The internet and mobile app stores are awash with photo sharing and editing sites. There are millions of them. They all do a very similar thing, but each tries to put it’s own twist on their product in an effort to stand out. Some are more successful than others. Flickr is popular largely because of its maturity and it provides an excellent place to store large file sized photos. Google has become very popular because it’s always had a free option and it comes hard baked into Android phones. Facebook is popular because…well, everyone and their uncle has a Facebook account – it’s easy to share stuff.
But what if I were to stand in the street and ask people to respond with their first thought to a prompt, and the prompt is ‘digital photography’? I’ll wager that you’d get quite a lot of people respond with ‘Photoshop’. If they’re being flash, they’d say Adobe Photoshop. No doubts about it, Adobe has been all about photography since….let me check Wikipedia. I’ll bet it’s ages and ages. Let’s have a looky see – brb. Ok, I knew it was a while – 1988! The program dates back to the late 80’s. Adobe snapped the fledgling company up straight away and the next iteration, Photoshop 1.0, was released for Mac users in 1990.
Since then Adobe have produced a pretty comprehensive range of digital photography and video products, including Lightroom, my favourite photo editor. So you’d think Adobe would have been all over the digital photography world or the web and on every mobile device going. You’d think they’d be pioneers. Leaders. You’d be pretty far off the mark. Or, in plain English, just plain wrong. It’s often the way, isn’t it?
But they are playing catchup. The big photo market these days is in the smartphone market. Facebook, Flickr and Google are all there. Instagram too, albeit now a Facebook division. And plenty more. Adobe has finally joined them, with Revel. I know Adobe has had a Photoshop type app available for a while, but that’s not what people want or are using, and besides, it’s pretty rubbish compared to the competition.
So what does Revel offer? What is it’s magic ingredient? It’s killer feature? It has auto upload, just like the competition. It has a range of filters and editing tools, just like the competition. But there is one stand out feature that the competition lacks. A hefty price tag. Whilst all the others are free, Adobe has decided that it’s new to market product will ship with one sole differential, and that is a $5.99 per month price tag. Seriously. One just wants to slap ones forehead. Admittedly, there is a free option. Limited to just 50 photos. Per month. Pft. It’s not worthy of consideration.
It’s a shame, because Revel is a very smooth and slick app on Android. But it’s not $5.99p/m smooth and slick. Not by a long shot. This is such a massive missed opportunity. Because there are obvious features which would attract customers. The stand out feature would be to bake Revel into Lightroom. The user can take his phone (or even an Android capable camera!) out for the day, snapping away. He or she comes home, fires up Lightroom, and hey presto – there’s a Revel library full of the days shooting. Ready for processing and sharing. Adobe tends to be a premium product and I dare say there’s a paying market for the right product. Revel is a long way from being the right product.