How to bypass your PC when ordering photo prints

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FreePrints for Android

Old habits die hard. For example, many of us still insist on syncing our smartphones to our PCs, even though it's hardly necessary anymore. (Android, iOS, and Windows phones can automatically sync to the cloud.)

Likewise, many users still take the old-school approach when it comes to ordering prints of the photos they've snapped: They copy (or even email) them to a PC, then upload them to a printing service.

Proof positive that apps can solve a lot of old-school hassles, FreePrints lets you order photo prints right from your smartphone—no PC required.

The app debuted last year for iOS but is now available for Android and Windows Phone as well. All you do is choose the photos you want, crop them as needed, then decide on sizes.

True to its name, FreePrints gives you up to 85 free prints per month, though you're on the hook for shipping (which starts at $1.99 and stops at $9.99). That's for 4x6-inch glossies; if you want 5x5, 5x7, or 8x10 prints, you'll have to pay a little extra.

What makes FreePrints especially convenient is that it lets you upload photos not just from your camera roll, but also from your Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, and/or Picasa accounts. It's kind of like one-stop shopping for photo purchases.

That said, there are loads of other apps that afford similar convenience (though not as many with support for those third-party services). FreePrints is simply one option of many, and although it's not really free, it does save you the hassle of copying photos to your PC.

Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at hasslefree@pcworld.comSign up to have the Hassle-Free PC newsletter e-mailed to you each week.

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