May 1, 2012
Design And Share Your Own eBooks With Pholium iPad App
Derek Walter for RedOrbit.com
Pholium seeks to create the photo book of the future. The recently released iPad app can be used for creating impressive digital albums for oneself or to send others as a gift.
Pholium takes the look and feel of a traditional album as its design scheme. Much like iBooks and other native iOS apps, users can turn virtual pages or create a “hardbound” front and back cover.
The app does a strong job of including editing tools as well. I found this to be quite useful, as it did not mean that one would not necessarily need to edit an image in Photoshop, iPhoto, or other iPad editing apps. However, the tool selection is not as robust as other dedicated editing apps, so it may depend on the needs of each specific image.
Pholium is organized into three main hubs:
1. Gallery — This is the main center for your images. Usually importing several into here is the first step, then it comes down to paring down the selection to come up with what specifically are the best for the book under construction. To keep things organized, the photos can be put into Stacks for better management.
2. Studio — This is where book creation happens. Start by designing a cover, with choices of various colors and fonts.
3. Library — Finished books go here. Then open them to peruse or send them to other iPad users with Pholium´s giving feature, called Pholda. Pholda is permanently given to the recipient and built directly into the app. Pholium hosts the shared content on its own cloud server, so when sending the files there is no loss of image quality.
Finish Pholium books retain the look of the kind of photo book one would order for a wedding, engagement montage, or other family event.
“We worked from the ground up to maximize the iPad´s features, while staying true to the look and feel of traditional coffee table photo books,” said Bill Sinclair, co-founder of 58 North. “The simplicity and elegance of the iPad really shows off a user´s unique style and design. With Pholium, your creativity can flow.”
Pholium can be downloaded from the App Store for $4.99 (this is a price drop from the previous $9.99). There is no limit to the number of books that one wishes to make for themselves.
Those who want to create digital books as gifts, however, have a limit of ten. Additional gift books, using the Pholda service, are $.99 each via an in-app purchase. Each new book can then be gifted to up to ten new recipients. A low-resolution PDF of gifted digital photo books is automatically created for non-app users, so they can preview the book directly from an e-mail.
“We´re reinventing the way iPad users think about their images. We take many photos daily but some are special and deserve to be preserved and shared — whether it´s to tell a story or remember an important event. As a longtime photographer, I was thrilled by the possibilities that the iPad offered for presenting and sharing images,” said Robert E. W. Sinclair, co-founder of 58 North, in a statement. “I soon realized there weren´t many apps or e-book formats taking advantage of the device´s high-quality graphics, functional capabilities and portability. Pholium is changing that. Creating a Pholium e-book is as easy as saving images into the app, doing a little creative work, and sending them to friends and family — from anywhere.”
Pholium is a bold step forward in rethinking how users will save and share their photos. It will be interesting to watch if this concept catches on and if other apps seek to take advantage of the growing trend of using and sharing images through mobile apps.