While there are now a range of apps available for creating prints and other products from smartphone images, not all of them are equal in the eyes of consumers.
User ratings of the available apps see most achieving somewhere between three and four stars. However, when it comes to user reviews, the net impression is that more people find them frustrating than easy to use.
In a quick overview the Apple iTunes and Google Play mobile app sites, the user ratings for a selection of photos-from mobile apps were:
Kodak Alaris: Apple 4.5 stars, Android 3.8 stars
Fujifilm Transpix: Apple 3 stars, Android 3.4 stars. (The Harvey Norman and BigW versions of the Fujifilm Transpix iPhone app only scored 1.5 stars.)
Lifepics: Apple 3.5 stars, Android 3.5 stars
Lucidiom: Apple 3 stars (no Android app, and also offers a non-app solution)
Snapfish: Apple 3 stars, Android 3.4 stars
Shutterfly: Apple 2.5 stars, Android 4.2 stars
Picture Postie: Apple 5 stars, Android 4.6 stars
(Dakis, which doesn’t require the download of an app for ordering from smartphones, consequently didn’t have any reviews on the app stores.)
The standout here is Australian business Picture Postie, which operates from the Melbourne suburb of Balaclava. Co-incidentlally, Picture Postie founder Jennifer Roberts was featured in an article last week in The Age about Australian businesswomen who have successfully launched apps. Picture Postie has clocked 100,000 downloads ‘and orders are going gangbusters’, according to the article.
‘Hundreds of orders a week is now hundreds of orders a day – we love printing people’s pics!’ said Jennifer Roberts.
A more negative impression is gleaned from user reviews – apparently more people are inclined to vent their spleen when they encounter frustrating software than praise apps that work.
So for instance, three out of the most current five reviews for the Fujifilm Transpix app were:
– Waste of time, don’t bother. Doesn’t work and waste my time trying. Lousy app, lousy service.
– Waste of time and kb. Downloaded to use in BigW and Harvey Norman stores, my phone tells me file transfer complete, however, nothing shows up on the kiosk.
– Garbage. Crashes. Regenerates thumbnail previews then tries to transfer those, which kiosk rejects. Garbage.
(Another post, by a Harvey Norman employee, noted that Transpix seems to have particular issues in the Android version and works well with iPhones)
The Snapfish Android App was similarly damned, with five out of the six reviews on the download page awarding one or two stars and comments such as:
– It took almost 2 hours to upload 28 photos and now will only let you order one size of prints and only one of each photo.
– Can’t get in app Most of the times I can’t even get past the opening screen. And when I do; I sign in….. crash!!
– Almost makes me dislike Snapfish. I really love Snapfish prints and was excited to get my 100 free prints every month for getting their app, but it just keeps restarting when I’m almost ready to order them and I lose all the pictures I’ve selected…