In addition to releasing an entirely new version of its iPhoto app in conjunction with the release of iOS 7, Apple also changed the price of this popular app to a much more attractive price—free. At the same time, the company added features to the app that increased its integration and compatibility with the iPhoto software for the Mac, as well as iCloud's My Photo Stream and Shared Photo Stream features.
iPhoto is used to view, organize, edit, enhance, print, and share digital photos. It is designed to be used instead of the Photos app that comes preinstalled with iOS 7. Compared with the Photos app, iPhoto offers a much more robust set of tools. As a result, however, iPhoto is a bit more complicated to actually use and requires more of a learning curve than the Photos app.
Discover Some of iPhoto's Most Useful Features
One of the many features offered by the iPhoto app (that's not offered by Photos) is the ability to create a variety of different photo Projects while using the app on your iPhone or iPad. Also, directly from the iPhoto app, it's possible to order prints from Apple's own photo lab, and then have those professionally created prints shipped to you within a few business days.
Prints can be easily ordered in a wide range of sizes and paid for from within the iPhoto app using the credit card or debit card that's linked to your Apple ID.
In addition, the iPhoto app allows you to design and order one-of-a-kind Photo Books that feature your images. These softcover Photo Books can be ordered from Apple's photo lab and are professionally printed and bound.
The iPhoto app also makes it much easier to organize your photos. In addition to sorting images into customizable Albums and then viewing them by the date and/or location in which they were taken, iPhoto enables mobile photographers to mark individual photos as Favorites, regardless of which Album they're stored in.
Those Favorite images can then all be viewed together. Images can also be flagged and tagged (associated with keywords), making them easier to locate quickly.
When you launch iPhoto, it will automatically import images stored within your iPhone or iPad that you previously used the Photos app to view and organize. This includes full access to your device's Camera Roll folder. (Of course, all images will continue to be fully accessible via the Photos app.)
iPhoto's Library screen uses the main area of your iPhone or iPad's display to showcase thumbnails of images stored within your device. How these images are organized and displayed depends on which viewing option you have selected.
Displayed at the bottom-center of the screen are three command icons: Photos, Albums and Projects.
Tap the Photos option to view thumbnails of all images currently stored within your iPhone or iPad, grouped together by the month and year in which they were shot. You also have the option to use the Search feature in order to quickly search through and view image thumbnails that represent photos that have been flagged; marked as a Favorite; edited using iPhoto; or used within a Web Journal, Slideshow, or Photo Book created with the iPhoto app.
Tap the Albums icon to sort and display thumbnails of the images sorted by the Album in which they're currently saved.
Tap the Projects icon to view thumbnails that represent each separate Project you've created using the iPhoto app, including Photo Books, Slideshows and Web Journals
To begin creating a new Project from scratch, tap the New Project icon that's displayed at the bottom-left corner of the screen when the Projects view has been selected. A menu will appear, asking whether you want to create a new Web Journal, Slideshow, or Photo Book.
If you want to view or edit an existing Project, simply tap its thumbnail that's displayed within the main area of the Projects screen.
Displayed near the bottom-right corner of iPhoto's Library screen is the Options icon (it looks like three dots lined up in a horizontal row). Tap this icon to access the Options menu.
From here, you can turn on or off virtual switches associated with Wireless Beaming and adjust other app-related settings; manage the Location Services and geo-tagging capabilities of the iPhoto app; and choose which of Apple's professional labs you want to be able to place orders with, based on your location.
One of the primary reasons why you'd want to use iPhoto in conjunction with or instead of the Photos app is to use its more expansive toolset for editing and enhancing photos. To do this, tap any one image thumbnail to view a larger version of that image within the main area of the screen. At the same time, you'll gain access to iPhoto's editing and enhancement tools.
A handful of command icons become accessible along the top and bottom of the screen. For example, you can access the app's Tools menu. This option reveals six additional icons that allow you to edit and enhance the image you're viewing.
Instead of using an editing tool that fixes or affects an entire image, the Brush tools offered by the iPhoto app allow you to edit only a specific area of an image.
Plus, as you'll discover, each separate Brush tool offers the ability to adjust a specific element of the image, such as its contract, vividness and brightness of colors, and clarity. Using the Repair tool, elements of a photo can also be removed, such as a blemish on someone's face when editing a portrait.
Unlike some of the other tools built in to iPhoto, the Brush tools require a bit more time and precision to use effectively. Sometimes, to achieve the best results, you'll need to use two or more separate Brush tools on a specific area of an image to achieve natural-looking results.
The Brush tools were designed to simulate a virtual paintbrush; when editing your images, you apply to a photo using your finger, as if you're finger painting. As you'll discover, Brush Tools give you the most flexibility when editing your images, but they're also the most difficult and time-consuming tools within iPhoto to use.
Tag Images to Make Them Easier to Locate
As you begin using iPhoto, create a list of what will be commonly used Tags, such as "Vacation," "Kids," "Sports," "Pets," "Friends," "Parties," and "Christmas."
To do this, as you're viewing any single image, tap the Tag icon that's displayed near the bottom of the screen. When the Tags menu appears, tap the Enter New Tag field to create a new one.
A tag can be any keyword or short phrase. After a Tag is created, it becomes part of the app's personalized Tags menu. Now, as you're looking at photos and opt to add Tags, you can quickly tap one or more of the precreated Tag options. Each photo can have multiple Tags associated with it, and you can create as many different Tags as you desire.
Later, it's possible to quickly find individual images by doing a Tag search. For example, you can search for all images with the Tags "Kids" and "Christmas" to see your collection of holiday photos featuring your kids that were taken at Christmas throughout the years.
Once an image is tagged, a tag thumbnail is displayed in the bottom-center of its thumbnail. As you're viewing a larger version of the image, the Tag icon (displayed near the bottom-center of the screen) is highlighted in blue.
Showcase Your Photos Using the iPhoto Web Journals Feature
A Web Journal offers an alternative to creating individual prints, a digital slideshow, a traditional online gallery, a photo album, or a photo book, for example. Use a Web Journal to showcase a group of related images in a visually interesting way. This feature is unique to the iPhoto app.
Web Journals are one of the Projects that can be created directly from iPhoto on your iPhone or iPad. To create a new Web Journal, tap the Share menu icon and select the Web Journal option that's found under the Create A Project heading.
Next, select the images you want to include within the Web Journal. If you opt to create a new Web Journal, the next menu will ask you to enter a title for your Web Journal and a theme for it. Your theme options include Cotton, Border, Denim, Light, Dark, and Mosaic. Tap the Create Web Journal to continue.
Once iPhoto processes your Web Journal based on your selected images and the theme option you've selected, a pop-up window appears that says, "Web Journal Created." It will also display the name of the Web Journal, and how many photos it contains. Tap on the Show button to view your Web Journal.
Beyond just displaying photos with captions in a collage-like format, you can tap the Add icon to incorporate additional elements to a Web Journal to make it more visually appealing, better organized, and more informative. The Add menu offers 15 different options.
Once you've done the layout and design work that goes into creating a Web Journal, it will be saved within the iPhone or iPad you're using. It can then be viewed any time on your own device from within iPhoto. However, the true purpose of this feature is to allow you to share groups of images with other people. To achieve this, tap the Share menu icon and then choose iCloud, iTunes, Beam, or AirDrop as your sharing method.
Design Your Own Photo Books
Creating a Photo Book is yet another way to showcase and share a group of images. When you opt to create a Photo Book from within the iPhoto app, the book you design on your iPhone or iPad screen will ultimately be uploaded to Apple's own photo book printing service, printed and bound as a book, and then shipped to the address you provide—typically within a week or so.
From within iPhoto, the Photo Book creation and ordering process is relatively straightforward. When you tap the Create Project icon, the Photo Book menu will be displayed. From here, select the book's Trim Size. Your options include 8" x 8" or 10" x 10". Also select an overall theme for your book.
When you then tap the Create Photo Book option, the My Photo Book screen is displayed. It includes empty page templates that comprise what by default will be a 20-page printed book.
Using the menu options and command icons that are displayed on the My Photo Book screen, customize each page template, change the order of pages, and ultimately insert your photos into each page template to design a one-of-a-kind book.
If you're an avid iPhone or iPad photographer, and you want a complete set of tools available to you directly on your mobile device for viewing, organizing, editing, enhancing, printing and sharing digital photos; plus you want the ability to order prints, design and create photo books, and share Web Journals, you should definitely download and install iPhoto. It's available, for free, from the App Store.