I love taking photos with my phone. Phone cameras turn you into a mobile content generation unit. Snap photo, upload, the world knows. Never mind the fact that the world knows about your cat being cute or your son's nose being very congested. Phone cameras become double powerful when coupled with the phone's GPS. The GPS stamps each photo's EXIF data, the same metadata that records when you took the picture, with where you did it. So in essence, you need two elements: upload and location-recording capabilities. My Nokia N95 had both capabilities. Great camera, GPS, uploads to Flickr and Nokia's Ovi. Then Nokia stopped developing apps for the phone, which is very disappointing. Its general slowness and the arrival of the iPhone 3Gs convinced me to move on. The iPhone compensates for middling camera hardware with speed and processing power. And it had a stellar app called PixelPipe. PixelPipe batch uploaded my photos and videos to any site I wanted. And little did I appreciate it at the time, but it also retained and uploaded the geotagging data from photos. Pixelpipe was recently removed from the iPhone's app store. Apparently it accessed photos using the wrong element (in Apple's eyes) of the iPhone SDK. That made the app better for batch uploads, but played against 'the rules'. So I was left looking for alternatives. Without mentioning all of them, Flickr's app is the most disappointing to me. Flickr's app's beautiful design, sensible usability, stable, but with one (probably imposed) 'feature' bug: it tags whatever photos it uploads with the location of *the upload*. In other words, if you took the photo in Japan and uploaded it in Omaha as- Mt. Fuji will be geotagged as being in Nebraska. Now why would Flickr, a great Website I love and pay for, do such a boneheaded thing? Because apparently that's the best the iPhone allows. It seems like the iPhone SDK forces developers to access photos using specific APIs that remove the location data from images. If you actually take a picture and then upload it immediately using the Flickr app allows the app to append the currrent location back to the photo. Absurd, no? So what's left? iPhoto and other desktop applications that get the actual phtoto files from the iPhone can still get the location data from the actual files. But on the iPhone, Apple made the wrong decision to remove that information. Privacy may be the concern. I am, for one, disappointed and a bit angry. I doubt Android imposes such a limitation on apps. But to follow Steve Jobs' logic from an email, I'd better create than criticize.
Manage to restore PixelPipe from iTunes. It is the good version that was removed by Apple. Amazingly enough, having tweeted about it, PixelPipe asked me to send them their own iPhone app file. Probably for use with jailbroken iPhones. A bit surprising that they, of all people, will not have an old version of their own app. Still, glad I solved it by going around Apple's own restrictions. Geotagging is back for me.