E-books on the iPad are commonplace, so why is it that all photo sharing apps go for a slideshow presentation? Slides were invented in the 1960s as a quick and easy way to share photos with minimal effort, but the professionally bound photo book is always a more striking presentation style. Viewers can get closer to the pictures (slide projectors require a line of sight), and the photographer has the chance to caption and arrange multiple photos to help tell a story—whether it’s the tale of two people starting a new life together, the birth of a child, or a portfolio/catalog of artwork.
How does it work?
Pholium’s concept is the advancement of the e-book; now it is the u-book, a book all about a special event in your life. In the basic layout, the gallery contains photos you’ve imported into the app (from your iPad’s camera roll or albums), the Studio is the design interface for creating a new book, and the Library is your collection of published books (which can be shared with other Pholium users or sent to non-users as a PDF).
Importing pictures can be a slightly tedious process, as you must tap a picture and wait for it to be imported (there is no bulk import option). Once in the gallery, you can duplicate and edit pictures, with control over the brightness, contrast, and exposure, as well as B&W/Sepia/Vivid color filters. From there, you create a new book in the Studio and layout pictures in the book template. Layout is simple, with intuitive pinch, rotate, and drag gestures to align pictures on each page (for a max of 42 images per book). Once done, hit “Publish” and then share your creation one of three ways: send to other Pholium users (with a Pholium account), send to non-users as a PDF, or hand your iPad to someone else and let them peruse the books you have made.
Is it contagious?
For casual photo sharing, Pholium is a stellar app. The controls are intuitive and offer just the right functionality, while easy sharing options ensure quality results.
There are some limitations, however, including the lack of ability to place text on photo pages, and the 42-image limit in books (though you are not constrained in how many books you can make, so creating additional volumes is easy). Once you publish a book, you can not reopen it for editing, so be certain before you hit publish.
If you want the ability to easily share vacation snapshots and find a grid of photos on a webpage simply too boring, Pholium is just the ticket.