Yahoo announced today that they are enhancing their image search. It has a new tiled interface, a “latest” tab for trending results, a “galleries” tab, and Facebook integration that displays pictures from your friends with your results. The biggest change is, perhaps, the way clicked images are displayed. According to the Yahoo announcement:
“By clicking on any image on the search results page, the image will appear on a fresh page allowing users to browse effortlessly through full-size images with a simple click on the desktop browser.”
The new tiled interface renders all images in equal size, which I actually like better than Google’s “mismatched” look. Like Google and Bing, Yahoo enlarges an image if you hover your mouse over it.
Yahoo is also claiming that more improvements are on the way. These changes are worth checking out because I think this may be the cleanest, prettiest image search of any of the big three search engines. Of course, the bottom line is the results your query gets, and that remains to be seen. You can test it out at images.yahoo.com.
Flickr posted on their blog yesterday that they are now in search of new employees. This, of course, flies in the face of rumors that Yahoo is looking to shutter some their properties. Names that have been bandied about have included Delicious, Yahoo Buzz, and even Flickr. Clearly though, Flickr is alive and well and looking to move forward and grow.
Positions they are looking to fill include Software Engineers, Product Managers, Product Designers, and an Engineering Manager. This is not only good news for Flickr’s large user base, but also for out-of-work computer industry types.
Flickr was the first mainstream photo sharing website and is still the king, despite the growing specter of Google’s Picasa. The fact that they are looking to grow the business and improve their offerings will allow a large portion of the internet breath a huge sigh of relief. We don’t know what they have in store for future platform updates, but this latest post is a good sign that updates are in the works.
Many of the new Android phones come with powerful cameras – up to 8 MP in some cases. The built-in camera software works pretty well also. The Droid X, mt current smartphone of choice, even came with Panorama Mode build-in. However, there are many photography apps available in the Android Market. The first one I tried was Camera 360, which I read about in an article right here.
Recently I have been trying out an app called Camera Zoom FX, which is available for $4.79 from the Android Market. For more information you can also visit the maker’s website, AndroidSlide.
The app boasts a long and impressive list of features. Many of them I have not found in any other camera app. Some, while perhaps available elsewhere, are incredibly useful. I don’t think there’s another app that brings all of these together in one place.
40 photo fx! (pencil, fisheye, filmreel, etc.)
1-click simultaneously upload to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc.
customization of all hardware buttons, e.g. volume buttons to control zoom
sound activation to take shots (clap to snap!)
online photo contest (voting using Twitter / Facebook) – best picture wins $100
circular zoom wheel (6x zoom)
upscale zoomed images
tap screen to snap shot
timer + sound effect
auto focus on / off
burst mode up to 16 shots
photo booth, e.g. 2 x 2 passport style combination shots
stable shot mode, including on-screen meter to show current level of movement
props, borders and famous ‘buddies’ in your pictures
customizable grid overlays
support from Android 1.5 through to Android 2.2
antibanding (for TV / computer monitors)
auto save option
flash (supported handsets)
scene modes, e.g. nightshot, beach (Droid only)
Once you open the app you will get a simple right-side menu that includes FX, Buddy (insert), hardware, shooting, and flash. Clicking on each one brings up a more detailed list of options.
For instance, FX gives you such options as Normal, Color FX, Mirror FX, Art FX, Distort FX, and Frame FX. Hardware allows you to hoose Auto Focus options, Filters, White Balance, and Night Shots.
If you click the menu button on your Android device you will get a whole list of settings you can change. You can choose from such options as setting Camera Zoom FX as your default camera, enable shutter sound, zoom sensitivity, upscale zoomed images, picture size, JPEG quality, stable shot sensitivity, voice activation,burst mode options, sharing, and store GPS location in picture date, plus a lot more.
For a look at some of what Camera Zoom FX can do you can browse the gallery below.
If you have a blog and are always looking for photos to spice up your posts then there’s anew site that you will want to check out. It’s called Wylio. It searches millions of creative commons photos to find what you are looking for. Just use common sense about what you find, as their website states:
“be pragmatic when you decide what photo to use. If it’s painfully obvious that “flickr_user_1234″ isn’t the copyright owner for that Coca-Cola logo they uploaded… don’t use it.”
It’s free to use and sing-up is required. To get started simply visit the website and enter your search term and see what you find.
Adding a photo is not quite as easy as right-clicking and choosing “copy image”, though. Instead, once you have selected your photo, you click the “get the code” button and then paste the code into your blog’s HTML. It will add links back to the photographer.
This is one of the easier ways to find pictures, but it is NOT the easiest way to add them to a blog. In fact, it’s downright difficult to get their code to work, at least in WordPress, which is what we use. It’s a good resource and if you have time to play around then you’ll love it. If you’re a casual blogger or not particularly tech-savvy then you may want to look elsewhere.
Well folks it has been a long time coming but the new website is online and I am pretty happy with the performance and responses so far. There may be a few tweaks we have to make but overall I am a very happy camper with the design look.