leslie hitchcock

Posts Tagged ‘photo app’

Actually Print the Pictures Housed on Your Device With Printic

In reviews on May 31, 2013 at 9:15 am

printic

Remember when you got your first camera as a present? I do.*

I’ve always loved capturing tiny moments in time so a camera was one of my staples in life. My first camera was a Canon point-and-shoot which used actual film (!) and I loved that thing. My second camera was another Canon but this one was digital. The zoom was incredible, it was lightweight enough for my handbag and I went everywhere with it.

In the days of yore, I hurried rolls of film to the developer before the store closed and received prints back one week later. The excitement I felt from the advent of one-hour printing was palpable and I gave those stores a lot of business. In fact I still have boxes of 4×6 moments long passed that have moved with me from North Carolina and then to three subsequent San Francisco apartments, so loath am I to part with them. Did I mention that I’ve been in California for over seven years?

Then I met the iPhone and things were never the same.

All of a sudden, a camera almost as good as the one I constantly hauled around was ever-present in my mobile device. Then when I (d)evolved to barely release the phone (camera?) from my grubby little fingers, I could take instant shots of everything and anything that caught my attention. My other cameras had inadvertently found themselves with a one-way ticket to being obsolete.

I mean, the Camera is permanently affixed as one of my most important apps.

I mean, the Camera is permanently affixed as one of my most important apps.

But what of the pictures I was constantly taking? Part of the fun of having a body of work in photographs is being able to thumb through the images, frame them, give them as gifts. Where does that leave me, iPhone? I ask you!

There are several solutions like uploading to Walgreens or the like, using Picasa to achieve the same or buying a printer just for my iPhone, but none of these worked especially well for me. Picasa updated to be almost unusable as its original inception. Walgreens continually cropped my photos due to their size and without fail used odd image placement. And buying a photo printer just didn’t ring true to my needs.

I’ve used Postagram for sending pictures to others, but what if I just want one for myself? What then? Printic aims to solve that problem in a beautiful, simple way.

Learning of Printic from another photographer I admire, I decided to check it out. The interface is smooth and straightforward, inviting me to get started printing my pictures immediately. Each Printic order requires three images to be printed and they can be uploaded to the service via Facebook, Instagram or pictures stored on the iPhone itself. One click on each photo I want to print and they are collected by the app, allowing me to have final approval to determine if they require cropping, centering or editing in some other way.

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Voila! After settling the bill (converted from € to $, how charming!) I settled in to wait for my Printics to arrive. I appreciated that the team sends emails to let me know when the order has been received and when it is shipping. However, I wish that was managed through the app. I already get a lot of email.

There were a few things I noticed in the app that were less than polished. It is a French product and some of the English translations are misspelled. No big deal, just noticed. Also, for some reason Facebook doesn’t pull in photos I’ve published directly to my timeline into a folder, so I had to track some images down on Flickr and save them directly to my phone to print. I can see these pictures on my timeline on desktop but not on mobile. This is not Printic’s fault, obviously, but made the experience slightly frustrating.

I adored how the prints were packaged and their polaroid style appeals to my inner hipster. See how adorable?

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All in all, I think that the roughly $3 I spent on these images was worth it. Team Printic, expect me to be a repeat user!

*Thank you for bearing with me as I meandered down photography memory lane under the guise of a mobile app review.

mixel: because, yes, you do need another photo app

In reviews on August 24, 2012 at 9:00 am

If you’re like me, you document most of your life, daily experiences (read: outfits) and funny things you see along the way in picture form. One of my favorite things to do is to scroll through the picture app on my iPhone and giggle at my past adventures. The photo apps currently in heavy rotation for me are Instagram, Pano and PicFrame. If you’d told me I’d need another one, I’d tell you I needed a hole in my head instead. Or more shoes.

Until I met Mixel.

After demo-ing a few short months ago on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt in now-discontinued iPad form, Mixel’s pivot to iPhone makes the concept much more accessible. It allows you to take photos from your various social portals and use them to create shareable collages.

Simple approach, creative and exceptionally well-executed. And downright fun!

The app is incredibly easy to use. Sync your Facebook, Instagram and photo stream with Mixel and you’re well on your way. To make your collage, you select the shots you want to include, shuffle the Mixel-generated arrangement of images and choose the style, which is essentially a filter. There’s always a filter these days, isn’t there? Again, all of this is really easy — resizing, shuffling, rearranging. Each aspect of the UX is really well thought out by the Mixel team.

When you publish to Mixel, you also have the option to share across your various social networks. There’s a lot of activity within your Mixel Inbox where you can follow your friends who use the service, popular images and manage any unfinished collages.

Occasionally, the app freezes after posting my collage. It doesn’t crash entirely, but it is annoying nonetheless. Bugs like that are common in the first days after a launch, so I’m patient until the fix comes.

There seem to be a lot of ways the team can grow the service. Some suggestions I saw via Twitter were to make a collage sizable for Facebook cover images or Instagram ready. Both of these hacks would extend the reach of Mixel, which is obviously a smart direction. Adding integration with key popular apps is a nice goodwill gesture, especially considering everything recently.

Because of the simplicity and novelty of creating a collage out of my existing pictures, I’ll now have another photo app in rotation. Because, honestly, who doesn’t need more fun? And filters!

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