At a Glance
- Private sharing tools
- Facial recognition improved
- Not always accurate
- Runs slowly
Ad-supported Fotobounce uses face recognition to organize your photo library, and offers sharing tools.
Note: This review covers v3.1 of the
Fotobounce, a free (but ad-supported) app shakes the cobwebs off
your digital photo collection by organizing and helping you share
your photos. Recently updated to version 3.1, it now offers more
control over how you share those photos. Like earlier versions,
this one offers some nifty features, but also suffers from a few
Once installed, Fotobounce will find your photos in the
locations to which you direct the app. The company says its
organization features are “people-centric” and, as such, the app’s
key feature is its Face Recognition Technology. It’s designed to
recognize the faces that appear in your photos–with a little
training, of course. It automatically finds faces in your photos,
and you can tag people to identify them. Once you start tagging
people, Fotobounce should begin identifying them for you.
The facial recognition didn’t always work as advertised,
however–and the iteration of it in version 3.1 was just as buggy
as it was when I
tested version 3.0. I tested the app with a large library and
tagged the same person over and over again. I also used the app’s
Eye Locations system, which allows you to identify the locations of
eyes in photos to improve facial recognition. Fotobounce was
successful in identifying faces less than 50 percent of the time in
my informal tests. It also identified random objects, such as a set
of stairs, as faces. Luckily, you can easily reject its suggestions
and apply your own tags instead.
Fotobounce allows you to share your photos in several different
ways. You can connect the app to your Facebook or Flickr accounts
to upload your photos or albums, and it will keep your tags intact.
When you link Fotobounce to your Facebook account, it will import a
list of your friends and allow you to tag them directly in any
photos in your Fotobounce library.
In addition, the app allows you to share photos directly with
friends via a private peer-to-peer connection that the company
likens to “Skype for photos.” To do this, you send invitations to
people you’d like to add as “Bouncers”; they, in turn, have to
install Fotobounce on their computers in order to see your photos.
New in version 3.1 is the ability to control which photos each
Bouncer can see, which is a most welcome addition. I also like that
a bug I found in the last version of the app, which blocked the
initiations I sent to potential bouncers from being received, has
been fixed. All of my invitations arrived without delay.
Fotobounce also lets you view your photo collection from a
mobile device with a browser, such as an iPhone, iPod Touch, or a
BlackBerry. You do this by setting up a user name and password in
the desktop version of the app, and then pointing your mobile
browser to Fotobounce’s mobile URL. From here, it’s easy enough to
browse through your photo library, but I found the interface
somewhat inelegant. I tested Fotomobile on an iPhone 4, and was
disappointed to see that my photos never filled the phone’s screen.
Instead, they were small and sometimes displayed off-center.
Also new in version 3.1 is a feature called Fotomail. This lets
you send photos from your mobile device right to your Fotobounce
account. It works by assigning you a specific Fotomail e-mail
address, and is easy to use. It’s a handy way to get the
full-resolution photos from your mobile device added to your photo
I like Fotobounce as a free photo organizer: in addition to
organizing photos by person, you can sort them by date and place.
It makes scrolling through a large photo collection a snap. I’d
like to see the face recognition improve, however. Until it does,
it takes more time than it saves.