Remember Slide, that social technology company acquired by Google way back in 2010? No? Well, just to jog your memory, one of the first products to emerge from that acquisition was an iOS (yup) app called Photovine, which rolled out in July 2011.
In the build up to launch, Slide had been teasing the public with news of the app, after it emerged that Google had registered the trademark and .com domain name; then a splash page emerged teasing a few more details.
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After a short private beta period, it was finally launched to the public in August 2011, and we went hands on with the social photo-sharing app, giving it a favorable review. However, Google pulled the plug on Slide and Photovine the following March and, well, that was the last we heard of it until earlier this year, when the Photovine brand emerged from Los Angeles-based app development company Silo Labs.
Silo Labs is a Stanford & USC alumni startup, funded by Tech Coast Angels to the tune of $220,000, and Photovine is the first app of its conveyor belt. Though Silo Labs now own the Photovine trademark, it seems Google still owns the Photovine.com domain name, and the Internet giant has declined to release this to them. As such, Photovine has plumped for Photovineapp.com as its main splash page.
Soft-launched in March this year, Photovine has been iterating its photo-aggregation app, though at the time of writing it only reels in photos from Facebook and Instagram. This will be fine for many folk.
It’s also worth noting here that it isn’t really the same thing as Google’s product, all that’s happened here is a brand name acquisition.
You will of course need to connect your Instagram or Facebook account, which you’ll be prompted to do when you spin the little wheel on the main screen.
Assuming you have connected both accounts, you can opt to filter your snaps for each platform by images you’ve personally uploaded, ones your friends have uploaded or ‘all photos’. It would be good to have an addition option here, to display all your own photos from both Instagram and Facebook, and omit your friends’ uploads.
You’re then presented with a Flipboard-style magazine of photos, which you can click on individually or view as a slideshow. You can set transition time and even play music. And shaking your iPhone changes the slideshow animation.
The music is turned off as a default which is only right, and when you switch it on you’ll be prompted to play any song from your device. Personally, I have no real desire to play music while viewing photos, but it seems the guys at Photovine have one eye on future monetization via music partners – how this eventually transpires, remains to be seen.
Interestingly, Photovine also doubles as a camera app, allowing you to snap photos, carry out some basic (or plain bad) edits and share them to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Photovine operates in a very competitive space, with the likes of Snapjoy (recently acquired by Dropbox) and Pixable already strutting their stuff. Indeed, the latter of these is probably the most comparable to Photovine, and Pixable is already cross-platform and integrates with Twitter and other platforms too.
Photovine, however, is a well constructed app, offering a really nice interface which is fun to use. Plus, it is early days, so there is a lot of room for iteration. The company says it’s working on an Android and iPad incarnation, as well as some “very exciting features” for Photovine 2.0.
Photovine is available to download for free from the App Store now.
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Feature Image Credit – Thinkstock