Mosaic is a Benchmark for Photo Book Mobile Apps

David Haueter
Nov 14, 2014

Smartphones are now the primary camera that most U.S. consumers use on a daily basis and their rise in popularity is having a significant impact on photo output products such as photo prints, photo books, and photo cards. With people taking more pictures with smartphones, they are also creating more printed products with them. In the InfoTrends 2014 U.S. Photo Merchandise End-User Survey, 21% of photo merchandise buyers indicated that they had ordered a photo  product using their mobile device and another 39% said they had not but were interested in doing so.

The increased popularity of smartphones as a camera and the willingness of people to order photo products have led to new opportunities in the photo output market, where products are now being ordered through mobile apps instead of through a web browser or a kiosk in a retail store. One of the more popular photo book apps out there is Mosaic. I decided to give it a try to check out its mobile creating and ordering process for myself.

Die-cut window makes Mosaic book unique

The Mosaic app, which is available for iPhone and Android, is incredibly easy to use and you can really be done in 5 minutes as claimed on the website (heymosaic.com). Of course, it depends on how much time you take picking your photos. I created my Mosaic book using an iPhone 4s, and was given the option to choose photos from the Camera Roll, from Facebook, or from my Photo Library. Once the source is selected, the thumbnails appear on the screen and you simply check the photos you want in the book by tapping them with your finger. The selected photos appear in a pane at the bottom of the screen, and can be rearrange by holding down on the appropriate picture and dragging it with your finger. Once 20 photos are chosen, you can review the book, and you can shuffle the cover photos and flip through the pages. You can also choose white or black as the background color for the pages, and a back arrow lets you go back and change the photos, if necessary.

For now, the Mosaic book is one size only (7” x 7”) and is limited to 20 pictures on 20 pages. It costs$25, plus $5 for shipping. Besides the app being very easy to use, Mosaic does a great job with communicating the status of the order and when it has been shipped. My book arrived in four days as they said it would, and was very well-packaged. The presentation of the book makes Mosaic stand out, as the book is delivered in a nicely finished box that has an upscale, high-quality feel to it. The book itself is unique with a hardbound die-cut cover that has thirteen little windows that previews the photos in the book. The print quality is good too, equal to most other photo books you can buy today.

Mosaic delivers their book in a nicely finished box

One suggestion I would make to Mosaic is that it would be nice to be able to add a title and/or a date to the book somewhere, even if it is just on the back page. Currently, you cannot add text and it would be nice to include a topic and a date during the creation process. The Mosaic book is the kind of product that InfoTrends believes will encourage more smartphone or tablet users to create products with their photos. It is incredibly simple and intuitive to use, the ordering process is easy and quick, and the customer service is top notch. The product is packaged and presented very nicely,which makes it great for gifting, and the die-cut cover gives it a unique look. The only thing that may hold back the Mosaic book is the price. At $25 per book ($30 delivered), it is expensive for a 20-page 7” x 7” book. However, the whole experience with Mosaic from beginning to end is so positive that we think many will be willing to pay that price and come back for more.

 

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