Tech Thursday: There’s An App For That

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would know that Instagram was bought by Facebook for $1 Billion this week. The Instagram app started off as one of the millions of photo sharing apps in the iTunes store (and now Android market), but was lucky enough to hit it big (thank you Justin Bieber for your Instagram post that changed the course of the company’s history forever). Apps have been the hottest new thing to develop these days and finally the wedding industry is catching up.

The wedding industry has always been a little behind in the tech world. Creating a wedding website is still pretty archaic (although the new Wedding Jojo isn’t too bad), and although it’s still nice to pick up a fresh copy of Martha Stewart Weddings or the Knot Magazine, social media, blogs and apps have made the planning process a lot easier for the modern bride.

With the launch of great wedding blogs (like Style Me Pretty or Green Wedding Shoes), inspiration & style search engines (like PinterestLoverly & Tailored), and the new DIY / social media / tech savvy bride, “Wed-Tech” is becoming the hottest new niche in the tech industry. In the last year, hundreds of wedding-related apps have launched for the iPhone & Android platform and there are more to come this year.  However, with everyone wanting to be the next big app, which will survive and which will plummet? I mean how many budget planning, registry creation, dress finder, wedding photo sharing apps do we need?  And which should you use to help plan your wedding?

{I diverge for a moment}

I love the tech & start-up world (I mean I’m even dating a PandoDaily writer), so reading tech blogs is on my daily feed alongside my go-to wedding blogs.  The one thing that bothers me is the disconnect between the two.  The wedding industry loves “pretty things” (design over function) and tech people love innovation and functionality (function over design). Rarely do you see a nice “marriage” between to the two.  This disconnect is often the reason you don’t see many wedding-related start-ups in incubators or receiving VC or angel funding. I do agree though that the one thing difficult about the wedding industry, is although it’s a $161 Billion industry, the consumers are usually one-time consumers.  You get married once (or we hope).  Although millions will get married, the repeat business is lacking.

{okay back to the apps}

I don’t want to go into all the wedding apps out there, so just check out this article on Mashable for some of the top wedding apps.  Instead, I want to focus on photo sharing apps.

Mobile photo sharing is the hottest trend right now (almost too trendy it’s annoying) that even the wedding industry has jumped on the bandwagon.  Whether you want to mass upload photos to Facebook from a wedding, create a private album for wedding guests to upload & share or have an easy way to share your wedding album, there’s an app for that. Say goodbye to Shutterfly and hello to… the smartphone app.

Here is a breakdown of how I ranked the current “wedding group photo sharing apps”:

Appy Couple

http://www.appycouple.com

This is by far the best designed and highest functioning wedding app that I’ve seen to date. The website (& app) looks like it stepped out of a Kate Spade ad and it has all the functions in one: wedding website & app integration, real-time photo sharing & collaboration, social media functions, beautiful design themes, registry integration, wedding details and more. Forget making a wedding website, this app has everything you need (plus it even includes a free website). One drawback, not available yet for Android. I haven’t been able to demo it yet, but I will report back.

{UPDATE: I gained access to Appy Couple and it’s amazing.  I like all the functionality, but since I’m not getting married, I haven’t tested out the social media aspect as I don’t want to confuse friends! If you want to test it out and report back for me sign up on Appy Couple now!}

Yapp

https://www.yapp.us/#

Good idea, but limited in design execution. Yapp targets more than just weddings, but also corporate & social events. You can create an app for any type of event.  The designs are very limiting and sort of generic (definitely not cute), but it has a lot of functionality.  It is like a Facebook feed for your event. All the event information is listed and guests can comment, share photos, etc.. as long as they sign in with the event code.

Wedding Party

http://weddingpartyapp.com/

With its beautiful layout and design it’s a pity it doesn’t do much more than look pretty. Although the app isn’t released yet, the concept is wedding photo sharing. It allows guests to post photos and stories at the wedding in one big digital photo album which can be viewed immediately on your phone or online. Simple, clean, but limiting. While the app is wedding specific, I think you’re better off using the more powerful LiveShare for a photo sharing only app. I think the only thing they did right was claim the twitter handle @wedding.

Wedding Snap

http://www.wedding-snap.com

Wedding Snap is a wedding photo sharing only app except without design (I’m pretty sure their website and graphics were created in the early 2000′s) and you have to pay to use it (I think the cheapest package is $65).  They even sell disposable cameras on their site (no comment)! [Correction: They compare the cost of the disposable camera to their service.  I misread it. So please ignore the last comment.] A couple of pros: it allows guests to upload their own digital photos to the main online album if you don’t have a smart phone and you can do a live photo streaming slideshow (but other apps do both, so no biggie).

Appily Wed

http://www.appilywed.com

Appily Wed is a Canadian based company that allows couples to share wedding details via website, iPhone or Android app, capture & share mobile photos, upload digital camera photos to the main album and download & print the photos. Although the guests can download the app for free, the bride & groom need to pay for the service. Subscriptions range from $99 for the basic features to $149 and $199 for more functionality.

Pictureclique

http://www.pictureclique.com/

Pictureclique has all the bells and whistles of the other apps: live sharing & viewing, wedding details, password protection, social media integration, guest book, photo downloading, etc.. Although the app works on iPhones and Androids, you cannot find it on iTunes! You have to send your guests the link to the website download the app (to me that’s a barrier to entry… I don’t want to have to look for the email with the link then log on-line to download it!).  Not to mention it’s also $99 for the bride & groom to set up a “clique.”

Other Photo Sharing Apps

Besides all these great wedding photo sharing apps, there are some other photo sharing apps that are non-wedding oriented that I think could be great for any wedding or event.

LiveShare

http://www.liveshare.com


Photo sharing and messaging all in one app… and it’s FREE. Create a stream for your event, group, hangout, or whatever it might be and have public or private conversations, photo sharing, place check-ins and live updates all-in-one. There is no limit to how many streams you can start and anyone you invite (via email, Facebook or even phone number) can contribute to the same conversation and photo stream. No need to log in using an event code, anyone invited to the stream can contribute. Why look at multiple Facebook albums for the same event when you can have it all in one place?! Now it’s not really “wedding pretty” and I don’t think grandma can figure it out but for the social events and iPhone/Android savvy bunch, this app is powerful for group social sharing.

Batch

http://batch.com/

Quick and easy mass photo uploading app. Share & tag all the photos from your phone on Facebook in one “batch.” Instead of sharing one photo (like Instagram), you can share an album at once. As a wedding guest, you can upload all the photos you took at once and share them privately with your friends and the bride & groom. You can even post to Facebook and Twitter if you want to use it publicly.

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  • Jo

    Yours has been the most useful comparison I’ve ever seen! Thanks!

    Re: wedding snap though: you can do a live photo streaming slideshow (but other apps do both, so no biggie).

    Do any of the other apps to a live photo streaming slideshow? I’ve been hunting around for one but can’t seem to find any that will allow me to do a live slideshow that I can project. Any recommendations?

    • http://www.thepreppychicblog.com stephanie

      Yes, Pictureclique (http://www.pictureclique.com) allows for live streaming at the wedding (just like Wedding Snap). The other apps do not offer the service at the moment, but they are still in the beta stages and might add it on to their services.

      • Jo

        Thanks for the heads up!

        Just checked it out and gosh it has one of the most frustratingly unhelpful uninformative sites ever!

        Liveshare is pretty cool, but wouldn’t look pretty if it were projected (and can’t maximise the pane for a single conversation stream) Otherwise, I think it’d be almost perfect.

    • http://twitter.com/PhotoOppBride PhotoOpp Bride

      PhotoOpp Bride Edition (ourphotoopp.com) is another photo-sharing app for Brides and does have a live slide show that can be streamed and projected. You can also take and share pics for up to six events (showers, engagement parties, etc.)

  • Laura

    My husband and I did extensive research on this subject before our wedding (March 2012). What I love about Wedding Snap is that they’re app and website are so simple to use even my dad was able to easily upload pics. We received around 500 photos in our album using Wedding Snap. All the guests were pretty happy with the functionality of the app and the website. I highly recommend them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jaredalexander Jared Alexander

    The Married App (http://www.themarriedapp.com) is a free do-it-all live photo sharing app (iPhone & Android) for weddings. Besides photo sharing and live projecting, it does event/hotel info and directions, live song requests, photo booth, wedding party bios, virtual guestbook, and much more! Check us out, we’d love to be part of your special day!

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