Ever since its initial release, the iPad has been for me the best mobile tool for showcasing photos. While several basic iPad image programs, including the built-in Photo app, are great for photo management and quick slide shows, the latest version of the Pholium iPad app includes tools for actually creating ebooks.
Though Apple’s iPhoto app for the iPad allows you to create photo journals for online display, Pholium provides a pretty straight forward approach to import photos and use templates to create customized e-books that can be shared online or downloaded by other Pholium app users via iCloud or Dropbox.
Adding Photos to the Gallery
After you register an account with Pholium, the app opens in landscape orientation. To create a book, you tap the “Add” bottom in the menu bar to import photos from your iPad Photo library or one of your albums. Unfortunately, you have to import each photo one at a time, but the process is fairly quick.
After import, you can and should arrange your photos in the order you want to display them in the book. Pholium’s Gallery also includes a basic photo editor for adjusting exposure and contrast, or changing photos to B&W, Sepia, and adding Vibrance–and enhancement tool also included in the iPhoto app. You can also duplicate and stack photos in the Gallery as well.
Creating a New Ebook
After preparing your photos, you tap on “Studio” and select “New.” Pholium offers four template pages, and a new Random Placement for auto-layout of photos into your book. You can add a title, sub-title, and the author’s name to the realistic book cover.
Whichever templates you choose, Pholium allows you to actually edit pages in the Studio editor. You can edit the layout of images by first double-tapping on a selection to resize it, as well as layer photos within pages. You can add up to 4 images on a 2-page spread, or any combination therein.
You can also add captions which opens a text editor for changing the size, color, and style of fonts. If you decide to get rid of text, press and hold down on the text box until the Remove button pops up.
When your book is ready, you tap on the Library and select to upload to your iCloud or Dropbox account. From there you can share a link (up to 10 emails at a time) to the uploaded ebook where it can be viewed in the online viewer, or downloaded by other Pholium users. (Note, once you publish your book, you can’t go back and edit it.)
With the published version of the ebook, you can display and “flip” pages similar to how you do so with a paper photo book. You can also view photos in Slideshow mode, which includes settings for changing the speed and the transition type of the show. The slideshow works fine, but I couldn’t find a way to exit the show without having to close the app and removing it from the App Switcher. The app also does frequently crash, perhaps from managing large photos.
Pholium is not as advanced as Apple’s iBooks Author Mac application, but for an iPad app, it’s pretty useful. Let us know what you think of it. And for other iPad photo app ideas, check out these articles: