Update (July 9, 2012): The prints I ordered arrived this weekend. They are shipped separately from the other items you order. They come in a flat, secure photo mailer, which is better than cramming them in the box with bulky items. Check out my updated video review below.
More and more my iPhone is replacing my DSLR as my camera of choice. I take a lot of photos with my iPhone. So many that I tend toward hoarder. My biggest problem is trying to figure out what to do with all the photos once I’ve taken them. Some go to Instagram, others to Facebook, but the majority of them just sit on my phone or hard drive.
My wife keeps telling me to get my photos printed, and I always respond “Someday”. There are some apps like Hipstamatic and Postagram that give you the option of turning your photos into prints, and while I’ve never used them they are convenient. But what if I want something besides a 4″ x 6″ print? Like a T-shirt? Or a coffee mug? Or a beer stein? Or my cat? (OK, not my cat).
My dreams of surrounding myself with tchotchkes emblazoned with my own photos seemed impossible, until I learned about MoPho App (Free, App Store). MoPho stands for “Mobile Photography,” and besides being fun to say it is one of the more unique apps I’ve found in the App Store. This free app lets you take your iPhone photos and have them turned into any number of products and shipped right to your door, all without ever having to get off the couch or put down your soda. The app released in January 2012, and just saw a major upgrade to its interface. As part of the update, they are offering new users 10 prints for free with the offer code “10Free”.
I learned about the app a few weeks ago after being contacted by the company on Twitter. The developer, Penguin Digital, bills the app as a “mobile photography factory,” allowing you to print your photos on not just the aforementioned T-shirts, mugs, and steins, but also traditional 4″x6″ snapshots All the way up to gallery-quality canvas prints. Since the app was first released, it has ranked among the top 25 free camera apps several times. The app is built on the Penguin SDK, which, according to TechCrunch, will allow any developer to incorporate the same service into their own apps. The blog GigaOm featured it saying it “one-ups Apple’s Cards app with on-demand printing.” For me, the appeal of the app goes much deeper for no other reason than I like penguins.
When you first launch the app, you’re given the option of setting up an account or logging in using Facebook. From there you can take a photo with the app or upload one from your camera roll. You also have the option to connect with Instagram to print your uploads to print photos directly from photos from. The original version allowed you to connect with Flickr or Picasa, which I liked because it gave me access to the photos I have shared on those services. Those options aren’t available in the new update. While I’d like to see these features added back in the future, for the average user Facebook and Instagram should be sufficient.
The interface is very straight forward. You choose the type of product you want &endash; gifts, prints, or Instagram prints &endash; and then selet the photos you want. Unlike the previous version, prints are separate from the other product categories, allowing you to choose multiple photos for printing at once. You have a variety of sizes to choose from, based on the resolution of your images. Under the gift product category, the app overlays your selected photo on each item so you know what it will look like. The app tailors your selections to your photos resolution and the product selected. This ensures that your finished produce is printed at the best possible quality. Pricing for products ranges from 29 cents for a 4″x6″ print to $80 for a large 16″x16″ canvas print. Most other products are in the $10 to $20 range. The developers offered me a discount so I could order a few products to test the service. Several arrived very quickly.
If you’re a budding iPhone photographer who has a lot of photos sitting around collecting virtual dust, I suggest you give MoPho App a try. Download it from the App Store or visit www.mophoapp.com.
Update (July 9, 2012): Someday my prints will come. They look great, and I really threw a curveball at them by selecting one of the darkest, noisiest iPhone photos I have. The photos are printed on Kodak Endura paper by the fine folks at www.adoramapix.com.
BisMan Apps is North Dakota’s only iOS-centric blog. It is written by Chris VandeVenter, aka dcmacnut, an iPhone-addicted photographer, Apple geek, and self-proclaimed King of the Internet. He’s kind of a big deal on Twitter. Or so he thinks.