Tuesday, January 6, 2009 12:19 AM
Cooliris for the iPhone provides quick and free access to videos and photos from sites such as Flickr, YouTube, Smugmug and others. You can finger-flick though the landscape-view grid of thumbnails until something catches your eye, and then tap that particular pic or video to zoom in.
It works much like the popular Cooliris plugin for Firefox. That zoom-in view displays a caption and link, along with icons to save to your own camera roll (for pictures) or e-mail a link to a friend. Tapping the zoomed-in icon displays the full picture or plays the video in a separate viewer.
You can choose to search for particular media from a range of sites, though you can only search one site at a time. Or you can tap the Discover option to sift through media in a varity of categories, such as Sports, Entertainment news, Cool videos or Wallpapers. It's an efficient approach for wallpapers or other media-only items, but for things like Yahoo news photos it can be a little clunky. You can't get the whole news caption in the Cooliris zoom, and instead have to tap a link to bring up a Web page. For news, you're likely better off going straight to a news site.
If you spend much time browsing photos or videos on the iPhone, then it's worth trying the free Cooliris to see whether its grid display suits your style.