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A deeper look at Mobile

Moving forward with the Open Screen Project, Adobe has recently released a beta version of an image management app for your phone with Mobile. While it is still in beta and available on a few devices (those which support Flash Lite 3), it has a lot of potential for picture sharing and editing. For now, options are limited and the application essentially performs one key function: Loading pictures onto for viewing online or on your phone. Unfortunately, there aren’t any photo editing options via your mobile phone for the time being. Quite frankly, that would prove to be difficult anyway if you’re familiar with even the most basic editing options using a computer. Still, a nice benefit to Mobile is having tons of pictures at your fingertips without worrying about storage space on your phone. Hit the jump for a quick run through the app and service.

When you open the application, the home screen is very clean and simple. You have the option to view photos on your phone, your library and the albums you’ve created for your pics. There isn’t much else here, but like we said, it’s still in beta and it looks like Adobe is keeping things clean, simple and easy to use – never a bad thing.

Opening up your library or phone photos shows your pictures arranged as thumbnails. From here, your options are pretty limited. While you can’t send pics to an email address or another phone from here, you can upload pictures to your library where they can be shared with your friends and family. For now, it’s only an album for your phone and doesn’t do much else.

Here we see the options screen. Short of adjusting your settings, getting help (which you likely won’t need) or checking for upgrades, there isn’t much to be done. The interface is minimal and simple, but we do wish there were more options available such as the ability to create albums from the device or being able to send and receive pictures.

When you go into options from any screen and click on settings, this is the screen you get. Not a whole lot here but the option to sign in or out and to auto-upload photos that you take to your account. So, if you’re trigger happy and take tons of photos, it would be wise to turn auto-upload on (if you don’t mind sharing) so that you don’t have to go back and manually do so later. Turn your camera on, take a snapshot and the picture is automatically uploaded onto your account. You can even configure the website to share your photos instantly with a handful of other sites such as Facebook. In other words, if you have auto-upload turned on you can literally snap a pic and have it show up on your Facebook page in about a minute. Pretty cool! If you have a phone without memory expansion, this will certainly help so you don’t have to store many photos on your phone and eat up memory. There is, however, a 2GB storage limit with a basic account. We wish it were a little more, but it is certainly plenty for a free account.

Even if you aren’t tech savvy, there is pretty much no way you can screw things up or get confused within this application. We found the Help screen to be of little use to us given the simplicity of the application. The way Adobe set things up is pretty simple and very intuitive; within five minutes of playing with it we were already comfortable using the app to its full potential.

For such a simple application, you might be wondering, what’s the point? Doesn’t Photobucket Mobile and Mobile Flickr already do the same thing? Well, they sort of do but with Mobile, you can edit, clean, and touch up your pics right on and as soon as you save your changes, they are effective immediately on both your phone and the Internet. Anyone who knows about sync knows that this is a feat in itself. Mobile allows you to make edits and take or upload pics via mobile or online and have it automatically synced between device and computer. While it’s convenient to be able to upload pics to your account with your computer or your mobile phone and have access to it at all times using either device, we were expecting a little more. Again, the ability to edit images on your phone will be very difficult once you get down to details, but adjusting lighting, contrast, sharpness, and the ability to crop should be simple enough and we feel that it should have been included on the mobile app. As we mentioned of course, Mobile is still in its infancy so expect some big things to come down the road a bit. Still, if you use mobile Photobucket or Flickr and you want the ability to have your phone and online account synced at all times, Mobile is the way to go – the clean and intuitive interface makes sharing and storing your photos very simple and easy.