Desktop apps that aim to work along with popular web apps are a pretty common niche in the market, as they make it much faster and easier to use certain features of those websites by always remaining open in your desktop and allowing you to use features like drag-and-drop that might not be as easy to find on a web app.
The app that we are reviewing today is made for quickly publishing pictures and videos over popular social networks like Facebook and Flickr, from your desktop. It’s called Poster.
The first thing you’ll notice when you open the app is that you’ll be asked if you want to download plugins for Aperture and iPhoto. You’ll be taken to a webpage where you can download a package that makes it work with those two apps.
The interface is very simple. There is no introduction or setup process other than the aforementioned plugin. Once you get into the app the only thing you’ll see is a big screen with a camera, and a legend that reads “Drag photos and videos here”.
Once you try to upload something for the first time, you’ll be shown a few options that allow you to set up your accounts. With Poster you can connect to a Facebook, SmugMug or Flickr account. You have to authorize all of those in order to get Poster working correctly.
Verification will take you to the page of the service where you’ll have to authorize Poster. Once you are done with this, you are free to upload your pictures. It’s also good that you can add more than one Flickr account or one Facebook account, and you can even use Facebook as a fan page.
Now, whenever you open the app, you’ll see the same screen, but after you drag-and-drop a file, you’ll be asked to select which of your accounts you want to upload it to. After that, you’ll see a screen where you can add more pictures or enter a description and tags to the pictures that you already have.
It’s worth noting that you can enter the tags and description individually or just apply them to a whole group of pictures, which is very convenient. Also, the settings you can add to each picture change depending on where you want to upload them. For example, in Flickr you get tags, groups and description; while in Facebook you get to add it to a new or existing album and add titles, as well as change the privacy.
Other Extra Settings
It’s very nice to have other features that are pretty essential for apps like Facebook. For example, you can tag faces from Facebook friends by clicking on a picture to expand it and then going to the face-shaped button on the toolbar. You can also perform basic operations like rotating pictures and resizing them.
You don’t have to drag-and-drop pictures every time – you can open folders or sets of pictures by going into the file menu and browsing to your files.
Once you are done adding descriptions and so on, clicking the “Post” button on the right bottom corner will send them to the service of your preference. You’ll get a screen where you can see the progress of the upload.
The app isn’t super-fast at uploading, but it isn’t annoyingly slow either. I could see it getting complicated posting more than 100 pictures because of the speed. You’ll get a Growl notification once your pictures are uploaded, and you’ll also see a screen of the app that will notify you of the operation and give you a handy button to quickly access the service that you uploaded your pics to.
Everything seems to work just fine with Facebook and Flickr. The descriptions and tags translate very well from Poster to the web apps. I couldn’t find any compatibility problems, at least not any noticeable ones.
Of course, when an app is simple, it usually lacks functionality in some form. Poster isn’t an exception, and has a few niggles that I’d like to see fixed in a future version.
For example, you can’t add a picture to more than one account. If you want to add the same set of pics to both Facebook and Flickr, you have to upload them to one of them first with a set of information, and then upload them again with information to the other service. Also, you can’t upload videos larger than 150 MB, or longer than 1:30.
Other than that, the app is really impressive.
As you can see, this is a very simple app with all the necessary features for posting pictures. The truth is, it doesn’t really give you anything that the web apps don’t; it does exactly what they do and nothing else. It offers an easier and faster way to post pictures from your desktop, without having to go into every web service.
I guess if you’ve ever thought that you need a desktop app to upload pictures to the web, then you might find this useful. If you’ve never even thought about it, this app probably won’t rock your life. Would you be willing to pay $10 for an app like this?