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Hands On: PhotoScope 1.0 iPhoto and Aperture viewer for iOS

updated 09:17 pm EST, Wed February 12, 2014

App allows local network viewing of photo libraries, not possible with iPhoto

While not the largest library, our family has about 82GB of pictures dating back to a time way before iPhoto -- back when we had a QuickTake 200. Apple's iPhoto release in 2002 was a gift from Cupertino straight to our graphite G4. While we love the convenience of an iPad for photo display to visiting and resident family, Apple's photo stream can't practically approach the size of our library. Developer David Ritchie has come up with a solution for users with a home LAN -- PhotoScope. The newly-released app allows Aperture and iPhoto users to stream the entire contents of a photo library across the a local network to an iPad, regardless of picture resolution or size.

The $5 iOS PhotoScope app requires a small helper app, freely available, for the streaming. Compatibility is limited to Aperture 3.2 and up, and iPhoto '11 or greater, with the developer "planning to add support for more programs in the future" like Picasa or Lightroom.

The helper app passes Applescripts to the main app for rating purposes, and reads the Aperture or iPhoto library. Thus, the app never modifies the library itself, and requires that Aperture or iPhoto be running for access.

Notably, the helper app and the iOS app have zero authentication between the pair. This means that not only does the app not function across the Internet without some VPN solution, the app combo should also only be run where all machines on the network are trusted, such as a secure home network.

That one glaring issue mentioned, We like PhotoScope. It adds a functionality to the iPad that should have been retained in the iOS version of iPhoto -- the ability beyond just an iCloud photostream to access a local network-stored iPhoto library. It does it well, in a small footprint, and with minimal impact on a local network's bandwidth.








by MacNN Staff

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