iStockphoto is one of the leading stock imagery agencies; pretty much anyone reading this has likely used it one time or another. Based out of Calgary, they’ve just released an iPhone application for those hits of inspiration and research on the go.
From the press release: “The application uses iStock’s search engine to help customers find the perfect file quickly and easily. Customers can access and manage lightboxes of stored files from their existing iStockphoto account or create new lightboxes to save files for future viewing or purchase. The app also allows files to be e-mailed to clients and colleagues.”
The app is free, and it’s a solid one, but not without a weak point or two.
A detailed review of the app follows after the jump.
First of all, the app is free, which is nice. Users can quickly and easily log in to their existing iStock account, and new users can sign up for an account within the app as well.
Once in, the screen immediately becomes a rotating gallery of a few select images, with a very simple interface. Users can either search, see their account info, and view any lightboxes they have; that’s it. This simple approach keeps the user focused purely on media finding, saving and sending (though not purchasing; more on that later).
The user can search for photography, illustration and audio files. The search results pop up in a pleasing grid format (pictured below), with an alternative detailed list format available as well. Adding a file to an existing lightbox or creating a new one is also made incredibly easy, with an e-mail option a bit harder to find at first (“add to lightbox” is within the file’s individual page itself; “email” pops up through pushing a button in a transparent toolbar).
The landing page rotates through a select number of images, which is nice, but before long you’re seeing the same few images over and over again. Having a larger pool to choose from would help address that, though it begs the question of…where’s a browse feature?
Granted, iStock’s site is geared towards search, but there are several browsing options (most popular, newest, by category, etc) which is lacking in the iPhone app. Search is the key feature, but it would be nice to have a browse option as well in case you’re not exactly sure what you’re looking for but want to see what’s new or hot.
My only other beef with the app is that purchasing isn’t possible at this time, only browsing, e-mailing and saving to a lightbox. The main reason not to have a purchasing option that I can think of is the downloading the image/where does it get saved question, but with an e-mail feature already integrated, it’s not a giant leap of logic to think that it would make sense for purchases to be e-mailed to the address registered with your account, to be downloaded when you get back to your desktop.
Overall, it’s a solid app. If you’re on the go and have some images to show a client or want to do some inspiration hunting, it’s the perfect app to have in your pocket. There are a few things on the ‘wish list’ for the next update, but it doesn’t detract from the experience of sifting through the iStock archives for something which strikes your fancy.