I’m drinking a lot of coffee today because I was up well past my bedtime last night playing around with the test build of the newly launched ShoeBox iPhone application from 1000memories, now live in iTunes. This simple app provides a much-needed function: a way to scan old photographs using your smartphone and post them online.
Oh, sure. I know you don’t necessarily need an app to scan a photo – you can just take a picture of the print and post it to Facebook. But the ShoeBox app provides a handy set of tools to complement and improve upon that process, including buttons to quickly crop, flatten and rotate photos, plus fields for filling in captions, dates and tags.
With the improved camera quality of the iPhone 4S, now offering 8 megapixels and 2448×3264 resolution, a ShoeBox photo scan of a 4×6″ photo produces a DPI of 550, the company claims. The app works on older model iPhones, too, including the iPhone 4, 3GS and 3G and the iPad 2. Of course, photos taken on older iPhones won’t turn out as well.
Having not “grown up” on Facebook myself (I’m old), I’m clearly the target demographic for this application, as I, in fact, actually have 10 shoeboxes in my closet as well as 3 plastic bins, all filled with photos. In fact, I even have family photos going back to the 1880′s, thanks to the photo collection I inherited from my grandmother upon her passing. I’ve debated time and again about shipping off the collection to a service for digitization, but never quite got around to it. Now I can at least select a few of my favorites and quickly get them online.
I do have a couple of beefs with the app, however. Although it says I can also post my photos to Twitter, after authenticating with Facebook, I couldn’t find the setting for this. As it turns out, it only appears after you’ve scanned and tweaked your photo – it’s not in the app’s default Settings screen. Also, the friend “tags” you fill in using the app don’t automatically translate to Facebook friend tags when the photo shows up on your profile. You still have to manually tag your Facebook friends in order to shame them via old photos. I imagine these are features that will be addressed via an update, though.
So now that I have an app that allows me to post and share all those embarrassing high school, college and post-collegiate photos from my youth, what I’m discovering is that I have a lot of photos that shouldn’t be online. I don’t know how you kids do it, but for this Gen X’er, I guess I’ll just need to be careful with the cropping.
In addition to the new iPhone app, 1000memories recently launched a service for digital memories and photos – a social network Jason dubbed a “Facebook for the Past.” More on that here.