Albumatic for iPhone is somewhat similar to photo sharing services like Instagram but focuses more on creating albums and sharing them with the people you already know, not just anyone. It's somewhat simliar to Apple's own Photo Stream service but allows your friends to add to your albums, not just view them. Albumatic may be a great alternative for those who want to collaborate on albums instead of just sharing and viewing.
You can sign up with Albumatic with either an email or with your existing Facebook login. You can then search for friends either in your Address Book or by having Albumatic search for Facebook friends already using the service. You can then add these friends if you choose and their albums will begin filtering into your feed. Just like Photo Stream, your friends and family members can like and comment on the photos you upload. You also have the option to flag a photo as inappropriate or save it to your camera roll.
Albumatic's interface is much more appealing than most other photo sharing services. Your main menu slides out from the left hand side and this is where you can access your home area (main timeline), albums, friends, and notifications. Your main timeline will filter in photos and albums that your friends are sharing. There's a toggle on the botom left of the screen that lets you switch between album and individual photo views.
The main thing that sets Albumatic apart from Apple's own Photo Stream service is that people in your general vicinity that you've added as friends can add to your albums. Albumatic uses your location information to determine what albums friends can join and what friends can only stream in real time and not be able to add content to your albums. Most of this is probably to prevent just anyone you may have as a friend from going in and adding to your albums. While it works, it would be nice to see some improvements to this feature.
Albumatic also features push notifications which will alert you when friends add photos, comment on yours, or if someone new adds you to their friends.
- Much better interface than other options such as Photo Stream
- You don't have to use a social media network to log in, and can create an account with just an email
- Push notifications work well and alert you of mostly all activity on your stream
- For users to add photos to your albums, they must be within your immediate vicinity
- No way to turn off specific notifications while leaving others on
The bottom line
Albumatic has an amazing interface and is definitely a unique way to browse and share photos with friends and family. It's a much better experience that Apple's own default Photo Stream service but still doesn't solve all the problems and gripes that users experience with Photo Stream. There may be times that relatives that live far away may want to add photos to an album and given the geographical constraints that Albumatic imposes, they won't be able to do so.
If Albumatic could come up with a way to better manage albums and allow more user control over who can add, watch, and join albums, a lot more users would probably jump on board. If the album management aspect of Albumatic is fine tuned, I could see a lot of users dumping Photo Stream completely in favor of Albumatic. Lets hope either that happens or Apple takes come cues and includes better user management controls in their next update to Photo Stream.
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