JONATHAN JK

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Portfolio To Go IPAD App Review

with 3 comments

Sharing your images

A recent winner of Apple’s ‘iPad App of the Week’ award, Portfolio To Go features an elegant and intuitive photo-wall giving users instant access to all of their Flickr photosets: scroll each gallery horizontally to browse thumbs, scroll vertically to traverse through all synced galleries. The main purpose of Portfolio To Go is to enable photographers to present their portfolio offline to clients – perfect for use with iPad wi-fi: just sync and go. Photographers create and edit their photosets on Flickr.com and Portfolio To Go acts as a presentation tool, keeping in sync with all your Flickr changes.

Quick Features

  • Photo Wall:
View all your Flickr photo galleries at once – scroll each gallery horizontally to browse thumbs, scroll vertically to traverse through all synced galleries. Click on any thumbnail to jump into the main image view.
  • Main image view displays gallery thumbnails to enable intuitive gallery navigation. Just click the main image to go full-screen.
  • Flickr Authorization: access to all of your private, friends and family and public photos
  • Multiple cached portfolios: add unlimited Flickr portfolios via your contacts or Flickr IDs to P2G and switch between them.
  • Auto-cache photos: all photos get cached in the background while you browse (you can turn this feature off in settings)
  • Send Portfolio to a Client: Pick and choose which galleries to include and then send your portfolio straight to clients and friends by email from the app. Clients will download the free Portfolio to Go Player app to their iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch and launch your portfolio from the emailed link.
  • Share your photos and Flickr links via Facebook, Twitter or Email
  • Save favourite Photos to your iPad Photo Library

Portfolio To Go

The developer of Portfolio To Go (PTG) has taken a distinguishing approach towards the iPad Portfolio market. PTG assumes your portfolio already exists online on Flickr, and allows you to effortlessly import it onto your iPad with little effort. It also means, creative types don’t need to spend any time creating a portfolio. Flickr IS where you are already showing your work to millions, so it feels like a valid reason to take your photography with you on your iPad.

Importing Images

Upon activation, the first thing you need to do, is sign into your Flickr account. This is mandatory for using PTG; you can’t side load content from iTunes. As with any 3rd party application, you have to authorise a service to work with your Flickr account, nothing unusual there. PTG will then automatically download your galleries from Flickr, it’s quite speedy with images appearing quickly, showing up as thumbnails on your home screen wall. Lot’s of content however creates a cluttered home screen. A prolific photographer would end up having tens of galleries in PTG and it would end of looking very busy like in the image below.

Gallery layout

Notice how caption text runs off the screen, all text is the same weight, everything is shouting for the same amount of attention. Look at the gallery view in iPhoto, much cleaner and easier to navigate. Thumbnails represent entire galleries instead of having all the images as thumbnails, text is reduced to the most important element, Gallery titles.

I would like to see some tweaking with the UI, making it easier to view specific galleries. There is another way to view galleries which is kinder to the eyes, pressing ‘Galleries’ in the top left brings a pop over menu onscreen. It illustrates partially what I’ve just described as an aid for the user. You get a thumbnail of the galleries with some descriptive text, from here you can hide any galleries you don’t want to show and it makes navigating quicker. If this idea was expanded on, PTG wouldn’t be as busy.

You can deselect galleries on the pop over menu.

The pop over menu helps but there still needs to be a redesign on the main screen without needing to tap up a menu screen. Flickr.com has it’s own minimal looking gallery view as well.

Flickr Gallery View

Editing Images

You use Flickr to edit your photography so there is not much to say here. PTG doesn’t allow you to edit anything beyond image scaling, refresh rates and auto-caching photos. Think of PTG as being more of a playback tool rather than an App with a huge array of functions to show off your work. Again this is a boon to creatives who don’t want to edit their portfolio on the iPad, but just concentrate on using PTG to give presentations.

Video Captions

PTG, doesn’t import video, I think it should. PTG does allow for captions. You can’t edit text within PTG, again you’re not supposed to. Captionsthat are longer than two lines are cropped until you push your finger over them to reveal more. I’d have liked to have a bit more space allocated for captions, so I didn’t need to finger them. Better yet, why restrict caption space if there is a button that can hide/show text anyway? Many Apps on the App store do this so, and I’m not sure why it’s so common either (Reuters & Latitude Magazine to quickly name two others).

Branding

Your home screen, consists of all your portfolios from Flickr. PTG has no authoring tools for creating a personalized home screen. If you want to brand yourself, a more novel solution is required in order to present your identity as a creative artist (custom iPad portfolio box maybe)?

Presenting

Presentations are effortless with PTG and the lack of  editing tools does reduce the App’s complexity. In a gallery, a single tap takes you to a shared screen view, main image on top and a thumbnail timeline running along the bottom, further onscreen taps, alternates the view with a full screen mode hiding the timeline. There is no pinch to zoom during slide shows.

Settings

Settings Screen

At the top of the screen are five buttons; top left is the Wall/Gallery switch view, with the remaining four on the right. From left to right they are: a share function (share on Facebook, share on twitter for example), an option to suggest new features/write a review, ‘Settings’ for presenting imagery and a very useful button shaped like a portfolio which allows you to view your contact’s galleries. Let’s be honest, Flickr.com is terribly slow to navigate, this is a great feature to include in the App. Everybody else’s work is just as accessible! During slideshow mode, more buttons appear on the bottom; controls for showing images, info button which hide/shows caption text and another share button

Wrapping Up

The Ugly

  • Doesn’t import flickr video

The Bad

  • No Pinch to Zoom
  • Home screen UI needs redesigning
  • Captions feature needs tweaking
  • You need to have a Flickr account
  • Doesn’t import gallery intro text

The Good

  • Flickr, on your iPad!
  • Automatically imports image captions
  • You can easily view other people’s work
  • Fast and easy to use
  • Install and download content on the go

The Best

  • No need to edit your portfolio, everything is done for you

~~~

There is also an interview with the developer of Portfolio To Go here.

Portfolio To Go can be found at any of the links below:

WebsiteiTunesTwitterFacebook

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3 Responses

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  1. [...] full post on ipad « WordPress.com Tag Feed Share and [...]

  2. [...] I won’t fault it in the same way I would with other apps, as I also didn’t do with Portfolio To Go (also a playback only type app), I do recognise it isn’t perfect, though it’s safe to [...]

  3. [...] months ago I interviewed Nick Kuh for this blog and reviewed his iOS app, Portfolio To Go (link to review). In our interview, Nick stated he had taken Portfolio To Go to it’s logical [...]


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