Flickr iPhone App Updates To Support Retina Display

Yahoo has announced an update to their Flickr for iPhone app that brings support to the retina display screen that is available with the latest generation of iPhone. This means that the new version 1.3 of Flickr iPhone app will now render images compatible to the 960×640 pixel resolution of the iPhone 4 display. You will recall that the newly launched iPod Touch too comes with a retina display and there are speculations – though unconfirmed – that iPad 2 could feature this high resolution display.

Apart from support for retina display, the new Flickr iPhone app update also preserves EXIF data (date, time and geo-data) across all photos. Users can now upload photos in batches of five. Besides, the new update also enhances social sharing functions making it easy for users to share pictures via Twitter using the Flic.kr URL shortener.

The app is free to download and can be accessed by visiting this iTunes link.

Use Flickr Without A Yahoo Login ID – Use Google Instead

Want to use Flickr to upload and share pictures, but want to do it without a Yahoo login ID? It was not possible until now. But Yahoo has now announced that the company is embracing OpenID in order to ensure more widespread use of their popular photo sharing service. Google is the first company to partner with Yahoo in the introduction of OpenID.

Starting now, you may sign up for a Flickr account with your Google login ID instead. This is interesting because Google runs Picasa, the rival photo sharing service. By letting users access Flickr with their login, Google could be increase the appeal of Flickr over Picasa. Nevertheless, this is a big win for users as they can now get the best of both worlds.

Want to sign up? Click here to get started.

Yahoo Integrating All Properties Under Y.COM?

There has been a lot of debate in the past few months over the future strategy for Yahoo. There is no doubt that the company has some of the finest products in the web space that includes an email service (Yahoo mail), photo sharing service (Flickr), social bookmarking tool (Delicious) besides offering several commercial and enterprise solutions.

Y.com - Yahoo's new parent domainDespite these several services owned by the Sunnyvale based internet giant, the company has been largely seen to be banking on its content portals moving forward. Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz sees her company as a bigger version of AOL, that’s it!

In this context, a recent move by Yahoo to trademark Y.com appears interesting. In January of this year, Yahoo approached the US Patents and Trademark Office to trademark this new domain name. In the trademark description, Yahoo writes,

Creating indexes of information, sites, and other resources available on computer networks for others; searching and retrieving information, sites, and other resources available on computer networks for others; computer services, namely, providing search engines for obtaining data on a global computer network; design, creation, hosting, and maintenance of websites for others; providing temporary use of online non-downloadable software for use in designing, creating, hosting, maintaining, and operating personal web pages; hosting computer software applications of others; providing customized online web pages featuring user-defined information, which includes search engines and online web links to other websites; domain name registration services for identification of users on a global computer network; online computer mapping services; mapping services, namely, providing a website and website links to geographic information, map images, and trip routing; computer services, namely, providing spam filtering, firewall, and parental control online filtering services; providing temporary use of online non-downloadable software in the field of employment information

The description is interesting in that it describes several of Yahoo’s services like Delicious, Flickr in its umbrella of services.

So, that makes me wonder if Yahoo is planning to split their offerings into two – media consumption and tools & services. The Yahoo.com of today shall continue to serve media content while most of the other services including independent sites like Delicious and Flickr may be integrated into the new Y.com.

Alternately, I wonder if Y.com shall be the company’s new integrated parent platform where all of the existing properties shall redirect to. For instance, Flickr will point to flickr.y.com, Delicious will point to delicious.y.com and Yahoo will point to yahoo.y.com

Either ways, it will be interesting to see where things go from here.

Yahoo Search Integration With Flickr Coming Soon

You may need to take this with a grain of salt, but Yahoo may be working on integrating its search results with links to other Yahoo properties like Flickr and Delicious.

An indication towards this was offered by a commenter claiming to be from Yahoo in response to another comment on TechCrunch that emphasized on the need for Yahoo to integrate its web properties.  Shreyas, the Yahoo engineer wrote

“Good point. I believe we (diff team) are working on it but will find out.”

While this may be disregarded for the simple fact that the comment is anonymous, it still makes for an interesting speculation which also makes great strategic sense for Yahoo. What do you think?

Augmented Reality Coming To Flickr?

Imagine these scenario : You have just been from a trip to New York and have shared pictures on Flickr. One of the pics is of a burger shop that you loved and want to share the same with your friends on Flickr. It is normal for people to write such things on the image description area.

However, Yahoo has a better plan. In a patent filed by the company, the inventors explain the concept of a “virtual note” that can be overlaid across pictures that you have taken so that description of places captured in a photo as well as subsequent comments can happen inside the photo itself.

This is not all. The inventors talk of more embodiments. With geotagging already possible on Flickr, users may also browse across such virtual notes from a map view.

However, the most significant aspect of the invention is the use of augmented reality. The inventors describe that since these virtual notes are geotagged, accessing the service from a mobile device will gather all virtual notes geotagged to locations within a particular radius from the location of the mobile device that can be displayed to the user.

Flickr Augmented Reality

There appear to be a variety of use-cases to such an invention. Primarily this can simply serve as a tagging tool for Flickr users. However, such a tool can also grow to be a local-review feature (like Yelp?)where user reviews of places within localities can be accessed at a press of a button. And the worst use-case of all?Advertisers can use the virtual note feature to promote their places to people in the vicinity; much like Google’s ads on maps.