Google’s “fresh approach to Photos”

google photos

Google today officially announced its long-rumored online picture service, with free storage for “a lifetime of memories” — unlimited, high-quality photos and videos.

“Every second of every day, people around the world are capturing their memories through photos and videos,” the company says. “Humankind has already taken trillions of photos and will take another trillion this year alone.”

However, “the more moments we capture, the more challenging it becomes to relive those memories. Photos and videos become littered across mobile devices, old computers, hard drives and online services (which are constantly running out of space). It’s almost impossible to find that one photo right at the moment you need it, and sharing a bunch of photos at once is frustrating, often requiring special apps and logins.

“We wanted to do better. So today we’re introducing Google Photos.”

(As Apple earlier this year rolled out its own “Photos” service, you’d think Google could have gone with maybe “Pictures” — but more than likely the idea is to position its offering as direct competition.)

The standalone product (spun out of the stalled Google + social service) provides private online picture storage, as well as organization, sync, and image optimization features. There will be desktop, web, Android, and iOS versions. The service will maintain the original resolution, up to 16 megapixels for photos, and 1080p high-definition for videos.

“With this launch we’ve made a lot of progress towards eliminating many of the frustrations involved in storing, editing and sharing your memories,” Google adds. “But we have a lot more in store—so as you keep snapping photos and capturing videos, we’ll keep working on making them even easier to store, share and bring to life.”

Here’s more information.


CliqPass shares event photos through cloud services


New app CliqPass is billed as “the simplest way to privately exchange photos and videos too big to email.”

Palo Alto, CA-based developer MedioSphere says its “primarily built for users to collect photos and videos from family gatherings, events or group trips. This app alleviates the pain of collecting dozens of photos and videos from a group of people using smartphones or cameras. Users can send requests to friends and family members from the mobile app, without having to sign up or create an account.”

CliqPass collects photos and videos from mobile devices to “personal clouds” such as Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive. Photos and videos are transmitted at their original resolution. The app is available for Android and iOS, and free to use for three months.


SmugMug revamps photo site, service


smugmug new

Online imaging service SmugMug says its upgrade is their biggest launch since 2002 — and is actually not just an upgrade, but a completely new version of the site, “with a fresh, modern look and feel.”

The primary change is to the underlying architecture, with a “responsive design” that ensures customers’ sites and photos look good on mobile devices as well as PC screens. Also, a new Organizer tool makes for easy, intuitive drag and drop to organize all of your photos, the company says.

Current customers can use the migration feature to copy website contents.
SmugMug reports it is “the largest independent photo-sharing site in the world.”
Membership starts at $5/month.


MailPix partners with Circle Graphics to expand Canvas selection


Circle Graphics bridex600

To expand its photo canvas and wall decor offerings, online print service MailPix partnered with Circle Graphics of Longmont, Colo.

The premium gallery wraps on canvas feature eight-color inkjet printing protected by a clear acrylic coating, the company says, “and a staple-free finished back for a perfectly clean look.” The frame is built with a solid face to support the canvas and keep it from deforming and loosening, “so every canvas will look as tight and as flat as the day it was made.”

Pricing starts at $25, and ranges up to $280 for a 32×48 canvas.


KoolrPix personalizes pictures



The last thing the world needs is another pseudo-artsy photo app that simply applies cheesy filters to photos to achieve a vintage or antique look.

Sounds like something I would say, but no, that’s not me talking; that’s the opening from iKoolr’s launch of its KoolrPix browser-based image editor with which users can enhance photos with text, overlays and frames before sharing. Mobile app versions are also available.

iKoolr has basics tools as well as stamp overlays, frames, text, shadows, and patterns. “Recognizing that complex photo editing programs such as Photoshop are well beyond the budget and means of most people to learn and master, KoolrPix was created as an affordable alternative that anyone can master to create simply amazing results,” the company says.

Adding that “Great images should also be easy to print on a wide range of premium merchandise,” iKoolr partnered with Zazzle to offer custom products. The basic service is free, with a $7 annual upgrade for more useable content from iKoolr’s art production studio.

More information is here.