It shouldn't be this hard, but at least there's a kludge to do it
We like Photos -- that is, we like the application Photos by Apple, we like Photos by Google, and we just like photos. We take a lot. More than we should. Consequently, we end up with piles of the things, and after a while, the name IMG_4940.JPG just doesn't evoke the memories we'd hope. Nor can it help us gather up all our New York shots for a project. Nor can it tell us whether we like this shot, or mean to delete it some day.
App utilizes tilt-to-control mechanics to edit photos on the go
Sometimes less is more. This is often the case for people who are attempting to be more serious with their iPhone photography, so many of the apps we look at base their filter-set around wanting to create faux-vintage images -- which is fine for many, but not all, amateur photographers. Today we're taking a look at the more practical Polarr, an app that is designed to give you a professional-quality editing experience on the go.
Third-party app combo make home video playback drop-dead easy
Today's Pointers is going to be a bit short and sweet because, like everyone else in the US, we're itching to get out of the office and engage in dangerous, noisy, polluting activities of an excessive nature. So while you are waiting in the burn unit or drunk tank for either treatment or bail money, here's a great tip for making all that waiting time easier: a simple way to get your iOS devices to play any non-DRM'd audio, photo, or video file format without taking up any space. It's like iTunes Match, but for all kinds of media files.
Visual tool for marking up documents and images
Pictures are worth a thousand words, and yet writers still hang on to the fact that sometimes you need a caption. Napkin 1.5 is a tool for rapidly marking an image with captions, with annotations, with notes, with doodles.
Digital collecting with scrapbooks you can share
Crafting is a thing. It's a big thing, but it's practically by definition a big thing in paper rather than digital: you create books using your photos and your drawings and your artwork. There are entire crafting exhibitions and conferences where rows upon rows of firms sell a thousand different types of paper and tools from stencils to pens. Scrapbook Crafter 1.0.2 wants to recreate the appeal of crafting without the fire hazard.
A Swiss Army Knife of image tools
It's misnamed. Not that we have any idea what it should be called, but Reformator 1.2.2 does so much more than reformatting that we'd contemplate a name like Image-o-Matic. Within this app, you can convert any or all of your photos between different handy formats, you can watermark them, do certain edits, and more.
Apply photo effects to your images if you must
Drag a photo into Magic 1.1 from Ohanaware, and you can enhance it with a range of pre-built styles. Drag, select a style, click and go. You can apply a growing number of effects filters, and you can then make fairly considerable adjustments to suit you and the image you took.
You will swap to this from Apple Photos â€“ but think it through first
It's not as if Apple owns the rights to the word "photos," but with the new Google Photos 1.0.0 for iOS launch, there are going to be some short but confusing conversations. Are you going to store your photos in Photos or in Photos? Look into Google's offering, and you will immediately decide to move to it -- but if you look even a tiny bit further, the decision is less clear. We think Google has big and compelling advantages, but Apple has some too -- and in the end, the best result may be that both companies force each other to get better.
Quickly fix photo problems and remove background blemishes
Erase. Ex. Spouse. Partner. Lover. Delete. There you go: just popping all the terms you'd put into Google if you were looking for software like this. However, it's not solely for removing your heartbreak, PhotoScissors 2.0 is actually excellent when you're making images for use on websites, because it lets you quickly remove unwanted backgrounds and emotional baggage.
Robust filter app caters to picky photographers
There's no doubt about it: vintage is in. That's probably one of the reasons that photo filter apps have taken the App Store by storm. The big issue with most of these apps is that they'll often only feature a handful of preset filters, with little to no customization. If you're looking for a great way to make your pictures stand out from all the others, we think that Stackables might just do the trick.
Stop that toothless grin look in iOS multitasking
Apple's iOS 8 introduced the very handy and surprisingly-controversial feature that when you press the Home button twice to swap between applications, you also see a row of your recent and favorite callers. The controversy is just that some people don't like the idea that anyone can pick up their iPhone and see who they've been talking to. We can help you with that, but we'd much rather sort out the Horrible Gap: the way that if you don't have a photo of a recent caller, iOS 8 displays their initials in a gray circle.
Remove duplicate photos quickly and easily
We're starting to think we were clever, turning our Aperture database into a gigantic mess -- because PhotoSweeper is the third recent app to come across our desk that is aimed at fixing it. It isn't specifically for fixing our problems, and it isn't only for Aperture, but we set it loose on our 33Gb hellstew -- just as we did with SnapSelect and Tidy Up before it.
Cross-device copying and pasting, tablet settings now accessible though the cloud
Graphics tablet and stylus manufacturer Wacom announced the launch of its cloud-based services today, Dropzone and Control Room. The new pieces of cloud software expand on the ability of Wacom owners to access settings and photos from any location with an Internet connection, across OS X, Windows and iOS operating systems.
Perfection scanners aimed at professional crowd, features dual lens optical system
Epson is gearing up to release two new professional-level photo scanners in November, with the Perfection V800 Photo and Perfection V850 Pro. The scanners offer a number of scanning options, allowing users to scan photos and negatives -- including 35mm slides, medium format and film strips -- with the help of height adjustable film holders.
Further evidence undermining claims pictures were stolen from Apple's servers
Even as Apple on Monday issued a terse statement saying only that "we take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report," concerning the leak of compromising images from 101 celebrities, the 4chan poster who released the compromising images and video has now admitted that the pictures come from a variety of sources. In the meantime, Apple has patched a potential security flaw that could have allowed attackers to brute-force their way into obtaining weak iCloud passwords.
Reports remain dubious on origin of photos, videos allegedly obtained
A plethora of new celebrity nude images have surfaced on the Internet, along with claims that the photos and videos are the result of a hack of iCloud accounts. At least one of the victims of the leak has confirmed the images, but did not confirm the leak came from iCloud and added that the images now circulating were "deleted long ago," saying it would take a lot of "creepy effort" to obtain them.
Will consolidate management, editing and cloud storage in cross-platform app
At today's WWDC keynote, Apple announced a significant consolidation of its Photos management app for iOS, and talked briefly about how it will eventually replace iPhoto with a new Photos app for Mac sometime next year. Photos, which is now primarily a management app with very limited editing capability, appears to be taking on iPhoto's features in an overhauled UI format on both platforms.
'Studio arrangement' process for true white backdrop photos filed in 2011
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted a questionable patent to Amazon in March, which gives the online retailer a hold on a common photography practice. Called "studio arrangement," the practice awarded the patent is an instruction set that outlines specific light and object placement to achieve photos of a subject on a white background, as well as steps for the process -- which has used by retailers for catalogs since the beginning of commercial photography.
Well-regarded photo editing apps offer diversity of effects
Photo editing software house MacPhun is running Mother's Day sale on the Mac App Store, beginning today and running until Monday, May 12. The sales cuts prices on all of the companies consumer-friendly photo apps by around 30 percent, for example lowering the price of MacPhun's "magic erasing" program Snapheal to $15 (down from $20) and its refocusing app Focus 2 down to $7 from its usual $10 price.
Photos stored in Auto Backup now accessible in Gmail messages with new button
Google today announced its latest addition to Gmail's email message composition tools, with the release of the Insert Photo button for its web version. Allowing users to access and insert photos that have been uploaded to their Auto Backup from their phone, including photos in emails through a web application is now simplified. Entire albums can also be shared, if images are uploaded and organized on Google Photos. Within the body of an email draft, users can resize images by dragging on any corner of the inserted photo.
Licensed photos only net 30 percent proceeds to photographer
Photo community, application and image host 500px released information on Prime, a licensing marketplace for users that wish to sell their photos for others to use. While the service will display photos based on user voting and offers $250 for licensing fees, 500px will be keeping a large cut of the proceeds.
828x audio interface with Thunderbolt technology provides comprehensive I/O
MOTU has released its newest audio interface of the 828 series, the 828x with Thunderbolt connectivity. Though still possessing USB 2.0 connections, the 828x provides low-latency performance thanks to Thunderbolt, due to the latter's ability to maintain speed in high-bandwidth applications.
Natural-media software works with photo-editing apps or as standalone
Photo-manipulation software maker Alien Skin has debuted a new version of its natural-media tool Snap Art, now at version 4.0. The update features a redesigned user interface and significant improvements in speed, and now requires OS X Mountain Lion or later for Mac and Windows 7 or newer for Windows users. The program, which can turn photographs into drawings or paintings emulating human artists in a wide variety of styles and media, is available as a stand-alone application or as a photo-editor plug-in.
Digital Anarchy's video editing software gets an update
Digital Anarchy released their latest updated photo re-touching software Beauty Box Video 3.0. The latest edition of the plug-in accommodates Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, and Apple Final Cut Pro 7 and X, with support for Assimilate Scratch, Sony Vegas, Nuke, and Avid currently available in beta upon request.
The new iOS Camera and Photo apps value add to iPhone appeal
The iPhone has long had a reputation as having an excellent camera and image processing combination. According to Flickr, the iPhone 4S, 5 and 4 models hold the top three positions of the most used cameras on the site, highlighting the enduring appeal of the iPhone for casual photographers. At WWDC, Apple gave the audience a quick run through the beta version of the revamped Camera and Photos apps in iOS 7, highlighting some of the new features in both apps. So is there more to their new 'flatter' app icons and visual redesign?
Company had licensed image, but not for advertising use
Apple has settled a lawsuit brought by the photographer of the now-famous "Retina" eye image used to demonstrate the quality of the company's high-resolution displays. Swiss photographer Sabine Liewald argued that Apple had licensed the image from her US agency, Factory Downtown, for limited uses only and not for the promotional and advertising uses it was eventually put to. Settlement terms were not disclosed.
Increases speed, fixes Facebook issue
Apple issued an update to Aperture late Friday, its pro-level photo-management and editing software. Version 3.4.1 is a bug-fix release, primarily addressing an installer issue in v3.4 that caused the application to quit on launch for some users due to accidentally corrupted preferences. The new version also improves the reliability of syncing photos to iOS devices via iTunes, cleans up a bug with downloading and viewing photos synced with Facebook albums, and generally improves overall stability.
New interface, separate modes aim to please all levels of users
Adobe late Monday announced the new Photoshop Elements 11 and Premiere Elements 11, the company's consumer-level photo-editing and video-editing programs. The new versions have both been given makeovers in the user interface once again, with modes separated by skill levels (three in PS Elements, two in Premiere Elements) and new effects. The workflow has been re-thought to make the editing quicker and easier to use for both Mac and Windows users, and both include more sharing options than before, including Vimeo.
Batch mods can be done as images are imported
ACD Systems has launched the first major upgrade of its photo-management and editing utility ACDSee Pro for Mac, now at version 2.0. The program, which has been out since 2009, offers an alternative to "vault"-based systems such as Lightroom, Aperture and iPhoto by allowing photographers to handle file and folder management entirely as they like, cataloging local and remote images wherever they are stored.
Path Android gaining iOS app features
Users of Path can now use Lenses on the Android version (Free, Google Play) of the social network-enabled photo sharing app. Lenses, available to iOS Path members for the last year, allow the user to apply filters to the viewfinder, before taking the photograph itself.
Software formerly known as Bibble gets bug fixes
Corel has delivered its first "service pack" update to its photo workflow tool, AfterShot Pro (formerly known as Bibble 5.x). The program is aimed at professional photographers and competes with programs like Aperture, Lightroom and ACDSee Pro. The new update adds support for 20 new cameras, improved highlight recovery processing, and improved plugin SDK, support for higher-resolution file sizes, and two new plugins.
Updates also speeds up camera function
Popular mobile camera styling and sharing app Instagram has updated to 2.2, improving the speed of the camera function in the app as well as fixing bugs, including one that sometimes prevented pictures from being saved to the photo library, and another issue caused by the Lux option. The update also added support for sharing photos for two of the world's largest non-US social networks, Japan's Mixi and China's (Sina) Weibo.
Softens skin, adds makeup, detects faces
Photo-enhancement software maker ArcSoft has made its beauty and glamour software Perfect365 available for Mac, having already launched the application for Windows in early November and an iOS version two weeks ago. The program detects faces and softens skin variations, lets photographers retouch blemishes and under-eye circles, removes shine and whitens teeth along with other enhancements aimed at female portraiture.
Standalone, Photo or Film/Video licenses
Version three of the Tiffen Company's Dfx Digital Filter Suite is now available, bringing more than 10 new filters, updated host support, interface tweaks and other improvements to the popular photo and video filter suite. The software simulates over 2,000 Tiffen glass filters, optical processes, film grains and specialized lenses and natural light and photographic effects. The new version adds enhanced multi-processor acceleration for significant speed gains.
Custom job said to cost over $100k
Professional photographer Mitchell Feinberg has reportedly designed his own large-format digital camera back. The unprecedented design was said to be an essential replacement for an 8x10 Polaroid back, enabling the photographer to instantly preview a composition, in full color at 10-megapixel resolution, before committing to captures using sheet film.
Recovers from camera, phone cards, hard drives
Stellar Information Systems, known for its Stellar Phoenix drive-recovery software, has updated its version of the software specially aimed at recovering photos, audio and video from camera and mobile-phone memory cards as well as hard drives. Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery v4 tries to recover images and AV files in over 50 different formats from drives where the files have been accidentally deleted or formatted, or suffered from corruption, read/write errors or have been improperly ejected.
GPS Receiver matches waypoints to camera timestamp
MacNN has reviewed the GiSTEQ PhotoTrackr DPL900, a small GPS device that is bundled with software to allow users to simply and quickly add location information to digital photos. After carrying both the DPL900 and a digital camera on a photo shoot, the GPS device matches the timestamp of the user's digital camera after recording where the user was over the same time period. It captures waypoints, rather than tracking the location every second.
Bracketeer re-written as a Cocoa application
Pangea Software has released Bracketeer 4, the latest version of its photography utility that combines bracketed exposures into a single image, resulting in a wide range of shading in each photograph. The software provides users with an alternative to Tone Mapping, with a different technique called "Enfusing.” The program creates images directly from the bracketed source images, without ever having to create an HDR image first. This is claimed to help deliver a more realistic looking picture while improving processing time.
Radar: iphone photo sharin
Tiny Pictures has released an iPhone app for its Radar photo sharing social networking site. The app lets users share their daily lives with friends by posting pictures and notes on Radar.net or through Facebook and Twitter. The free app allows users to upload photos from an iPhone camera or photo library with privacy controls that restrict who sees each post. The home screen shows the latest postings from friends and daily content feeds from various providers. The app uses caching techniques to quickly load low-resolution versions of photos while the full-sized versions download in the background.
D90 rumors, details emerge
A new D90 clue emerged that suggests the asking price will be $1300. A screen shot was taken of a Circuit City inventory screen was posted on nikonrumors.com showing an active SKU for the D90 with a 18-105mm VR lens. It is common practice for retailers to add an item's information and pricing into their computer system when it is put on order from the manufacturer. Other photos have surfaced recently of the long-anticipated Nikon camera.
Epson intros photo viewers
Epson announced the release of its new multimedia photo viewers for professional photographers on the go, with the P-6000 and P-7000. Either gives photographers the ability to download and view their digital photos on 4-inch, 640x480 (VGA) resolution LCD screens that are capable of displaying over 16.7 million colors. The P-6000 sports an 80GB hard-disk drive, with the P-7000 upping it to 160GB and both feature a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 connection that allows download speeds up to one third faster than the models they sit atop in Epson's range, the P-3000 and P-5000.
CopyTrans Photo released
CopyTrans has announced CopyTrans Photo for transferring photos between iPods and Windows PCs. The software allows two-way transfer, allowing users to not only carry photos uploaded from a PC, but also to download photos off an iPod onto other PCs. CopyTrans Photo supports drag-and-drop file transfer and works with any photo-capable iPod, including the iPod Touch and iPhone models. It works with Windows XP and Vista, and costs $50.
iPhone 3G unboxed
The Boy Genius Report has released what appear to be the first snapshots of the iPhone 3G straight from the box. The photos show a small neatly organized black box similar to the one used for the original iPhone. As expected, the new model sports an all-black case back with a white apple logo. The back is a bit more rounded than its predecessor, the iPhone 3G appears to be a bit more tapered on the top end. Overall, the device does not look that much different from the current model. Update: A video of the unboxing is also avaiable.
Front Row meets Twitter
For the past six years, a group of developers scattered across the globe has been quietly working to reinvent the way we watch movies and listen to music. The result is Boxee -- a media player based on the XBMC Open Source platform -- released in alpha form this month initially on the Mac. The developers says Boxee was born of frustration over what they saw as the somewhat clunky way computers gather and display content. Separate applications are needed to display photos or play music and movies, and content is often delivered in formats requiring proprietary media players. The ambitious end game for Boxee is to become the “one-size-fits-all” media center that works with any kind of content on any platform.
Smilebox now supports Macs
Calling its photo-sharing service is a “natural extension of the Macintosh application experience,” Smilebox on Tuesday announced support for the Mac platform by releasing a free application that allows Mac users to download photos, videos and music and offers “seamless” support for iPhoto, iTunes and Photo Booth. Smilebox says it has more than 700 designs and templates for scrapbooks, slideshows, greeting cards, photo-books and post cards. Launched in 2006, Smilebox says it has 2.6 million PC users each month. Users can create and share their own designs, or purchase "premium designs" from Hallmark, Making Memories, Madison Park Greetings, K & Company and Smilebox's in-house designers. Individual items can be bought for $2-$4 or through a $5 monthly subscription.
- Timepost 2.3.2 ($50) a reliable web-integrated time management system for Mac OS X. Timepost is a full-featured time tracking solution that integrates with internet project management services. Can post time to Basecamp, Blinksale, Cashboard, FreshBooks, FogBugz, and Tick. Not only is Timepost a simple project timer, but a powerful extension to your existing web service. The new release adds menubar timer access. [Download - 1.1MB]
- Modul8 2.5.5 (300 Euros) Mac OS X based real time, live performance video compositing software. The incremental update brings several interface enhancements, numerous bug fixes and added 'keyword' functions in its python scripting based module system. The update is free for all registered users and can be accessed using the in software update command. [Download - 20.9MB]
- iCalamus 1.13 ($130) multi-lingual, frame-oriented desktop publishing solution for Mac OS X. iCalamus offers an easy approach to DTP, and an excellent choice for creating simple posters, to complex magazines, scientific works and book publishing. Among the many new improvements and bug fixes, version 1.13 can now import iPhoto documents as calendars, as well as printing Photographerbook documents externally. [Download - 25.6MB]
- iWisdom 1.7 ($10) desktop program that will help you manage and maintain a list of quotations and insightful ideas. In this release, categorization of quotations is now much more powerful. Multiple separate categories may now be assigned to the same quotation, and the ability to define multiple levels per category has been preserved. [Download - 3.3MB]
- Label Wizard 1.0.0 ($30) lets you create your own custom sheets of labels. You have complete control over the layout of the label. Each object can be precisely position. Serial numbers are a special case, they will be automatically incremented on each label. So you can easily print out a sheet of labels, each with a unique serial number. [Download - 3MB]
Phanfare iPhone photo site
Shortly after the WWDC keynote, Phanfare on Monday unveiled a new camera application for the iPhone that allows users to share photos on the web in a simplistic manner. Phanfare provides 1GB of free online storage for photos (without advertisements), while users can opt for unlimited storage options. Once users take a photo with the iPhone's built-in camera, they have the option to caption and upload a photo to a new or existing album. The unlimited storage version of the service costs $55 per year.
- Scorecard 1.3 ($30) golf scorecard and statistics application for Mac OS X. Offers comprehensive statistics, helping users discover trends and explore aspects of their gameplay that might otherwise go unnoticed. Scorecard 1.3 gives golfers further insight into their problems areas with the new Best vs Worst statistics. Best vs Worst presents a comparison of key performance indicators which allow the golfer to quickly and easily see what part of their game went wrong when they didn't perform well. They can then focus on improving that portion of their game to improve their overall game play. [Download - 1.2MB]
- Keyboard Maestro 3.1 ($20) set of macros through which you can control applications, windows, or menus; insert text; open documents, applications or URLs; execute scripts and more. The Program Switcher lets you cycle through applications or windows, closing, hiding, launching, and performing other functions. This release adds many new clipboard features including persistent clipboard history via the new Clipboard History Switcher (command-control-shift-V by default), actions to set or save the clipboard, actions to filter the clipboard to apply BBEdit Text Factories to the clipboard, and support for moving and resizing and keeping open the various Clipboard Switchers. [Download - 5.6MB]
- DiscLabel 5.2.2 ($36) CD/DVD label design software for Mac OS X. It can import track lists from iTunes, iPhoto, iDVD, Finder, and Toast; import images from iTunes, iPhoto, iDVD and Finder; multiple layers, drawing tools and gradients for creating custom
designs; use more than 1300 clip art files via the DiscLabel Clip Art Browser and more. The update features various bug fixes. [Download - 12.6MB]
- fennel DVDManager 1.7.5 (53) (free) supports the latest version of Amazon Web Services to help you manage the workflow of your DVD library. This new version brings a clean, modernized new look to better match Leopard's theme, and includes support for the iTunes-like ranking mechanism. Compatible with Tiger and Leopard, it is available in 12 localizations, and features a software update mechanism so that you always use the latest version. [Download - [1.9 MB]
- License Keeper 1.4 ($20) stores and organizes important software license information, helping to prevent the loss of valuable software assets and making it accessible when needed most. Automatic serial number scanning and software information detection greatly reduces cumbersome data entry. Attachments keep related email and documents safely archived along with license and registration records. The new release will import registration data from spreadsheet compatible text files in the common Tab Delimited and Comma Separated formats. [Download - 1.8MB]
Apple's .Mac service, once a promising method for sharing media, performing online backups and more, has paled in the presence of free alternatives and represents an untapped opportunity for Apple according to a recent report from CNET. The articles posits "$99 a year is hard to justify for the .Mac service. 10GBs of storage? I can get that for $20 from Google, and I can get much more if I want it. Photo sharing? I can do that for free on Flickr, and upload as many photos and videos as I want for $24.95 a year. Build my own Web site? Lots of services offer that capability for free."
Apple digital home inroads
Five years from now, Apple will have made significant strides in its consumer product strategy, expanding its digital home offerings to include products and services to connect PCs and digital content to the HDTV-stereo audio-visual infrastructure in consumers' homes, according to Forrestor Research. CNET reports that the research note predicts a bridging of the "AV/IT divide [...] for video, music, and photos in most homes." The report also speculates that Mac OS X will likely be sprinkled throughout the home, and predicts the introduction of a home server product that would act as the digital hub to push video streams, music, and photos throughout the home. Other potential products include an "AppleSound universal music controller" that could serve many purposes: a standalone iPod, a music and video controller, via dedicated home stereo amplifiers.