Photo sharing with offline viewing for the iPad

I’m looking for a solution to easily share photos with family members around the world. I realise there are dozens of photo-sharing sites, but I’m looking for something that has

  • native iPad compatibility
  • syncing / auto-download
  • offline viewing
  • access control
  • simple interface

This is aimed at grandparents keeping in touch with their new grandbabies, so simplicity is important. The offline viewing is also key as I expect they will want to take their iPad on the go as a ‘brag book’ to share with friends when/where internet is not available (or too slow).

One option is MobileMe Gallery. I’m not crazy about the subscription fee, but it is acceptable. It caches photos when they are viewed which is acceptable, but not as great as sync / auto-download of new photos.

I’ve also checked out Dropbox which has the advantage of not requiring a subscription fee. It caches photos on the iPad the same as MobileMe Gallery. But it doesn’t have an easy export from iPhoto which is a drawback.

The questions are… Is MobileMe Gallery fit for purpose? Are there alternatives? Are there better solutions?

Answer

Dropbox would probably do this. Or at least some of this.

It is possible to set up several Dropbox accounts (i.e., one for you and one for different family members) and share folders between those accounts. This would enable you to upload photos and they would be shared immediately in the shared folder.

Dropbox provides a Photos folder which can be organised into a web album for viewing via the web page or in the iOS app. The most recent release of the iOS app has just included photo cacheing so that it doesn’t need to be online to show photos.

Not entirely sure that this would be a great solution but it might solve some of the issues. Also, not entirely sure that the sharing and photo features work quite as I have described but would be worth experimenting with.


This link explains how to set it up: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/quickly-set-share-beautiful-photo-galleries-dropbox/

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