There are many apps for sharing photos across devices and screens, but most depend on Wi-Fi connections, Bluetooth or pre-installed desktop applications to function. These apps work well, but the complicated setups may be too much for someone simply looking to share an impromptu slideshow. Sites like Flickr can be used for slideshows, but users still have to upload photos and login. There are very few ways to share without some sort of installation, physical transport device, or login. Fortunately, Scalado is trying to change this.
Scalado PhotoBeamer makes it easy to share photos on a foreign computer, or any device with access to a modern web browser. There are no applications to install, files to download or images to upload. Users simply select the photo that they wish to project from their iPhone, visit the PhotoBeamer site on the target machine and scan the QR code. The image is displayed within the browser window, and the user is free to flick back and forth between images. Find out more after the jump.
Scalado PhotoBeamer’s icon is a play on the icon of the native Photos app, which makes it very clear that PhotoBeamer is designed for use with the camera roll. The original sunflower icon was a bit lackluster, but version 1.1 brings a revamped icon with a new flower and stitching that better reflects the user interface. The flower is peeled back to reveal the edge of a QR code, the cornerstone of the app’s functionality. The user interface is beautiful, and the app’s new icon finally has the personality to reflect this.
Every aspect of Scalado PhotoBeamer is designed for simplicity. The user experience begins with an explanatory home screen that shows the user how to get started. There are only two buttons present on the home screen: Select Photo and a presentation options tab. There are no hidden features or cluttered settings menus in Scalado PhotoBeamer, and the app combines this simple interface with subtle use of canvas to present the user with a fast and elegant experience.
You’ve just returned from an epic vacation, and your camera roll is bursting with images of awesome food and high-speed hi-jinks. It’s time to share proof of your epic snowboarding skills, but you’re at your parent’s house, and their aging Windows PC is proof that they’re no tech gurus. Simply open Scalado PhotoBeamer and tap Select Photo to select any photo from any of the iPhone’s albums or events.
Now that the photo has been selected, Scalado PhotoBeamer presents a camera viewfinder. Point your parent’s browser to PhotoBeamer.com and center the viewfinder on the QR code displayed on the website. Once the app reads the code, the site reloads and the picture is displayed.
The picture is confined to the browser window, but there are several ways to adjust the photo. Users can zoom the image to fill the window, fit the full photo in the window, or switch to a vintage view. Users can flick back and forth between photos, and the photos will smoothly transition on the target display. Scalado PhotoBeamer is dead-simple to use, and once the presentation is finished, simply exit the application and the website will reload to the default page. There are no photos to delete from the hard drive or applications to uninstall. It’s just that simple.
Unlike most sharing apps, Scalado PhotoBeamer works on both 3G and Wi-Fi. The app doesn’t depend on a connection between the device and computer, which can be both a blessing and a curse. The performance of the app is largely dependent on the PhotoBeamer website, and use of the app reveals occasional downtime and slow loading on the site. This is a small price to pay for easy sharing, and it appears that Scalado has vastly improved the site’s performance since the app’s initial release.
Images presented on the target display can be saved for later viewing. Simply right click and save.
Scalado PhotoBeamer can also be used to display iPhone photos on an iPad with the same smooth transitions and excellent performance.
The code reader works flawlessly and reads the QR code almost instantly, but actual display time is dictated by data speeds and the PhotoBeamer website. Photos often appear blurry at first and eventually snap into focus. It’s worth noting that the displayed photos are not the same quality as the original. While photos can be saved to the target device, users will definitely want to use an alternative means of sharing if image quality is an important factor. Remember, this app is about displaying photos, not transferring them.
Scalado PhotoBeamer is incredibly simple to use, and users who simply wish to share photos will likely be pleased with its performance. While the app’s simplicity is a part of its appeal, I can’t help but feel that there’s a missed opportunity here. Photo sharing is important, but imagine being able to share documents or even just simple PDFs with this same method. There’s untapped potential here, and hopefully Scalado will go even further with its sharing technology.
For now, its easy to recommend the app to those who want to display photos on an alternate display. The recent addition of Photo Stream and events access, combined with the vastly improved site performance address my two major complaints, and there is hardly anything left on my practical wish list. There’s certainly not much for users who want a variety of options, photo transfer, and customization choices, but Scalado PhotoBeamer has done an excellent job of making photo presentation stylish, fast and intuitive.