SmugWallet (iPhone App) Review

While I like some apps on my iPhone, I have always stuck to the free apps.  I really hate being nickled and dimed for every little app that comes along.

Maybe it’s just the principle of it; however, I had never purchased an iPhone app until a couple of weeks ago, when a friend showed me some photos on his iPhone by using SmugWallet.  Instantly, I knew I had to get this app.

As you may know, I am an avid SmugMug user/evangelist.  It’s a service that works and is constantly improved upon by the founders.  You can always find someone to return your emails within a few minutes, and the SmugMug staff act like they really care.  SmugMug accounts start at $40/year.  You can get $5 off the first year by using a referral code (mine’s 7jCtURK05RxC if anyone is in need – in the interest of disclosure, I get a credit toward my annual fees as well).

Ok, so you know I like SmugMug and SmugWallet obviously has something to do with SmugMug.

Now, let’s get to the point of this discussion.

So, What is Smug Wallet?

SmugWallet is an iPhone app from Midnight Mobility that sync’s your SmugMug photos to your iPhone locally.  The sync takes place over the cell network or WiFi.  Once the sync is completed, you can view all of your SmugMug photos on your iPhone (or iPod Touch) instantly.

There is no waiting for the image to load from a website.  All images are now stored locally on your iPhone.

SmugWallet reduces the size of the images so that they don’t hog all the space on your iPhone. All the images are sharp and very contrasty on the iPhone screen. It also syncs video files.  I have to say that the videos looking stunning as well.

I was a little worried about file size and hard drive capacity on my 8GB iPhone.  It’s not really a problem though.  I’ve got 7285 photos and videos that I have sync’d to my iPhone and they take up 821MB.

You can also pick and choose which galleries to sync if you don’t want everything.  After you sync SmugWallet with your SmugMug account and get the initial barrage of photos to your iPhone, you can then go back and tell it to sync again once you upload new images to SmugMug.

There’s no fuss with making SmugWallet work into my work flow.  My work flow remains the same.  I just happen to have all my finished photos on my phone anytime that I want to see them or show them to a friend.

(Note that SmugWallet does not allow you to upload images to your SmugMug account.  There’s already an app for that called SmugShots – and it’s free.)

SmugWallet Key Features

  • Full screen photos and videos (480×480 max)
  • Choose categories and galleries to sync
  • “Ken Burns”-style animated slideshows
  • Square or Original sized thumbnails
  • Email photo and gallery links
  • Save to camera roll (for wallpaper, etc.)

Is It Worth the Price?

The thing is . . . it’s only $2.99.  I would pay $20 for this app – seriously.  I don’t use iPhoto or Aperture, so getting photos on my iPhone is a multi-step process.  As a result, I never before bothered putting photos on my iPhone.

Before, if I wanted to show someone an image I had taken, I had to open Safari and browse to the gallery and image.  As fast as the 3G network is, it just hasn’t arrived yet, particularly with images.  The load times meant that I didn’t really use my iPhone for sharing photos.

The good thing about SmugWallet is that it allows me to share all of the photos that I would otherwise want to share.  Since I am a heavy SmugMug user, this means I literally have thousands of photos at my fingertips.  No load times. Just there.

So, yeah.  To me, it’s worth the price.

Obviously, Smug Wallet is not for everyone.  There are a couple of prerequisites before it even comes into consideration – namely, an iPhone (or iPod Touch) and a SmugMug account.

If you have those two things though, SmugWallet is just what the doctor ordered.

If you have iTunes installed on your computer, here’s the iTunes store link for SmugWallet.


  1. says

    I’m also a big fan of SmugMug. I think that this is something that SmugMug should have created themselves however. The application to upload right to the site is good, but it’s not nearly as comprehensive as it should have been.