1000Memories, the startup that’s helping consumers get their old-fashioned printed photos online, is bringing its ShoeBox mobile application to the Android platform today, while also rolling out a completely revamped version of its iOS app. Both apps allow you to scan your old photographs simply by snapping a photo of them using your smartphone’s camera. Once scanned, the photos can be organized into virtual “shoeboxes,” which can then be shared with others or posted to Facebook.
According to 1000Memories founder Rudy Adler, the service has been doing amazingly well since the launch of its redesigned website last month, which first introduced the concept of the online collections called “shoeboxes.” The company has seen a 500% increase in photo uploads and is now approaching 300,000 photos uploaded to the site since the relaunch.
“Shoeboxing as a way to share old photos definitely seems like the right structure,” says Adler. “And with the new mobile integration, we expect another big boost this month.”
The new mobile apps now also bring the concept of shoeboxes to the iOS and Android platforms, allowing users to organize their scans and then share them directly from their mobile phones – no need to login to the desktop-sized website. As before, integrated tools allow you to straighten and crop the edges of photos and then color correct them. You can also annotate photos with the same type of notes that, in the analog era would have been scribbled on the backs of photos. That includes things like dates, names, and locations, for example.
For previous Shoebox for iOS app users, the most noticeable change (besides the icon’s color going from blue to red, that is), is the redesigned user interface itself. Explains Adler, they’ve tried to simplify the experience with new design so people will focus on the scanning flow and putting their scans into shoeboxes. You’ll notice that the scan button is now big, red and centered in the bottom of the screen.
Adler also notes that photos themselves display bigger and faster now, and when you tap a photo, it expands into a full screen view. From there, you can just thumb through all your Shoebox photos. It’s actually a nice experience, and is reminiscent of how you browse through photos using the default iOS Photos app, in fact.
Another big shift is the drop of the “following” and “followers” model, which has now been replaced with the Shoebox organizational model to better reflect the changes online. Today’s mobile rollout now makes the web and mobile apps very complementary.
On a personal note, while I cover a lot of startups, 1000Memories is one that I’ve really been starting to use. Although I quickly realized that I had too many photos to scan in via the app itself, when the company launched its partnership with ScanCafe last month, I bit, and sent boxes filled with old photos in for digitization. I’ve got hundreds of photos on the site today, but am now anxiously awaiting the batch organization tools (which Adler promises are coming soon), so I can move photos around between the collections more easily.
Although 1000Memories is focused on photos from times’ past for now, given its use case – sharing photos more privately between family and friends, then only selectively sharing them to Facebook or other social services as you see fit – the company could move into the broader photo-sharing market if it ever chose to. But the “digitize the past” angle has a lot of appeal for those who didn’t grow up with our baby pictures on the web, and who still balk a little at the thought that Facebook should house our every photo from here to eternity.