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iPhoto for new iPad review

iPhoto for Apple’s iPad was one of the first apps to be shown off taking advantage of the better than HD display on the new iPad. After spending some time with the £2.99 application on the iPad HD, we’ve loaded it with 18-megapixel images, made journals and edited pictures in a bid to share our experiences with you and wrap our iPhoto journey up with a conclusive opinion.

Apple also updated iMovie, check out our review here.

You have a Canon 60D for example, 18-megapixel sensor and you want to edit photos on the go. You’ve also just bagged yourself a brand new iPad. After the thousand plus pounds you’ve just shelled out, it makes no sense not to buy iPhoto. The app is £2.99 and when coupled with the Apple iPad Camera Connector kid, turns pretty much any sub 20-megapixel SLR and new iPad into a basic portable photo studio.


Turn on the application and you’re presented with four tabs: Albums, Photos, Events and Journal. Albums shows you iPad organised albums, such as Edited, Flagged, Camera Roll, Last Import and All Imported. It’s effectively a fancy file explorer / folder view. Photos displays all your photos, events illustrates all your camera uploads and journals shows off your own self-created collections of images.

The first three options, Albums, Photos and Events allow you to dip into photos and edit them.

Editing options in the bottom left of the screen include cropping and straightening with intuitive touch controls. Brightness and levels are also tweakeable, though these don’t go by names but symbols and sliders instead. In addition there’s saturation, colour levels and white balance. If any of these don’t make sense to you, Apple have simplified everything so these are all adjustable by dragging a shaped slider.

Why a shaped slider? The shape denotes what colour you are affecting so, for example if you drag the cloud, you’re affecting blue and sky. If however you drag the leaf, you affect the green areas. White balance is also tweakable and you can even even set white balance against a person’s skin-tone. There are effects you can paint on as well which subtly transform specific areas of the image turning your finger into a brush.

Finally, there are a host of pre-set effects: Warm and Cool, Duotone, Black and White, Aura (de-saturated accents), Vintage and Artistic. Artistic is probably the most varied with a watercolour type effect, tilt-and-shift and a host of others.  These aren’t easy to identify as you can see in the imate above however so we often found ourselves trialing and erroring even after a couple of hours into the app.

If all that sounds like too much of a faff, you can always just auto-enhance your image with a single click.

Photos can be shared to the Journal, Camera Roll, iTunes, Email, Beam, Print, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and Slideshow. Journal is the only other point really worth dwelling on. You can send your images to a new journal, choose the styling, select a journal title and as if by magic, all you’re images are collaged in an attractive way.

In the Journal section of iPhoto, you can easily add elements such as text, quotes, map and weather information to the journal and re-orient the grid layout to meet your needs as illustrated above.

In terms of performance, we did find the app quick and intuitive 95% of the time, but when tweaking white balance and selecting multipe images noticed considerable slowdown after about two hours of use. This all despite the images being worked on generally being under 12-megapixels. While a hard reset fixed this and we were advised by Apple to re-install the application, we still felt this worth mentioning. We will update this if we notice any improvements in the coming days.

iPhoto is clearly a great value for money application. Not as comprehensive as the more expensive Adobe Photoshop touch, it is however much more user-friendly so will be the obvious choice for most. Occasional slowdown aside therefore, with just two bouts creeping up in our 8+ hours with the app, iPhoto is arguably the best £2.99 any new iPad user could spend.

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