How about an app which lets you view your entire iPhoto or Aperture library on your iPad, without syncing, and without having either of the Mac apps running? That’s PhotoScope, a $5 universal app for iPad and iPhone which does just that.
Using a free helper app on the Mac, PhotoScope sucks your photo library across your local Wi-Fi network so you can browse your pictures on your lovely retina screen whilst witting in your favorite easy chair.
Once it’s up and running (I forgot I had my old iPhoto library on an unmounted external drive), the helper app will let you pick which libraries you want to share, and the iPad app lets you choose which to browse.
After the initial loading of albums, it feels as fast as browsing local pictures. You can view your pictures by album, by project, or by “PhotoStream Month.” Full EXIF data is available at the tap of a button, and you can even flag and rate your images and have these changes sync back to your Mac’s Aperture library.
You can also share photos right from the app, as well as flagging and printing and all the usual sharing business that iOS is capable of. You can even sort the photos according to these various ratings and flags, bulk-apply the same, and generally work with your photos in a much more intuitive way than you can in Apple’s own iPhoto app. Many of the built-in Photos app’s restrictions are gone, too. Want to email 18 images at once? No problem.
I like this app a lot. It lacks a few things: you can’t pinch out on an album to view it, for example, but gestures work fine elsewhere. If you use iPhoto or Aperture for your pictures, then this is an essential purchase, and just $5. It’s almost enough to make me wish I hadn’t given up on Apple’s terrible Mac photo apps.