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From phone to frame: Best apps for printing your photos

19

Postal Pix

Free in the Apple App Store and Google Play

Postal Pix prints are delivered on luster finish Kodak Professional Endura paper.

Postal Pix offers an easy interface to select prints in the following sizes: 4x4, 5x5, 8x8, 4x6, 5x7 and 8x10. Additionally, a 2x2 grid print is comprised of nine 2x2-inch images laid out in a grid, and other options, like aluminum prints and your prints on a mousepad are also available.

Your selections are clearly reviewable in your cart, and the preview icon lets you review the crop Postal Pix has selected for you. A warning is given if your image is not already cropped to the correct ratio. As for nearly all such printing apps, it makes sense to have final versions of your pictures cropped and edited before importing them into the app. 

Postal Pix offers prints in a variety of sizes.
The user interface is clear and easy to understand.

Postal Pix sent an instant confirmation email, an email that the order was received and an email when our prints were shipped. Though there wasn't a tracking number, customers are encouraged to contact Postal Pix via email or Feedback within the app. 

The prints came on Kodak Professional Endura paper with excellent color quality and a luster finish. 

Price: Starting from $0.29 to $0.33 USD per 4x4-inch print.

What we like: Visual user interface that's easy to understand.  

What we don't like: A tracking number and addtional choices for print finishes would be a bonus. 

Rating:  

  

Shutterfly

Free in the Apple App Store

Current Shutterfly users will find that all their existing images uploaded through the service are also available via the app.

Shutterfly has been offering doorstep delivery of digital images via the Internet for years, so we had high expectations for the mobile version of the service, currently only available for iPhone and iPad.  

If you already use Shutterfly, this app is especially handy because you can access your entire library of albums already uploaded to the service. You can also access the photos in shared folders and your Shutterfly Share Sites. The app is one of the best for accessing all your images easily: you can also upload via your Camera Roll (there's a one-button option to upload your entire library at once if you'd like), Facebook and Instagram.

Print sizes start at a square format 4x4, up to 11x14 inches. You can also print your panorama pictures in an 8x32-inch format. The app allows you to order a plethora of other objects printed with your photo as well, ranging from home decor to smartphone cases.

Shutterfly offers a variety of print sizes, other photo gifts and panorama prints as well.
The selection process is simple, and a double tap of a selected photo brings up cropping and filter tools.

It's simple to select your photos for printing, and a quick double tap lets you access cropping and filter tools, though we recommend editing your photo before uploading it to a printing app. 

Confirmation emails were clear, as were directions for how to track your order via the app.

Our prints looked great on Fujicolor Chrystal Archive paper with a semi-gloss finish and accurate color.

Price: 4x6-inch prints start at $0.15 USD, square format 4x4s start at $0.25 

What we like: Convenient access to all your Shutterfly images via the app if you already use the service.

What we don't like: It's tough to find something negative about this app, but we always like more options when it comes to print finishes.

Rating: 
 
 


Picca Print

Free from the Apple App Store and Google Play

Picca Print seemed to have a tough time with our photo of a man on the beach at sunset, splitting and separating the image across the print.

PiccaPrint looked promising: You can choose from all photos stored on your phone, including Instagram and Hipstamatic. I loved that when selecting my prints I could tap on any photo in the grid display to view it larger. Once I made my selections, another quick tap on any photo let me change quantity and size of the print, and this same screen also offers a magnifying glass icon for a final larger look at the image before making any final selections.

The default print is set to a 4x5, priced at $0.44 USD. Sizes also include 5x7, 6x8 and 7x10. A minimum of 10 prints per order is required. My order totaled $4.40 USD with $3.50 shipping for a total of $7.90

You can also add a personal message with your order when sending to family or friends.

Order confirmation emails were clear.

The prints were indeed delivered on Fujicolor Crystal Archive paper, with good color and a semi-gloss finish. However, one of our images came off the printer completely misaligned. It seems a quality check certainly should have caught this blatant error.

Price: Starting at $0.44 USD for a 4x5-inch print.

What we like: Easy-to-use app allows you to access any photos stored on your phone.

What we don't like: We can't recommend an app that delivered a misaligned photo.

Rating: 
 
 
 

Hipstamatic

Free in the Apple App Store

Hipstamatic delivers your photos in a single package that unfolds to reveal an inner envelope that "frames" your prints.

Although limited to your Hipstamatic images (and therefore relegated to iOS users), Hipstamatic's PrintLab provided a cool Hipsta-experience throughout the ordering process.

Prints start at 4x4 inches available in packages of 9, 24 or 96 prints. Our order of nine 4x4 prints for $4.99 USD with $1.69 shipping came to a total of $6.68. Minimum order amounts are required for each size, though these go down as the print size increases.

Hipstamatic's PrintLab offers four sizes of prints, along with home decor and printed bags.
It's clear to see your selections from your Hipstamatic library.

Email communications from Hipstamatic were clear and offered a tracking link. 

We were impressed with the presentation of the physical prints: The whole package is an envelope, with the prints tucked into a pocket made to look like a hand-drawn frame. Printed on Fujifilm Fujicolor Chrystal Archive paper, colors were vibrant with a semi-gloss finish.

Price: Minimum order for smallest size was $4.99 USD for nine 4x4-inch prints

What we like: Cute presentation and high-quality prints.

What we don't like: Fairly pricey, required amounts of prints felt restrictive. Limited only to your Hipstamatic images.

Rating: 
 
 

Comments

Total comments: 19
Lacyg27
By Lacyg27 (3 weeks ago)

I ordered from simple prints over a two ago!
Does anyone know how I can get a hold
Of someone for information?
The money was taken out of my
Account as well 2 months ago.
Not a happy customer!

0 upvotes
Lacyg27
By Lacyg27 (3 weeks ago)

I meant over 2 months ago

0 upvotes
67gtonr
By 67gtonr (11 months ago)

Are there no such apps for WP8 or Blackberries?

0 upvotes
fulgacian
By fulgacian (11 months ago)

Unless you're doing serious photo work with the phone, nothing beats going to a local shop, tell them which ones to print, which paper and size, calling a friend, having a coffee, making plans for the weekend, and going back to the shop and taking the pictures home with you. Fast, cheap and pleasing.
I think we've missed the point somewhere.

2 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (11 months ago)

Local shop? Talking to sales people? Having a coffee with a friend? Seems you got way too much time on your hands :-)

0 upvotes
Greatmsg
By Greatmsg (11 months ago)

Most photo stores offer free apps and lots of surface and size options. Delivery is fast generally one hour or less or mail. Cost are much lower than the reviews

2 upvotes
Photog74
By Photog74 (11 months ago)

If there are no such apps for the particular phone that you use, there is always the option of sending the selected image files to your computer, and then you can use whichever printing service you prefer - or print the photos using your own photo printer.

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (11 months ago)

The whole point of these apps is to avoid transferring them to a computer. Of course you can stick them onto a USB stick and take them to your local printing service but that's not as convenient as doing all straight form the phone.

0 upvotes
DotCom Editor
By DotCom Editor (11 months ago)

Gee, no Qimage app yet?

0 upvotes
003tvd
By 003tvd (11 months ago)

Are there phone-to-retail-store apps so one can pick up prints in an hour? It would need to be a local shop, of course, or a multi-location outfit.

0 upvotes
Erin Lodi
By Erin Lodi (11 months ago)

There are -- please see the section on Kicksend. (And I'm sure there are others.)

0 upvotes
jkrumm
By jkrumm (11 months ago)

Perhaps you can do another article discussing which apps play nice with easy home printing straight from the phone. We bought a Canon MX890 wireless printer a while back and I keep a stack of 4x6 photo paper in the top loader for phone prints. Works like a charm and the prints look great. Much more fun than waiting for the mail.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
7 upvotes
Erin Lodi
By Erin Lodi (11 months ago)

Thanks for the great suggestion!

0 upvotes
Winston Loo
By Winston Loo (11 months ago)

I second this idea. I dont live in the US so all the apps reviewed above dont work for me. But i do have a canon pixma and would love a good printing app that can print from iphone to printer.. please review this as well

0 upvotes
fuego6
By fuego6 (11 months ago)

Agree... wish wireless printing was much easier with older printers.. they are on the network so why can't my phone just easily print to them? Oh yeah... it's an iphone... that's probably why!

3 upvotes
Swampash
By Swampash (11 months ago)

For network printing from my iPad, I use Airprint from Collobos. It works perfectly! You have to install the software on a network computer that has access to the printer you want to use, and that computer has to be "on". Other than that, it just works!

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Eric Hensel
By Eric Hensel (11 months ago)

That's great swampash, anyone know of a similar app for Android?

0 upvotes
fuego6
By fuego6 (11 months ago)

Swampash - just to clairify... airprint is apples wireless print but the software from Collobos is called Fingerprint 2 and runs on the PC/Mac to act like a virtual wireless print server. Thx!

1 upvote
67gtonr
By 67gtonr (11 months ago)

So there's nothing for WP8 or Blackberry?

Comment edited 47 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Total comments: 19
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