TIME Smartphones

The Best Ways to Print Photos From Your Smartphone

smartphone-scenery-photo
Getty Images

You can now print your photos professionally, on the go or at home

One of the best cameras is the one you have with you — and for most of us, that camera is your smartphone. But unless you’re meticulously sharing and backing up your photos online, most of them are probably languishing in your smartphone’s digital archives.

Free your photos from the shackles of your smartphone with services and hardware that make it easy to print your photos professionally (for shipping directly to you), on the go or at home. We’ve rounded up our favorite, easy ways to print photos from your smartphone.

Order professional prints with an app

Most photo developers today print smartphone pictures. Apps such as Kicksend and Snapfish let you order prints for pickup at retailers such as Walgreens. Even more streamlined photo services let you order prints from your smartphone for delivery to your home within a couple of days. Send photos from your smartphone to one of our favorite print services to get lab-quality prints without leaving the house or shelling out for your own printer.

PrintStudio

This sleek, intuitive app takes care of printing pictures as well as photo books, greeting cards and other photo products from your phone camera or Instagram account. Ordering prints is a simple matter of choosing exactly the size of photo you want, from a set of photo strips to a 54-image poster, and then picking the best of your snaps.

You can print photos in several unusual sizes, including 4″ x 4″ squares, 2″ x 2″ mini-squares and business-card-sized prints, as well as standard formats including 4″ x 6″ and 8″ x 10″ prints and 20″ x 30″ posters (probably best for owners of uber-high-megapixel phones like the iPhone 6 Plus or Samsung Galaxy S5). Send prints anywhere in the world. (Last-minute long-distance present, anyone?)

The app makes it easy to order unique frames and displays, including a reclaimed Santa Cruz block frame or multi-picture wooden and concrete displays.

Price: Free at Google Play and iTunes

Prints: $12 for 24 square prints; $15 for 24 4″ x 6″ prints; $10 for a set of nine photo strips (36 pictures); more prices at PrintStudio

Shipping: $6 by FedEx and DHL; $12 international shipping; free shipping for U.S. orders over $50

Speed: 3-10 working days

Editing capabilities: None aside from cropping or shifting pictures to fit inside the print size

Best for: Interesting frames and unique prints (the mini-squares and 4″ x 4″ squares are particularly cute for Instagram images)

FreePrints (Android / iOS / Windows Phone)

FreePrints is an offshoot of online photo printing shop Photo Affections, which perhaps explains why it can offer 85 free 4″ x 6″ prints per month. This streamlined app is an easy way to print photos from your phone camera as well as Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, Flickr, Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive. One click from the home interface takes you to a photo selection page for uploading and ordering prints, which can arrive as quickly as within two days.

You can order square prints for Instagram shots as well as 5″ x 7″, 8″ x 10″ and larger prints at an additional cost. If you use an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, pay for orders instantly using Apple Pay. Photos are printed on lab-quality paper from Kodak and Fujifilm, with an matte finish.

Price: Free from Google Play, iTunes, and Windows Store

Prints: Free for 4″ x 6″ prints (up to 85 per month or 1,000 per year); from $0.49 each for 5″ x 5″ prints

Shipping: $1.99 to $9.99; $1.00 more for two-day shipping; free shipping the first time you use the app

Speed: Four to six days; two working days for express shipping

Editing capabilities: Minimal; cropping, black-and-white filter

Best for: Low-cost, high-quality prints

Hipstamatic (iOS)

Remember the big kid on the block pre-Instagram? Hipstamatic and its vintage camera interface offer lenses, flashes and filters to create hundreds of old-school effects for your new-school pictures. The app links to its own print lab service so that you can order square prints of those analog-looking digital photos in sizes from 4″ x 4″ to 10″ x 10″ and 30″ x 30″ formats.

We love the reusable packaging, which doubles as a self-supporting frame for one picture. Pictures are printed on high-quality archival paper from Fujifilm. Share pictures to the usual lineup of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr and Tumblr.

Price: $2.99 from iTunes

Prints: $4.99 for nine square 4″ x 4″ prints, $49.99 for nine 10″ x 10″ prints; more prices on site

Shipping: From $2

Speed: 3-10 days

Editing capabilities: Abundant; preloaded effects to tweak color, saturation, exposure and more, downloadable packages of “looks” such as the Williamsburg Hisptapack or Foodie Histapack ($1.49 each)

Best for: Artsy photo prints and Instagram-esque editing

Print on the go with a portable smartphone printer

Pull out one of these printers during your next vacation and instantly print anyone’s smartphone photos for hard-copy keepsakes.

Fujifilm Instax Share SP-1 (Android and iOS)

This book-sized printer from the current king of instant cameras uses the same film and printing technology as the Fujifilm Instax Mini line. It connects via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to your smartphone, with an app for selecting and printing photos to a roll of instax mini film.

The app lets you add black-and-white or sepia filters, as well as templates for text and graphics and “Real Time” details such as dates, location, time and weather. Prints have that slight vintage blur; if you’re looking for fine detail, you may want to consider a desktop printer instead.

The SP-1 runs on flat-cell CR-2 batteries with a lifetime of about 100 prints before the batteries need to be replaced.

Price: $155.63 from Amazon

Prints: $18.37 for 20 sheets at Amazon

Speed: 16 seconds per print

Editing capabilities: Black-and-white or sepia filters in the Fujifilm app, templates for personalized text and greeting cards

Best for: Printing photos on the go

LifePrint (Android and iOS)

This wireless photo printer includes its own social network, allowing you to send photos from your smartphone to your friend’s LifePrint printer (or, of course, your own). Once the printer is online via your home wireless network, your smartphone can link up from anywhere in the world to print pictures off its camera roll, including additional saved pics such as Whatsapp-sent photos or Instagram-edited pics. The LifePrint is about the size of an iPad and prints only 3″ x 4″ photos.

Price: $199.99 at LifePrint Photos and shops, from April

Prints: $19.99 for 30 prints

Speed: 60 seconds per print

Editing capabilities: Minimal; add text to photos, tweak the size of the border

Best for: Sending printed photos as easily as digital photos

Print at Home with a desktop printer

Printing your photos at home can not only work out cheaper, but far more convenient. If you’re looking for pro-quality home prints, dedicated photo printers can handle ultra-high resolutions and fine color detail, while standard models still offer decent picture quality at an affordable price.

Canon Pixma iP8720

Forget the four-cartridge ink system on your old home printer; the Pixma iP8720 sports a six-ink system including an individual grey ink for extra-fine color and gradation in black-and-white prints. It connects over Wi-Fi as well as Google Cloud Print and Apple AirPrint, making it easy for any device to link up and print.

The printer uses an Android/iOS app to select photos from a smartphone or tablet for batch printing. Print resolution goes as high as 9600 dpi with photo sizes up to 13″ x 19″.

Price: $299.99 from Canon

Prints: From $7 for 100 sheets of 4″ x 6″ glossy paper; $113 for a set of six ink cartridges (PDF) ($0.48 or less per print)

Speed: About 35 seconds per smartphone photo, 1 minute or more for larger prints

Editing capabilities: None

Best for: Professional-quality home photos

HP Envy 5660

If you simply want to print photos for personalized cards or family albums, a multifunction inkjet printer like the Envy 5660 produces good clarity and color, especially with smaller prints. It can connect to any smartphone over Wi-Fi via the HP app, while Apple AirPrint support lets you print directly from iPhones without an app.

Photos can be printed in sizes up to A4, with a dedicated paper tray for 4″ x 6″ prints. If you regularly print photos, buy the Envy 5660 with an HP Instant Ink subscription plan that gets you 50 prints per month for $2.99, with HP connecting to your printer to send new cartridges when you’re running low.

Price: $110 from Amazon

Prints: From $7 for 100 sheets of 4″ x 6″ glossy paper; $80 for a set of high-yield ink cartridges (about $0.27 a print, $0.13 if you subscribe to Instant Ink)

Speed: About 45 seconds per 4″ x 6″ photo

Editing capabilities: None

Best for: Affordable home photo printing

An all-in-one option

Polaroid Socialmatic

Love instant cameras but feel nervous about getting the shot right first time? This Android-powered digital camera is pimped out with Polaroid picture-printing technology so that you can pick the pictures you want to print and store the rest in its 4GB of internal memory. (You can also expand the storage by popping in an SD card.)

The camera clocks in at 14 megapixels with an LED flash and a 4.5-inch touchscreen display for selecting and editing photos. There’s a 2-megapixel front camera for the obligatory selfies, plus Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to connect with smartphones to print photos and share them online.

Photos are printed out on 2″ x 3″ zero ink paper, which despite the high megapixel count of the camera lens produces that cloudy, old-timey effect on pictures. Each print is adhesive-backed, so you can stick the credit card-sized pics anywhere you please.

Price: $299.99 from Amazon from Feb. 1

Prints: $25 for 50 prints from Amazon

Speed: Under a minute

Editing capabilities: Add color filters and moody effects on the touchscreen

Best for: Vintage-style photos printed the old-school Polaroid way

What’s your favorite way to print photos from your smartphone? Let us know in the comments, and tell us if we’ve missed your go-to.

This article originally appeared on Techlicious.

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TIME Behind the Photos

The Story Behind the Photo of Shaimaa al-Sabbagh’s Dying Moments

Egyptian photographer Islam Osama captured the moment Shaimaa al-Sabbagh was killed during peaceful protests in Cairo on Jan. 24

In the week since her death, Shaimaa al-Sabbagh has become a symbol against Egypt’s military rule.

The leading member of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party died on Jan. 24 after suffering shotgun pellet injuries while peacefully marching to commemorate the hundreds of demonstrators killed during the Arab Spring uprising of 2011.

Egyptian photographer Islam Osama, 23, captured her dying moments. His powerful portrait of Sayyed Abu el-Ela holding the severely injured protestor has drawn international attention, taking on an iconic status similar to the footage of Neda Agha-Soltan’s dying breath during the 2009 Iranian protests.

Osama, a photojournalist with the Egyptian Youm El Sabea newspaper, was covering a press conference in Cairo when he heard about the Socialist Popular Alliance Party’s march, and headed over to cover it. “It was an ordinary day,” Osama told TIME. “We didn’t expect any clashes or violence from the police. The streets were almost empty.”

The march was on one side of a street leading to the iconic Tahrir Square, and the police stood on the other side. “[There were] only 25 people, and the demonstration only lasted two minutes,” Osama said. “Suddenly, without any warning, the dispersal began with the shooting of teargas and birdshot [pellets].”

Osama believes the police didn’t purposefully target Al-Sabbagh. “[They] fired in the general direction of the march.” The photographer, who was behind Al-Sabbagh when she was hit, saw her fall to the ground. He took six photos in a sequence.

At first, Osama didn’t realize he had captured such a powerful image. “The most important thing in that moment was Shaimaa herself,” he said. “I realized immediately that I had to leave. I had to send the photos to the newspaper, fast. If I waited a moment too long there was a chance that my camera could be taken and the memory card erased by the police.”

Using a USB data dongle and his laptop, he uploaded the photographs to his editor at Youm El Sabea. “From a human perspective, [my editor] had a strong emotional reaction to the image,” which has dominated the paper’s coverage since the incident.

Osama never expected to see his photograph make international headlines. “It was a big surprise,” he said. “I didn’t expect this kind of reaction. When I see this, of course I feel proud. But the most important thing is that I was able to bring Shaimaa’s message to the world… As a photographer, it’s my job to transmit this reality to the world.”

And, the current political situation in Egypt hasn’t made his job easy. “Photojournalists [here] are not safe. If you carry a camera in the street, you’re a target. People consider anyone with a camera [to be] with Al Jazeera, the Muslim Brotherhood, or a traitor to the nation.”

For Osama, his job is not to take sides, he said. “I’m not against the police. I’ve photographed policemen who [were] injured and killed, who [were] targeted by terrorism. My photos show reality.”

Interview by Jared Malsin in Cairo

TIME space

Best-Ever Photo of Dwarf Planet Ceres

Ready for its close-up: Ceres as you never saw it
JPL/NASA Ready for its close-up: Ceres as you never saw it

An unusual spacecraft closes in on a mysterious world

NASA’s Dawn space probe, which dazzled scientists with its astonishing views of the asteroid Vesta back in 2012, is about to do it again. A little over five weeks from now, the 2.7 ton probe will go into orbit around Ceres—another asteroid-belt object that is so huge, at 590 miles (940 km) across, it was promoted from asteroid to “dwarf planet” at the same time Pluto was being demoted into the same category.

Ceres is also among the strangest objects in the Solar System: unlike most asteroids, which are largely made of rock, this one contains at least 20 percent water, and may even feature geysers, like Saturn’s moon Enceladus. It is, says, Michael Küppers, of the European Space Agency “a very peculiar beast of an asteroid.”

What that beast looks like in detail will have to wait, but with Dawn just 147,000 miles (274,000 km) away from its target—closer than the Moon is to the Earth—NASA has just released the best image of Ceres ever seen. It’s 30 percent sharper than what Hubble can do, even though the Dawn cameras aren’t designed to do their best imaging from this far away.

“We’re seeing things that look like they could be craters,” says Mark Sykes, a Dawn co-investigator from the nonprofit Planetary Science Institute, “We’re also seeing these extended, kind of ribbonlike structures, which could be evidence of the kinds of internal processes you see on larger planets.”

The new images also confirm the existence of a mysterious white spot in the north that was seen in earlier images. (It’s actually very dark—nearly as black as coal, says Sykes, although not as dark as the rest of Ceres; the images are deliberately optically stretched to enhance contrast so surface features will show up). It’s almost certainly not ice, Sykes says: even dirty ice would have vaporized over the ten years since the spot first showed up in Hubble images.

But it could in theory be mineral deposits from under the surface. “If water is gushing out at times, it should leave a signature behind,” Sykes says. Light-colored deposits would darken over time, though, so if that’s what it is, it has to be relatively recent. The answer to this and other questions about Ceres’ structure, surface features and composition won’t come until after Dawn goes into orbit to begin its mission in earnest on March 6.

Astute space cadets might wonder how it could possibly take Dawn five more weeks to travel less than 150,000 miles to its rendezvous with Ceres; after all, the Apollo astronauts rocketed all the way to the Moon, 239,000 miles (384,000 km) from Earth in just three days. The answer is that Dawn was designed from the start to be a super slow spacecraft. Rather than relying on traditional chemical rockets once in space, it uses ion propulsion. The technology is well known to sci-fi fans. In fact, says Marc Rayman, Dawn’s mission director and chief engineer, “I first heard of it on Star Trek, when Captain Kirk says ‘advanced ion propulsion is even beyond our capabilities.'”

Evidently not, though. The idea, first tested on the Deep Space 1 mission back in the 1990’s, is to use electromagnetic fields to shoot charged particles out the back of a spacecraft (in this case, ionized xenon atoms), thrusting the craft itself forward. The acceleration, is much more modest than with a rocket engine. “It’s very gentle,” says Rayman. “It pushes on the spacecraft as hard as a sheet of paper you’re holding pushes down on your hand.” But because ion engines are so efficient, it can maintain that acceleration for far longer.

Once Dawn arrives at Ceres, it will orbit the dwarf planet at an altitude of about 8,000 miles (12,900 km) to start with, then descend to under 3,000 (4,800 km). Ultimately, the probe will image Ceres from less than 250 miles (402 km) up, taking not only photos but also scientific measurements that should finally lay bare the secrets of this most un-asteroidlike body.

Unlike other orbiting probes, however, including Deep Impact, LCROSS and MESSENGER, which visited a comet, the Moon and Mercury, respectively, Dawn won’t be sent in for a crash landing when the mission is over in 2016. “We know Ceres has water,” says Christopher Russell of UCLA, Dawn’s chief scientist. “We don’t know if it has life, but if it does, and if we contaminate the surface, we might mess it up.”

Even as Dawn inches toward Ceres, meanwhile, NASA’s New Horizons probe is speeding at thousands of miles per hour toward its own close encounter with Pluto next July. By mid-May, New Horizons, too, will have taken images of its target that surpass the Hubble. And by early next summer, scientists will be happily drowning in images and data from not one but two dwarf planets—both of which will be revealing their secrets at last.

TIME advice

8 New Uses for Your Favorite Photos

photos
Getty Images

Been meaning to frame certain shots forever? These eight ingenious ideas will help you get pictures out of the attic (or off the iPhone) and into your life

1. Picture Puzzle

Imagine the fun of assembling a photo-turned-puzzle starring Grandma and Grandpa. Just upload your treasured snapshot and choose between the 60-piece (shown) or the more challenging 252-piece option.
To buy: $30, shutterfly.com.

2. Decal Gallery

Why not have a series of related images printed as decals? Press in place about a quarter-inch apart, and—voila!—instant artful grid. No frames (or adhesive) required. When you feel like changing it up, peel off and reapply.
To buy: $13, pinholepress.com.

3. Art and Artist Book

Combine candids of your little painter and her favorite masterpieces in a neat, soft-cover tome. Or pair recipes with photos of family gatherings for an equally sweet keepsake.
To buy: $37, artifactuprising.com.

4. Memory Game

Another way to toy with snapshots? Make a memory game of them. Upload images of your family’s favorite people, places, and things for a boxed matching game. A nice way to familiarize your little ones with their faraway cousins.
To buy: $20, pinholepress.com.

5. Wood Photo Calendar

A photo calendar isn’t a new idea, but the clean lines, exquisite font, and clever clipper here elevate the form—and inspire you to find your very best shots.
To buy: $30, artifactuprising.com.

6. Circle Snapshot-Mix Photo Art

For a heavy dose of happiness, collect photos from a sentimental period—like a school year or the span from pregnancy through baby’s first birthday—and assemble them into a collage. A blend of black-and-white and color is particularly striking.
To buy: From $29, minted.com.

7. Sticker Sets

Cats, dogs, beachside toes, nature details, bffs—whatever it is you (or your kids) like to snap—can be reborn as tiny stickers to adorn binders, embellish envelopes, or collect in a book. They’re smaller than a postage stamp, so stick with close-ups.
To buy: $15 for two books, printstud.io.

8. Magnetic Mini Album

Treat your refrigerator to a vacation—and flip through while waiting for a bagel to toast or water to boil. Three books come in an order; keep one and give the others to friends who came on the trip.
To buy: $10 for three books, printstud.io.

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

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TIME celebrity

North West Just Took Her First Steps, Is Now One Step Closer to World Domination

North West Walks With Me

Keeping up with North West just got a little more difficult. Kim Kardashian’s baby North took her first steps Wednesday getting out of a pool after swim lessons. The reality television star posted a photo to Instagram taken by her husband Kanye West with the caption:

Our baby girl finished one week of swimming lessons today then took her 1st steps right when she got out of the pool!!!! Mommy & Daddy are so proud of you!!!! Photo cred: Daddy

She’s walking her way right into E’s next reality television show.

TIME celebrities

Beyoncé Just Posted the Ultimate Feminist Photo

She woke up like this

A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

Well, obviously Beyoncé can do it. The 17-time Grammy winner posted a photo to Instagram Tuesday that mirrors the famous Rosie the Riveter poster, a cultural icon that recognizes the contributions made by women during World War II. Beyonce, a self-described “modern-day feminist,” incorporated ideas often symbolized by Rosie in her most recent album. The photo racked up more than 300,000 likes within half an hour.

Beyoncé is currently on the road with husband Jay Z for their joint “On the Run” tour.

TIME royals

Prince George Hangs Out at the Natural History Museum With Will and Kate

BRITAIN-ROYALS-GEORGE
John Stillwell—AFP/Getty Images Prince George during a visit to the Sensational Butterflies exhibition at the Natural History Museum, London, July 2, 2014, in a photo released on July 19 to mark Prince George's first birthday.

The young royal Prince George celebrates his first birthday Tuesday

The world’s most powerful baby celebrates his first birthday on Tuesday, and parents Will and Kate have decided to grace the world with new photos of their little Prince George. The apple-cheeked heir has had a busy first year, filled with public playdates, a magazine cover, his very own currency and a serious friendship with family dog Lupo.

The United Kingdom Press Association released a new photo of the Buckingham baby on Saturday, from an earlier visit to the “Sensational Butterflies” exhibition at the Natural History Museum with his parents. The Duchess of Cambridge Catherine is a patron of the museum. Two more photos of the royal family are expected to be released Monday.

TIME celebrities

Jennifer Lawrence’s Class Clown Moments Caught on Film

Jennifer Lawrence was seen face-palming Emma Watson at the Christian Dior fashion show in Paris Monday, but this is only her most recent incident of goofing off in front of the camera

TIME App

Tinder’s New Photo Feature Is A Lot Like Snapchat

Tinder

The dating app added a "Moments" feature that allows users to share photos with matches that will disappear in 24 hours

Updated 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday

In a continued attempt to move away from its “just a hookup app” stereotype, Tinder added a new feature Thursday that turns it into more of a social sharing platform. “Moments” allows users to show their matches photos taken throughout the day that will disappear after 24 hours — longer than your average Tinder relationship.

“We’ve done a really good job of helping people form new relationships, so good in fact that we just reached 2 billion matches this week, but making the connection is just the start,” founder and CEO Sean Rad told TIME. “We wanted to give our users a better way to get to know their matches and communicate with them. And that’s what led to Moments.”

A user can click on a camera icon at the top of their “Matches” tab to take a photo that will be shared with all potential suitors and then get erased from existence in 24 hours. (But keep your pants on—literally—users can easily report and block inappropriate photo sharers).

While the “Moments feature certainly has some Snapchat-esque elements—people can draw, caption, and put filters on the ephemeral photos—it still stays true to the Tinder user experience.

“I think Tinder is different [from Snapchat],” Rad said. “Of course we’ve taken inspiration from other experiences out there, but the core user experience with moments is very Unique and familiar to our users in the way we present the content. The action of swiping is very unique to Tinder.”

Users have the ability to swipe through their potential suitors’ Moments, found on top of their “Matches” tab. A swipe right alerts the photo taker that you “Liked” their Moment, creating new opportunities for communication.

Rad said that Tinder decided to make the pictures self-destruct in a day to “take away that pressure of wanting to make it perfect and allow you to be more yourself.”

Tinder claims to produce 800 million swipes and 10 million matches a day. And the founders promise that it is adding more features that will expand on the dating functionality.

As Josh Stein, a partner at VC firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, told Bloomberg,”Tinder might end up competing with Snapchat or Facebook.”

This could be seen as the next step to making Tinder—which Rad says “is already about more than just dating”—a social platform.

“I think you could look at it as an evolution,” he said. “To us social means meeting new people and strengthening the bonds that you have with existing relationships. We’ve done the meeting people well, now it’s about giving unique and fun tools to people to connect with those matches.”

TIME movies

See the First Photos From the Set of Star Wars: Episode VII

Leaked photos give a promising glimpse into the production of the new film

The first photos from the set of Star Wars: Episode VII, currently filming in Abu Dhabi, have been leaked by TMZ — and they offer a tantalizing glimpse into what director J.J. Abrams has in store for fans. Production began earlier this month in Abu Dhabi in conjunction with filming at England’s Pinewood Studios.

TMZ

The leaked photos show a giant monster as well as a number of extras in bedouin-like garb in a desert environment that has not been confirmed to be the desert planet of Tatooine. None of the primary characters are shown in the photos, but it’s worth checking out anyway for our first look at Abrams’ galaxy far, far away.

[TMZ]

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