A S C R A P B O O K O F S O L U T I O N S F O R T H E P H O T O G R A P H E R
Enhancing the enjoyment of taking pictures with news that matters, features that entertain and images that delight. Published frequently.
23 January 2015
When Format released Kredo yesterday, we thought we'd kick the tires and see how fast it could go. Who, after all, couldn't use a (free) tidy little portfolio app? And if you have a Retina display, this would be your best choice since it's the first "high resolution retina-quality mobile portfolio network," according to the company.
When we want to show someone a set of images on our handy iPad, we usually resort to the slide show feature of one or another image editing app, like Lightroom mobile.
The only other portfolio app we've tried is Adobe's Behance, which is more than a portfolio app (and not free, either). Once part of the Photoshop Photography Program, Behance offers a similar network-sharing experience and an iPad app. But your portfolio lives on the Web.
So we were intrigued to see what an iPad portfolio app could do.
FEATURES | Back to Contents
Retina support is certainly a plus but it isn't the only thing Kredo has going for it.
Here are a few more highlights:
- Images can be imported from the Camera Roll, Dropbox or your computer.
- High resolution images are imported and can be zoomed.
- Content is synced automatically to the cloud.
- A dark, sleek, minimal interface keeps your work front and center.
- Stream presentations wirelessly to AppleTV or desktop via AirServer.
- Lock the interface in presentations for slide show backdrops.
- Shared portfolios can be viewed on any device, including desktop browsers.
- Password protect portfolios and share them privately with clients.
- Share any portfolio with anyone through email, Facebook, or Twitter.
- Sort through users by location and profession to find your next hires.
- Promote your work to potential clients on the Discover network.
- Browse the Discover network and Like images you want to save for later.
INSTALLATION | Back to Contents
After downloading the app from the Apple App Store, we opened it and immediately were prompted for our name, email address and a password. The app then told us to check our email for a confirmation link.
And as soon as we opened up our inbox there was indeed an email from the app with a link to confirm our email address. We clicked and were taken to a Web page that reported our email address had been confirmed. It also had a button to take us back to the app.
We clicked it and it took us right back to Kredo.
We point this out because we really like how well this process was designed. We moved seamlessly from the App Store app to the Kredo app to our Web mail page to the Kredo site and back to the Kredo app. Seamlessly and effortlessly.
In fact, it was such a smooth experience we almost forget to mention it.
THE GUIDE | Back to Contents
The first thing we noticed about the app was how friendly it is. Right from the beginning, a guide introduces you to the main features. It does that by graying out the screen, presenting some text and highlighting the feature discussed.
There are four pages in the introductory guide, which you navigate just like iOS pages. While it's worth the few seconds it takes to get acquainted, the app is pretty straightforward.
ACCOUNT SETTINGS | Back to Contents
Once in the app, we had a sample portfolio to play with but we wanted to get our Account Settings to reflect more than our name and email address.
To our User Info we added a photo from our Photo Library. We let the app check our location, which it accurately updated in the Details section. And we picked a profession from the popup list.
Then we scrolled down to the Contact option to allow users to see our email address. At first, this didn't toggle but the next time we visited the page, it worked.
The Newsletter checkbox is checked by default so you are kept updated.
Then the fun part: Account Status. The free version of Kredo allows you to create up to five projects. To remove the limitation you upgrade to Kredo Pro, the paid version.
That's a subscription in either three-, six- or twelve-month periods. Three months is $6.99, six is $12.99 and a year is $24.99.
One advantage to the Pro version is it increases the number of images you can add to a portfolio from five in the free version to 100 with Kredo Pro.
Kredo Pro also allows you to access your work from anywhere, although that benefit wasn't very clear to us.
CREATING A PROJECT | Back to Contents
Creating a project is, like everything else in the app, very straight forward. Click the big Plus button on the home page, enter a project name and there you go.
You can easily add images and other documents from another project, your Photo Library, Format.com, Dropbox or iTunes. Just tap the plus button in the bottom left corner to see the options.
We tried to pull in 16 images from our Photo Library but that seemed to be too much to ask of Kredo. We waited patiently for a while then selected all of them and deleted them. They never did display as thumbnails in the project.
More modestly, we added just four and that worked well, taking just a few seconds for each thumbnail to pop up.
Kredo does upload your full resolution images to its server, which would account for the delays we were seeing.
Once you've populated your project, there are five buttons along the top:
- Edit: This option simply lets you edit your project name. We had to do that when our second word was auto corrected into another language.
- Manage: This option lets you select, delete or reorder your images.
- Present: To show your images in a slide show, you tap this button.
- Share: To share a Kredo URL that points to your images on Facebook, Twitter or by email, tap this button.
- Publish: You can publish your project to Discover where other Kredo users can Discover it (using Kredo's Discover mode rather than My Portfolion mode) and comment on it. You can also unpublish a project.
PRESENTING A PROJECT | Back to Contents
With a portfolio open, you can click on the Share button to share the project. The project is shared via a link on the kredo.com site. The actual link, which you can tap to Copy (and Paste anywhere), is displayed below the three buttons that represent your options: Facebook, Twitter and Email.
The heart of Kredo is its presentation of your images. We opened the Sample Project for our first presentation and clicked the Present button.
We were presented with a set of simple options. There's no audio, no transitions. Just a simple timer that advances in awkward five second increments. You get zero, five, ten, etc. second options.
You can also lock the presentation with a four-digit passcode.
Instructions for using AirPlay can also be accessed from the Presentation Mode dialog.
But what you really want to do is tap the green Start Presentation button.
Each image is displayed in turn full screen. If you rotate the screen to match the orientation of the image, it will redraw the image to fill the screen. The transition is a slide with new images coming in from the right.
Tap the screen during the slide show to pause the show and see some options. A counter and timer display are centered on the bottom along with the project name. A Close box is in the top left and a thumbnail display option in the top right.
Everything you need. Nothing more.
But what we really appreciated was with the show paused, we could resize our images dramatically with pinch and zoom gestures to see either more detail or the whole frame. Very nice.
SHARING A PROJECT | Back to Contents
Email didn't work for us because we don't use an email app on the iPad, preferring to peek at our email using a browser.
When we tapped the Email button, the app pointed out to us that we have to have an email account configured in Settings. We thought it meant it's own setting but it means your _iPad_ settings.
We could have tapped the portfolio link displayed below the Email option to Copy the URL and paste it into the body of an email composed in our Web browser, though. So all was not lost.
You can also set a password to protect your project.
PUBLISH | Back to Contents
The Publish option puts your project on Kredo's Discover network. That makes it visible in Kredo's Discover mode, the other mode the app runs in (when not in My Portfolio mode).
Let's talk about Discover mode next.
DISCOVER | Back to Contents
You enter Discover mode by tapping Discover at the top of the screen. You're either in My Portfolio mode or Discover mode.
In Discover mode you can Search for a user or a project by name or use Filters (by Profession or Location) and sort (by Most Likes).
Oddly enough there isn't a Present option in Discover mode. So to look at a project, you tap an image and swipe to go to the next image. With a single image displayed, you can Like the image, Comment on it or Report it as offensive using small buttons at the bottom right of the screen.
A Profile button lets you view the creator's public profile information (and optionally block them) and a Follow button lets you follow them. A Share button provides the same options you have to share your own projects.
CONCLUSION | Back to Contents
There's air in Kredo's tires, that's for sure. With its Retina display, Discover network and well-designed interface it does what it does very well without pretending to do more than it can.
Is that enough?
We suspect it depends how involved you get with the Discover network. And if you get involved, you'll probably want to spring for Kredo Pro so you can keep more than five projects alive at once.
Otherwise it's a very pleasant way to review your work yourself or with someone else. And for that we give it a rating of all four photo corners.