mobile photography technology, culture and community
www.dpreview.com

From phone to frame: Best apps for printing your photos

19

Mpix

Free in the Apple App Store

Mpix offers a Fuji Pearl finish that makes prints pop with metallic sheen.

I’ve used Mpix several times for large print making endeavors, so I was intrigued to see the service downsized for mobile iOS.

I was able to sign in with my existing Mpix account using the app and therefore didn’t have to tap out my shipping information on my phone, which can be tedious. 

Some selections were familiar, with prints available in both E-Surface (a matte finish professional paper) and Fuji Pearl (a pearlescent finish that Mpix promises will “last a lifetime with typical home storage”). The Mpix Tap to Print app also offers some of the best editing options in a printing app we've seen for basic cropping and a single button to convert an image to black and white. Print sizes in the app range from 4x4 to 5x15.

Prices are $0.29 USD for the basic E-Surface finish, and $0.59 USD for the Fuji Pearl finish, in the smallest 4x4 size available. 

Mpix converts your photo to black and white with one button, one of the more useful editing options we've seen in such apps.
Mpix offers the same E-Surface and Fuji Pearl finishes through its mobile app.

I opted for the more expensive Fuji Pearl finish for three of my prints and the E-Surface option for the other three. My six prints totaled $2.64 with shipping at $3.95 for a total of $6.59.

I received both a confirmation email about my order and the email confirming my prints had been shipped included a tracking number. 

The prints arrived in some of the most nondescript packaging we've seen, with a final order receipt that doesn't ever mention the Mpix name. The quality was excellent, and the Fuji Pearl finish is definitely worth the extra .30 cents, as the metallic quality to the Fujicolor professional paper print really stands out amongst the apps we tested. 

Price: Starting at $0.29 USD for the smallest 4x4-inch print available.

What we like: Existing Mpix customers are recognized; high-quality prints. The Fuji Pearl finish was especially attractive.

What we don't like: The lack of information on the packaging was a bit disconcerting. 

Rating: 
 
 
 

Kicksend

Free from Google Play and the Apple App Store

Kicksend prints come with a satin finish on Kodak paper. 

Kicksend immediately felt awkward as photo choice is organized by date the image was taken, not the folders you may have set up in your photo library. It's a bit annoying if you’ve set up a folder of images you’d like to print. The grid format also means tough to see your images any larger to ensure you’re selecting the right one.

Kicksend offers free shipping on orders of 10 images or more. The smallest 4x4 print is more expensive at $0.69 USD than the 4x6 at $0.49. Sizes also include 8x10 for $3.99 and 5x7 for $0.99. I added on a couple more photos to make it to the free shipping category, for a total of $6.90, with free shipping expected to take 3-5 days.

Kicksend forces you to choose images via date, not folder.
Order 10 prints and you'll get free shipping.

You can also order prints to be picked up from a nearby Walgreens.

Kicksend's shipping confirmation email was clear with a link to status updates of my order on their website. The prints come with a satin finish on Kodak paper. 

Price: The smallest 4x4 print is more expensive at $0.69 USD than the 4x6 at $0.49; free shipping for orders of 10 or more prints.

What we like: Easy to use interface, free shipping, high-quality prints.

What we don't like: The app forces you to select from the images on your phone as organized by date, not the folders you might be used to or have set up.

Rating: 
 
 

 

Conclusion

We've compiled some basic info about each app we reviewed into the chart below to easily compare platform, pricing and our star ratings:

Print Studio   iOS $15 USD for the first 48 prints, $5 for each additional 20 prints
 
 Printic  iOS $0.99 USD with a three-print minimum  
 Postal Pix  iOS, Android Starting at $0.29 USD for a 4x4-inch print  
Shutterfly  iOS  Starting at $0.15 USD for a 4x6-inch print  
 Picca Print  iOS, Android Starting at $0.44 USD for a 4x5-inch print  
 Hipstamatic  iOS Minimum order for smallest size is $4.99 USD for nine 4x4-inch prints  
 Mpix  iOS Starting at $0.29 USD for a 4x4-inch print   
 Kicksend  iOS, Android Starting at $0.49 USD for a 4x6-inch print  

We've not specifically called out delivery times for each app, as all delivery schedules were met promptly as promised, typically within 2-3 days.

We have to give credit to Shutterfly for creating, if not the flashiest app, one that worked well and gave plenty of options. The integration with existing Shutterfly accounts is seamless and the prints were of good quality.

Another app may work better for you; since they are free to download, it's worth doing your own experimenting to discover what you prefer. And remember that 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. Use editing software that saves your images at full resolution to achieve the best results in your prints.

We know there are countless other apps for printing images from your smartphone -- tell us about your favorites in the comments section below. 

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
About us
Sitemap
Connect