There really is no shortage of photography apps for smartphones, but oftentimes there is a huge trade-off when it comes to printing or sharing your snaps from within the app.
While the iPhone’s built-in camera really is rather good in itself, third-party apps such as Instagram typically compress the images to suit the form-factor of the device it has been built for. If you’ve ever tried printing your Instagram photos, you’ll know all about this.
So. Much. Tech.
Some of the biggest names in tech are coming to TNW Conference in Amsterdam this May.
But Beamr is the latest app to enter the iOS photography fray, and it promises to retain the original quality as captured by your handset, while reeling in neat sharing features to make it easy to share magazine-style albums with friends and family.
How it works
As with any app worth its salt, Beamr strips out needless features and takes you straight to what you’re looking for. When you first launch the app, you land in your camera roll immediately. You then select the photos you wish to share, simply by tapping them:
You then hit the ‘Cover’ button at the top, and you’ll see a quick snapshot of what your photo magazine will look like – you can edit the name of the magazine, the issue and the credit.
So, it could say, for example “Wedding Photos” emblazoned across the top, followed by “October, 2012” and then “By John Smith, Best Man”. It’s completely customizable.
You also have the option to share this magazine via email, Facebook or Twitter:
If you share by email, this is what the recipient will see in their inbox – and it’s worth noting, it can be viewed on any smartphone, tablet, Windows PC or Mac…without having to register with Beamr itself:
They then click on the link, and are taken to a magazine containing all your snapshots, page-by-page, laid out in a really neat, arty manner. Indeed, they’re auto-arranged to provide the best viewing based on the resolution and orientation of the viewer’s device.
Moreover, the recipient can also download the individual photos, if they so wish:
However, this sharing feature is only the start of things. Where Beamr really comes into its own is how it lets you share a virtually limitless number of full-res, original-quality photos. And it’s super-fast too.
Developed by ICVT, an up-and-coming Israeli media technology startup, Beamr is clearly looking to capitalize on the iPhone5 and iOS6, with photo quality continuing to improve with each iteration. Though it’s worth noting here that Beamr will work with earlier iPhone versions, as well as iPod Touch and iPad.
While many photo apps help users share compressed images in bulk, or full-res images one at a time (which is typically slow), Beamr brings together a number of needs here – namely, sharing high-quality images with friends/family across multiple platforms, in a beautiful, very user-friendly way.
Beamr taps proprietary (“patent-pending”) optimization technology, which reduces the file size by up to three times, while retaining the original resolution. This is the same technology that was used in ICVT’s acclaimed JPEGmini, and the company says that it imitates the perceptual qualities of the human visual system to ensure each photo is compressed to the maximum extent possible, by removing redundancies, without creating any visual artifacts in the process.
And this is how Beamr manages to transfer full-res photos at speed, claiming speeds of up to three times speedier than other apps, which of course should have a positive impact on battery life, time and data costs.
Based on our initial tests today, Beamr really is a fantastic app. I just hope it’ll hit Android soon, though given the inconsistencies across Android cameras, I’m not sure it will be a big priority for ICVT quite yet.
Image Credit – Thinkstock