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The MacNN Podcast, episode 36: Macphun schway

10/13, 3:00am

A special guest, then back to two old guys complaining about things

Well, no less than 36 episodes in and someone finally agreed to come talk to us! But seriously we were delighted to welcome Macphun's Kevin LaRue, who told us about the company's photo-effects products and their exciting new abilities with Apple's Photos, becoming one of the first programs to work as "Extensions" that add abilities to Photos. Really kicks the program up a notch, and that's after the notch it got kicked up in El Capitan. We also do the usual roundup of tech news for the week, and more.


Pointers: Labelling in Photos (OS X)

09/25, 8:37am

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.


Google to start shutting down Google+ Photos in August

07/21, 9:53am

Social network losing Photos app in favor of recently-launched service

Google is preparing to shut down the photo-sharing section of Google+, in favor of pushing users to the recently-launched Google Photos service. The search giant is warning that it will begin to shut down access to Google+ Photos within the social network from August 1, with users able to transition their existing Google+ Photos over to the new Google Photos from a prompt appearing on their Google+ account page, as well as within the Google+ Photos apps.


Macphun updates Tonality, Tonality Pro B&W photo editor

06/18, 9:00am

New version offers Luminosity Mask, Force Touch, Photos support

On Thursday, photo software developer Macphun updated its black-and-white photo editing software, Tonality, to version 1.2. The new version offers support for Apple's Photos image-management program, as well as adding a Luminosity Mask and enhancing overall performance. The Pro version, which can act as either a standalone app or functions as a plug-in for Photoshop and Lightroom, has new RAW features as well.


Hands On: Scrapbook Crafter 1.0.2 (OS X)

06/12, 2:33pm

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.


Hands On: Reformator 1.2.2 (OS X)

06/12, 9:24am

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.


The MacNN Podcast, episode 17: The Write Stuff

06/02, 7:47am

New Summer Project, MacKeeper lawsuit, Google I/O make for busy week

It's been a big week here at MacNN, covering all the announcements from Google's I/O conference. You might think this wouldn't have much of interest to Apple users, but luckily, episode 17 of the MacNN Podcast is here to sort it all out. Google brought many of its announcements to platforms other than its own, capped off with a new web- and iOS-based Photos program to rival the recently-released one for Mac and iOS from Apple itself, which we talk about and compare.


Hands On: Google Photos 1.0.0 (iOS)

05/29, 4:08pm

You will swap to this from Apple Photos – 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.


Google I/O: Google Photos available now on Android, iOS [u]

05/28, 1:57pm

Offering spun off from Google +; brings auto-tagging, computer vision

[Updated with iOS version availability] At today's Google I/O keynote, the search giant unveiled Google Photos. The new service by the company allows web-based users, as well as Android and iOS device owners, a file repository and discovery utility for unlimited photos up to 16MP, and 1080p videos, for free. Included in the service is automatic video tagging, advanced search, privacy measures for shared pictures, and album creation.


Hands On: PhotoScissors 2.0 (OS X)

05/24, 12:52pm

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.


The Feature Thief, part four: iPhoto and Aperture

04/30, 12:00pm

Sometimes Apple creates solutions, sometimes it creates problems

In this penultimate installment of The Feature Thief, where we've been dissecting the corpses of several of Apple's self-created and then self-killed or revamped software apps, we thought we'd take a look at the latest victims. Aperture and iPhoto are the apps that have suffered most recently at Apple's sometimes-brilliant but generally ruthless tendency to kill off popular apps in favor of a bigger overall idea. Both programs are still alive and kicking, but they are like the old man greeting the baby New Year: suddenly graced with the realization of its own mortality.


Hands On: Photos 1.0 (OS X)

04/09, 7:43am

Apple's new photography app is superb

Ditch iPhoto, ditch Aperture, ditch Light -- okay, no, let's not go crazy here. You should probably keep Lightroom if you have it and definitely also Photoshop or Pixelmator. Hold on to those because Apple's new Photos app does not replace them -- but it is so very good that you'll find yourself using them less. You may also find yourself taking more photos. You just won't realize that the first time you open up Photos. This free app, included in the new OS X 10.10.3, is a very bald, white, minimalist application that initially takes some time to get going.


Press agency review of Photos pegs Yosemite 10.10.3 release for today

04/08, 7:44am

Photos app examined by AP, spiritual successor to iPhoto

The Associated Press may have spilled the beans on the release date of OS X Yosemite 10.10.3. In a review of the Photos app coming with the new release, the news agency said that the app would be "available Wednesday as a free software update" in the updated OS.


Apple Maps adds TripAdvisor, reviews in latest improvement

04/06, 1:11pm

New sources augment Yelp, may result from Spotsetter acquisition last year

New hotel reviews from and are now appearing alongside other local data from long-time partner Yelp in Apple Map search results, even though the two companies are not yet listed as official sources on the Maps attribution webpage. The feature expansion appears to have been implemented very recently, and reports say that some locations now offer additional photos and information on hotels from the two new sources.


Hands On: Blurify v1.1.1 (iOS)

04/03, 8:40am

Create sleek iOS 7 styled blurred backgrounds from your photos!

Every so often we come across an app that fills a niche we didn't even know existed -- but once we find out about it, we wonder how we lived without it before. One such app is Blurify, an app that aims at helping you create esthetically-pleasing images with just a single shake. Blurify does one thing, and it does it incredibly well -- analyze photos to create an attractive, iOS 7-styled wallpaper. The app is designed to be utterly foolproof, requiring minimal input from the user while still creating a visually-appealing result.


Apple Watch: 8GB storage with caveats, battery options, Sculley's view

03/10, 5:30pm

Storage on Watch limited to 2GB for music, 75MB for photos

Some further details on Apple's new Watch device have come out that were not mentioned during the public presentation on Monday, one of which is a detail that further points out how unlike most technology devices the Apple Watch really is: the device actually has very little room for standalone storage. As we reported prior to the event, the Apple Watch (all versions) has just 8GB of independent storage, with only 2GB available for music and just 75MB allocated for photos. The rest, presumably, is for the operating system and apps.


Apple releases public beta of 10.10.3, including new Photos app

03/02, 3:54pm

First public release of Photos does not replace iPhoto, Aperture

A little over a week after the second developer beta of OS X 10.10.3, which includes the first public peek at the forthcoming Photos app, Apple has made a new version public for pre-registered beta testers. Build 14D87p is the first public beta of 10.10.3, and includes the Photos app for public testing for the first time (developers had been able to to use the application in the previous two betas). The public version appears to be identical to the second developer beta, numbered 14D87h.


Hands On: PhotoSweeper 2.0 (OS X)

02/12, 7:10am

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.


Apple unveils first 10.10.3 beta, includes new Photos app

02/05, 1:46pm

Photos includes iCloud Photo Library beta, will replace iPhoto, Aperture

Apple on Thursday seeded a new, first-release beta of OS X 10.10.3 to developers and testers. Most notably, the update includes the first full Photos application for OS X, the program that will eventually supersede both iPhoto and Aperture in an effort to give iOS and Mac users a consistent photo-management experience across both platforms. While the current programs will continue to work for the foreseeable future, Photos will offer new new features.


Hands On: A Better Finder Rename 9 (OS X)

01/01, 8:19am

Rename one, a thousand, or all your files in one go

It's been a long time since you came back from a vacation with just 24 or 36 photographs. These days, you're taking hundreds of shots on your iPhone, and every tourist spot you visit is trying to sell you a few more. It's not really as if it will take you another vacation in order to sort out your photos, but it feels like it, and one problem is how they're all named. If cameras could automatically label a photo as 'Great Day at Santa Barbara With Aunt Mabel 001' you'd be set and A Better Finder Rename 9 would be out of business. For ABFR--– a utility that saves you time really shouldn't have such a long name -- will help with exactly this.


Amazon extends free photo storage offer to all Prime subscribers

11/04, 10:23am

Free storage applies to photos only, videos still count against storage

Amazon has unveiled another benefit for Amazon Prime purchasers. Effective immediately, the company has granted unlimited storage for personal photos in Amazon Cloud Drive for US Prime users. The benefit was previously only available to Amazon Fire Phone owners. Additionally, the photo storage doesn't count against Cloud Drive storage limits in any way.



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