Developing for the iPhone is not entirely like developing for the Mac. While the platforms are, of course, based on the same underpinnings, the ways and circumstances in which you interact with your iPhone are quite different from how you use your Mac. So iPhone developers have to make very specific decisions about what they put in—and, perhaps more importantly what they leave out.
Fraser Speirs of Connected Flow has long been producing FlickrExport for iPhoto and for Aperture, plugins that allow you to share the photos you store in those applications with the popular social networking photo site. As handy as this is when you’re on your Mac, it’s even more useful when it comes to using a device that has a camera built into it, such as the iPhone. If the iPhone and Flickr uploading seem like a perfect match, then you’re in luck: Fraser took time out of his WWDC schedule to demo a development version of the iPhone-native FlickrExport.
While the premise of the application is largely the same as its desktop counterpart, there are plenty of differences in the way the application works on the iPhone. On the Mac side, FlickrExport lets you upload photo from your iPhoto and Aperture libraries, but on the iPhone, the application not only lets you upload an existing image from your iPhone, but also take a picture with the iPhone’s camera from inside FlickrExport itself and then upload it to Flickr.
Photos are the centerpiece of Flickr, but much of the fun in flipping through the site is the context the photos are given. Users assign titles, descriptions, and tags to their photos so people know what they’re looking at. FlickrExport provides text fields for editing the photo’s metadata before you upload it; you can also choose what privacy settings you’d like to use, making your photo visible to everyone, or only to select groups, like friends or family. The program can even take advantage of the iPhone’s Core Location system to tag your photo with the current geographical location and upload that information to Flickr as well.
Of course, you won’t be able to do everything in the iPhone version of FlickrExport that you can do on the desktop version. Whereas the Mac edition is more focused on uploading a batch of photos, the iPhone program only handles one photo at a time. While Fraser considered using a queue for uploading multiple photos, he decided to concentrate on handling single photo uploads, which seemed more in line with the way users would want to interact with the Flickr uploads from their iPhone.
From a performance standpoint, FlickrExport for iPhone seems to work quite well. The interface is simple and intuitive, and uploading photos to Flickr is relatively speedy: using Wi-Fi, it takes only a couple seconds, and over EDGE, it only takes a little longer: about 20 seconds.
Fraser said he hoped to have FlickrExport available when the App Store launches, though he hasn’t yet decided on a price for the application. He’s also hard at work on a second Flickr-related application, which is still in development stages.