The growing options for making photo books right from our phones makes a lot of sense, since that’s where so many of us keep most of our photos anyway. And the new Photolane photo book app makes it so simple, you can design a couple of these cool books while the kids watch a movie.

The first thing that drew me in are the four minimalist designs that vary somewhat in color and background pattern. The choices are very simple; you won’t find any of the scrapbook-style art you see with sites like Shutterfly or Snapfish, but I like that. It’s often hard to find that in a scrapbook style digital photo book.

What’s also minimal are the customization options; just know that the books are locked in at 32 pages. That also means you’ll need at least 32 photos. But you can include three times that many if you don’t mind more on a page.

Once you’ve picked your photos? The app does the rest for you. And the result is really nice. But unlike Mosaic, you do have the ability to rearrange them and even change page layout with simple editing tools if you want to go for something a little different.

Related: Custom photo books from your photos that go beyond the 20-photo limit


Photolane photo book app has four minimalist themes

Editing is simple and intuitive with the Photolane photo book app

Photolane photo book app lets you customize your cover.

One very cool feature worth mentioning: you can even add video to your book. Or, kind of. Photolane will print a QR code to put in the book that readers can scan to view. I’ve never seen that in the many photo book apps we’ve covered.

Now one big complaint is that if you want multiple copies of your book, say for the grandparents, you have to order them right away because there’s no way to save a book or reorder one you’ve already created. I also wish there were more than one cover design available. But what they lack in customization, they make up in speed; I finished my own book around midnight and when I woke up the next morning there was a tracking number already in my inbox, then a book guaranteed to arrive within five days.


Photolane photo book app is a fast, easy, affordable way to print archival quality albums

Welcome to a smart, affordable new last-minute photo book gift idea.


Get those photos off your iPhone and into a photo book with the Photolane photo book app for $40 including standard shipping. Details on the Photolane website. CMT readers, Save $8 with discount code PHOTO through 3/3.

Android users, your Photolane app is coming soon. Thanks to the company for letting CMT try the service for review.