The new OS X and iOS jive better now than ever before. Both platforms are packed with new features and I’ve only touched on the aspects that are especially significant for photographers. I’m personally most excited about iCloud’s ability to give us access to our image archive at all times and AirDrop between Mac and iPhone.
Photographer Austin Mann (you may have heard of him before) has shared a good collection of tips and tricks for taking pictures and managing files on iOS 8.1 and OS X Yosemite. I'm trying iCloud Photo Library as my main photo management solution, and I'm positively (and surprisingly) impressed so far.
When I was a kid, my parents used to take a lot of pictures. Family gatherings, vacations, Sunday road trips, our dog growing up. They weren't photographers by any means – they just wanted to document our lives and create memories. They useddisposable Kodak cameras most of the time – lots of them. Before smartphones and when “cellphones” meant this, those thousands of pictures collected in dozens of photo albums are the ones that stuck around to this day. They haven't been lost in a cloud backup. They're in my closet.
Polymo is a new camera app for the iPhone and iPod touch that launched earlier this month with a focus on letting you organize your photos with tags. The developers pitch it as a “better place for photos on iOS” thanks to the app's clean design, simple gestures, and elegant interface. Unfortunately, I don’t think Polymo is a replacement for the Camera Roll, but don’t dismiss it straight away; there are still appealing aspects of Polymo that may make it useful for you.
Joseph Linaschke, who runs ApertureExpert, has a great take on Apple's decision to discontinue Aperture and focus on a single Photos app:
Before we can look to the future, let’s look at the past. Aperture itself has been around since 2005; nearly a decade. And of course it started being written well before that, so we are talking about 10+ year old code. The cloud, the iPhone, and pocket sized digital cameras that surpass the quality of film not only didn’t exist, but were barely a twinkle in Steve Jobs’ or any technologist’s eye. Aperture is a photo editing and management tool written for users used to an old school workflow. Go on a shoot. Sit down to edit. Share when you’re done. But that’s not the world we live in anymore. Today we want to shoot, share immediately with a cool effect, edit on an iPad, sit down at your 4k display and get serious, pick up the iPad and show off what you’ve done, mix, repeat. We want our devices, our libraries, our experience integrated and seamless. This simply can not happen with Aperture as it is today.
Also, don't miss his comment follow-up and analysis of the Photos.app screenshot shared by Apple. In short, Joseph argues, Photos 1.0 may not ship with all the features of Aperture as you know it today, but he is confident that Apple will continue to iterate on the product.
Picturelife, a photo management and storage service that I’ve been trying since early 2014, has launched a major redesign today that includes a refreshed iOS app, a new website, new plans, and a new free storage tier. While I’m still not sure whether or not Picturelife will become my primary photo management solution (especially considering Apple’s Photos and iCloud announcements at WWDC), I’ve been impressed (as a free user) with the service so far, and today’s updates are noteworthy.
Adobe, following Apple's Aperture announcement earlier today:
Put simply we’re doubling down on our investments in Lightroom and the new Creative Cloud Photography plan and you can expect to see a rich roadmap of rapid innovation for desktop, web and device workflows in the coming weeks, months and years. We also continue to invest actively on the iOS and OSX platforms, and are committed to helping interested iPhoto and Aperture customers migrate to our rich solution across desktop, device and web workflows.
Adobe's Creative Cloud Photography plan (which includes Photoshop CC and Lightroom) is a $9.99/month subscription, but the app is also available as a standalone purchase.
I personally never needed Aperture or Lightroom, but I know a lot of people who have been using Adobe's app for several years now. According to Apple, functionalities from Aperture will be integrated with the new Photos app for OS X – the screenshot chosen for the announcement today is interesting.
Jim Dalrymple, reporting at The Loop, received confirmation from Apple that the company will stop development of Aperture, replacing it with the Photos app introduced at WWDC:
Apple introduced a new Photos app during its Worldwide Developers Conference that will become the new platform for the company. As part of the transition, Apple told me today that they will no longer be developing its professional photography application, Aperture.
The new Photos app is on track to be released next year for OS X Yosemite, and it will also replace iPhoto for Mac, integrating photo editing and organization features into a single interface with iCloud support.
As reported by Matthew Panzarino at TechCrunch, Apple will provide compatibility updates for OS X Yosemite users and the company is working with Adobe to create a “transitionary workflow” to move to Lightroom.
According to Apple, the discontinuation of Aperture doesn't indicate a shift away from “pro” apps, as both Logic and Final Cut will continue development. At this point, it's not clear whether iPhoto for iOS will also be discontinued with the release of iOS 8 and the new features in Photos for iOS.
Aperture came out in 2005. In 2011, Apple started offering Aperture 3.0 at a discounted price on the Mac App Store.
Here, Look is a simple iOS app developed by Paul Roub that solves a specific problem: you want to show some photos to your friends but you don't want them to scroll through all your photos in the Camera Roll.
We've all been there. You've just returned from a well-deserved vacation and you've taken many pictures with your iPhone, many of which you want to show to your friends...except those few ones that you like to keep private. Apple's Photos app doesn't have a built-in presentation mode for selected photos, so, unless you want to create a specific album for photos you want to show to your friends every time, you'll be forced to try your luck and hand over your phone with all your photos and the risk that swiping will eventually bring up that awkward selfie that you forgot to delete.
Here, Look lets you create an on-the-fly gallery of selected photos in three easy steps: select photos that you want to show; tap the Here, Look button; and, hand your phone to someone else. The developer says that the app is aimed at eliminating swipe panic, and the description is quite accurate. Once your device in your friends' hands, they can only swipe between the photos you've chosen and they won't have any kind of controls visible on screen. They can rotate and zoom, but they can't keep swiping to see all the photos in your library. When they're done looking at your photos, just take your device, triple-tap the screen, and you'll be back in photo selection mode.
Perhaps you have better friends than mine, and they're never tempted to take a look at your photos when they have a chance. For me, Here, Look provides a simple solution to a common problem that irks me every time I want to show some photos, and it's only $0.99 on the App Store.
Bradley Chambers, writing at The Sweet Setup:
When it comes to syncing data across our devices, we’ve largely “arrived.” If you predominately use all Apple or Google apps and services, then most of your data and documents are synced through those first-party services. And if you use 3rd-party apps and services (such as the aforementioned ComiXology, Kindle, Audible, et al.), many of them provide their own syncing with apps available on all our devices.
One of the last major hurdles for syncing across all our devices and computers is with photos and home movies.
I was surprised by Bradley's pick, but, with that pricing, it is indeed a good deal.
I've personally been using the free trial of Picturelife for a few months now, and I think I'm going to upgrade to Premium for the summer. I like the Picturelife apps and especially the Map view they have on the web to visualize photos by location. The company is focused on making a great product and I hope they will stick around in the future.
The question, of course, is iOS 8. Right now, I'm using a complex workflow to organize my photos in Dropbox and mirror them to Picturelife. I would love to see new iCloud photo announcements next week.