Casey Newton on Picturelife selling to StreamNation:
No wonder people keep building superior services: it’s impossible to store your photos with Apple, or Google, or Amazon, and not imagine you could do it better. And the need grows larger every day. Last year, trend forecaster Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins estimated that we upload 1.8 billion photos to the internet a day, up from 500 million the year before. But while services like Picturelife have attracted thousands of paying customers — I’m one of them — they haven’t found enough to build a sustainable business.
I liked Picturelife. For a while, I used it to browse photos, even though I still kept a copy in Dropbox for backup.
These days, I'm using iCloud Photo Library, with no other backups or workflows involved. I pay €0.99/month for iCloud storage and all my pictures are on my iPhone, iPad, and iCloud.com. I realize that this is an unpopular choice – primarily because of iCloud's not-so-great reputation – but the service has been working flawlessly for me and I like how I don't have to think about managing it. It's built right there into the Camera and Photos app and it demolished the need for a third-party photo app for me.
I hope this post won't jinx it.
I sometimes need to pick specific colors from screenshots I take on my iPhone and iPad, and while I’m aware of the existence of more powerful color pickers for iOS, I’ve been using and liking Pixel Picker.
Developed by Muse Visions, Pixel Picker is a simple and free app for iOS 8 that uses an extension to bring up a color picker in the Photos app. Through an action extension, you can bring up Pixel Picker for any image in your library; the extension will take the selected image, put it in a popup, and display a picker you can move over the pixels you want to know the color of. Because the extension works for any image that can be passed to the iOS 8 share sheet, you can run Pixel Picker in any other app that can share images, such as Messages or Twitterrific.
You can pick pixels more precisely by zooming and panning on the image, and the extension will display the RGB code of the recognized color in the upper left corner of the popup window.
Unfortunately, Pixel Picker doesn’t come with a button to quickly copy the RGB value to the clipboard, nor does it offer additional options besides picking one color at a time. It’d be nice to save colors into personalized palettes, have different output values, or perhaps have a history of colors saves from the extension.
Pixel Picker is decidedly not for designers and developers who need a serious tool for web or app design. In spite of its limitations and barebones UI, Pixel Picker gets the job done for me. The action extension is simple enough and it works, and, while the app is free, you can unlock a $0.99 In-App Purchase to remove ads in the app (you never see them in the extension) and support the developer.
Pixel Picker is available on the App Store.
I often want to share photos without revealing the extra bits of information contained inside them – generally, I just don't want people to know the location where a picture was taken. I've talked about how to remove metadata from iPhone photos before, but Metapho (an app that I briefly mentioned in September) now lets you easily share photos without metadata thanks to iOS 8's extensions.
I'm in the process of importing five years of photos into iCloud Photo Library following an upgrade to the $0.99/month iCloud plan, and I wanted to share a quick tip about the experience.
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.