Photovine Displays All Your Photos from Instagram and Facebook in a Unique Manner [App Review]

photovine-logoThough we all love it, browsing pictures on multiple social networks is time consuming and often a task. Well the Photovine app for iPhone takes a unique spin and makes this much more interesting.

Photovine may strike a bell in some people who have been using smartphones over the last few years. It was a social photo sharing app rolled out by Google, after it acquired the Slide developer team in 2011. This was finally shut down by Google in March 2012.

The Photovine trademark was acquired by Silo Labs, a startup co-founded by Mithun Baphana and Kevin Geehr, based in Los Angeles, California. Silo Labs has now resurrected the Photovine app as an iPhone app that allows users to view, create and discover photos from different social networks in one place.  Photovine aims to be a social photo magazine for mobile devices.

Before the team began working on the app they looked at the following issues and tried to solve the problem. They thought that photo viewing on a mobile device was a lame experience and took too long to show up , photos are scattered around multiple social networks, and that users needed to be very active on social networks to see all photos. Thus was born Photovine, which hopes to tackle all of the above.

Feature Rich & Snappy

The app which is still in its beta phase is still pretty feature rich. After one downloads and installs the app, the first thing one will have to do is set up the app with your Facebook and Instagram accounts so that it can begin pulling pictures from the social networking sites. This can be done by spinning the wheel which appears on the main screen.

 Once your accounts are setup one can use the Photovine wheel to filter pictures for each platform by images you’ve personally uploaded, ones your friends have uploaded or ‘all photos’. One can also view popular pictures from Photovine users.

 Once you select, you will be displayed the pictures in a magazine style collage. This makes the pictures look quite beautiful. Shaking the phone will give you a different layout. The pictures can then be clicked individually and you can comment or like the picture from here. One can also view the pictures as a slideshow, and one can customize the slideshow with music, transitions etc. One can choose to play any music from the library on your phone.

The Photovine app also allows you to click pictures and carry out some basic editing of those pictures. These pictures can then be shared share via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at the same time.

To use the app as a camera, one must press the volume up button of the phone.  There is no other way to click the camera and we found this weird. The photo editing capabilities of the app are provided by aviary and the same effects can be seen on a number of apps. One can enhance, apply various effects, change the orientation, crop and also do some basic drawing on the image. Remember if you are sharing images to Instagram to first crop the image to a square.

We were not really a fan of the overall UI of the app, though we loved the way the pictures were displayed in collages. A complete refresh of the UI is expected in version 2.0.

We also noticed that the pictures seemed to definitely load faster here when compared to the official Facebook and Instagram apps.

Future Plans

Since this is the beta version of the app, “Photovine 2.0 will have a significant change in user interface making it more elegant & simple and robust,” says co-founder Mithun Baphana.

 While the present version allows integration of photos from only Facebook and Instagram, eventually Google+ and other social networks will also be supported.

 The company plans to release native versions of the app for iPad, Android and also the web.

 Silo Labs was co-founded by Mithun Baphana and Kevin Geehr and got seed funding from Tech Coast Angels in June last year. They have now started the process of raising a Series A round of funding. At present, the company is focused on improving the technology & simultaneously growing the user base before they concentrate on revenues.

Download: Photovine for iOS (Free)

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