Printed photo app makes waves
Development a great learning experienceJENNA LYNCH
In a world where the printed photo is a dying form, four Waikato University students have triumphed in designing an app that lets you print pictures straight from your smartphone.
The group developed the app for the United States' biggest pharmacy chain, Walgreens, thanks to support from MEA Mobile, one of New Zealand's top mobile application developers.
The free Android app, dubbed Printicular, lets users send their phone, tablet, Instagram or Facebook photos to be printed at the nearest Walgreens store.
Mark Feaver, Jeremy Roundill, Yoni Villamor and Simon Campbell had eight weeks to build the app, as part of an assignment for their Computer Sciences degree.
Mr Feaver said although there would be no profit for the group the development of the app was a great learning experience.
The app is currently only available in America for use at Walgreens stores, but Mr Feaver said he is not ruling out developing something similar for a NZ market.
''Yeah, I'm getting in touch with a few people at the moment. Having a bit of a think about it,'' he said.
Snapshot Cameras owner Jill Boswell said photo printing in recent years has ''plummeted'' so much so that the store removed their photo lab, but she is on a mission to encourage people to make sure they have hard copies of their memories.
''You should at least print important ones,'' she said.
She said that as people were more inclined to take pictures on mobile phones, they ''just snap away'' and do not consider the possibility of losing the piece of technology, which makes print a safer option for preserving special moments.
''People aren't printing and they should be. It will outlast technology,'' she said.
Mrs Boswell said the local camera shop has been on Victoria Street since 1928, and was taken over by her husband's family in 1946, meaning the family had seen many changes in the photographic industry.
The business removed their photo lab about a year ago as there was not enough business to keep the lab affordable.
But with the introduction of digital pictures, a new opportunity has arisen for the business.
The most recent project of the business is a photo organising service, which Mrs Boswell believed was the only service of its type in the country.
Mrs Boswell said that photo organising was becoming a massive trend in America, but was still a left-field concept in New Zealand.
She explained that at the moment people were not aware of how many photos were being lost in the techno-sphere.
''It'll probably be a growing thing as people get overwhelmed with the digital world,'' she said.
''If there's boxes of photos lying around your house you notice it but on the computer, you can't see the mess.''
- © Fairfax NZ News
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