I’m not the kind of guy that falls easily for eye candy. I mean yeah, I do for a few seconds, but by then I find all the fancy effects slowing things down too much, and I end up turning them off. I installed the PicLens Firefox plugin after reading a tweet about it from someone and I have to say I’ve enjoyed it very much to scroll through Flickr search results, or people’s photo streams. It’s not only good lookin’, but it even allows you to navigate way smoother through the pictures than you can through the website.
The cool thing about PicLens is the way it allows you to navigate through the pictures. It gives you a continuous stream of thumbnails you can scroll through in a smooth iPhone kind of way. I heard iPhones are hip nowadays, so that makes it cooler already, doesn’t it? When you click an image, you get to take a better look at it, and if you double-click it, you get it full screen. You can also scroll using your cursor key if you are viewing the images full screen. Quite intuitive, and nice to look at. Zooming in and out works through the scroll-wheel on your mouse, and the images you select or are at the center of your screen are loaded in detail, while others remain lower quality thumbnails. A smart way of only loading what you’re interested in, and allowing the app to perform smoothly.
The full screen images give you the impression that PicLens manages to fetch images at larger resolutions than you can through the website directly sometimes, but I think it’s just a good resample algorithm that’s causing that. Nevertheless, it can turn a limited photostream into a sweet flow of gorgeous pictures.
Besides Flickr it also supports Google and Yahoo! Image search, Facebook, Picasa, deviantART, Photobucket and plenty more. Give it a whirl, you’ll probably like it.