New Flickr App for iPhone Goes After Instagram with Filters and New Features

PHOTO: Yahoo has updated Flickrs iPhone app.

Eighty-five million photo sharing users just got some new tools.

Today Yahoo released an update for its Flickr iPhone and iOS apps with several new features, including new ways to find and view photos, apply filters to photos, improved sharing capability and camera editing tools.

Markus Spiering, Head of Product for Flickr, says the update aims to provide an entire photo solution.

"The goal was to build something that is beautiful and easy to use," he says.

The app allows users to share images via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and email, as well as add data such as titles, captions and locations. One can tap on an icon to see information from an image such as the shutter speed and camera used to take it. The app provides some new tools to let you modify your image -- you can adjust the focus or crop and resize it, for example, or choose from 16 new camera filters. (More on those filters soon.)

From an iPhone, one can tap the "Contacts" tab to see photos uploaded by friends and connections, or tap the "Groups" tab to see images arranged in categories, such as "Food and Art."

"We put photos first," says Spiering, whose team spent the last several months developing the update. "We want the user to enjoy and experience photos in the highest quality possible."

For example, tilt the iPhone to one side and the app displays a full-screen version of the image you are looking at. To maintain the best possible quality, the app works in the background to load a hi-resolution version of the photo.

Flickr's app update and photo filter additions come on the heels of Twitter and Instagram's battle. Instagram, which has become the hot new photo sharing service and is now owned by Facebook, stopped allowing photos to appear embedded in tweets. A day later, Twitter released new iPhone and Android apps that allow users to apply filters to their photos and make small edits right from the Twitter app.

For now, the update is available for iOS only. The iPhone, according to Spiering, is the most popular camera for Flickr users, so it made sense to develop the update for iOS users first. Yahoo, which bought Flickr in 2005, also released updates for its Yahoo Mail apps on Tuesday.

Spiering says Flickr wants to make the updated version available across all platforms in the near future.

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