Printing Smartphone Photos with Groovebook

*Note: this post was originally written in 2013, before anyone had really even heard of Groovebook. They’ve since appeared on Shark Tank and have been acquired by Shutterfly. Seems I loved Groovebook before Groovebook was cool!

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An intriguing new service called Groovebook has entered the market for printing photos from your smartphone. After testing it out myself, I see some huge advantages to using the service, and some features that might need improvement.

First of all, Groovebook is a free App for iPhone *and* Android that ties into your camera roll, allowing you to choose which photos you would like printed. The photos are printed on 4.5″ x 6.5″ glossy photo paper, then sent to you in a book – 100 photos for the first book, anywhere from 40-100 in subsequent books – and you pay just $2.99 for shipping and handling. *Note: at this time, books can only be shipped within the US.

When you sign up for your first book, you are actually signing up for a monthly subscription service. Each month before the submission due date, you will be reminded to choose your 40-100 photos to be printed and sent to you. You pay $2.99 shipping & handling each time from the credit card assigned to your account. You can cancel at any time.

Here’s a very clear outline of how the Groovebook process works:

groovebook print photos from your smartphone

What’s great about Groovebook?

  • The photos are perforated for easy removal from the book you are sent. This makes it easier to put in frames or custom scrapbooks.
  • You can order multiple copies of a photo, making it easier to share a special shot with family and friends.
  • The photos are ordered straight from your device, so you do not need to allow a 3rd party access to your photo sharing feed or upload photos to your computer to print.
  • The printing quality is impressive – I was very happy with my printed photos.
  • The monthly subscription is ultimately a no-commitment endeavor; you can cancel at any time.
  • Groovebook Support is very open and approachable, able to be reached easily at support@groovebook.com or their active Facebook and Twitter profiles.

What are Groovebook’s limitations/needs for improvement?

  • The 4.5″ x 6.5″ printing size is a little impractical. I have to trim down EVERY photo to fit into my album and frames. For $2.99 for 100 photos, it was worth the extra effort to me, but still a little annoying.
  • And about those 100 photos…this may be a relatively high number for some users. Or maybe not. From your second order on, you can print as few as 40 photos, which may be more realistic. For myself, I found that I was able to make up the difference by actually taking some photos off my Canon’s SD card, uploading them to Dropbox (which I use to back-up photos anyway), then accessing certain photos via my iPhone’s Dropbox app and transferring them to the Camera Roll. Just because this service prints photos from a smartphone doesn’t mean they have to be taken with a smartphone! You can also get to 100 by ordering multiple copies of the same photo, and then sending those to friends or family.
  • Instagram photos make an awkward print (top edges get cut-off, sides are filled with a lot of white space), given their square format. This is just the nature of using Instagram, but it was something I noticed (since I have MANY Instagram photos on my camera roll, and am always looking for ways to have those printed), so felt I should mention it.

How can you try Groovebook for yourself (for free – no shipping and handling)?

I see a lot of value in what Groovebook has to offer, and beyond receiving my initial book for free (thanks to a holiday promotion), for now I will maintain my monthly subscription and pay the $2.99 to see future benefits of using Groovebook.

I highly recommend you give Groovebook a try, too, and right now you can do it ABSOLUTELY FREE, without even paying the $2.99 shipping and handling. Just be aware that even though you will not be charged, you will still be asked for a credit card and will still be signing up for a monthly subscription. If you do not wish to maintain that subscription, make sure to cancel before your first monthly charge.

To take advantage of this offer:

  1. Download the free GrooveBook App on iTunes or Google Play.
  2. Follow signup instructions.
  3. Enter promo code NERDIN1 at checkout.
  4. Begin reviewing and uploading photos.

That’s it! I would love to add a #5 to that list and say “Come back and tell me if you used Groovebook, and please tell me what you think.”

*Unnecessary non-disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I am sharing this service with my readers because I think it could be of great value for getting photos out of the smartphone camera roll graveyard and into more tactile ways to enjoy those precious memories.