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Beamr app shares full-res iPhone images in magazine format

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Send your favorite iPhone images in full-resolution with Beamr by using the same technology employed by JPEGmini to optimize JPEG compression.

We’re noticing a new trend in photography-related apps lately as app makers seem keen to help us share our images with one another in new and interesting ways.

Beamr is amongst the latest in this genre, uniquely packaging your iPhone and iPad images into a digital magazine-style format for sharing via links sent through email, Facebook or Twitter. But what’s truly interesting is that images are sent at full-resolution, up to 28 megapixels (or 10 megabytes) each.

Just released in the Apple App Store today for free, we’ve had a chance to play with Beamr over the past week. The concept is simple: select your images (from the Camera Roll only – that means no folders and lots and lots of scrolling if your Camera Roll library is extensive), select a cover image, edit the cover title and copy, then share your creation. Layout is automatic and can’t be modified; instead, the final layout is determined by the device used to view the magazine. The web link to your Beamr magazine includes a Download Photos button for full-size download of all images at once via zip file.

Choose images from your Camera Roll ...
select a cover image ...
edit the title and other copy ...
and share your digital magazine via email, Facebook or Twitter.

Cutesy magazine format aside, the technology behind Beamr is exciting. While most applications reduce resolution and file size during sharing or upload, Beamr uses the same technology as JPEGmini, designed to optimize JPEG compression. Both products were developed by Israeli technology company ICVT. The company's JPEGMini system analyzes each image to assess the maximum compression that can be applied to an image without loss of perceptible quality.

“It’s image science technology, but we wrapped it in a mass market format,” explained Beamr CTO Dror Gill when we recently interviewed him about the new app.

Gill estimates transmission speeds are three times faster than any other method, pointing out that this also saves on data usage and battery life.

And though transmitting files up to 28MP is impressive, Gill says the technology could accommodate up to 50MP files. Which has us hoping the company will consider further mobile applications geared more toward the professional photographer in the future.

Comments

Total comments: 8
zenit_b
By zenit_b (Nov 2, 2012)

We have had a sad history of proprietary file formats - CompuServe and Unisys demmanding royalties on GIFs for example. No photographer is going allow a vendor to impose a tax on their own work again. If these guys thing they have a better format make it an open one and dont try and charge people to access their own work. Otherwise the world just isn't interested. Its 2012 not 1982. :-) whatever happened to jpg2000 ? it died.

1 upvote
gregdowning
By gregdowning (Oct 30, 2012)

I had a similar experience to Shane. The jpegmini site shows a graph indicating better performance on larger image so I uploaded an 8k wide image containing both sharp detail and smooth gradients. It compressed the image from 7.7MB to 5.4MB. Not huge but a notable improvement. I then took my 7.7MB and used Photoshop "save for web and devices" I set compression to 64% to get a file w/ the same file size, 5.4MB. I then loaded the adobe compressed and the jpeg mini image onto layers in photoshop and flipped back and forth at 100% to evaluate. There is no visible compression in either image (even in the gradients) but the jpeg mini has blurred the image!

I only tested with one image, but looks like the compression claims are not as good as what can be achieved with other software. It is also throwing out detail which is a deal breaker for me. Sad waste of time, would have been nice if this publication reviewed the tech rather than reprinting a press release.

3 upvotes
Shane Zeppelin
By Shane Zeppelin (Oct 30, 2012)

This is kind of a neat app, but I just did a test with JPEGmini vs. ACDSee Pro 6.

Starting with the originals and uploading 4 images to JPEGmini, having them compressed and then downloading those images, the file sizes were about 70% smaller (6.3MB compressed to 1.8MB). Looking at the images at 100%, the JPEGmini images looked ever so slightly softer. Clicking back and forth between the two at 100% you could see the difference in sharpness. I then used ACDSee Pro 6 and re compressed the images to standard JPEG at 50% quality of the original, using PROGRESSIVE, and 2:1 Horizontal Color Component Sampling settings and the image was slightly sharper than JPEGmini and nearly indiscernible from the JPEGmini or the original file, and compressed down to 1.3MB (80% smaller than the original).

JPEGmini may in some cases be better, but in this small test looking at the images at 100%, ACDSee compresses them to a very usable file size and quality without having to upload and then download them.

1 upvote
rondhamalam
By rondhamalam (Oct 30, 2012)

Is that all ??
TBH
Nothing's special

0 upvotes
nomorepencils
By nomorepencils (Oct 30, 2012)

I would be concerned about bandwidth consumption and mobile carrier costs unless I was on wifi.

1 upvote
raincoat
By raincoat (Oct 29, 2012)

So instead of photos anyone can view in any order, the self important can force the user to use a paper based metaphor to view all the images in a set order, with no ability to jump forward or back?

What will they think of next?

1 upvote
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Oct 30, 2012)

Well, whatever they think of next will be calculated around the basic idea, which is to cajole people to pay. Phones, apps, substructure... it will all soon be totally free, as long as people pay for data transfer. The "cellphone" seems to be the business of the Century, a sort of mental CocaCola. And the end is not even imaginable.

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Ennsp
By Ennsp (Oct 29, 2012)

Okay sounds good...how soon will there be an Android app? And can this JPEGmini be used in other applications across the web?

0 upvotes
Total comments: 8
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