A great photo book app is an easy way to turn favorite photos into tangible memories. A few taps while you wait in line at the grocery store or chill on your couch, and you'll have a gorgeous photo book on its way to you.
If you like to use your computer to make photo books, or just need some tips, we've got you covered with all the details about making and printing an album online. If you are interested in the best photo printing services in general, we've got you covered there too.
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I've actually been using Shutterfly in my personal life for over a decade. I trust Shutterfly with my family's precious memories — it offers free unlimited photo storage. Shutterfly is the keeper of my children's childhood. I've ordered hundreds of prints, books, and gifts from Shutterfly over the years. I've never been disappointed in the quality.
There are always deals and promo codes, and in fact, you can use up to three promo codes at a time on Shutterfly. Using the iOS app entitles you to extra app-exclusive freebies. Right now, Shutterfly is promoting "Instant Books." Instant Books are 6-by-6 inch 20-page hardcover books for just $4.99 plus $4.99 shipping. There's no limit to how many you can order. Shutterfly's iOS app actually creates books for you, which you can order as-is, or you can create your own, which you can customize down to the last detail.
Though there are tons of colorful themes that cost nothing extra, there are many upgrades that do. You can keep the photo books basic or make a more upscale album with lay-flat and/or thicker pages. You can upload photos into your photo book directly from your iPhone or iPad, Facebook, Instagram, or Google Photos without having to store them in Shutterfly at all.
I've been happy with the quality, as I detailed in my review of Shutterfly. The books are fun to make with loads of customizable themes. It's always a good idea to keep an eye on the price as you create your photo books and order when you can get the best prices, as there are always sales and promo codes.
Order pre-made photo books or create your own ultra-customized books for as little as $10 shipped.
FreePrints Photobook has an interesting sales model. You get one free 5-by-7 or 6-by-6 softcover 20-page photo book per month. You just pay shipping, which is $7.99. Want more pages, a hardcover book, a larger book, or more books? You can certainly have those upgrades, but you'll have to pay for them. There are frequent sales and promo codes offering free and discounted upgrades. You do not have to subscribe, and there is no commitment.
Making your photo book is fast and easy. Select the pre-made book within the app, or you can choose your photos, colors, patterns, themes, layout, and captions. FreePrints does offer its own cloud storage, but you can also pull photos from your iPhone or iPad, Facebook, Instagram, or Dropbox. The result is a nice quality photo book you could easily make while you're standing in line at the grocery store.
One example I could see being the target demographic is a busy parent. You could start a monthly collection and document your baby's first year or other milestones in your child's life. As I said in my review of FreePrints, it is made for mobile — you couldn't order from a computer if you tried. For anyone who needs to take care of their photo book needs on the go, FreePrints Photobooks presents a convenient and purely mobile option.
The FreePrints Photobooks app is easy to use, and you get a free book each month (just pay $8 shipping.)
Snapfish's quality is great, while prices are very reasonable with frequent sales and promo codes. I got the smallest, least expensive book, and it's adorable. Super thin with a soft cover, it's light and portable. Of course, you can also upgrade to a large coffee-table sized book and lay-flat pages if you wish. Choose photos from your iPhone or iPad, Snapfish, Google Photos, Facebook, or Instagram. The app will arrange the photos for you, but you can change them around as you like. Within the app, you can choose different layouts and background colors. But, if you want themes and embellishments, you'll have to go to your computer.
You'll rarely pay the retail photo book prices. There are always promos going on. But if you don't mind playing the game and waiting for the right sale or coupon, you'll get a great deal on a great photo book, as I said in my review of Snapfish.
Let the app do the arranging or arrange them yourself. Snapfish makes great photo books.
I'd recommend the Amazon Photos app to Amazon Prime members mostly looking for free and easy photo and video storage but may want to print up a quick photo book from time to time. The Amazon Photos app will automatically save all of your photos and videos (up to 5GB), even if you delete them from your phone.
It's not the best photo book printing option out there if you like choice, as you only get white and no other color and style options. All photo books are 8x8, and you can choose a regular or premium book. The regular Hardcover Photo Book has glossy paper pages and a laminated hardcover. The Premium Photo Book adds double-thick interior pages and professional lay-flat binding. There is one photo on each page, and the base price includes 20 pages. You can upgrade to up to 74 pages. The only upcharges you will find are extra pages in your photo book.
Amazon creates "memories" for you from trips or years in review and gives you the option to print it up as a photo book with a couple of taps on your phone. You can and subtract photos, but that's about it. Amazon Prime members get fast, free shipping. This is the option for someone who really doesn't want to be bothered with themes, colorful pages, embellishments, and captions. Just a straight-up photo book you can create and order in less than a minute, no fussing around, in your mailbox fast. The photo book options have slimmed down quite a bit since I first wrote my review of Amazon Photos; the black background and stickers in my book are no longer offered.
Amazon Photos lets you literally make a photo book in less than one minute; your choices are quite limited.
The Mpix app lets you make various photo books ranging from economy softcover to upscale linen or leather-bound hardcover books. Use photos from your iPhone or iPad, Mpix, Dropbox, Facebook, or OneDrive. You create your own book from scratch, choosing from a variety of single-photo or multi-photo layouts, with or without text. Mpix will auto-crop your photos if you wish, using faces to select the crop area.
The app lets you choose the cover color and even deboss (imprint with metallic silver or gold lettering) the Signature Leather Photo Album. Oddly, you can't choose any theme or color for the pages inside the book. The pages are just white. If you want a larger variety of options, you'll have to use the website on your computer. As I described in my Mpix review, the website's not the easiest to use, but I was quite happy with the photo book I made with Mpix.
The Mpix app lets you choose your book size, style, and page layout in detail, though white is your only option for the interior pages.
What's your favorite photo book app?
These are the photo book apps I've used and enjoyed. How about you? Have you tried some other photo book apps that you like? Do share in the comments!
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Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at CNET. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, AppAdvice, WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.