Editor’s Note: The following review is adapted from Five Star Apps: The Best iPhone and iPad Apps for Work and Play by Glenn Fleishman. (2010, Pearson Education and Peachpit Press).
I have thousands of photos on Flickr, but I’ve never been a fan of its Website for looking through my own pictures (in sets or individually) or those of my Flickr contacts. (My contacts are a combination of friends, family, colleagues, and minor celebrities.) FlickPad Pro from Shacked Software is a terrific way to explore, allowing me to revisit my own work and browse through the work of others. A recent update allows you to pull in your photos and those of friends from Facebook as well, and far better than using Facebook’s Web site. (Facebook’s free iOS app also has a better approach to looking through photos than Facebook.com.)
When launched, the $3 iPad app first shows a simulation of a stack of photos, all a bit askew, overlapping one another. This pile is drawn from the most recent photos in both your photostream and those photostreams of your contacts. You can drag photos around to see them better. Holding down on a picture brings it to the top of the stack.
If you flick a photo off screen, another replaces it. Use two fingers to flick, and all the photos from that contact disappear. (A number of tap and swipe shortcuts are available, neatly explained out when you tap the “i” button at the top.)
You can also hold down on a picture to carry out an action: e-mail the photo, mark all that contact’s photos as seen (which removes them from the main page), or hide that contact to prevent his or her photos from appearing without “reactivating” them via the Settings menu.
Double-tap a photo, and the contact’s sets are loaded. Double-tap a set, and the photos are revealed. Tap any photo, and the image fills the screen, showing the caption and date at lower left. At upper right, a star or favorite button lets you mark an image as one you like and see others who did the same. A comments button shows comments and allows you to leave new comments, too. Tap Slideshow and the current set is displayed in sequence.
FlickPad Pro includes an option to supplement something Apple left out of iOS: multiple users. Tap the mug-shot icon in the upper left, and then a + (plus) at the bottom of the pop-over dialog, and you can add multiple users, each having a unique Facebook and Flickr account login. There’s no way to lock switching between users, but it’s a convenient tool if multiple people use the same iPad to view their photos.
[Glenn Fleishman is a frequent contributor to Macworld.]