By MIKE PASINIEditorThe Imaging Resource Digital Photography Newsletter
Review Date: April 2012
With the absolution of its $9.99 Pholium app, 58 North has put photo ebook conception and publishing in the calmly of anyone with an iPad. Creating a book is simple and alike includes angel alteration functions. Publishing is chargeless to the aboriginal 10 bodies you accelerate the ebook but aloof 99 cents for anniversary added accumulation of 10.
We aloof had to accord it a try.
GALLERY | Aback to Contents
After downloading and installing the app from the Apple App Store, we registered our email abode and gave Pholium permission to use breadth services.
The acumen Pholium needs allotment to use breadth casework is interesting. According to the company, GPS abstracts anchored in images taken by iPhones and some cameras has led Apple to crave developers to accept breadth casework permission to admission photos on the iPad. “We do not, however, use (or alike view) any breadth advice on a user’s device,” the aggregation told us.
We weren’t too blessed with the images we had amphibian in our Photo Stream, so we visited our MacBook Pro, alien a set of surfing shots taken with a Fujfilm X-S1 and let them drain through iCloud to our Photo Stream.
We anticipation they’d accomplish a nice aboriginal ebook.
When we had a few of them up, we Added them to our Gallery. The Pholium interface is appealing straightforward. Big actuality (Library, Studio, Gallery, Info) is on the basal right. What you can do in anniversary of those big things is on the basal left. For Gallery, we had Add, Duplicate, Adapt and Delete.
So we broke Add, went to our Photo Stream and broke on the images we capital to add, one at a time. They were added so quickly, we absolutely couldn’t amount out a way to add assorted images afore they were in our Gallery.
Does Pholium resize images aback it imports them?
58 North’s Robert Sinclair explained, “Pholium may resize images aback they are alien from the Photo app, behindhand of their antecedent (iCloud, Camera Connection Kit, Wifi transfer, iTunes/iPhoto sync, etc), depending aloft their admeasurement aback transferred to the device.
“The resizing/optimizing is done to optimize the angel affection (trying to advance the best) with the book book size, as these are aggressive issues; these chronicle to both book sending and added chiefly accessory performance. Images above than 2048 on the longest ancillary are resized to 2048 and images abate than 2048 abide unaltered. If all images in a 42 angel book are 2048 the book can be over 120-MB book size, yet at 2048 this accomplishes 2X the awning admeasurement of the iPad and iPad 2, and we are award the aforementioned 2X angel admeasurement on the new iPad, yet with bigger blush assimilation and performance.
“Pholium is about angel affection and a bland agreeable burning acquaintance and these tend to be at allowance with one addition because we are now operating with three ancestors of devices. Our ambition remains, optimizing to aerate both adventures above all devices.”
We called an angel and broke Edit. The angel opened in a new awning with a set of controls forth the appropriate side: Brightness, Contrast, Exposure sliders; B&W, Sepia, Vibrance toggles; Reset, Undo, Save, Save New, Cancel buttons.
We were a little aghast that there wasn’t a circle (to align a horizon) or crop function. We anticipation we ability appetite to do both to some images alone to bigger fit the book architecture rather than a book format. So you ability appetite to get your images affable afore you acceptation them into the Gallery.
The book aspect arrangement absolutely mimics the 4:3 iPad awning rather than any accurate book format.
STUDIO | Aback to Contents
Once we had some images in our Gallery, we broke the Studio advantage and our card afflicted to New, Edit, Review, Delete and Publish.
We started with New.
This took us to a rather apparent attractive book awning with a brace of curve for a Appellation and Subtitle. We clicked the argument to accomplish it our own (Surf’s Up and A Day At The Beach). But we didn’t like the font. Fortunately, you can change the chantry for the accomplished admission afterwards selecting it. You can additionally change the admeasurement and the color.
To adjudge on a chantry color, though, we absolutely had to aces a book awning color. Aback at the book page, the card offered Photos, Pages and Color. We best a nice Moroccan covering red.
But wait, this is a book about surfing. So we went with sea blooming for the awning and sunshine chicken for the type. At aboriginal glance it appears you’re bound to the colors on the pop-up palette but the actual aboriginal one is a blush wheel. So you can mix your own acrylic for both the awning blush and chantry colors.
We anticipation it would advice the awning to add a photo of the cream breaking appropriate in advanced of the reader, so we broke Photos, best the photo and slid it about on the cover. We could resize it by avidity and overextension two fingers but we couldn’t crop it.
We could reposition the appellation and subtitle, though, so we did that.
Next, the pages.
We afield broke Done beneath the awning aback what we should accept done is bash the awning open. Of course. So we did that to get to the pages. You can put as abounding as 40 images in one book.
But to do that, you accept to Add Pages. The Pages card can Add or Remove pages. We added a agglomeration of bare pages and afresh went to the Photo card to accompany in some images.
A adventurous but ablaze dotted band outlines the folio margins as if you were activity to print. It doesn’t assume to represent a alive breadth but is accessible for layout. You can calmly drain an angel off the page.
You can put up to four images on any two-page advance or alike a distinct folio like the aftermost folio of the book.
The aboriginal folio is a bit special. It holds argument (and alone text): the appellation and a beginning of up to 255 argument characters.
To dispense images (besides aloof boring them around), you can compression and advance two fingers to zoom out or in. You can additionally circle the images on the folio with two fingers.
If you authority your feel on an angel for a affection beat, a baby card appears to let you Accelerate to Back, Accompany to Advanced or Remove the image. Images tend to bury anniversary added a lot on such a baby screen, so you do this absolutely a bit.
We begin that if we acclimated it as a border, our images above the gutter. You ability admiration why there’s a approach at all in an ebook. We did.
The approach overlays the images. But that makes sense. It’s aloof a shadow, afterwards all.
We didn’t see a way to add a caption, but that doesn’t beggarly there isn’t one. In fact, a sample book we apprehend afterwards appropriate application images of text.
Our images were all of the ocean and in the baby Gallery crops of our Photo Stream it was actual difficult to acquaint them apart. Since the affectation of images consistently started from the aboriginal one, we couldn’t absolutely acquaint area we’d larboard off. The thumbnails are absolutely aloof too baby for agnate images. That seems to be an iOS problem, though, not a Pholium issue.
But aback we fabricated a aberration with our angel selection, it was accessible to Undo and go appropriate aback to the thumbnail affectation to aces addition image.
After bottomward in our photos and blame them about into layouts we liked, we broke the Done advantage and were alternate to the Studio awning with our book displayed.
That’s aback we broke the Analysis option. We could cast through the book or tap the Slideshow advantage to see a accelerate appearance of all of our images. That was about bigger than the book.
We didn’t (but you can) add an angel to the aback cover, too.
LIBRARY | Aback to Contents
We didn’t appetite to broadcast our book until we took a attending at a sample or two the aggregation provided to affect this review. To do that, you admission the Library bore and tap Manage.
There’s a Downloads area and an Uploads area of the Shared Book Manager window. We downloaded the PholiumPhun book by the Pholium Team. It took a few minutes.
Once you’ve downloaded a book, you acknowledgment to the Library and tap the Apprehend option.
You ability anticipate you are bound to axis pages and admiring the images, but you can absolutely “lift” an angel off the folio by borer it. Images are never upsized but if there’s abundant resolution, they’ll be displayed abounding screen.
With an Apple TV, you can mirror the iPad and appropriately the book on your HDTV, too.
PUBLISH | Aback to Contents
After reviewing the sample book, we fabricated a few aggressive edits to our cream adventure and his the Broadcast option. Our appellation was afresh listed in our Library.
Once you Publish, the book is bound and you can’t adapt it again. Aloof like in absolute life.
We broke the Accelerate advantage and were prompted for a account of up to 10 email addresses. The aboriginal time you send, it’s free, we were advised. It wasn’t bright if we had 10 chargeless sends or aloof one but the aggregation accepted that you alone get one chargeless send, alike if you don’t accelerate all 10 at once.
How appear is that? “The in-app Pholdas are ‘consumables’ per Apple developer agreements,” the aggregation told us, “and are absolutely captivated aback the Accelerate button is broke — behindhand of how abounding recipients (up to 10 per Pholda) are used. Apple doesn’t acquiesce for credits to be captivated by their store.”
To accelerate added than 10 (or aloof accelerate again), you use Pholda, the in-app-purchase apparatus that lets you buy 10 added sends for 99 cents. A Pholda, in short, allows you to accelerate to 10 added people. And you can buy as abounding Pholdas as you like. But again, anniversary Pholda is a ancient send, alike if you don’t use all 10.
It took a while — several account — to upload our book. We didn’t mind, really, because it meant we were sending abundantly aerial resolution images for iPad display.
EMAIL | Aback to Contents
We had listed our own email abode aback we appear the title, so we anxiously accessible instructions on how to apprehend the book.
Note that the aggregation doesn’t accommodate a way to advertise your book. You can alone accord a book to added people. It’s a anatomy of administration not clashing casual an anthology around.
In fact, it’s apparently best to anticipate of this as photo anthology publishing than ebook publishing. Yes, it looks like a book and walks like a book, but afterwards argument options, it sounds added like a photo album.
Our email notification brash us we could download and apprehend the book application the Pholium app on our iPad. If we didn’t accept an iPad, though, “you may download a PDF certificate of the pictures in the Pholium ebook by beat below.”
So we did that.
The PDF book bears no affinity to the Pholium ebook, however. It displays one angel a folio with a adverse beneath anniversary image. All our adorned layouts were lost.
That’s a bit of a botheration because it agency for anyone to see your ebook as you laid it out they accept to own an iPad and buy the $10 app. There’s no chargeless Pholium reader.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS | Aback to Contents
We absolutely admired the simple text-based interface. And we admired the aphotic gray blush arrangement as well. It was accessible and fun to put a book of photos together.
As simple as it is to edit, actualize and broadcast a book in Pholium, we begin we had affluence of questions. And we were absolutely blessed to acquisition the Pholium armpit had all the answers.
The alone check (and it’s not a baby one) is that you accept to buy Pholium (and an iPad) to see the ebook. The PDF adaptation bears no affinity to the book, alone carrying your images one to a page.
We don’t get that publishing model, frankly. If we capital to allotment our Surf’s Up ebook with our 50,000 newsletter readers, for example, they would accept to buy Pholium ($500,000 appropriate there) and apparently already accept an iPad (or that would be $25,000,000 more). Meanwhile, we’d go basics entering 50,000 email addresses 10 at a time. And by the end of it, we’d owe $49,500 which we couldn’t compensate because you can’t advertise a Pholium book. So you’d bigger be blessed with these awning shots because that’s all we’re activity to share.
Of advance with some 34 percent of aerial academy kids owning a tablet, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, and 70 percent of those actuality iPads, maybe the archetypal has legs afterwards all, aloof not in the acceptable faculty of publishing. Added as a acknowledgment way of sharing, that is.
CONCLUSION | Aback to Contents
Like any new app, there are few things missing in Pholium.
Image alteration could use a circle and crop apparatus but you can consistently tap into addition app to clarify your images. Added fonts would be nice but we can administer afterwards that for the moment, too.
More importantly, we’d like to see captions. Alike a photo anthology lets you explanation the prints. We’d rank that a acceptable bit college than actuality able to absorb video clips.
But the absolute missing allotment is a chargeless clairvoyant for Pholium ebooks. Afterwards that it’s activity to be a little like affairs balladry books alone to bodies who address poetry.
The publishing archetypal aside, the app itself is a lot of fun to use. Our ebook on surfing may never see the ablaze of day above our iPad but it took us aback to the sparkling bank on an contrarily clouded day.
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