Smartphones have long since established themselves as the preferred camera for the majority of users, and even though there are now a number of ways to share their digital output, there’s still something fun about receiving photo prints by mail. A new app called Printic, which has just this week arrived on Android following its earlier iPhone debut, aims to simplify the process of ordering these mobile prints, which it lets you ship anywhere in the world.
Based in Paris, Printic’s founders Benjamin Grelié, Florent Malbranche and Nicolas Reboud, had previously come together to work on Mayoz, a company that sold art photography online. “We realized that people really like to print their own pictures, and not only other people’s pictures,” explains Rebound. 80 percent of smartphone owners take pictures with their phones, he adds. (What, only 80%?)
In April of last year, the team began to work on Printic, a fairly adorable app for iOS which has gotten better over time. The app at first felt very French, with little quirks and misspellings that made it feel more foreign to non-French users (e.g., the default country in the app was “France,” payment info was in euros, the address field was laid out differently, etc.). The new Android app is also a bit imperfect, as it sometimes pulls in other photo caches on your phone outside of a user’s main Gallery. (This may vary depending on the version of Android you use).
These are minor pet peeves, however, and not entirely unexpected from an early stage startup. The overall experience of the using the app is still simple enough, and it even has some cute pieces – like the little record you spin to increase the number of prints you’re ordering, for example.
However, the other very European thing about Printic’s mobile photo-printing service is that its prints arrive on thinner, Fujicolor Crystal Archive paper – something which the founders tell us has not been an issue with those in its home market and elsewhere in Europe, but that some Americans have complained. Here in the U.S., it seems, many prefer thicker paper or matte prints.
But the thin prints, with their Polaroid-inspired look are still quite cute, and perfect for scribbling messages on before sharing. Plus, the company hopes, the Instagram-loving, hipster crowd will fall in love with Printic’s (faux) vintage feel.
Using the app is straightforward – it connects you with photos from your Camera Roll or Android gallery, as well as Facebook or Instagram, and you can then crop the photo, or type in a caption to be added to the white border at the bottom of the print. Compared with larger photo-printing services like Shutterfly, the cost per print is a bit pricey – it’s 99 cents in the U.S. or 79 euros. But if you’re ordering just a small handful, it’s not too painful. Plus, shipping and tax is included, anywhere in the world.
Since the debut of the iPhone app in January, Printic has seen “tens of thousands” of users sign up, 40 percent of whom live in France, with 60 percent coming from elsewhere in the world. The U.S. accounts for about a third of Printic’s overall user base, and the remainder of the users are in other parts of Europe.
The startup also has a small round of seed funding from The Leclercq’s Family Office, the founder of French retailing giant Decathlon Group, as well as from L’Accélérateur, a French startup accelerator founded by Michel de Guilhermier. (They did not participate in the three-month program, only received an investment.)