These days, many of our mobile photos are snapped, shared and then forgotten. But photo publishing company Shutterfly has built a business on top of the idea that some people want to do more with their photos – turn them into prints, cards, gifts, books, and more. Today, Shutterfly is releasing a new app aimed at a younger demographic with TripPix, which turns travel photos into an affordable priced photo book, without having to fiddle with layouts or choose from a variety of paper types or other options.
As anyone who has ever built a photo book online knows, it can end up being a time-consuming process. Not only do you have to filter through dozens of bad photos to find those worth including, you then have to figure out where they should go on the page, and customize those entries with captions and text.
TripPix is meant to cut down on the time it takes to build one of these books. Instead of working for hours on your creation, you’re able to take 15 to 30 photos and turn them into a travel book in around 5 minutes, the company says. The process, in testing, was as simple as described. After launching the app, you don’t have to create an account to get started – you just give it access to your photo library and start tapping on the photos you want to include.
After you have at least fifteen selected, you pick from one of three “styles” to describe your trip- a “grand adventure,” a “city story,” or a “great escape.” These will dictate the book’s cover and overall look.
TripPix uses your photos’ location data to give you the option of including a map next to your photos in the book – which is great for those trips where you’re traveling from one city to the next, for example. To pick which photos will include a map, you just tap the checkmark next to that photo group.
Then, you add the names of others who came with you, and you tap on icons to report how the weather was during your travels. You also tap icons that indicate what you did while there (e.g. Museum, Shopping, Sight-seeing, Show, Zoo, Sports, Park, etc.) Clearly aimed at the younger crowd, there are even options for “Selfies” and “High Times,” complete with a pot leaf icon. Other icons include those for modes of transit and dining. These icons are used to decorate pages in the book.
After titling the book, it’s ready to ship. The 6×6 book is priced at a reasonable $19.99, which includes free shipping and arrives in a week’s time. It also comes with a bamboo stand so you can prop it up for display.
I was able to complete the book creation part in under five minutes when I tried it out – the longer part of the process involves establishing your Shutterfly account, if you don’t already have one, when you’re ready to order.
There are a number of tools to make photo books on the market today, including those from Shutterfly itself, MixBook, Snapfish and even larger retailers like Walmart and Walgreens, for example, where consumers can crate books online or via in-store kiosks.
But TripPix seems most competitive with something like the Mosaic app from MixBook, which offers a 7×7 book with 20 photos for $20 (shipping not included). Both aim to offer an affordable and fast way to build a book using your smartphone photos, but Shutterfly’s free shipping means it’s undercutting Mosaic a bit on price. (It’s also a little smaller.) However, Mosaic’s books are meant to showcase any sorts of photos, while TripPix is obviously custom-designed for travel stories.
TripPix is a free download on iTunes.