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This Photo App Changes Everything

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    We have a photo-storage problem. Open up your Camera Roll. How many photos are in there? I've got close to 5,000, and I rarely go back through them because it's such a pain. Today, Flickr has unveiled a redesigned mobile app to help with that. The app promises to figure out how to get all those photos off of your handset, providing new ways to search and organize photos so they're not uselessly hogging your phone's limited storage.

    New Categories To Help You Find What You're Looking For
    Flickr has offered users a whopping 1,000 GB of photo storage (that's 1 terabyte!) since 2013, but scrolling back through thousands of photos to find the particular one you wanted was still burdensome. Now, in addition to organizing your photos chronologically, Flickr sorts views dynamically with its new "Magic View." Basically, it uses image recognition to sort photos by what's in the picture, rather than when or where it was taken. Photos are organized into one of 11 main categories and 70 sub-categories. Looking for a great photo of your cat? On the left-hand sidebar, just go to Animals, then Cats, and peruse pics of your feline. Need some different selfies to upload to Tinder? Click on People, then Portraits (oh right, that's what photos of ourselves used to be called). The app can also identify screenshots, black-and-white photos, and panoramas, among other things.

    Your iPhone already does some degree of this: Apple organizes chronologically and by location, into what it calls "Collections" (photos taken in a specific area over a certain date range, like your three-day weekend at the beach) and "Moments" (photos taken at a specific beach or restaurant during that weekend). It also organizes your photos into albums, including automatically filtering panoramas and burst shots into their own albums. But, when you're looking for something specific, like a great group shot of your friends, it can be tedious to flick back in time to find what you need. 

    Sync Function Will Free Up Your Phone's Storage
    While Flickr's solution sounds useful, it's not much help if your photos aren't on Flickr in the first place. The company addressed this with new uploaders for Mac and Windows (which automatically pull all of your photos off your computer) and an Auto-Uploadr feature in its iOS and Android apps (which, when switched on, pulls all of your photos off of your device). Once you've got this auto-upload turned on, you can delete old photos and free up space on your phone. And, if you're not down with automatic uploading, you can still add individual photos or groups of photos to the app manually. 

    While Flickr does let users mark their photos as public— so others can search or use them — all photos uploaded to the service are automatically marked as private until you change those settings. Your #tasetefulnoodz are safe from prying eyes. 

    Better, More Useful Searching
    Flickr also amped up its search — again, making the fact that you have all those photos on file actually useful. Now, when you search for a composite phrase like "Golden Gate Bridge," Flickr understands that you're looking for San Francisco's iconic landmark and not golden things, gates, and bridges. For your own photos, you can search by holiday, year, or location to pull up shots based on metadata tags and Flickr's own automatic subject-tagging algorithm. If you're looking for a specific photo to match a mood or theme, you can search by subject, color, image size, and orientation. When you search, your photos show up first, followed by other users' photos below that. 

    Flickr is also unveiling redesigned web and mobile apps. They definitely look slick, with logical, easy-to-understand navigation. And, their mobile app also feels more social and Instagram-y than Flickr has ever felt in the past. 

    The Flickr app is free, and you can grab it from the App Store or Google Play. It's a must-try if you're constantly running out of storage on your phone, and for the rest of us, hopefully it will help us rediscover all those moments we've painstakingly documented in our lives. And, good news: Flickr doesn't automatically categorize dick pics, so, uh, those can stay forgotten. 



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