As we thought, Apple has launched iPhoto for the iPad, meaning that — at last — we won’t have to deal with the awful built-in Photos app so much any more. As you’d expect if you have used GarageBand or iMovie on the iPad, iPhoto keeps the spirit of its desktop cousin, but has been completely remade for the touch-screen tablet. And while it is sure to shine on the new iPad’s Retina display, it will also run on the iPad you have today.
iPhoto for iPad will probably replace most of the photo-tweaking software you use today. It will organize and edit your library, it will let you add grungy filters and basic tweaks, and it will let you dig deep and brush in adjustments, just like you can do in Aperture on the Mac.
Organization will be a boon for anyone, like me, who has thousands of photos in their library. I barely use iPhoto on my Mac, so cleaning things up there is out. And clearly iPhoto is designed so you don’t even need a computer to manage your photos any more. Well, until you manage to snap 64GB of them, that is.
Multi Touch Editing
If you’re familiar with the excellent SnapSeed app for iPad and iPhone, you’ll be at home with the new multi touch editing. Tap on the photo and push your finger in various directions to manipulate the effects, swiping up to increase saturation, say, or down to make things more pale.
The effects that every photo editor has to have these days — for lomo-fying or otherwise ruining your photos — are presented in iPhoto as very cute paper swatches which fan out when you want to pick one. All the expected filters are there, from title-shift to “vintage” to what should be called “lame paint effect.”
When you’re editing images on an iPad, you want to touch them. And to touch them up. Brushes in iPhoto let you brush in various corrections with your finger. Saturation, red-eye correction, sharpening and so on can all be applied directly, and if you turn on edge detection you will never color over the lines.
There are plenty of other features. You can beam images direct to other iOS devices, for example, or make what Apple calls “Photo Journals,” the pixel-based equivalent of paper books. You can hide images that are lame but you don’t want to delete, and you can tap a photo with two fingers and iPhoto will show you similar images from your library.
And this is just the beginning. I shall be taking iPhoto for a spin and seeing just what it can do. If it’s anything like the other iPad iLife Apps, there’s probably quite a lot in there.