Each new iPhone model continues to bring great improvements in image and video quality. Like most people, my iPhone is my one and only source to capture photos and videos. But how do you store manage hundreds, or even thousands, of shots? In today’s App Smackdown, we’re pitting Apple’s stock Photos app against the newly updated Flickr.
Compatibility: All iOS devices
Photos doesn’t need much of an introduction. If you ever spent much time using an iPhone or iPad, you’ve probably used the app.
For the most part, Photos just works. It ties in nicely with iOS and is easy to navigate and find what you’re looking for. And instead of the confusing Photo Stream, iCloud Photo Library makes it simple to keep all of your photos and videos stored on iCloud and accessible by any iOS device or through the new Photos app in OS X. If you’re willing to pay for the storage, you can have every photo and image you’ve ever shot available quickly and easily.
By far, my biggest complaint with the Photos app is the lack of free, or even inexpensive storage plans. While every iOS user receives a paltry 5GB of storage for free, that can quickly fill up with just a few backups of your iOS devices and photos. If you want more storage, get ready to pay through the nose. The maximum amount of storage, 1TB, costs $19.99 per month. That’s double what Dropbox charges for the same amount of space. Other paid options include $0.99 per month for 20GB, 200GB for $3.99 per month, and $9.99 a month for 500GB.
Total score: 16 out of 20
Release date: Dec. 21, 2011
Last update: May 26, 2015 (Version 4.0.2)
Compatibility: Universal – iPhone/iPod touch and iPad/iPad mini
Yahoo’s Flickr became much more interesting for iOS users when the app was updated to version 4.0 in early May. Instead of a simple portal to the service, the update positioned Flickr as a complete photo storage and management app. With the Auto-Uploadr feature, users can upload the videos and photos on their iOS device to the service. All uploaded items are marked private unless you select to share them.
The new version also ushered in a new design with a Camera Roll section that acts much like Apple’s built-in feature, even offering a Timeline view of photos and videos. Photographers can also edit images with a number of built-in tools and filters. You can also share images directly to Instagram.
You shouldn’t have a problem placing all of your photos and images on Flickr. All users receive 1TB of free storage space, the same amount of space that costs nearly $250 per year on iCloud. That should definitely get most user’s attention.
My only issue with the app, so far, is that you’re unable to see or upload slow-motion video, timelapse videos, or panoramic shots taken with the stock Camera app.
Total score: 15 out of 20
And the winner is . . .
By a small margin, Apple’s Photos app pulls out the victory. While it’s far from perfect, the deep ties within iOS make it a nice place to keep track of your images and photos. And if you’re using a Mac, the new Photos app for OS X really does a nice job of tying together iCloud Photo Library. Apple just needs to make storage prices more reasonable.
But if you like to take a huge amount of photos and videos, and are running out of space on your iPhone or iPad, definitely take a look at Flickr. The free storage is easily worth the price of admission. Even if you still stick with Apple’s Photos, I still recommend downloading the Flickr app for the auto-backup functionality and 1TB of free storage. It never hurts to have those memories stored safely and securely if you ever need them.