Photos for Mac is coming this spring. Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac
Apple’s upcoming Photos app will give Mac users powerful new tools to manage, tweak and share their favorite images. While it won’t be released until later this year, we got a chance to play around with the beta version now available to developers, and we found it to be an easy-to-use and streamlined piece of software.
For a detailed and visual look at this new iOS-influenced app, check out the video below for a quick run through some of Photos’ hottest new features.
Originally promised to arrive in “early 2015,” Photos for Mac is available for the first time in a new developer-only beta of OS X Yosemite. Unfortunately, everyone else will have to wait a little longer to get their hands on it.
Paper Camera app running on iPhone 6 Plus. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Oakland skyline with Con Tours filter. Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Lap dog with Andy Pop filter. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Geetar with Neon Cola filter. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Mac Pro with Con Tours filter. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Fruit with Acquarello filter. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Sleeping dog with Sketch UP filter. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Paper Camera is just plain fun. Plenty of photo apps let you apply filters after the fact, but this one performs its manipulative magic inside your camera, transforming your images in real-time before your dazzled eyes.
The filters are robust, offering a nice variety of cartoon- and painting-style choices to help make even the most uninteresting photographic situations colorful, graphic or both. And Paper Camera supports the same wacky filter set for videos you shoot.
We love the fact that the app saves both the original file and the filtered version to our library so we can do what we want with the original.
Together at last. VSCO now works on iPhone and iPad. Photo: VSCO
When it comes to photo-editing apps on the iPhone, VSCO Cam has pretty much been the gold standard for the last few years. But to make the experience even better, the app is finally coming to the iPad.
VSCO 4.0 was released today with a redesigned look just for the iPad. Previously, iPhotogs could use the popular photo editor/social network on their iPads as a blown-up iPhone app, but the fresh design and new features will make you want to ditch your iPhone altogether. Take a look:
Wouldn’t it be great to use your Lightroom develop presets on iOS? Here’s how to make it happen. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac
I can’t tell you how much I love Adobe’s Lightroom Mobile. But like an insatiable lover, I want more. Specifically, I want to add my own presets. LR Mobile ships with a selection of the desktop app’s image presets built in, but unlike the desktop version, you can’t save your own settings as a preset, nor can you add any made by third parties. Or can you?
In this tutorial, we’ll see how to add any preset to Lightroom Mobile, using any and all of the image-editing tools available in the Mac version and making them available on iOS.
The same photo, on all your machines: This is the future. Images: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac
OS X will get a new Photos app next year that will keep all your pictures in sync across all your devices. It will work with the iOS 8 Photos apps on iPhone and iPad to match up your full-res photographs, your albums and even the edits you make to your pictures.
The changes are a ways off, but fret not -– if you use Adobe’s Lightroom Mobile, you can enjoy this fabulous cross-platform photo synchronization right now.
We've got lots of creative apps in the hopper this week, from the comic-book-artist-friendly Procreate 2.1 to the art-sharing app August. There's also stuff for metadata-hungry photographers, as well as a note-card app for screenwriters. Get to work.
Procreate, already my favorite painting app on the iPad, just got a huge update. A few highlights are the new color wheel for selecting shades, with pinch-to-zoom for even more accurate picking; ColorDrop, which auto-fills color areas for you; and a new Reference Layer, which lets you designate a layer as a kind of template for filling other layers. Thus, you can make a color-fill layer under your line art, still using that line art as the reference for the fills. I love Procreate, and it keeps on getting better. $6
Together for iOS syncs with the venerable OS X version, giving an Evernote-like everything-bucket that you can use and access anywhere. Create text files, add photos and import documents from other apps, then tag them and let them sync with the Mac version (and other iOS versions) over iCloud. iCloud sync means you’ll need the Mac App Store version of Together to make it work. It looks fantastic, and way easier to use than Evernote. The only problem is that it can’t search inside any of your documents. $10
Slick, secure and open messaging app Telegram has just been updated with a native iPad version. The already-impressive app now brings GIF support, broadcast lists and an iPad-friendly interface, along with the same great cross-platform access, letting you read your messages anywhere, even on the Web. Free
PhotoMeta shows you everything about your photos that the iOS photos app doesn’t. You can view all EXIF data, from shutter speed and aperture to the direction you were facing when you took the shot. You can even browse photos from your Dropbox, and this latest update to the app lets you view the focus points your camera used. $3
Summbot summarizes the news for quick reading. That is, it takes a link as input, parses the page and gives you a processed summary, a short version. I can think of a few sites I’d like to try this on. The problem is that you need to paste a link into the app for every page, easily wasting any time you might save from reading the condensed view. With any luck, this will be turned into a fuller-featured app in a later version. $1
Matter is a 3-D version of Pixite’s other amazing photo apps. Instead of adding stripes and patterns to your pictures like LoryStripes or Tangent, Matter adds 3-D objects to your 2–D photos. You can even animate them, and the objects reflect the lighting around them. I don’t often add strips and patterns to my photos, but when I want to, I reach for the Pixite folder on my iPad or iPhone. $2
If you’re already in the (minimum $10-per-month) world of Celtx screenwriting apps, you’ll want to take a look at the new Celtx Cards, an ultra-simple index card app for the iPhone and iPad. Each card gets a title, a big text field and tags. You can color code the cards, and drag to rearrange them. And – if you have a Celtx account – you can sync them with your other Celtx apps. Seeing as sync is the biggest hurdle for all other index card apps I’ve tried, the fact that this integrates closely with other apps is a huge selling point. Free
August is a new kind of social network, kind of a hyper-focused Tumblr or an Instagram without the cute cats. With added music and film. The idea is that artists posts their photos, music and videos to their August streams, and followers can either save that stuff to their own streams or share to other places (Twitter and Facebook etc.) Thus you might follow someone who has great taste, but produces nothing of their own. The service is currently accepting requests for invites.
Islander is Norwegian musician Jarle Bernhoft’s new take on the music album for 2014. The app contains 48K 24-bit versions of the tracks, but that’s not all. You can also interact with the music using a virtual mixing console, and even add your own percussion. This combines with liner notes and all the other ephemera a music nerd could want. Plus, if every musician goes in this direction, you will have the added problem of finding an album on your iPad – just like finding a vinyl record in a stack on the floor. It’s so damn authentic. $20
The iPhone version of Picturelife is one of the best photo apps I’ve used. Screenshot: Picturelife
Remember Picturelife? It was one of our top picks for online photo storage when Everpix bit it, and now it has been upgraded to version 3.0. The highlights are a new $15 per month unlimited plan, which is really truly unlimited and can be shared with up to three other family members, plus an all-new, redesigned iOS app.
iOS 8 packs in a bunch of great new photo features, in both the Camera app and the Photos app. You now get a lot more control over your photography at the front end, with manual exposure and even a time-lapse mode, and you can edit and find your photos with a little more precision than before.
iOS 8 is still a few months out, but you don’t have to wait: Use these currently available apps to add all these new functions to your iPhone (or iPad) today.
Rachel LaCour Niesen’s passion for vintage photos started when she walked down her grandmother’s wood-paneled hallway to look at a bedroom wall that held a carefully edited family history.
There she saw a photo of her father standing proud in his cap and gown on graduation day, an aunt sitting poolside during a swim meet and a happy couple cutting their wedding cake. The imprint those pictures left on LaCour Niesen lies at the heart of her @savefamilyphotos project on Instagram, where she curates a collective history. She invites people from around the world to send her a digital copy of a cherished family photo and brief story that, in many cases, gives the photo its emotional muscle.
“The treasure is not just the photo but the story that comes with it,” LaCour Niesen told Cult of Mac. “I believe stories are the currency of our past, present and future. Without them, we are bankrupt. Our family photos trigger those stories. They are like glue that holds my story — and our stories — together over time.”
Throwback Thursday, Facebook and Instagram have made personal blasts from the past a weekly — if not an hourly — ritual. The web is awash in fuzzy Polaroids, vintage Kodachromes and black-and-white snaps, uploaded by individuals with hard drives full of memories and shared by everyone.