Less than a week after scrubbing all mention of the new Photos for OS X app from its Web site, Apple has re-introduced the new software with a splash. A pre-release version is currently available to developers, bundled with a beta of OS X 10.10.3 (you need to install the system update to get the Photos app). The finished software is expected in the spring.
I haven’t had a chance to run the software yet, but several media outlets got an advanced look. I recommend starting with Chris Breen’s excellent overview at Macworld. David Pogue at Yahoo talks about switching from iPhoto and Aperture. And Wired and The Verge also have first-look articles.
[Update: Serenity Caldwell has given it a once-over and has a great FAQ at iMore.]
Some quick takeaways:
- Switching from existing iPhoto and Aperture libraries looks to be less terrible than it could be; Photos won’t dupe your images, but will work with your existing library.
- Photos for OS X is reportedly very fast. After iPhoto and Aperture sluggishness, I’m thrilled to hear it.
- The new app, at least initially (?), won’t include support for star ratings or labels. Instead, there will be just a single “Favorite” button, as is found in the Photos for iOS app. As you know from my book Take Control of Your Digital Photos, I’m a big fan of using ratings to organize photos. In their place, the Photos app will convert ratings to keywords (which is one method I recommend when moving from iPhoto to Lightroom). So, that’s something, I guess.
- You will be able to sync your photo library with iCloud, but it won’t be required. We don’t yet know if there will be a local backup option akin to Aperture’s vaults. (I’m guessing the answer is no, at least not at first.)
- The appearance, organization, and editing tools are very similar to the Photos for iOS app.
- Photos also supports projects like photo books and slideshows.
I’m looking forward to installing the app and throwing some libraries at it, both because I’m updating Take Control of Your Digital Photos and because I’m also working on a new book for Peachpit Press covering the Photos app and Apple’s photo ecosystem.
It’s going to be a busy winter and spring.
Chris Breen at Macworld posted a useful article about how to remove duplicates and get rid of bad photos from an out of control iPhoto library. With the Photos for OS X app expected sometime this year, now’s a good a time as any to clean up before the transition.
Read it here: Cull iPhoto library of duplicates and bad photos (Macworld)
When Apple introduced the updated Photos app under iOS 8, the company showed off a lot of cool new editing tools that were clearly taken from iPhoto for iOS. What I didn’t expect was that iPhoto wouldn’t work at all under iOS 8. (Although I’ve been running betas of iOS 8 for several weeks, I realized I’d never tried to open iPhoto for iOS… which is probably a sign that iPhoto wasn’t being used in favor of other tools; and just that I’ve been really busy lately.)
When you launch iPhoto for iOS, you see this message:
Tap Migrate and all the photos you’ve edited in iPhoto are copied to your Photos library.
- Edits you made in iPhoto are baked into the photos; you can’t re-edit the adjustments. However, you can tap Revert to revert the image to its original state, and then re-edit that.
- Anything you marked as a favorite in iPhoto is added to a Favorites album
- Everything migrated appears in the Recently Added album, which can be a little confusing because normally those items are chronological based on when you capture photos.
In a support note about this turn of events, Apple also notes many other circumstances that will apply:
- Any photos in your iPhoto library that aren’t already in Photos are added.
- Image adjustments you made in iPhoto are migrated to Photos.
- If you applied image adjustments to photos synced to your iOS device from iTunes, a duplicate of each photo will be created in Photos with adjustments applied.
- Photos hidden in iPhoto do not appear in the Years, Moments, or Collections views in Photos, but are placed in an album titled Hidden.
- Photo Books, Web Journals, and Slideshows are converted into regular albums in Photos. Text and layouts are not preserved.
- Only projects created on the device performing the migration will be converted. Projects you synced from other devices to iPhoto via iCloud must be converted from the devices on which they were created.
- Photos marked as Favorites in iPhoto are marked as Favorites in Photos.
- Tags and captions from iPhoto are not displayed in Photos, but you can use them as search terms and they will show up respectively as Keywords and Titles in Photos search results.
- Flags from iPhoto are converted to the keyword Flagged.
One thing I miss from iPhoto is the ability to make spot-adjustments, versus making an adjustment that applies to the entire image. However, the Extensions capability of iOS 8 should fill in that gap by letting you use editing controls from other apps you’ve installed.
Macworld has just published my latest article, “Life after Aperture and iPhoto: What to do with your image library.” While my TidBITS article last week was about looking to the future of the upcoming Photos for OS X application, this one offers solid advice on just how to prepare for a move to another program.
Macworld’s Jackie Dove has published her review of iPhoto 2.0 for iOS, the new version of Apple’s mobile photo editor for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. She likes it quite a bit, writing:
iPhoto 2.0 for iOS is a fantastic upgrade to Apple’s mobile consumer image editing flagship program; its streamlined, updated interface is a joy to use. Though not as cute and whimsical as last year’s debut version, its swift operation, direct controls, enhanced sharing, and no-nonsense interface make it a must-have upgrade.
Other pressing deadlines have kept me from digging into the new version in depth, but it’s still the photo editor I turn to first on my iPad. I’m looking forward to seeing how well it performs on my new iPad Air, since Jackie’s review suggests a lot of the processing is now being handled by the graphics processor.
Federico Viticci at Macstories writes about a very interesting change in Apple’s latest iPhoto 2.0 app for iPhone and iPad. In the first version of iPhoto for iOS, images you edit stay in iPhoto unless you explicitly share them back to the Camera Roll. This situation applies to other applications, too, due to the sandboxing security architecture that keeps apps separated in their own virtual workspaces.
iPhoto 2.0, however, manages to tunnel under the sandbox walls and updates edited photos in the Camera Roll without any additional export step. If you view the image in the Photos app and tap the Edit button, you can edit the original.
In another great move, you can now delete photos from the Camera Roll from within iPhoto: Tap the More button (which looks like an outlined ellipses … ) in the bottom-right corner and choose Delete. There’s also an option to hide a photo from view in iPhoto there.
Go read Federico’s article for more details. Currently this functionality doesn’t seem to be accessible by third-party developers, but I’m hoping it doesn’t stay Apple-only.
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Apple just opened the floodgates of its product releases, announcing new iPads, iLife apps, MacBook Pros, and the Mac Pro. (Oh, and OS X Mavericks, which is available now and free; my OS X Mavericks book is being printed now!)
For photographers, the new iPad Air and Retina iPad mini are really exciting. The iPad Air replaces the fourth-generation 9.7-inch iPad and is lighter and thinner—both welcome improvements! The Retina iPad mini will appeal to photographers who want great image quality in the smallest form factor (although the new iPad mini is a hair thicker and heavier—0.73 lb. vs 0.68 lb.—than the regular iPad mini). But I’m going for the iPad Air, which weighs just 1.0 lb. and is 0.29 inch thick.
I’m also looking forward to new versions of iPhoto and iMovie for iOS (and on the Mac—Apple has been busy!). I’ll write more once they’re installed. The iLife and iWork apps are now free with the purchase of new devices; updates aren’t yet available as I type this, but they’re supposed to be available today.
From what I can tell, these releases don’t impact the book terribly. iPhoto will look different, and of course now that iOS 7 is out many of the screenshots in the book are likely to be different as well. I wrote about the changes to the Camera and Photos apps for TidBITS: Photos Get Renewed Focus in iOS 7.
More info as I get a chance. It’s suddenly very busy over here!
I’m at a photo workshop in Oregon and putting my iPad photography skills to work in the field. As I type this, I’m sitting in a van driving down the freeway from our last shoot, the Cedar Creek Grist Mill. Despite a lot of rain, I had a blast shooting this old structure and the water that runs alongside it. (Others in the group saw a few large salmon jumping up the falls, but I never spied one.)
But as we’re traveling, I took the opportunity to import my photos from my camera’s Eye-Fi wireless card onto my iPad (using ShutterSnitch), review them, and edit a couple in Apple’s iPhoto app. I’ll do more processing on the raw files later on my computer, but this gives me a chance to not only see what I captured, but also perform some basic edits and share a couple shots with friends… and write this post.
Looking for more detail about editing photos on the iPad or iPhone with Apple’s iPhoto for iOS? My friend Lisa L. Spangenberg has published a new ebook, Meet iPhoto for iOS. I find myself using iPhoto quite often when editing photos on the iPad. The book is only $5, and available from the iBookstore, Barnes & Noble (Nook format), and direct from Peachpit Press.
With this practical and invaluable guide, you’ll learn how to polish and share off your photos. Learn how to get images onto your iOS device; work with photos, albums, and events; edit and adjust photos; and share your finished work.