Beamr Review

Our Review by Carter Dotson on November 13th, 2012
Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: BEAM ME UP
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Beamr is a photo app that makes it extremely easy to make photo collages, with few options for better or for worse.

Developer: ICVT Inc.
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 5

iPhone Integration Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Re-use Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Beamr is a photography app that wants to make it extremely easy to share photo galleries with friends and family. Perhaps they could also be shared with one’s enemies too, a gallery of taunting and/or derogatory images? But that would just be mean. Don’t be mean with Beamr. Be nice with it, and only use it to create photo magazines for good.

The process is extremely simple: choose the photos to be shared with the app, choose the cover photo, change the title, and then share it via email, Facebook, and/or Twitter. This creates a magazine that is intelligently laid out on a webpage, which is optimized for all kinds of browsers. Photos will be laid out and displayed differently on a phone-sized screen as compared to a tablet-sized one, for example. The photos are automatically arranged by date. See this gallery I created with Beamr.

Beamr compresses photos with the JPEGmini protocol, created by ICVT, which the developer claims offers impressive file size reductions without reducing quality. This allows mobile users to see the shared photos without wasting any time, and makes the format available without needing to use the JPEGmini Mac app. Quality does seem to be on par with the original photos I took.

Some options would be welcome, like to set photos to view-only instead of them all be savable. As well, maybe some option for arranging the photos manually would help as well: right now there’s only the automatic layout option. This does draw the fine line between just making an app that works, and making one that has options. Maybe it’s better to not have the options cluttering up the experience, just having the simplicity there? Simplicity with options may just make the app feel lacking, instead of focused.

I’m honestly surprised that the app isn’t a paid one; its primary focus seems to be promoting Beamr and maybe even JPEGmini as a protocol. I’m curious to see what comes next. Still, Beamr is an app that does its job quite well: it makes sharing galleries in a quick way possible. Just pick the photos and go. This is an app that would be great for novice iOS users, to take their photos and share them with friends with nary any difficulty. It might just be worth the free download for that.

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