Blinq Photo lets you access, share and edit photos on a home computer remotely. Its purpose is to provide users with a free solution for creating and sharing photos and albums. I found it to be simple and effective and requires very little fuss.
Let me walk you through the process of getting Blinq Photo set up:
- Install Blinq Photo on your Mac. It's free in the Mac App Store.
- Create an account.
- Watch as Blinq Photo scans your iPhoto and/or Aperture Libraries, tagging each photo and album with a unique URL.
Next, install the iOS app and log into your account. You'll see the albums and photos on your home computer (via Wi-Fi or 3G) as long as the host Mac is running and has an active Internet connection. From there you can share a photo or album via email, Facebook or TwitPic, order prints or save an image to your Camera Roll. Once you have the photo on your iPhone or iPad, you can edit it or modify it with any photo editor you have.
Photos shared via email can be viewed in Blinq if your recipient has it installed or in a browser.
Having access to all my photos and being able to send them at full resolution is a very nice feature and somewhat makes up for the loss of similar features in MobileMe when that service was discontinued last month by Apple.
I found the app reliable and speedy. It would be nice to create albums and slide shows, and I'm told that capability is coming. I'd also like to be able to send photos to others without them having to have a Blinq Photo account. That capability is also promised, but no dates were given.
Documentation is sparse. There is no help built into the Mac or iOS app, but there is an FAQ on the company website. When you install the Blinq app on your Mac, it does so silently, never telling you it is done or what to do next. I think some users will be confused.
The Blinq photo folks hope to make some money creating printed products from your photos, but there are no intrusive ads or popups nagging you about this.
Blinq Photo is very clever and has much potential. It's secure, and your pictures are stored on your own computer rather than a server outside your control. The albums you send to others don't look as nice design-wise as the late, lamented MobileMe galleries, but it's a start.
For those after a little more polish and don't mind sacrificing remote access to their image libraries, consider Apple's iPhoto for iOS. It's US$4.99 but will let you create and share albums online.