Social apps review: Cool printing apps for holiday snaps
As all facets of life go the way of digital, physical photograph albums are dying out. Soon, grandma pulling out the family album will be a quaint, novelty exercise instead of a cringe-worthy endurance challenge, and people’s online aesthetics will look less and less like them as photo retouching becomes a standard step in the picture upload process.
However, pictures are taken to be admired, and one downside of digital is our propensity to leave images stored in electronic devices, rather than having them out on show. Why? Because there’s still a lot of faff involved in printing them – especially from mobile tech. But these three apps aim to remedy that.
Forget rummaging around your wallet for tiny SD cards or carting wires all over town, the KODAK Kiosk Connect app allows you to wirelessly connect your iPhone or Android smartphone to WiFi-enabled KODAK picture kiosks at your local CVS or Bartell drugs store. You can then select images from your device, transfer them straight to the kiosk and print images or create personalized gifts such as photo books and calendars.
Platform and developer: Android, iPhone (by Eastman Kodak Company).
Final word: Absolutely worth having if you live in the vicinity of a participating kiosk, particularly if you’re an Instagram type with lots of good-looking images trapped on your phone. Slick and easy to use, hopefully this is way all photo kiosks will go.
If you’re without an Air Print printer, getting pictures and documents off your phone and onto paper usually involves emailing the file to yourself and printing via laptop or PC, which is a bit ridiculous in this day and age. Canon has cottoned on to this and launched an app that enables Canon printer owners to print straight from their iPhone or iPad with all the settings and print features you’d get on your PC. Plus, the app is tied to iOS’s Open In feature, which means the print capability can be built into picture and document apps, negating the need to actual open the mobile printing app itself.
Platform and developer: iPad, iPhone (by Canon Inc.)
Final word: Useful app – shame there are so many restrictions on compatible hardware. Like KODAK’s offering though, Canon may well be paving the way for similar apps from other manufacturers.
Photo calendars and personalized mugs are all well and good, but they’re not likely to wow your relatives this season. You know what will? A vase. In the shape of their FACE. Yep, paper is passé with Sculpteo’s 3D printing app, which lets users take photographs of the profiles of their nearest and dearest and then turn them into a 3D object, such as a vase, bowl or mug. Once the design is finished, simply upload it and Sculpteo sends it to a local 3D printing facility which produces the object using ceramic printing processes. The app is free, but the creation of your friend’s mug as a mug varies in price, from $70 up to $300.
Platform and developer: iPad, iPhone (by Sculpteo).
Final word: It’s kinda expensive and a bit weird (would you want a vase in the shape of your nose hanging around?) but it’s totally cool – 3D printing is very much set to become a ‘thing’ next year, and this app conveniently lets you be a part of its inception.