App of the Week: ThisLife

Image credit: This Life

App Name: ThisLife

Price: Free - 1,000 Photos or 1 hr of video; $7.99/mo. - 20, 000 photos or 10 hours of video (1080p); $14.99/mo. - 50, 000 photos or 25 hours of video (1080p)

Available Platforms: iOS, iPhone, iPad and Desktop

What does this app do? "I could never find what I wanted when I wanted it, " laughed Andrea Johnson, co-founder of the photos and video sharing app, ThisLife. The mother of three found she had everything from photos to videos to her kid's artwork scattered across sharing applications and devices and wanted to create a one-stop, central location for it all.

And so she did. Along with her co-founder and husband, Matt, Johnson created a cloud-based photo and video sharing app that uploads, imports and syncs your images from a variety of sites including Facebook, Twitter, SmugMug, Flickr and Shutterfly, as well as your desktop, SD cards and mobile devices. As an added bonus, the app will recognize duplicate photos and select the highest-quality version.

From your iPhone or iPad, the main screen displays your material in a timeline: swipe to the right for future, or more recent pictures and images. Swipe to the left to see your uploads from the past, or earlier in your timeline. A tile on the bottom left of the screen allows you to add Moments, or your favorite content, to your timeline ribbon. Tap in the middle of the bottom row and you can toggle between screen views; one view will present your library, the other one your timeline. To the right, you can search by people, places or activities.

While the app's design is sleek and its emphasis on organization is well-executed, there are others out there just as easy to use and with clever ways of collecting content ( Instagram and Pinterest come to mind). However, ThisLife makes preserving memories a priority and its stories feature is what makes this app stand out. It is a kind of curated scrapbook in which you can share with others and let them contribute, too. The stories feature, according to Johnson, lets people provide "a meaningful interaction for whom that collection or content truly resonates." This is different than, say, a Facebook newsfeed in that you see your material within a designated context, not interrupted by unrelated posts.

Is it easy to setup? Log in with Facebook or email. Prior to this week, ThisLife was an invitation-based app, but now anyone can download it from the iTunes store or from the website.

Should I try it? If you're struggling to find a way to organize your photos and videos and want one spot for them all, ThisLife is a solid solution. Another bonus is that once you import your images, the app runs algorthms, says Johnson, to auto-enhance them. However, never fear. You can revert to the original at any point. Sadly, the app is not available for Android, yet.

Let us know if you have any app of the week suggestions on Twitter at @TechThisOutABC.

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