By February 24, 2014 Read More →

FotoBeam [Android App Review]

App Name: FotoBeam

Developer: Illiri LLC

Market: Google Play

Cost: Free

FotoBeam is a free mobile app that simplifies the way you share photos with a friend or a stranger in only one tap. All you have to do is select a photo from your gallery or take a quick picture and press the “Send” button to beam it to another device using the FotoBeam. The app uses an Illiri sound-based device pairing application programming interface (API) as a means of transporting photos between mobile devices, whether it is an Android or Apple device. With the API’s ever-changing range of audio signals used to connect devices, you can safely send pictures without worrying about anyone else stealing your information.

This app provides the easiest, simplest and quickest way of sending information from device-to-device without needing to use near-field communication and using QR scanning codes. While you can send photos via email or text messaging, sometimes the picture will not go through without running into an error, which usually involves a Wi-Fi or Internet connectivity issue. With this app, connectivity problems will be the least of your worries, although you will still need an Internet signal to be able to transfer photos.

Although simplicity is the app’s strongest point, it is also its weakest point, especially when it comes to using the app for the first time. When I was testing this app with my phone (LG Optimus G) with the help of my father opening the application on his Android device (Samsung Galaxy S III), we had a very difficult time sending test photos to each other due to the lack of clear-cut instructions. Even though FotoBeam has only one function, it was surprisingly challenging to operate audio-based device pairing API within the app. The absence of warning, dialogue boxes is another disadvantage.

There are no pop-up box reminders to alert you of issues such as warning you of connectivity or syncing problems. Although not a deal breaker, the only other element this app is missing is the ability to allow users to send only one picture at a time. In the case where someone might send an entire digital album filled with numerous photos, they might turn to using a virtual cloud drive app to transfer multiple photos instead of just one.

I like the simplistic concept of FotoBeam along with Illiri’s audio-based device-to-device sharing system. All it needs is a help tab for first-time users and a working settings tab in order to become a worthwhile app to download.

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