At a Glance
A free app that lets you create photo books, cards, and calendars, Picaboo X has what just might be the slickest interface I've seen in some time--and luckily, its good looks are backed up with some pretty nifty functionality.
Picaboo's start screen looks remarkably like a bookcase with shelves that are used to store digital versions of your projects. You can double-click an existing project to continue editing it, or you can opt to create a new photo book, greeting card, or calendar. Picaboo's selection is limited to those three, which is a bit limited compared to services like KodakGallery or apps like ArcSoft Print Creations, which offer many more formats.
Creating a new project is drop-dead simple, though, as Picaboo guides you through the entire process. You select the type of project, a design (such as Holiday or Baby) and then a corresponding template (such as Blue Blanket) from the dozens of available choices. You then upload your photos from within the application, and pop them into the template. It really couldn't be easier.
The amount of time you spend on a project can range from a couple of minutes for designing a simple card to hours if you're creating a complex book. Picaboo's Book Genie feature, still in beta, can speed the process, though. It will automatically make an editable book for you, by searching through photos by date. Alternatively, you can create a book on your own, and Picaboo lets you have a good amount of control over the final layout.
The software is free to use, but you have to pay for any printed projects. Prices range from less than $10 for simple products to more than $300 for detailed photo books. I haven't yet seen a finished product, but the software itself is top-notch, so here's hoping the products live up to that standard.
Note: This link takes you to the vendor's site, where you can download the latest version of the software. This program requires Adobe AIR; if you do not have AIR installed, this program can install it for you.