Thanks to Facebook’s API, the number of Facebook photo apps for iOS continues to grow. The latest to join this list is the Facebook Photo Album from Lifelike Apps. But, is it any good? Yes, but it needs some improvement to be truly magical.
It wasn’t too long ago that photos were kept in dusty albums, or worse, in a box at the bottom of a closet. Of course, digital cameras changed all that, as did photo-sharing services such as Flickr, Facebook, and Shutterbug.
Now, not only can photos be kept “in a cloud,” but they can be shared too with anyone with an Internet connection.
Think of the Facebook Photo Album as a fusion between new and old. On one hand, it takes full advantage of the latest technology by allowing users to access photos from their Facebook streams. Yet, it also recalls the days when viewing photos included an actual album.
After downloading the app for the first time, you’ll be asked to login into your Facebook account. Once signed in, your photos are arranged into two categories: “My Friends” and “My Photos.”
From there, the photos are placed in the order in which the photo was taken, with the newest ones towards to the front of the album.
By default, the photo album is black, although you can easily change it to white. Both colors are nice.
Photos are arranged four to a page, with each including the date and time it was taken, plus any comments that might have been recorded. You can also post new comments that will be synced to Facebook.
Best of all, you can delete any photo from the stream, thereby eliminating it from your album. Simply click on the “X” at the top right of the photo and it magically disappears.
Simply clicking on a photo enlarges it, while a second click activates the app’s slideshow feature.
The slideshow may also be customized by selecting from one of five frame styles and changing the amount of time between photos. In addition, you can decide whether to use the “Ken Burns effect.”
Overall, we love the Facebook Photo Album. Unfortunately, it could be better.
First, even though the app is free, this doesn’t mean you can view an unlimited number of photos using it. Currently, only 80 photos may be uploaded before you must pay for additional pages.
To buy more photo pages, you’ll need to find the in-app purchase page, which is located at the end of the album.
Finding this page wasn’t easy because it doesn’t exactly “jump out” at you. Lifelike Apps doesn’t even advertise that you need to purchase more pages until you’ve reached your page limit. In fact, this truth isn’t even mentioned in the App Store.
This is bad form, in our opinion.
With that being said, new pages may be purchased as follows:
- 100 more pages (400 photos) – $.99
- 300 more pages (1200 photos) – $1.99
- 1000 more pages (4000 photos) – $2.99
- Unlimited pages & photos – $5.99
In our estimation, it is a no-brainer to purchase the unlimited plan, assuming you expect to upload quite a few photos into your album. Of course, if you find $6 too much to pay, we’d recommend the 1000 page pack next.
Neither price is unreasonable, in our opinion.
Second, as much as we like each photo being stamped with its date and time, some further customization would be nice. Its current format is very European and there is no way to turn this feature off.
Third and finally, perhaps future app updates will expanded the number of themes available. Even though we like the black and white versions current available, more in the future (even as in-app purchases) would add to the app in a positive way.
Overall, we like the Facebook Photo Album, even as a Version 1.0 release. Once you understand the app really isn’t free (unless you only have 80 photos), we think you’ll like it.
The (free) Facebook Photo Album is available now in the App Store.