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24 May 2024

iPhone app lets users order prints of mobile photos

The app costs ê1.99 in Apple's iTunes store. (AP)

By Agency

The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.

PostalPix is an iPhone app that lets you order prints of your iPhone photos in a variety of formats.

Genius Idea: After Isaac and Christina Lay had a baby boy, the couple started snapping photos of their new bundle of joy with their iPhones. They soon realized there was no simple way to get those photos off their phones and into the hands of friends and family. Shortly thereafter, Isaac Lay co-founded PostalPix, a service for ordering prints of mobile photos.

PostalPix is as straightforward as it sounds. iPhone owners can use the app to order 4 x 6 and 8 x 10 prints and mouse pads of photos pulled from their phone's library. It's as simple as selecting print size, picking photos, specifying quantity and paying for the prints.

Prices appear to be reasonable - a pack of three 4" x 6" prints is $0.99, and a single 8" x 10" print is $3.47. App users can purchase their prints in-app via PayPal or credit card. Mashable readers can get 25% of their first purchase using the code "mashable" at checkout.

One reason mobile photo sharing services have become so popular is that they present the user with an instantaneous way to publish photos to the web, eliminating the hassle of having to transfer photos to a computer. PostalPix applies the same logic to prints, offering iPhone users a frictionless way to develop their digital photos.

The overall application experience could be improved, and the photo loading and upload process for users with larger image libraries needs work. We'd also like to see a few more supported formats as well as integration with photo apps. But when all is said and done, PostalPix works as advertised.

Having only had a live product for just over month, PostalPix is still very much an early stage venture. The bootstrapped startup caters to a very specific mobile audience and has managed to carve out space in between photo printing services on the web and photo applications for mobile. It's a tiny space with lucrative potential, which means competition is inevitable.

Founded in August 2010, PostalPix turned out to be more difficult to build than originally anticipated. "It was a pain in the butt to integrate our custom technology with shipping processes," says co-founder Michael Sarlitt. Sarlitt and Lay brought Joel Vanderhoof on board, and he helped with the tricky supply and print center details - details PostalPix believes gives them an advantage over potential copycats.

PostalPix users can expect new features, formats and products in the months ahead. The team also hopes to build for Android and other mobile operating systems once they perfect the iPhone app.