Tech Blog

Review: iPhoto For iPhone

by Blogger on ‎04-07-2012 05:25 PM - last edited on ‎04-07-2012 06:00 PM by Retired Moderator

iPhoto [$4.99] has moved to iOS devices, and while you can do some magical photo editing with your fingers, I'm still not sold on it as a great choice for iPhone.




Real estate.  It all boils down to real estate.  There's a reason something like the Galaxy Note is getting attention. As awkward as it is to hold in your hand, the screen size and stylus do make it much easier to deal with fine details in images.  When it comes to editing with iPhoto on your iPhone, fat fingers and small screen size cause a problem.


If you have an iPad 2 (or newer), the experience is vastly changed.  Tris Hussey can't stop raving about the things he can do with iPhoto on the bigger screen device.  "Man it's wonderful," he raved.  This review, however is just based on the iPhone experience.


The levels of editing you can do in iPhoto for iOS are marvelous.  You can white balance, straighten, add colour effects, eliminate red-eye, adjust exposure, make notes, and more.

iPhoto does have a how-to tutorial built-in that is mandatory reading.  Just thumbing around the app is not the easiest way to understand what's going on and what you can do.

You get to the help feature on the first screen in the app.  Press the Gear Icon, then select HELP to get the FAQ.




But you're editing a postage stamp, it's hard to see exactly what you're doing.  If you stick to the basics (minor color correction, cropping, and straightening) then you can accomplish those sorts of tasks in other camera apps.




I still prefer to do my photo editing in one of the apps I use to take my photos.  Camera+ and Camera Awesome are both brilliant with filtering, cropping, and basic editing - so there's no reason to use the limited editing functions in Apple's iPhoto.  If you're an Instagram addict, I'm sure you'll agree that you're getting everything you need within the app itself.


The best addition to iPhoto is the Journal feature


First select a group of photos and put them in an Album.  Then open the Album, select the Share Icon  and Share the Album with Journal. Then select one of 6 themes for your project.




Once you Create your Journal, the program will populate a page with the photos from your Album.  This is the part of iPhoto on the iPhone that I enjoyed.  You can now drag, drop, resize, annotate, and move the images around your page to tell a story.


Hold them down to move them around the screen.  Touch them to see the sliders to adjust image size, remove the image, or edit with iPhoto's editor.





It's like creating a personal infographic, or scrapbook.  It's very easy to do and doesn't take long, but there is a problem.


Once you have a collection of photos that you've edited, you can arrange them on a page with diary notes, and more.  Publishing it to iCloud is easy, but the moment you delete any of the photos, you'll lose the journal.  Instead, sync to iTunes where you can export your iPhoto Journal and save it locally to publish to the web.  It's a few steps, but if you're going to spend the time to work on a Journal, you want it to last.




If you're using a dedicated camera app that already has editing features built-in, there's not enough in this edition of iPhoto that makes it worth grabbing for just the iPhone.  While it may work wonders on an iPad, and you can beam photos from your iPhone to your iPad to avoid looking like an idiot taking pictures with the behemoth, tha's just too many steps.


iPhoto Journal is great, but the storage counts against your iCloud limit and there's no easy way to get them off the iCloud and onto your own webspace, or Facebook.  I like iPhoto, but it just doesn't do enough things better than the solutions that already work for me.  It's easier to edit photos in my camera apps, and iPhoto Journals feels like a beta.


Unless you're a pro that *really* needs a detailed photo editor on your iPhone, spend the $4.99 on the other camera apps in the App Store (like Camera+, Camera Awesome, Hipstamatic, or Instagram).  They're easier to edit with fat fingers, they're easier to publish, and the editing is faster.


iPhoto [$4.99] is only available for iPad 2 or newer, and iPhone 4 or newer. It's not available for iPod, even those with cameras.


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