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Posts tagged with "photos"

Alive Is a Full-Featured Live Photo Manager and Exporting Tool

As I've written before, I love Live Photos. They can capture the fleeting nature of a moment like nothing else can, and the integration with the well-known Camera UI is seamless. Unless I'm taking product shots for reviews, I always keep Live Photos enabled.

Apple doesn't provide a lot of options to manage and export Live Photos from the Photos app, which is why third-party developers have stepped up to the challenge with dozens of utilities to export Live Photos as GIFs, clean up their videos, and more.

Alive, developed by Clean Shaven Apps (Dispatch, Due, Clips), is a new full-featured solution that combines management functionalities with handy exporting and stitching tools for Live Photos and traditional videos.

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Tweeting Multiple Pictures from iOS’ Photos App with Linky

Ever since Twitter rolled out the ability to include multiple pictures in a tweet, I've been annoyed by the lack of such option in iOS' tweet sheet. There are times when I'd rather not open my Twitter client to tweet some pictures or screenshots – maybe I don't want to get distracted by news happening on Twitter, or maybe I just want to share from the Photos app without seeing mentions that I want to reply to.

Twitter's (or Apple's?) decision not to support the feature with the native iOS extension is baffling, but, thankfully, the latest update to Linky for iPhone and iPad offers an elegant (and obvious) solution to the problem.

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How Does the iPhone 6s Camera Compare to Every Other iPhone Generation?

In the past eight years, each new advancement in iPhone camera technology has made dramatic improvements to image quality. The new 12-megapixel iPhone 6s iSight camera is no exception. With 50% more megapixels than the last four iPhone 8-megapixel models, the iPhone 6s boasts a number of key improvements including: improved auto-focus, local tone-mapping, noise reduction, and colour separation, with that fancy “deep trench isolation” technology Apple is raving about.

In this follow-up post to my previous iPhone comparisons, I present a 9 iPhone comparison from all iPhone versions taken with Camera+ including: the original iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and the new iPhone 6s, in a variety of real-life situations to test each iPhone camera’s capabilities.

Lisa Bettany's annual iPhone camera comparison is always well worth a read. Make sure to tap on the examples for more details, and check out Lisa's explanation of the photos.


Live Photos and Capturing Memories

Great take by MG Siegler on Live Photos:

You know the scene in almost every movie where a person is looking at an old picture of a loved one when suddenly it triggers their memory of the moment and we’re taken back to a live version of the scene? In a small way, that’s Live Photos. It’s hard to see right now because these iPhones with the functionality are brand new and so the memories are still fresh in our heads. But just imagine what these Live Photos will be like when you look at them in a year? Or ten years? They’ll be memories, captured in time.

See also: Jeremy Olson on capturing moments of a child's life with Live Photos.


Google Photos Will Now Show You Photos and Videos From the Past

Sean O'Kane at The Verge:

The Google Photos app will now serve up cards in the “assistant view” that urge you to “rediscover this day,” and they can include photos, photo collages, or videos. The cards will tell you where you were and who you were with on that day, and the app also sticks a little graphic over everything that tells you which year it was from — another little bit that is extremely similar to Timehop.

The first rule of modern photo management services is that, sooner or later, they're going to bring back a feature from Everpix. I used to love this in the defunct service; it makes sense for the Assistant view of Google Photos. It's surprising to me that Apple still hasn't added something like this to Photos (you can search for “one year ago”, but it's not as precise or visible).


Apple Posts New ‘Photos & Videos’ iPhone Ad

Apple aired a new commercial as part of their "If it's not an iPhone, it's not an iPhone" campaign, this time focusing on the device's camera for photos and videos.

The entire ad showcases full-screen photos and videos taken on the iPhone 6, noting that "every day, millions of amazing photos" are shot with iPhone. Unlike other ads in the campaign, there's no mention of third-party apps – just the iPhone's camera and animations generated by photos and videos. Previously, Apple had featured iPhone photography with the "Shot on iPhone 6" initiative, which was later expanded to ads, films, and billboards across the world.

You can watch Apple's latest iPhone commercial below.

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Jason Snell’s Hands On with Photos for Mac 1.1

Good overview by Jason Snell on the new features coming with Photos 1.1 in El Capitan. Improvements to geotagging caught my attention, primarily because batch-editing of hundreds of files works best on a Mac:

Yes, in Photos 1.1 you can add a location to an image or batch of images that weren’t geotagged, as well as edit the location of data of already-geotagged images. To do this, you open the Inspector window. A not-yet-geotagged image will offer a section of the window labeled Assign a Location. Clicking in this area will let you enter a street address or a name of a point of interest, and Photos will search Apple’s Maps database. If that location isn’t good enough for you, you can always click on the pin and drag it around the map, placing it wherever you like.

See also: Jason's first look at the El Capitan public beta for Macworld.


“Google Photos Is Gmail for Your Images”

The information gleaned from analyzing these photos does not travel outside of this product — not today. But if I thought we could return immense value to the users based on this data I’m sure we would consider doing that. For instance, if it were possible for Google Photos to figure out that I have a Tesla, and Tesla wanted to alert me to a recall, that would be a service that we would consider offering, with appropriate controls and disclosure to the user. Google Now is a great example. When I’m late for a flight and I get a Google Now notification that my flight has been delayed I can chill out and take an extra hour, breathe deep.

Steven Levy interviewed Google's Bradley Horowitz about Google Photos. The article includes some fascinating details on how the technology behind it could be applied in the future. (Ads aren't part of the plan – for now. It's easy to imagine how they could be.)

I'm currently uploading years of photos to Google's cloud because I'm interested in their search technology. I ran some initial tests on a first batch of photos, and machine learning was indeed impressive: the service organized photos by locations and people, but more importantly it let me search for common keywords like “fireworks”, “beach”, and “pets”. This, however, could also have negative repercussions, as Casey Newton noted in his story on Google Photos:

Google’s face detection is so powerful that I’m glad you have the option to disable it. It created an amazingly comprehensive photo album of my ex-boyfriend, and instantly reliving every holiday and road trip together just by tapping his face overwhelmed me. It’s magic, yes, but it can catch you off guard. (And it’s not perfect: a colleague who tried the service discovered that Google thought his wife was at least four different people.)

Finding photos and rediscovering memories is just as important – if not more important – than managing them. I believe that machine learning and deep neural networks have a huge potential to help us organize and retrieve information we'd forget otherwise, and Google is well positioned to tackle this. If anything, Google Photos makes for a good additional backup option after iCloud Photo Library.


Photos for OS X Review

Editorial Preview

Let me begin this review with a disclaimer: I am not a photographer. In high school I took a class called Photo Imaging, which taught me how to use Photoshop and attempted to teach me how to take quality pictures. Now I know the Rule of Thirds, and can create images of middle schoolers defeating lions in battle, but it didn’t fix the problem that I simply don’t have a natural eye for photography, nor the patience to develop one.

What I do have, however, is a world-class camera that I carry in my pocket everywhere I go. While I might not be taking world-class photos with it, I do take pictures of my family, my friends, and my life. These pictures are not thoughtfully composed, they are not shot in Raw, and I do not spend hours meticulously editing them. Despite that, they are very dear to me.

As someone who’s written tens of thousands of words on automation, you might expect me to have some crazy photo management workflows in place, or at least to be using one or two or five different services devoted to the practice. In truth, I don’t use any photo management workflows or services. I’ve always been interested in them, and I’ve tried almost all of them, but they’ve all been too much of a hassle for me.

I take all of my pictures on my iPhone, and I take a lot of them. I have a habit of hitting the shutter button at least three or four times whenever I’m trying to capture something, because often at least one or two of them are blurry, or someone’s eyes are closed, etc. Eventually I get around to going through and deleting all but one of these groups of multiple pictures, but sometimes this isn’t until days or weeks later, and any third party photo management service I’ve used will have already uploaded the duplicates. The result is huge amounts of extra photos taking up often limited space and cluttering companion apps built to let me view my stored photos. Worse, making changes to the photos on my phone won’t sync to the backups, and vice versa.

Eventually I’ve grown tired of every third party service I’ve tried and reverted to just cramming everything into iPhoto (so that I at least had some sort of backup) and ignoring it. iPhoto is outdated, slow, and ugly. Any time I’ve wanted to look through my photos, I just go to my iPhone and look there. Any necessary edits are similarly completed on my phone, and the extra features that iPhoto may have offered (smart albums, faces, etc.) I’ve simply gone without.

Enter, Photos for OS X.

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