iPhoto for iOS First Impressions

When it comes to editing and managing my photos, I rely heavily on Apple’s Aperture photo editing app on the mac. I use it to edit my photos, but also to manage my increasingly growing photo library. By being able to star rate images, tag them with keywords and colours, assign names to faces recognized in them and geo-tag them on a map, I have one hell of a powerful tool to keep track of them all.

My iPad to me is also an indispensable tool. At first I bought it because I’m an Apple-Whore who loves their gadgets and it was a great way to get me away from my laptop all the time. But then I found it to be extremely fast, useful and part of my workflow. I use it with the camera connection kit on the go to import photos, preview them, delete the ones I don’t like, and when I get home, I connect it to my mac and import to Aperture.

So when iPhoto for iOS came out, I was very excited. I thought that would be one hell of a compliment to how I work. I have to say my expectations for it where in the wrong direction. I was hoping for something with the usefulness of Pixelsync, where I could do all the star rating and keyword assignments to photos, so when I sync, the work is done, and be able to make simple edits on the go, that would also sync when I get home. iPhoto for iOS failed on that front completely, but it is in alignment with what it is supposed to be.

The other iLife apps on iOS were built to be stand-alone apps that would sync to the cloud, or share on various web services. iMovie lets you create movies right on your iPhone and iPad, and Garageband too, and send them around quickly and easily. I think you can sync your projects with the Mac apps too but i can’t seem to see anything about that on the site. This is the same for iPhoto.

The app itself is pretty cute, and does a few things nicely, but others in a very gimmicky way. Its pretty amazing that you have advanced features like brushes to dodge and burn specific areas in an image (not available on iPhoto for mac), but the cutesy interface with the brushes popping up and fanning out takes some time to get used. And if your used to graphs and histograms to adjust brightness, contrast, shadows, highlights and saturation, you will have a bit of learning curve to get acquainted with the interface Apple picked for those adjustments.

The journals feature is very interesting, and its kinda cool to be able to create a photo album from your iPad and be able to share it online. Its quick, simple, easy though sometimes a bit awkward, but fun. And I think it something that from time to time, I will be using.

One thing I love is the ability to share or “Beam” a photo to another iOS device. That was always the most annoying thing about iOS is that to send anything to anyone, you would need to message or email it to them, even if they were next to you. This should really be part of  iOS and not a feature in iPhoto. Beam a contact, photo, video clip or anything really!

I am impressed with the feature set it has, it is pretty on par with some of the better or best apps out there for photo editing, without some of the limitations, I’m looking at you Adobe Photoshop Touch and your 1600x1600px limit! I’m still playing around with it and getting used to it, and trying to figure out how it will fit in my workflow. How it will work with the iPad Camera Connection Kit, and how to get those modifications and edits in to my Aperture library and be able to continue with more serious enhancements to my shots.

With all that, I’m thinking maybe, iLife and Aperture will be updated in the summer with more iOS integration when Apple Mac OS X Mountain Lion comes out. I also hope that there is an new version of Aperture that works better with iOS or at least a version of Aperture for iOS.

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