I love taking pictures. I also like sharing the images I take, showing them off to the world in style, and offering others the opportunity to own the artworks I create. It doesn’t sound like a particularly challenging feature list to satisfy, but my experience says differently, particularly when it comes to affordable solutions. Over the years, I have tried literally dozens of hosted site builders, content management systems and design-conscious networks in the hope of finding the desired blend, with only limited success.
There have been a few close misses. I’m impressed with many elements of Behance‘s ProSite system, particularly on the design side of things, while at the other end of the spectrum, Weebly is affordable, customizable and easy-to-use, with some decent ecommerce options. Unfortunately, the former service’s $11/month price tag, and the latter’s inability to deliver dynamic galleries and photologs makes neither platform truly viable.
My most recent tour of the available services ended with the creation of a Tumblr blog — but I still think there must be a better option. Maybe that option will be Portfoliobox. This one-year-old Stockholm-based outfit has already amassed 62,000 users, which is hardly surprising given the generous feature-set offered even for free account holders. But does it deliver on its promises?
We’d like to say a special Thank You! to our sponsors from September. If you would like to feature your app on our site with an advertisement, be sure to check out our available slots on BuySellAds or register for a weekly sponsorship for your app.
If you haven’t already checked out our the great apps that sponsored our site last month, be sure to check them out now!
sizzlepig is a cloud-based tool that allows you to resize entire folders of images to unlimited sizes. No scripts, no guesswork. Scale, crop, name, compress, fine-tune, edit and preview, before your final images are ever created. No more excuses (sorry, but it’s not ok to cut off someone’s head in a photo because of a CMS). Need lots of different sizes for lots of devices? sizzlepig scales to handle unlimited sizes, perfect for projects that demand pixel perfect images for mobile, desktop, tablet and more! It’s simply amazing.
WORKetc lets you manage all of your business in the cloud effortlessly. It brings together a robust CRM, support tools, project management, billing and invoicing, and more together in one app where everything works together. You’ll be able to capture leads, follow up with them, give them personalized help when they contact support, and make sure they’re invoiced on time — even with different team members working on each of those tasks.
Evver is, hands-down, the simplest way to turn your photos into an artistic creation. Just select your photos from your computer or smartphone, then choose a song from their great collection of music from indie artists, then go grab a drink. In less than a minute, you’ll have a choreographed video of your selected pictures and music ready to enjoy and share. It’s that simple — and it’s 100% free.
Harvest is the time tracking app that’ll save you and your team time. You won’t waste any time trying it out, since it lets you start tracking time in one click, no matter where you’re working. It’s online, so there’s nothing you’ll have to install — but you can get their new Chrome extension to automatically track time you spend working online, or use their Mac, iPhone, or Android app to quickly track time from anywhere. You can even integrate it into the apps you already use like Google Apps, Basecamp, Asana, Xero, or your own in-house app through its catalogue of Harvest add-ons. At the end of your projects, Harvest makes it simple to pull everything together into an an invoice for your client, and lets you see detailed reporting on your work time across all of your projects.
BookerLooker is a new appointment management app that’s designed to make scheduling appointments easy for you and your clients. It’s got a beautiful calendar that makes keeping up with your schedule simple, with your client’s names and pictures prominently displayed near their appointments. Your clients will find it equally simple, with your online booking system that’s ready for them to use anytime — and that’s even integrated into Facebook, so they can schedule services directly from your Facebook page and pay online via PayPal. They’ll even get automatic text message and email reminders from BookerLooker so they won’t forget their appointments.
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Everyone’s taking the time to archive and share every beautiful thing they see on Instagram these days. Far more than just a simple snapshot, for most of us an Instagram photo requires just the right angle, just the right field of vision, and just the right filter. The finished work, far from being a real photo, is a little bit of art that anyone can make.
Short phrases are just as important these days. We think up the perfect witty 140 character phrases in response to everything happening around us, just for the @replies and retweets. But unlike Instagramed photos, there’s none of the timeless, artistic effects to our snippets of digital conversation.
Notegraphy is a brand new app that’s designed to bring the sense of wonder and essence of art to snippets of text. It’s a fun new way to share ideas, one that I’ve taken a liking to since I first tried it several months back.
If you’ve been following our articles for years, it’d be hard to not have heard of ZURB, the team behind a number of awesome yet simple web apps. There’s Reel for simple presentations, Axe for critiquing designs from your iPad, Chop for getting feedback on your code snippets, Strike for simple online todo lists, and more in their lineup of free web apps. Then, there’s their pro suite of Influence, Verify, Solidify, and Notable to help you present, get feedback on, and test your designs and mockups. ZURB also is the team behind Foundation, the responsive front-end framework that makes building modern sites much simpler.
With all those apps and tools already under their belt, the ZURB team decided to extend their reach a bit earlier this year when they bought out the design community Forrst. They’ve just released a private version of their fully redesigned Forrst, and it’s finally apparent how it fits into their vision.
The world’s most popular social networks sure took their time at finding revenue sources. Twitter’s managed to keep things pretty inconspicuous so far, with promoted tweets and accounts not appearing enough to be too annoying, but that may change post-IPO now that they’re going public. Facebook, though, has slowly ramped up the amount of ads they show to us.
It used to be that Facebook’s only advertisements were the small ads on the sidebar, noticeable but avoidable. Those started showing up under comments on images, then then expanded to full-sized ads in your newsfeed. Now, on mobile especially, it’s hard to read through the day’s posts without seeing at least several ads, typically for game and travel apps in my feed. And their mobile ad expansion has shown, with it representing over a third of their advertising revenue this quarter.
And hey, ads are great since they help pay for the service — we’re not against that at all. But somehow, it seems a bit too much right now. So I was wondering: have Facebook’s ads been bugging you lately? And do you have any advice for the Twitter team as they start down the same road to generating revenue?
Web apps, for the most part, have taught us that we didn’t need all the features rich desktop apps offered. Most people don’t need every feature in Word, so Google Docs or even simpler tools like Draft were enough. Mobile apps have mostly continued the trend, with apps that have far fewer features.
The Lucidchart team has shown us, though, that web apps don’t have to be basic. Their web app takes on Visio and OmniGraffle — and does a great job competing. And now, they’ve made yet another full-featured app for the web, this time to revolutionize rich print and digital publishing with the brand-new Lucidpress.
Most of us take it for granted that our calendar and contacts are synced right along with our email. It usually just works, and there’s nothing to think about — that is, until you need to move to a new email service. If Google just decided to stop allowing Gmail data to sync outside the Gmail apps, or Microsoft decided to shut down Outlook.com, your email wouldn’t be the only thing at stake. If anything, your contacts and calendar are the most vulnerable part of that equation.
We’ve got open standards for contact and calendar syncing, so it shouldn’t be this hard to make it just work, everywhere, and then build from there to make contacts and calendars work the way they should in this interconnected age. That’s exactly what the Fruux team has attempted to accomplish, and this year, there’re far closer to that dream than the last time we looked at their service.
If you’ve ever tried turning pictures into a video slideshow complete with nice yet subtle animations and music you’re licensed to share, you’ve likely wondered why it’s not easier. It’s at best something that’ll take you a half hour in an app like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, and that’s if your internet upload speed is decent. Making a video online sounds ludicrous at first bluff, since web apps are usually relatively slow and cumbersome to use.
But not Evver. It’s a web app designed solely to turn your pictures into beautiful music videos, and is the only web app I’ve ever seen that dumbfounded me with its speed. We looked at it back in July, but it’s grown up so much since then, it’s only right to take another look at it. Here’s why Evver is the app to use, on desktop or mobile, if you want to make an animated photo slideshow video.
If your library is anything like mine, it’s likely filled with great books that you’ve only half-read. You bought them with the best of intentions, but it’s just hard to find the time to read all the books that come out. Plus, it can be rather expensive to keep an up-to-date tech book library.
Safari Online, started in part by O’Reilly Press, has been the online tech library of record for years, with an extensive catalog of books from O’Reilly, Wiley, Peachpit, and more for your online reading pleasure with a subscription. And now, they’ve reinvented themselves with the new Safari Flow. More than an online eBook library, it’s an attempt to make longform books relevant to the Twitter generation of professionals.
Resizing images for your design work is a pain at best. You’ll likely need to use multiple sizes and aspect ratios of the same photos throughout your web designs, but manually tweaking each picture is too much trouble and simple bulk cropping will leave you with weirdly cut-off pictures. That’s why the brand-new sizzlepig is so amazing.
sizzlepig is a cloud-based tool that allows you to resize entire folders of images to unlimited sizes. No scripts, no guesswork. Scale, crop, name, compress, fine-tune, edit and preview, before your final images are ever created. No more excuses (sorry, but it’s not ok to cut off someone’s head in a photo because of a CMS).
Need lots of different sizes for lots of devices? sizzlepig scales to handle unlimited sizes, perfect for projects that demand pixel perfect images for mobile, desktop, tablet and more!
sizzlepig syncs with Box, Google Drive and Dropbox, allowing you to seamlessly integrate it into your workflow. Plus, if you ever need to add new images or replace old ones, sizzlepig saves all your settings. It automates your digital production projects and can cut your timelines over traditional batch script processes.
sizzlepig is the way to crop and scale photos in a way that no other desktop app can do. It lets you customize and process a lot of images in a lot of sizes quickly, with a true visual reference, in a way that’s at once totally different from and far better than the mass resizing we’ve all been forced to accept and expect.
Start Using sizzlepig This Week!
sizzlepig will save you hours of frustrating resizing and cropping — or trying to get your batch scripts to work right — and it won’t break the bank, either. You can use it to resize up to 100 pictures for free, and then get all the resizing you need done starting at $10/month.
Your designers, photographers, and everyone else who cares how images look in your designs will thank you.