Review: Dispatches establishes a platform for sharing photo-based updates

Create and send dispatches to your contacts with this image-based messaging tool.

Dispatches is a unique photo sharing app, but a hard one to peg, using new terminology for a number of popular features that only occasionally deliver beyond basic expectations. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does lead to some confusion early on. Combined with a rudimentary interface that is not always easy to navigate, Dispatches is an interesting app that shows promise but doesn't quite deliver.

After installation, you are given very little instruction as to how Dispatches works. The concept is relatively straightforward, but it takes some time to figure out what they are and how to create them. A dispatch is a notice or newsletter you send to your contacts that contains a title and description and any number of images. So it's like an enhanced postcard that you can send from your mobile device. Title pages usually have a large title and date along with a single image and you can then add as many images as you want before sending the dispatch. This is all very fun, actually, which makes the poor training and interface that much more frustrating. What could have been a great app is merely passable.

The purpose of Dispatches is to streamline sending thematically linked images to your contacts. So whether you are on vacation, just moved into a new house, or had a baby, you can combine a number of images into a format of your choosing and share them with anyone on your contact list. It's fun to use once you get the hang of it, though it could use some work and a bit of polish to make it better.

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