By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
San Francisco — Photographers who like to view vast libraries of images on devices ranging from smartphones and computers to smart TVs may be interested in a new upgrade unveiled Tuesday by Everpix.
The company announced its Everpix iOS 1.5 upgrade with a new Explore feature that uses metadata to automatically sort collections into themed categories, including pets, city, people and more, for fast and easy retrieval on the fly.
The enhanced system is launching now for use with iOS mobile phones and tablets in addition to Macs and Windows PCs, but the company said it plans to soon expand that capability to additional platforms and devices, including smart TVs.
The company is working on an Android app release in the near future and is planning a public application program interface (API) for an unspecified date. In the meantime, the system will work on Apple TV devices today using AirPlay integration, the company said.
By making it easier for users to store and retrieve photos, images won’t be lost forever in a vast digital pile of forgotten memories.
The two-year-old start-up offers a Cloud-based unlimited photo-storage service coupled with software, bringing an enhanced new way of indexing and finding specific photos without the need for painstaking photo tagging and searching.
In addition to the new service capabilities, Everpix is evangelizing its offering by simultaneously launching its first Freemium account option, for unlimited storage of a year’s worth of full-resolution photos.
Premium accounts with unlimited storage of photos, from anytime, are available for $49 per year or $4.99 per month. The iOS app is available for free in the App Store
iPad and iPhone users can also print any of their photos, within about an hour, at 8,000 Walgreens locations across the U.S.
Everpix co-founder and chief technology officer Kevin Quennesson said Everpix was developed with the understanding that both the number of photographers and the amount of digital photo files each takes is increasing exponentially every year. He pointed to user studies showing the average number of photos taken by smartphone and dedicated camera users is growing from an average of 1,000 per year today to more than 10,000. This has created the need for a simple way to store, log, retrieve and view photos on a range of devices.
“It’s not unusual to have one photographer take four or five photos of the same scene to ensure they’ve captured the best image,” Quennesson explained. “This allows users to file photos the same way they like to remember things.”
The Everpix software files images and compresses them into one or two top-level representative images displayed as tiles on the device screen. Users can view a top-level image to trigger a memory of a particular batch of photos from a day, trip, etc. Using the top level image, a user can then drill down to view additional photos from that category.
Images are stored automatically by the program without the need for the user to invest time in extensive image tagging.
The system was also developed to learn as it goes using user feedback, so the Everpix functionality will continue to get better and better over time.
Quennesson said that Everpix is not looking to replace the major image editing software programs on the market but to work on top of them to more efficiently organize the files that are edited.
“We are not organizational. We don’t curate each individual photo and put things in buckets,” said Wayne Fan, Everpix co-founder and designer. “We create a user experience of how digital photos should be. We aren’t interested in building another Aperture in the Cloud.”
Everpix imports photos from Gmail, iPhoto and Cloud storage sites, including Flickr and Picasa. Images are uploaded to its server that is hosted in Amazon’s Cloud, and viewed through the iOS client software or browser.
“With Everpix you can have a collection or 30,000 or more images in your pocket without taking up 50GBs of storage,” Fan said.
When signing up at the Everpix website, users can access Windows or Mac downloader software that will enable sending JPEG images to the service. Currently, the service doesn’t support RAW formats.
Everpix’s goal is to be as seamless as possible to the end user, Fan said, so that all you have to do is load an image card in the PC and the photos are automatically sent by the uploader software to the Cloud.
Uploaded image files are encrypted and remain private. If a user deletes a photo, it is deleted, permanently. Everpix does not keep image copies without a user’s knowledge, like some social networks.
Users can upload and store images to the web with one click. From the Everpix server, users can then share images to a social network like Facebook without using excess LTE bandwidth sending one image at a time.
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