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Mobile Apps

Getting started with Flickr's overhauled mobile app

Yahoo updated its Flickr app for iOS and Android, and version 3.0 introduces an entirely different design and new features including video capture.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Instagram must be blushing. Yahoo has rolled out version 3.0 of its Flickr app for iOS and for Android. I took the iPhone app for a spin and found it a big improvement over the previous version. It boasts a cleaner design that easier to navigate, faster search, and the newfound ability to capture video. Still, there is one seemingly basic feature that goes missing. Update: upon closer inspection and reader email, the basic feature of deleting photos is, in fact, included in the app.

To get started with Flickr 3.0, a Yahoo ID is required; you can no longer use Facebook or a Gmail address. Once you are signed in, you will see an Instagram-like single-column feed. Below each photo, there are buttons to favorite, comment, and share. Sharing options include Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, email, and text.

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Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Flickr crops photos and videos to fit them in the feed, but a single tap expands a photo or video and for photos adds a fourth button to the aforementioned trio. Tap this info button to view metadata for a photo such as where and when it was taken and by what type of camera with what settings.

My feed was filled with recommended users, a few of which I chose to follow to get started building my feed. I also went into settings to the Find friends function, which lets you search Facebook, Twitter, and your contacts for Flickr users to follow. I added a handful of friends, but despite my efforts, my feed remained littered for roughly an hour with random recommendations and a recommended user I unfollowed and then blocked before it updated with the users I chose to follow.

If you swipe down quickly, a search box slides down from the top, along with an explore button. When searching, you can filter by photos, people, or groups. Results are returned with alacrity. The Explore view breaks you out of the one-column feed layout and shows you various-sized thumbnails of a sort of "best of" Flickr.

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Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

There are three buttons along the bottom of the screen. The left button takes you to your feed, the center button puts you in camera mode, and the right button shows you your profile, where you can view your photos and videos, albums, and any groups you have joined. To delete photos and videos, tap the Edit button when viewing the All tab of your photos, which lets you select photos and videos to delete or adjust privacy settings.

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Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

In photo/video mode, you have access to the 14 live filters that were introduced last year. You can apply prior to or after snapping a shot. The big addition here is video capture. There are video camera and still camera icons to either side of the shutter button. Select video mode and the shutter button turns red. Now, you can capture up to 30 seconds of HD video. And the same 14 live filters can be applied to videos, but you must pick one prior to shooing. And you don't get the other edit tools, such as brightness, hue, and contrast controls as you do with photos. When capturing video, however, you can stop and start during the 30-second capture time to create multiple clips. And you can delete the last clip you captured and then continue shooting.

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Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

In settings, you can turn on auto-sync, which sends a backup to Flickr of every photo you snap on your phone; choose to save photos snapped with the app to your camera roll, and set your privacy settings.