can also be sent to other social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, by clicking a check box.

Photo Session
In addition to its new Android app, Flickr also unveiled its new Photo Session feature, which is intended to replicate the traditional way that people would show others pictures from vacations or of their kids or pets. But instead of requiring that everyone be in a room together, Photo Session is meant to make it possible to share such experiences regardless of where anyone is.

It works, said Eileen Hiromura, the product manager for Photo Session, by generating a unique URL that a Flickr user can then send to up to 10 friends or family members. Once they click on the URL, those people can then join a group viewing of an album.

Flickr unveiled Photo Session, a feature that makes it possible for users to share photos with friends and family in real time. Yahoo

The idea here is that the person who generated the session controls how those he or she shared it with see the pictures. So, as that person moves from photo to photo in the album, others taking part in the session will see the same progression. The feature works on computers, iPads, and iPhones. The URL lasts for 24 hours.

Photo Session also lets others who are partaking in an album viewing to make modifications to photos--such as drawing on them--that are instantly seen by everyone involved. And anyone invited to join a Photo Session group can also choose to browse the photos at their own leisure rather than look at them at the speed chosen by the photos' owner. If they want, they can then re-join the group whenever they want.

Photo Session will allow anyone participating in a group to modify photos. Everyone else in the session will see the modifications, such as drawings. Yahoo

Flickr lead product manager Markus Spiering suggested that it's not entirely clear when users will create new Photo Sessions, but said it's likely that people who want to ensure friends and family members will be available to join a group together will contact those people in advance of sending out the session invitation.

Yahoo's eight mobile pillars
Flickr's announcements today were part of what Yahoo head of communications and community products Steve Douty said was the company's newly defined eight mobile strategic pillars.

Those pillars are, Douty said, delivering personal, quality content; a three-screen approach that brings Yahoo content in a seamless fashion to users' tablets, mobile phones, and computers; creating app-enhanced experiences; creating social and local scenarios that take advantage of what Yahoo knows about its users; creating continuous conversations between users irrespective of what kind of device they're using; sharing companion experiences with friends and family across devices; doing a better job of monetizing the company's mobile base via better mobile ads and commerce; and lastly, building new partner-friendly capabilities.