We all have them. Those shoeboxes or other boxes filled with photographs. There was once a time when printed photographs seemed timeless. Many years ago, if you had told someone who had various boxes filled with photographs that these pictures would soon become obsolete, that person might not have believed you. Photos these days are of the digital sort, but that doesn’t mean that you have to toss those old prints or leave them in the back of your closet.
A new iPhone app called Shoebox aims to make sharing old print photographs with friends and family members easier. This iPhone app will scan any old photo you have, and you can then upload that photo to any social networking site or send it to someone via email. I’ve taken the time to explore the app, so that you can know what to expect.
How The Shoebox App Works
The free Shoebox app can be found in the App Store. Once downloaded, the app will ask you to enter your name, your email, and a chosen password. Alternately, you can choose to connect through Facebook (of course, you will need a Facebook account). After the app has been set up, you can scan any photograph that you have. As the app suggests, it is best to do this in a room where there is a lot of natural light, so that the photograph can be seen very well.
To scan a photograph, line the photo up with the square bars that are included in the app. Then, you will have the option to crop and flatten the photo, rotate the picture if you choose to, and tag the photo (enter a name and a caption, so that others will understand what the photo is all about). You can also add a date, location, and other details to the photograph.
Once all of this information has been added, you can share the photo with anyone using Facebook, email, or simply saving your photos on your iPhone for later use. Your iPhone may not be a good alternative to a proper digital photo backup, but it’s a really interesting idea to put a bunch of old photos on your phone that you can scan and share when you want to without actually owning a large and cumbersome scanner.
Testing the App
After scanning three old photos, I found the Shoebox app to be easy to use. The app will tell you what to do step-by-step, and scanning a picture, cropping the picture, and saving the photo are equally easy. That said, there are a few things that the app lacks. The first obvious thing was a zoom feature. Being able to zoom in on one section of a photo would be beneficial. The other drawback to this app is that it doesn’t directly connect with your email client.
So, if you want to send an old embarrassing photo of your friend in high school to that friend, you’ll have to remember the person’s complete email address. Sure, we shouldn’t rely on our email clients to remember all email addresses, but it’s the way things mostly work these days. I haven’t yet found a way to send photos to a friend once the photos have been saved, so this is another thing to consider.
Saving photos onto my iPhone with this app was simple though, and I can show these photos to anyone who happens to be near me and my iPhone. If you’re looking for a fun an innovative way to scan and share photographs, Shoebox is a great free app to use.