AMITIAE - Friday 19 June 2015
Printastic: The Proof of the Pudding - A Book Made on the iPhone Arrives
By Graham K. Rogers
I reviewed Printastic back in May. I was particularly attracted to the concept of producing a book on the iPhone, as Thailand is one of the countries where Apple's own book-printing services are not available. There are alternatives, such as making a book in Aperture or Photos, but this needs to be saved in PDF format, then taken to a printer. Printastic does this all online.
I created the book and sent the file to Printastic, paying for the service within the app. I was told that the delivery would be via UPS and waited several days. In setting up the service, the developer had needed to make some adjustments and my order was placed right at the time they switched to the UK's Royal Mail.
In email communication, the way the service had been set up clashed with how things work at the Thai Post Office and an entire shipment had to be returned, the sent out again. The helpful Printastic told me that they had spent time renegotiating with the Royal Mail and the problems were not expected to recur.
While I receive a number of letters and parcels annually via the postal services, there is the occasional slip-up here, while courier services are not always perfect either: my best experiences are with DHL and FedEx.
All of the photographs I used were in the iPhone Photos library. One or two had been taken with a Nikon DSLR (one was even taken with a Hasselblad and the negative scanned in). Of those in the pages, some were edited in Photos. A number had been through apps like Waterlogue, DistressedFX and the rather excellent Enlight.
A 21cm x 21cm book of 24 pages is priced at $29.99 (1,000 baht) including shipping. The normal time-scale for that is 5 days. It is possible to create a books up to 200 pages, but the price (obviously increases). When I changed the setup to add one double page (making 26 pages), the new price quoted was $30.49. The prices compare favourably with Apple's own books (especially as they are not available here). Apple allows a number of size and materials options as well.
I expect to order more as this type of output would make a good gift, particularly as my family live in the UK and have no idea what I really do. As an example of output from the iPhone, this is an excellent example of the type of flexibility that such apps provide for ordinary users.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.
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