Think magazines are dying? A startup wants you to reconsider. Recently is an iPhone app that will publish the most recent 50 or 100 photos from your roll, but rather than producing the typical photo album, you’re delivered a beautiful monthly 7 x 10 magazine that’s printed on premium Mohawk paper.
After linking the subscription service to your phone’s camera roll or a particular album, Recently will publish on the last day of each month (with a recurring charge of $9 a month), and ship the magazine during the first week in the following month. The books are printed on Mohawk #100 paper with a matte finish and a wraparound photo cover. The 50-photo option devotes a full page to each photo, while the 100-photo option prints two per page. Regardless, the end result has the look of an expensive, photo-driven magazine that’s worthy of a place on your coffee table.
Just like an actual magazine, however, there is a deadline to consider. At the end of each month, you will need to tap the Publish button; if you don’t, you’ll get charged anyway (if you don’t shoot that many photos a month, or you shoot a lot of nonsense that you don’t care to remember, you probably shouldn’t sign up). Recently will publish either 50 or 100 of your most recent photos, but you have until 11:59 p.m. of the last day to make any edits via the app, such as deleting photos you don’t want printed, and choosing the cover photo.
Printing has become a trendy new way to share photos, and while Recently’s structure is somewhat rigid, it does have the virtue of driving the user to put more thought into the photos they capture and the ones they pick for publishing. In a way, users become creative directors over their photos, instead of treating their phones as photo graveyards. Because there is an actual print cycle to consider (Recently will keep reminding you that you need to go to press), you’ll be getting those photos off your phone and into a unique and shareable medium.
Subscriptions can be canceled at any time. There’s also no word as to whether there are restrictions on what can be published. Unfortunately, you cannot print more than one issue per month, however, Recently is planning to introduce a service that will allow others can subscribe to your magazine, as well as a way for you to gift the service to someone. We would love to see the ability to customize a template even further, including being able to add captions, stories, or personalized design. At that point, you’ll really feel like you’re a magazine editor.