Facebook acquired Instagram earlier this week. This pushed me to look for other alternatives to use on my Android phone. I was already using PicPlz before Instagram arrived on the Android platform. I decided to give Streamzoo a chance.
Streamzoo is a pretty solid photo sharing app with tons of features. And they have just released an update that adds on a lot of value to the app.
Here is the changelog:
★ Share Streamzoo uploads to Google+ (must have Google+ installed).
★ 24 more awesome emoticons!
✔ Bug fixes and other performance improvements.
★ Filters, borders and other features now available offline without login. (v2.4)
★ Make profiles private to require approval before following. (v2.4)
★ Set individual items as private, viewable only to the uploader. (v2.4)
★ Built-in emoticon support with custom icons. (v2.4)
✔ Performance and scalability improvements. (v2.4)
500px has turned out to be one of the strongest challengers to Flickr in the photo sharing market.
The service is now preferred by tons of professional photographers around the world.
500px has just launched a major update on their photo sharing platform with a bunch of new features…
Flow: This is a new way to check out photos on the platform. There are different flows available to all users. A primary flow stream on the homepage of the service that showcases the best photos uploaded in recent times. A flow for logged in users based on actions of their contacts on the service. And a personalized flow based on your own actions and interests.
Stories: 500px users can now create stories out of photos hosted on the service. A story can have a single image or hundreds. This is a cool concept to create customized galleries to share with friends and family.
Market: This is a feature aimed at users who want to generate revenue from their 500px account by selling prints and digital downloads. The company said:
We designed Market from scratch, and completely redefined the way people buy art online. No more endless frame choice or hundreds of different papers — just the best quality canvas available in the US printed in two large, vivid sizes — 24×36 and 30×30 inches. Every 500px photo will look absolutely gorgeous on a such beautiful canvas. Photographers love Market because each sale brings more than $200 in profit — and we take care of billing, printing, shipping and quality control.
All high-resolution photos in Market are securely stored and are not available for the public, and only used to print the order or create HD downloads.
With Market, we are also introducing HD downloads as an option for buyers. Different from usual 20-25% revenue cut other photo platforms provide to photographers, Market provides photographers with 70% revenue, taking care of orders, credit card processing and storage. All HD downloads are available in crystal clear full 1080p (1920×1080 or similar, depending on photo dimensions), and available for just $2.99.
Facebook is reportedly testing a new photo viewer on their network that looks and feels very similar to the one we have on Google Plus.
This photo viewer opens the image in a two column layout. Left column shows the photo. Left column has the comments and other information.
This layout apparently encourages more comments on the photos and also is suitable for better placement of advertisements.
It is not clear how soon this new layout would be available to everyone.
Flickr has just revealed a couple of changes that their users would see in the coming months.
Here is what they are planning to do…
They are going to discontinue Picnik integration. They are working on their own in-house replacement which they promise would be much better. The service is owned by Google today which might be the reason behind this decision.
Flickr is also discontinuing a recently launched feature named Photo Session. Flickr said that the feature is not used by a lot of people and hence there is no point in keeping it. They plan to use the technologies developed for this platform in other components of the service.
Flickr Clock was hidden a while ago. It is still available if you know the link to the section. They are going to shut it down as well. Flickr said: “We created the clock to gather visual, video (or “long photos” as we like to call them) moments in time from around the world. It’s a pretty little thing, but its user experience is complicated and it’s not core to our product offering – so we’re going to say goodbye.”
Flickr is also going to discontinue the Slate edition of Flickr app for Windows 7. We might see them offer a Metro version when Windows 8 launches later this year.
Flickr has a warning for developers using their APIs in their products. They are going to discontinue support for FlickrAuth this year. They are advising developers to switch to oAuth which they fully support.
Flickr has also announced that they are going to stop supporting Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 3.6 editions this year. These browsers already see a couple of compatibility issues. Things are just going to get worse for the users of these versions this year.
Google Plus has another update for the photos sharing functionality. This one is related to face recognition. It is totally opt-in thankfully.
You can now allow your friends and relatives on the network to tag you in photos. The process is a bit automated as the service would suggest them your name in photos where it believe you are present.
Google Plus would use facial recognition technology to locate your face in the images.
Google developer Matt Steiner spoke about this feature:
By turning on Find My Face, Google+ can prompt people you know to tag your face when it appears in photos. Of course, you have control over which tags you accept or reject, and you can turn the feature on or off in Google+ settings. (https://plus.google.com/settings/plus)
It is currently being rolled out to all the users of the Google Plus platform.
Google developers have delivered yet another update. This is for the photo sharing functionality of the platform.
You can now share albums with your friends and relatives by passing on a special link.
No need to share the album using Circles or Email Addresses.
This comes handy when you have to quickly share an album with multiple people without adding them in the permission group.
Google developer Roshni Malani said:
Today we’re making it even easier to share photos with a new option called “Share album via link”. Clicking this option creates a link that can be shared on mailing lists and forwarded to friends whose email address you don’t know or can’t find.
Users retain the ability to cancel these special links whenever they desire. Flickr offers a similar feature to share photo sets with people. Good to see it available on the Plus platform too.
Google has updated their Plus app for both iOS and Android platforms this week.
Both the apps now support full resolution image sharing.
We have already noticed that how this full resolution image sharing could be breaking one of the features of Google Plus… Google Plus mobile apps are able to upload and share images larger than 2048 pixels which mean that these images consume the 1GB storage available to all Google accounts. If you have a paid storage account, Google is likely to count its data usage.
Another interesting thing worth noting here… Google Plus mobile apps first upload a smaller version of the image. This is used to quickly sharing the image through a post in the Google Stream. Google then uploads the larger version of the image in the background and that image replaces the smaller version posted earlier. This is actually a very good decision on Google’s part as most mobile users are likely to be on slow mobile internet connections.
It would be nice if Google provide options to restrict smaller image uploads on Edge/3G and these images can be replaced with larger versions which the user enters a Wi-Fi zone.
Instagram is loved by its user base for similar techniques which makes image sharing fast and intuitive on the iPhone platform.
Google has just updated their Google Plus mobile app for the iPhone platform.
– full resolution photo uploads
– photo +1
One of the new features is support for full resolution uploads. This means that if you are using an iPhone 4S, you can now share images in its full glory which comes to 8 megapixels.
But Google also has a policy that applies on Google Plus. All images uploaded from Google Plus are hosted for free and there is a size limitation of 2048 pixels on it.
Free storage limits
Photos up to 2048 x 2048 pixels and videos up to 15 minutes won’t count towards your free storage.
All photos uploaded in Google+ will be automatically resized to 2048 pixels (on their longest edge) and won’t count towards your free storage quota.
We test uploaded an image using the iPhone app and the app indeed uploaded an image larger than the free limit.
This means that Apple iPhone users of Google Plus might end up using the 1GB free storage that Google offers through Picasa or Google is making an exception for images uploaded from mobile devices.
Google Help documents do not mention any such exceptions.
PS. At least for now… The Android version of the app offers two ways to upload. The background sync service resizes the image to 2048px on the wider side. Sharing a photo through a post on Plus uploads a much smaller version. In both cases, the image size remains under the free limit. Google is expected to offer full resolution uploads on their Android app too in the coming days. We would check again if they mimic the behavior of the iOS app in that update. It is weird that Google has not stated anything about the free image storage policy in this update.
Sony has a mobile app available through the Google Android Market named vscreens photo sharing beta.
vscreens photo sharing beta is designed to enable sharing of photos and videos on your phone with any device in your home that has a browser and is connected to the web.
You need to install the app on your phone and then load vscreens.com on the device you want to use.
The website would show a unique QR code that you can scan using the app to start broadcasting media files from your phone to that device.
It is a bit complicated considering there are easier ways to get your data to your laptops and other computing devices. But it is a cool concept nonetheless.
I tried using it on my setup but the app did not work for me. It hanged during the connectivity process. I am hoping a future update would fix this bug for me.
Instagram continues to grow like weed. The company now has 13 million users and they are around 13 months old!
This number is even more phenomenal as they only offer support for the Apple iPhone platform. God knows what the growth would be like when they launch their Android app.
The company spoke about the upcoming Android edition: “All I can say about Android is that it will definitely happen — as for timing, we’ve got nothing to announce yet except that I’m very excited about what the team is working on.”
Instagram has tons of rivals in the mobile photo sharing market including services like PicPlz (dedicated), Google Plus, Flickr, WordPress, Posterous etc etc.