How to Print Photos for Free with the FreePrints App
Anything with the word 'free' in the title is usually met with some scepticism - can you really get your photos printed for free with this app? We found out.
FreePrints is an app for iOS and Android devices that allows you to print your photos out for free.
Sound too good to be true? That’s what I thought, too!
In this article, I investigated their claim of ‘1,000 free 4×6 photo prints a year with no subscriptions or commitments.
Keep reading to see how downloading the FreePrints app really can help you get free photo prints of all your favorite snaps.
What is FreePrints?
- 45 free 4×6″ (10x15cm) prints per month.
- Multiple payment methods.
- Access to your device, social media, and cloud.
- Options to get more free prints.
- Easy to use.
- No subscriptions.
- Only one print per photo for free.
- Unused free credits are lost at the end of the month.
- No pick-up points.
FreePrints is a photo printing service managed via a mobile app. Once you install the app on your phone, you can easily order prints from your photos.
The app is available for iOS and Android and is free to download. You don’t need to get a subscription or buy pre-paid credits. You can get 45 prints 4×6″ (10 x 15cm) for free monthly, paying just the shipping charges.
FreePrints also offers paid products. You can buy bigger prints, more than 45 in the same month, or more copies of a single photograph.
Using FreePrints, you can access the photos stored on your phone and the ones on your social media and cloud storage services.
The prints will be delivered to your house within the delivery date provided when you ordered. The app resets the counter every month, so you’ll get 45 free prints each time.
What is the catch with FreePrints?
There is no catch on FreePrints – it simply works on a freemium model. Essentially, they offer a basic service for free, hoping that once you’re there, you’ll want to upgrade or buy something else not included in the free offer.
This business model is very common in the app and software industry. It’s like downloading a game you can play for free, but it takes an hour to reload every life you lose. Since you’re enjoying it, you might consider paying for more lives. Otherwise, you can wait and keep playing for free.
Keep in mind that “freemium isn’t free” – as South Park once said. However, the basic package offered by FreePrints is good and useful on its own. There are terms and conditions, sure. But they aren’t limiting to the point of making the free stuff useless unless you pay for the premium.
There isn’t a subscription, you don’t need to share the app or anything like that to get the free prints. You also keep full ownership of your photos. So, no hidden tricks in that regard.
As far as I can see, there’s no catch. What they offer is what they give – 45 prints per month for free size 4×6″ (10x15cm).
They also have products and services for sale that you may or may not buy, which doesn’t affect the free offer.
How does FreePrints make money?
FreePrints makes money by selling an upgrade to the original free product. For example, you can get your photo in retro style. They also earn by selling other products, such as a second copy or larger prints.
Using FreePrints you also get prompted to download their other apps like FreePrints Photobooks, FreePrints Photo Tiles, and FreePrints Photo Gifts – which work with the same freemium model.
Is FreePrints really free?
FreePrints is a freemium app. So, FreePrints really prints 45 photos size 4×6″ (10 x 15cm) a month for free. This doesn’t mean that everything on the app is free or that it doesn’t have conditions or limitations.
To start with, you do have to pay for the shipping. This varies from $1,99 to $5,99. So, to get the free prints, you have to spend at least $1,99. This is not bad compared to other services where you pay for printing and shipping.
Another limitation is that you can only get one print of each photo – you can’t get 45 copies of the same one.
My Experience with FreePrints
In my experience, the FreePrints app was extremely easy to use. When you launch it for the first time, it prompts you to follow an introductory guide if you want to.
Otherwise, just close the pop-ups, and it will take you to the home page. It also offers you a discount for your first order, which you can easily close. This was the only ‘intrusive’ prompt I got to get any of the paid services. It’s not full of ads or spam trying to get you to spend.
Then, I got to the home page, and I was able to browse all the photo albums on my device. Simply by tapping on a photo, I could add it to the selection.
It’s very clear on the top of the screen how many images you’ve selected. This way, you can stop when you reach 45 if you don’t want to exceed the free prints limit. You can also deselect any photo by tapping on it again. A double-tap allows you to see it in full size.
On the top bar, you’ll see the icons for the most popular social media and cloud services. This way, you can retrieve photos from any of them and add them to your order without having to download them to your phone.
Something I found very useful is that it saves your selection. So, even if you don’t place your order right away, you can pick up the selection another time.
Once you’ve selected all your images, simply tap on Next, and you’ll switch to the review mode. Here, you can see how many free and paid prints are in your order.
You can also review the selected photos one by one. Here you can adjust the crop, change to retro style, change the print size, add copies, or delete it. If you make a choice that’s not included in the free package, it will clearly say it and show the cost.
Once the order is ready, you can specify the shipping address, and after that, you’ll get the estimated delivery date and shipping cost.
Everything is very intuitive and clear. Except for the shipping time and cost which you see until the end, you are always clear on what you’re ordering and how much it costs.
You can pay with a credit card or Paypal, and once you confirm, you’ll receive an email with the order number. Then, when the order is printed and shipped, you’ll get another email to notify you and provide an estimated date.
I’m very pleased that my order arrived almost a week before the estimated delivery date. At first, it said two weeks, but it arrived after eight days. Since I stuck with the free prints, the envelope was small enough to fit in my mailbox.
If I had ordered a bigger print, I would have had to stay home to wait for the courier because they don’t have any pick-up points. I think this is something they could add to improve the user experience.
In any case, the packaging was a nice and colorful cardboard envelope. It was bigger than the prints, which helps protect them, and it had the “Please do not bend” sign in different languages.
Inside it, there was a smaller envelope which included the prints. I ordered the glossy prints, but you can also get them in the matte paper for the same price.
The quality is good, and the colors are vibrant – perfect for making a scrapbook album, which is what I wanted to do. They also look nice in a photo frame.
In the end, I paid $4.10 for the shipping. If you consider that other services, such as Snapfish, charge $0.18 per print, you would have to spend $8.10 to have 45 prints which FreePrints gives you for free. And you also have to pay for shipping.
Otherwise, you can go to a printing kiosk. The one closest to my home costs $0.50 – so I don’t have to spend on shipping, but I pay much more for the prints.
All in all, I liked my experience using FreePrints, and I think it’s a very good deal budget-wise. So, I’m sure I’ll use it again, and I do recommend it if you want an easy and inexpensive way to print photos from your phone.
- Related: How to resize an image for print
Other FAQs about FreePrints
- Where is FreePrints located?
FreePrints is part of PlanetArt, which has its headquarters in Calabasas, CA, USA. However, PlanetArt is part of Claranova, which is a France-based company. Both companies have offices in 15 countries in North America and Europe.
- Who is FreePrints owned by?
FreePrints is one of the many websites and apps owned by PlanetArt, which is a subsidiary of Claranova.
Claranova is a software company that started as Avanquest in 1984.
- Is FreePrints legal?
- Does FreePrints have free shipping?
No, unfortunately, they don’t have free shipping even when you’re buying their paid products. The shipping costs may vary, but it’s never less than $1.99 or more than $5,99. You can see the cost on the checkout before you make the order.
- How long do FreePrints take to arrive?
This may change according to your location. However, FreePrints gives an estimate of 5 to 11 days for delivery.
- Do FreePrints do photo books?
You can’t get a photo book on the app FreePrints. However, you can get one using their partner app FreePrints Photobooks. They work with a similar freemium model. You can order a free photo book that’s 2×4 inches (5 x 20 cm) and has a soft cover. If you want to upgrade to a bigger size, a hardcover, or add more pages – it has an extra cost. See also: How to choose paper for a photo book.
- What size prints do FreePrints do?
The free prints are 4×6 inches (10 X 15cm). If you want to buy prints, then you can choose from the multiple available sizes that range from 4×6 inches (10 x 15cm) to 29×39 inches (76 x 100 cm). The smaller sizes, from 4×6 inches (10 x 15 cm) to 7×11 inches (20 x 30cm), can be printed on glossy photo paper or higher-quality matte paper. However, prints larger than 9×14 inches (25 x 38 cm) are only available on matte finishing.
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