We are pleased to introduce four new album layouts today. The layouts are Collage, Filmstrip, Journal and Proofing. They are available to all customers in addition to the Hybrid view that we had previously. We wrote a summary help article on the new album layouts but I will go over some of the more obscure changes and history of them.
Proofing layout is something we had back in 2006 but subsequently removed. The goal is to provide a view that is useful for the client of a professional photographer to specify which images she likes. The view always shows thumbs in their original aspect ratio.
We improved Proofing layout relative to its functionality in 2006. You can now choose three different sizes of thumbnail and you can choose to have the camera filename displayed under the thumbnail. In addition we now have a watermarking feature that makes this view even more useful.
The Collage layout uses technology we originally used to display a collage of your friends and family’s photos during the Phanfare 2.0 days, when we added a bunch of facebook-like social networking to Phanfare. The social networking is now all gone. If you are looking for social networking, you will find it in the facebook aisle.
The collage is dynamic and looks different each time. That means that if you don’t like, just refresh it. But it also means you can’t really plan exactly how it looks. That’s ok with me. One of the aspects of Phanfare that I have always personally liked is that we do a good job of showing your content in attractive ways with a minimum of effort on the part of the author.
Here is what the collage looks like.
Journal layout is a style that I have liked all the way back to 1993 when Phillip Greenspun used it in his Travels with Samantha series. Yeah, that dates me a bit.
Journal layout really is a blogging style, but you get all the Phanfare goodness along with your travelblog. You get our slideshows, ability to download fullsize originals and merchandise integration.
The new Filmstrip Layout optimizes your viewing experience to see big photos. That is what it is best at.
We changed the Hybrid layout in this release. We redesigned the layout to avoid having a menu on the right. This significantly improves the display size of images on laptops where you are space constrained. Instead the functionality previously in the right menu pops up over the image. Historically, we have optionally offered this type of display in the past but removed the feature at one point. Now it’s the only way of showing your images in Hybrid layout. We think it’s superior.
Hybrid layout now also offers the option of non-square thumbs. Personally, that’s not my taste, but there are those who prefer it.
All our new layouts have been optimized to display on the iPad. This may be quick to write but it was not quick to do. Many of our layouts include a large number of images simultaneously on the web page, sometimes even dynamically brought in. The iPad is memory constrained and we had to go back and really optimize the dynamic presentation layer to be stingy with memory usage.
Slideshow Support on iOS
We created a slideshow experience for the iPad and iPhone that runs without Flash. Again, looks easy (hey, the slideshow works again!) but was actually a rewrite of our existing Flash-based slideshow. The slideshow supports photos, sections and music but does not yet support video.
You can get to the slideshow from an iPhone. On the iPhone we have a mobile-optimized version of your site. That version has a smallish link to the HTML 5 slideshow. The slideshow displays very well on the iPhone 4, which has twice the memory of the shipping iPad.
Android devices show the Flash slideshow (with videos).
New Table of Contents Layout
We previously had two table of contents layouts: Large Thumbs and Hardcover Book (Phanfare Classic). We added new layout called “Full Width Thumbnails” that looks like large thumbs but does not have any featured images.
The release notes also reveal a few other small features.
This is a big release and we hope you like it. Let us know in the comments or join the Phanfare discussion on facebook.