IPhoto Stories November 5, 2015

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Several months ago, I wrote a three-part guide to making amazing wall art from your Mac’s photos (part 1part 2part 3) — a popular series that readers told me they’d really enjoyed. The premise: as photography has gone digital, most of the pictures we take have become trapped on our computers, rarely seeing the light of day. Turning your favorite photos into large-format wall art is a great way to decorate your home or office, and with the recent introduction of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, higher-resolution photos and ultra-high-res panoramas are possible, increasing the image quality of even your everyday snaps.

Even though Apple’s OS X Photos app focuses on making small prints, photo books, and calendars, there are some great third-party photo-to-wall art services out there. Previously, I looked at how to turn your photos into large-sized metal, acrylic, and canvas wall art. This brand new part 4 explores three additional services, looking for the first time at photo prints on wood, as well as spotlighting several nice variations on prior themes…

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IPhoto Stories July 20, 2015

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History will remember the early 21st Century as a turning point for photography — the point at which mainstream photos transitioned from chemical to digital, thereby becoming “print optional” for the first time. Although digital photography has taken small annual steps for 20 years, those steps have collectively evolved early, uselessly low-resolution digital cameras into superior alternatives to their film-based predecessors. Even the tiny cameras built into iPhones take much better-quality photos than Kodaks and Polaroids, and more of them, too: the days of 12-, 24-, or 36-exposure film cartridges and fading exposures are long gone, replaced by all but infinite burst-mode photos that can live on your computer forever.

But some photos deserve a more prominent display in your home than a vault in your computer’s photo library. Apple has known this since the dawn of digital photography. Since iPhoto launched in 2002, Apple has offered photo and book printing services, a feature later added to Aperture and OS X Photos. Yet even though CanonSony, and Nikon have introduced high- and ultra-high-resolution cameras capable of creating huge prints, Apple hasn’t updated its apps with new large-format print options. That’s where this How-To series comes in.

It’s possible to use Photos to create large paper prints, but there’s a lot of exciting large-format photo printing work being done now with other materials, including metal, glass, and canvas. Part 1 of this How-To guide looked at large-format metal prints, and Part 2 looked at canvas and glass prints, with tips on composing large-format images. This third and final part looks at several additional options: turning your photos into hand-painted art, printing on brushed silver aluminum, and large-format “behind acrylic glass” photo printing. Each is different from the prior prints we covered, and one is the most beautiful large photo-to-wall art process I’ve yet seen…

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IPhoto Stories July 4, 2015

I manually cropped the image on Mpix's web site for the 30" x 20" print
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Apple knew it had something special to share with the world when it released iPhoto in 2002: in addition to printing 20″ by 30″ poster-sized photos, the original iPhoto’s “most stunning feature” (according to Apple) was a page layout tool that quickly turned digital photo collections into printed hardcover books. These were Apple’s acknowledgements that tangible photos still had value in a digital era, and it subsequently added calendars, greeting cards, softcover books, and letterpress cards to iPhoto. Apple’s newer app Photos for Mac hides these options under the File menu at the top of the screen, and hasn’t expanded on them, a shame considering how nice the results look.

But apart from including the poster options in 2002, Apple never added “large-format art” to the list of things its photo apps could produce. Back in 2002, digital cameras were so low-resolution that they struggled to produce pixel-free 4″ by 6″ photos, so it’s no surprise that Apple wasn’t trying to build a market for large prints. Thankfully, a lot has changed since then. Canon currently sells two 50-Megapixel cameras, Sony has one 42-Megapixel camera, and Nikon offers four 36-Megapixel cameras. iPhones and iPads can create up to 43-Megapixel ultra-wide panoramas. A large, properly-composed print from any of these cameras (or even the more common 20- to 25-Megapixel cameras people are using today) will look amazing hanging on the wall of your home or office… if you know how to do it.

I wanted to see what the best options were for large-format photography, so I reached out to a collection of excellent art print services to see how digital photos would look on metal, glass, and canvas — materials Photos doesn’t offer. In Part 1 of this How-To guide, I’m looking at large-format metal prints that apply dyes and gloss directly onto aluminum surfaces, with results as saturated as Apple’s famous “nanochromatic” iPod nanos. A new Part 2 looks at large-format canvas and glass prints. Read on for all the details…

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IPhoto Stories May 7, 2015

I’ve focused a lot over the last few months on helping readers to speed up and optimize Apple’s Macs — everything from adding RAM to recovering hard drive space and upgrading old hard drives to faster SSDs. Today’s How-To is focused on something very specific but with a lot of optimization potential: trimming down your Mac’s photo library.

Particularly after installing OS X 10.10.3 with Apple’s new Photos app, you might be surprised to learn that you’ve lost a lot of hard drive space, and that there are suddenly tons of duplicate photos on your Mac. After installing OS X 10.10.3, the new Photos app converted my 90GB Aperture library into a 126GB Photos library, and left both on my hard drive. That’s an incredible amount of wasted space attributable to duplicates, so it’s no surprise that a $1 utility called Duplicate Photos Fixer Pro has recently become the #1 paid Mac App Store app, while a superior alternative called PhotoSweeper ($10) is in the top 50. I’ve used both apps, as well as many others, and can help you choose the one that’s best for your needs…

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IPhoto Stories April 23, 2015

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Randy Ubillos has today announced his retirement from Apple. Ubillos has worked at Apple for over twenty years, leading development on Final Cut Pro and newer versions of iMovie and iPhoto, part of Apple’s iLife suite. Offically, Ubillos was Chief Architect of Photo and Video Applications. Most notably in recent years, Ubillos headed the project to bring some of the latest iMovie concepts back to Apple’s professional software suite. This resulted in Final Cut Pro X.

Ubillos also led development of Apple’s creative pursuits on iOS, with versions of iMovie and iPhoto designed for the touchscreen experiences of the phone and tablet.

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IPhoto Stories April 21, 2015

Apple releases Xcode 6.3.1 with bug fixes for debugging

Apple today released Xcode 6.3.1 with bug fixes. According to the release notes, the release includes fixes for debugging, Interface Builder, and Playgrounds. The update is available via the Mac App Store and on the Mac developer center. Xcode 6.3 was released earlier this year with significant enhancements to Swift and the Xcode application.

IPhoto Stories April 10, 2015

Photos MacApple’s latest app Photos is now available for free as part of OS X 10.10.3 for Mac. The new app is the future of photo management from Apple with support for iCloud Photo Library, burst photos, slow-mo and time lapse videos, and more. Here’s how to migrate your photo library to the new Photos app from iPhoto or Aperture, both of which will no longer receive support for software updates going forward:

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IPhoto Stories April 8, 2015

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An Associated Press review of the new Photos app for the Mac suggests that OS X 10.10.3 will be available for general download later today. The first pre-release seed of the latest version of Yosemite was made available to developers and testers back in February, with the first public beta following at the beginning of March.

Apple’s new Photos app for Mac computers, available Wednesday as a free software update, makes it easy to organize and edit your pictures.

AP’s Anick Jesdanun was impressed with Photos, Apple’s replacement for iPhoto and Aperture, saying that the auto-fix features were particularly impressive …  expand full story

IPhoto Stories March 5, 2015

Apple promoting new Photos app to Aperture customers in email blast

Apple has began promoting the new Photos app to Aperture users in an email blast to past customers. Photos replaces iPhoto with new iCloud features built in, but the app does not carry over the same advanced editing features as Aperture.

Photos was first announced at WWDC last June with a release date targeted for sometime this year. The developer betas of OS X 10.10.3 included the new app for testers, and earlier this week the first public beta for non-developers was released.

Aperture, which is still being sold for $79.99, is no longer being updated and will be removed from the Mac App Store when the new Photos app is released with OS X 10.10.3 this spring. Adobe has developed an Aperture-to-Lightroom migration tool for professional photographers looking for software alternatives.

The email can be read in full below:

IPhoto Stories March 2, 2015

Apple today released the first Public Beta of the upcoming OS X Yosemite 10.10.3. The new release includes the iCloud-based Photos application for the Mac, new Emojis across the system, and simpler login to Google accounts for profiles with two-factor authentication enabled. This beta is labeled as build 14D87, which is the same as the second 10.10.3 beta for developers, which was released a week ago. The Public Beta is available in the Mac App Store Software Update tab for registered beta users. Apple plans to release the first Public Beta of iOS 8.3 in mid-March, according to sources. Thanks, DJ!

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IPhoto Stories February 6, 2015

Photos for Mac

Apple yesterday released a preview of its upcoming all-new Photos app for Mac, which replaces iPhoto and Aperture with a simpler all-in-one photo editor and library manager. Most of the discussion of Photos focused on the huge number of changes from iPhoto and Aperture, burying one very important detail: Apple is changing the way it handles cloud-based photo storage.

Before Photos, Apple offered free storage of photos with limitations in a feature called Photo Stream, which didn’t count against iCloud storage. But the new Photos app uses Apple’s beta iCloud Photo Library feature, which was recently added in iOS 8.1. iCloud Photo Library promises to let you synchronize your entire photo collection including edits and albums across all of your devices… but you have to share your iCloud storage with photos, and album syncing and edits don’t apply to the free 1,000 – 25,000 image storage of Photo Stream.

As most long-time iOS users know, the free 5GB of iCloud storage Apple offers is often not enough to store much more than a single device backup, and for many that will mean no spare room for a photo collection. Consequently, Apple is suggesting that users should buy additional iCloud storage, paying monthly fees to store and sync their photos. As the Photos app is rolling out, Apple is allowing users to stick with the old Photo Stream feature and continue using the new Photos app without turning on the iCloud Photo Library. But it remains to be seen if that will be an option long-term once Photos is released publicly and how users will respond when they find out their free 5GB iCloud storage isn’t cutting it for their photo collection…

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IPhoto Stories November 25, 2014

From 9to5Toys.com:

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We’ve got a nice 9to5Toys Specials deal on this evening and the best part is that it is a name your own price with the bids starting at $1.  The earlier you get in, the less you pay. Here’s the list of apps but frankly Typinator alone is worth it. Go big and 10% of your purchase price goes to a charity of your choice and you’ll be entered to win a Gold iPad 2 & iPhone 6

(Update:6:30am ET: the price is now $3.50)

  • Typinator – $32 – The program the “types” frequently used text for you
  • Hotspot Shield VPN – 1 Year Elite Subscription
  • Starry Night Enthusiast – $80 – Turn your computer into a virtual universe
  • Intensify Pro – $60 – The image enhancer for photographers of all levels
  • Spotdox 3 – $72 – Get access to all your files, on any device, anywhere
  • Data Backup 3 – $49 – Easy, powerful, and flexible backups
  • Paperless – $50 – Fuel your paper-free lifestyle
  • MacJournal 6 – $40 – Multimedia journal for the 21st century
  • Pixa – $25 – Image management and sharing app
  • Must Have Mac App Tutorial – $100 – Learn how to maximize the 9 apps included

 

IPhoto Stories November 19, 2014

Adobe streamlines transition from Aperture to Lightroom with built-in migration tool

Aperture users worried about transitioning to Lightroom following Apple’s decision to cease support for its full-featured photo editing software will now find life a little easier. The latest version of Lightroom includes a built-in migration tool to import both photos and associated metadata from both Aperture and iPhoto.

Star ratings, keywords, color labels, face tags, GPS data, stacks, hidden files and rejects are all transferred into Lightroom to make the transition as painless as possible.

Apple announced back in June that it was ceasing development on Aperture in favor of a more basic Photos app launching next year – leaving pros and enthusiasts out in the cold. Adobe responded initially with a transition guide followed by a plugin migration tool. With Lightroom 5.7 (a free update for existing users), the migration tool is built-in.

Adobe also release DNG Converter 8.7, with support for 24 new cameras.

IPhoto Stories October 15, 2014

Tim Cook

It looks like Apple’s event tomorrow will focus on new iPad models as rumored, but there are bound to be a lot of announcements beyond just the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. Below we’ve put together some of our expectations for other possibilities at the event, including likely announcements for new Macs, software updates and a couple of possible surprises you might not be expecting. expand full story

IPhoto Stories September 17, 2014

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With iOS 8 launching later today, it’s worth taking a look at how you should prepare your device for the new operating system. Before installing the update, it is recommended that you have a backup of your data. This how-to is going to walk you through backing up your iOS 7 device and transitioning it over to iOS 8:

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IPhoto Stories August 15, 2014

IPhoto Stories August 4, 2014

Adobe developing Aperture to Lightroom migration tool, releases step-by-step transition guide

Approximately a month after Apple announced it is discontinuing Aperture and iPhoto in favor of the new Photos app on OS X Yosemite and iOS 8, Adobe is today taking advantage of the Apple shift with a couple of key announcements. First, Adobe has published a new website detailing the advantages of Lightroom over Aperture. More importantly, Adobe has released a comprehensive, step-by-step transition guide for moving from Aperture to Lightroom. The guide also includes some answers to frequently asked questions.

It can be accessed here. Adobe has also announced that it working on software to bring a more automated transition experience:

At Adobe, we’re working on a migration tool to help you bring your photos into Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® from Aperture, but if you’re eager to switch before the tool is ready, this guide can help ease your transition. We recognize that this migration may be a challenging process and offer the following resources and methodology to help get you up to speed with Lightroom and provide a road map for successfully migrating your photos.

The first challenge is that the terminology, layout, and controls of the two applications are different. It’s a good idea to start processing photos in Lightroom and become familiar with it before you migrate your photos from Aperture. You can do so by taking some new photos, importing them into Lightroom, and then using Lightroom.

The new Photos app for OS X launches in early 2015, but despite Apple’s claims of significant functionality, a look at what Apple has shown about the app reveals that the functionality mostly mirrors what iOS 8 will gain in September. Adobe has also previously detailed some future Lightroom plans in order to appease professional photo editors.

IPhoto Stories July 25, 2014

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Starting in iOS 8 beta 4, which was released this past Monday to developers, Apple has begun notifying users of the soon-to-be-defunct iPhoto for iOS to migrate their iPhoto data to the totally revamped Photos app in iOS 8, as part of Apple’s new photo strategy being rolled out this fall and early next year. While photo data can be migrated out of iPhoto, Apple warns that Journals, Slideshows and Book layouts will no longer be available going forward. Right now, Apple’s “Learn More” link appears to be dead.

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IPhoto Stories July 14, 2014

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Apple is seeking employees from its own retail stores who have shown an enthusiasm for photography to test the upcoming OS X Photos application and iCloud Photos feature. Apple, last week, reached out to retail employees offering such a “career experience,” and here is the message to retail staff as provided by multiple retail employees:

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IPhoto Stories June 27, 2014

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Following Apple’s announcement that it has ceased software development of the Aperture professional photo editing software for Mac and the development of iPhoto on iOS and OS X, Adobe has issued a statement. The digital software company is promoting its Lightroom and Creative Cloud photo editing and management products for the web, iOS, and OS X:

Today, Apple announced they will no longer be developing Aperture in light of their new photography app for OS X. If you are an Aperture or iPhoto customer looking for change, check out our new Creative Cloud Photography plan announced last week, or our standalone Lightroom app for your desktop as alternatives.

Adobe also says that it is “doubling down” on those products and that a “rich roadmap” is ahead for the coming weeks, months and years:

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Apple has told 9to5Mac that that the company will be ceasing development of Aperture and iPhoto, offering Photos for OS X as a replacement, which was first shown at WWDC.

With the introduction of the new Photos app and iCloud Photo Library, enabling you to safely store all of your photos in iCloud and access them from anywhere, there will be no new development of Aperture. When Photos for OS X ships next year, users will be able to migrate their existing Aperture libraries to Photos for OS X.

Apple says libraries will be able to migrate across to the new application when the application ships. Apple is working with Adobe to offer a upgrade path to Lightroom. As noted by TechCrunch, Apple will offer a Yosemite compatibility update for Aperture, but otherwise development has ended.

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IPhoto Stories June 3, 2014

Update: Explanation of lock screen apps after the break…

Since Apple previewed iOS 8 yesterday during the keynote at WWDC, we’ve been continually trying out the new iPhone and iPad software to get familiar with the changes coming to users this fall. First up is a new way for apps to be promoted on the iPhone using subtle location-based prompts. Similar to how the lock screen features an icon and a swipe up gesture from the lower right corner of the display to quickly access the Camera app, several users are reporting a variety of apps are being featured on the lower left corner prompted by being near a relevant venue.

For instance, in the screen shot displayed above on the left, the user is visiting an Apple Store and an App Store icon appears in the lower left corner. Swiping up from the bottom acts as a shortcut to quickly access the Apple Store app within the App Store. Once installed, the Apple Store app icon then appears on the lock screen when visiting the retailer. While it’s not certain which specific perimeters must be met for this functionality to work, the commonality between other supported App Store apps including Starbucks and ShopSavvy is location. expand full story

IPhoto Stories April 3, 2014

iPhoto for iOS update adds white border printing option alongside various bug fixes

Following a slew of updates to iWork, Apple has released a minor update to iPhoto for iOS, part of its iLife suite. The update adds a new border printing option. When ordering prints, you can now frame your photos with a white border. As usual, the update also includes miscellaneous bug fixes and “other improvements”.

What’s New in Version 2.0.1

• Add a white border to photos when ordering prints • Includes bug fixes and other improvements

iPhoto costs $5 on the App Store, but new iOS device purchases automatically unlocks the app for the registered account for free.

IPhoto Stories December 18, 2013

Way back in May, Justin Williams’s Second Gear teased an unannounced app via Passbook using an in-house system called Pit Pass. The Passbook pass updated to reveal the icon and name of the app released by Second Gear today: Photos+.

What the app does is really simple but useful in a big way. Photos+ displays your images from your Camera Roll and other albums found in Photos.app, but it takes a different approach to displaying thumbnails and most importantly includes EXIF info like timestamp and location hidden in the native photo browser…

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