Yesterday I noticed the Flickr app on my iPhone and iPad had been updated with a new design, but it wasn’t immediately obvious just how comprehensive the changes were. David Pogue — who works for Yahoo — has a nice overview of the new features, and there’s much to love:
All I can do is state the facts, coldly and clinically. For example, Flickr gives you 1 terabyte of storage for your photos and videos, for free; automatically backs up all your photos and videos, past and future, from all your computers, phones, and tablets, for free; permits access to those pictures and videos from your phone; permits instant redownloads of any group of pictures at original resolution; offers one-click sharing of albums by generating a custom Web address; and lets you search or group your photos according to what they’re pictures of.
This is exciting. I love Flickr, and it may have just become the best online solution for photos for the vast majority of people. And best of all, it’s free.1
As of today though, there are still two issues that prevent it from being a complete backup solution for me: it doesn’t store RAW files, and it doesn’t automatically upload photos from Lightroom. If, like me, you have lots of RAW files sitting in your Lightroom catalog, you’ll need to export them to JPEG first and then use the new Uploadr app to get them backed up.
Since I’m primarily a RAW shooter and frequently go back to make additional edits on some of my old pictures, this sadly means I have no use for the new backup features. That said, I still love the social aspect of Flickr, and I will definitely continue to upload my edited photos in JPEG format to share online. It’s not the complete backup solution I was hoping for,2 but it still works very well for everything else.
In any case, Flickr continues to be my favorite online photo service, and I’m happy to see that it is alive and well, and that they keep pushing to stay relevant. They still have a ways to go but it appears they’re on the right track, and we’re all better off for it.