By Joan Sherwood, Senior Editor
Images ©Cheryl Pearson
This supplement includes additional interface illustrations along with the iPad portfolio app review published in the November 2010 issue of Professional Photographer magazine.
The clear, gorgeous display screen of the Apple iPad makes it an ideal mobile presentation device for photographers—it can really draw a crowd. The iPad’s native Photos app, though, with only a simple slideshow function, doesn’t offer much for professional branding, utility and customization.
The iPad was released in April, so apps designed for it are relatively new as well. Because new apps tend to be updated frequently, we contacted the developers of the four reviewed here to get the scoop on what features to expect in upgrades planned for release before November.
With all four, you have to add images one at a time from a photo picker to the app’s library; a tap on the thumbnail loads the image. The current iPad OS doesn’t support a select-all function to import a folder of images from your iPad photo albums. The new iOS4 might have improvements, but it will be awhile before it’s available for iPad. The iPad also has a RAM fragmentation problem. If you’ve been using it with lots of different apps, any crashes you get are likely due to the iPad, not one of these apps. Just restart.
It’s best to downsize your photos before transferring them to the iPad. Syncing a folder of full-res photos takes its own sweet time, and large images will likely clog the system’s memory anyway. Find out if your portfolio app has a recommended image resolution; you’ll probably be safe with 1,024 pixels on the long side.
Flexfolios v 1.33 has a simple interface and a helpful reference manual accessible from the home menu. The app can be used to transfer documents between iPad and computer (music, video, pdfs, text files). You can “associate” one or more of these files with any image in your portfolio, but, for instance, you cannot play a single music file while you display a slideshow.
You can touch-and-drag up to 36 images in each portfolio. The most efficient way to build a portfolio is bottom-up, so start with the images you want to appear last. As you build, you’ll see only four images at a time; the rest are pushed offscreen to the right. To rearrange images, move them back to the picture library, slide the portfolio images to the new insertion spot, then move the image back in. You could also move the four images in view. Reordering images in the picture library is easy.
There’s currently no auto-play slideshow option; instead, you advance the images by swiping left or right. You can select a background color or custom image. You can choose to view vertical images side-by-side when they’re next to each other in the collection. You can also set up 700x400- pixel e-cards to send out to prospects.
In the works: a slideshow mode and VGA compatibility to connect the iPad to a projector or display.
Price: $9.99. flexfolios.com
Flexfolios Info setup interface