These are the best photo-printing apps for just about any purpose

Bill Mount

Those precious memories in your phone’s camera roll may not last forever. All it takes is a bad fall that damages your phone, a faulty battery, or a lack of storage space to force you to part with hundreds or even thousands of photos. Thanks to modern photo-printing services, however, […]

Those precious memories in your phone’s camera roll may not last forever. All it takes is a bad fall that damages your phone, a faulty battery, or a lack of storage space to force you to part with hundreds or even thousands of photos. Thanks to modern photo-printing services, however, you can get physical backups of just about anything.

There are many, many photo-printing apps out there, so we collected a handful of the biggest to help you figure out which one’s right for your needs. Whether you want cheap prices, a quick turnaround, or the best overall experience, we’ve got you covered.

Cheap and easy: Snapfish or Shutterfly

Snapfish is all about deals.

Image: screenshot: snapfish

And so is Shutterfly

And so is Shutterfly

Image: screenshot: shutterfly

Shutterfly and Snapfish are both photo-printing apps with tons of options. Both can print everything from a basic small photo to blankets and even mugs. Plus, they’re also full of easy-to-find, in-app discount codes so you can probably print several items before you ever have to pay the listed price. Honestly, it might be best to keep both of these installed on your smartphone. Think of it like keeping Uber and Lyft on the same phone, and bargain-hunt accordingly.

For people with very basic photo-printing needs, Shutterfly and Snapfish are great because they both offer free printing options. Shutterfly will do unlimited 4×4 and 4×6 prints with no caveats other than you have to pay for shipping. Snapfish has a similar, if more limited offer: 100 free 4×6 prints per month. Either way, that’s a lot of small prints for almost no money.

By the way, both of these apps have somewhat limited retail pickup options. Snapfish will let you order same-day pickup magnets at CVS and Walgreens, with the option to get photo panels at Walgreens, too. Shutterfly also has a same-day pickup program for 4×6 prints only. If you need more options for getting your prints at a retail location, keep on reading for some good news.

Convenient and quick: Walgreens

Same-day pickup for a variety of items is the secret weapon for Walgreens.

Same-day pickup for a variety of items is the secret weapon for Walgreens.

Image: screenshot: walgreens

Yes, you read that right: Walgreens, the nationwide pharmacy chain has a mobile app with some surprisingly solid photo-printing features. The big advantage here is that Walgreens offers a wider variety of in-store, same-day pickup options than either Shutterfly or Snapfish. 

You can get regular prints, photo cards, collage prints, photo books, and even wall or desktop calendars using your own photos, and retrieve them from a nearby Walgreens location before the day is done. There’s even the option to import photos from social media sites like Facebook. The only rub here is that you might end up paying a bit more, with 4×6 prints going for 35 cents apiece instead of free.

But considering you likely live within spitting distance of a Walgreens, this might very well be the best choice for those who need prints quickly without depending on delivery services. You can also use the Walgreens app to manage your prescriptions. So, hey, might as well kill two birds with one stone.

High quality: Mpix

I need a wood cut of this photo of Justin Theroux, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Rockwell, and Billy Crudup looking fly as hell in tracksuits.

I need a wood cut of this photo of Justin Theroux, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Rockwell, and Billy Crudup looking fly as hell in tracksuits.

For the best overall photo-printing experience, Mpix might be the way to go. Our friends over at PCMag have spoken highly of the app, giving it a coveted perfect score in their review. And based on some time scrolling through the app, it’s easy to see why.

Mpix has an incredibly straightforward interface, which cleanly lists out all the different things you can do with your photos. Regular paper prints are joined by the option to order statuettes, wood prints, coasters, keychains, and even custom baseball cards. The interface doesn’t overwhelm you with deal offers like Shutterfly and Snapfish. It’s all business. That said, the lack of free prints like in those other apps is noteworthy.

Between all of that, touch-up options like red-eye removal and teeth whitening, and what PCMag said was excellent print quality, Mpix has something for just about everyone’s printing needs.

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