Flickpad is a Flickr (and Facebook) client for the iPad. There are seemingly endless Flickr clients for the iPad, but this is the one I use most. Why? Because it is the first one that actually makes it feel like you are browsing real printed photographs.
The app, which comes in paid and lite versions, uses a wooden table as a presentation metaphor, and pulls photos in from your Flickr and Facebook contacts. These photos are scattered over the table, overlapping just as if you had emptied a shoe-box of pictures. Flickpad isn’t designed to be a full-on Flickr browser. It does one thing: let you keep up with your friends’ photos.
The interface makes heavy use of touch, to the extent that when you have to actually tap a button, it is jarring (but necessary, like editing settings, for example). Instructions can be called up in a popover at any time, but the basic controls consist of tapping and swiping to move the stacks around: Rearrange photos by dragging with one finger. A two-finger drag magically pulls together all the photos in a set into on pile. Pinching or double-tapping lets you zoom fullscreen, and long and triple-taps offer extra functions.
If you flick a picture off to the side it scoots off the table and is marked seen. You can also view all photos from a friend, add to favorites and even take a look at the “Interesting” photos from Flickr.
The deeper controls take some getting used to, but the fingers-on manipulation is so perfect for the content that it is worth a little effort.
Currently, no photos are cached, so you’ll need to reload everything on launch. Some of the settings are a little tricky to find, too, so deep are they hidden, but one you know about them it seems obvious.
For instance, hit the little settings cog and you can drill down to choose which friends’ photos you want to pull down. This last is essential if you use the app to show your mother your baby-photos, but also have contacts who share more erotic images. You can switch them off easily.
The addition of an offline mode would make this app truly killer. As it is, you’ll find big chunks of the day disappearing as you flick through Flickpad. Remember when you’d be looking in the closet for something and you’d come across a shoe-box of old photos and lose the rest of the afternoon going through them? Flickpad is just like that.
Flickpad is free (with limitations) or $7 (adds multiple user accounts and more). And yes, I know the video at the top of the post comes off like a commercial, but it’s a great way to see the features in action.