Feeds

Apple iPhoto gets in your face

You look great. It's getting old

Remote control for virtualized desktops

And a few more tweaks

In addition to Faces and Places, iPhoto '09 also improves - or, at least, changes - a few other items that were already available in iPhoto '08 or earlier.

Take photo editing, for example. iPhoto was never intended to be a full-on image-editing app like Photoshop, but it has for years offered some basic image-enhancement tools.

One-click Enhance is still available - and it's still hit-or-miss. You'll also find simple Red-Eye correction and a basic Retouch blemish-buster. Basic image Effects such as Sepia, Antique, Vignette, and more haven't changed at all.

The Adjust dialog sports a new Avoid Saturating The Skin Tones check box - which works decently - and adds a new Definition slider, which Apple says will "improve clarity and reduce haze in your photos" by limiting contrast changes to an image's background. Its success is subtle, but noticeable.

iPhoto '08 and '08 Adjust dialogs

The image-editing Adjust dialog picks up two new tricks ('08 left, '09 right)

Keywords, used to tag and group photos (but not Events), were introduced way back in iPhoto 2.0, part of the original iLife bundle. Zero-to-five-star photo-rating appeared in iPhoto 4.0, part of iLife '04. Both are still there, still operating in much the same way - which is to say that they're time-consuming to use and often ignored by all except the most anal-retentive iPhoto users.

iPhoto '09 Keywords, Ratings, and Titles

You can still title, rate, and apply keywords to your photos - should you ever want to

Slideshows, on the other hand, have been gussied up noticeably. The most obvious improvement is the addition of Themes to other controls such as adding music and tweaking slide durations and transitions

iPhoto '08 and '09 slideshow settings

iMovie '08 (bottom) allowed only basic tweaks to slideshows; '09 (top) ups the ante with Themes

Among the six bundled Themes are an animated Scrapbook that unfortunately crops images a bit too drastically. There's a psuedo-psychedelic Shatter that you'll use once, exclaim "Oh wow!," and never use again. And there's a tasteful Sliding Panel slideshow that slips multiple images onto and off your display.

iPhoto '09 Sliding-Panel slideshow

Relive your youth using the multiple-image Sliding Panels slideshow Theme

One last bit of new niftiness: You can now upload photos and albums from iPhoto to Facebook or Flickr with a single click once you've set up an account on those services and informed iPhoto of your account details. When we uploaded a load of vacation photos to our Facebook page, the operation went without a hitch. Expect to see even more cameraphone-shot teen-party shots on Facebook in the near future.

The final word

iLife '09 adds one truly useful new feature (Faces), and one fun-but-less-than-compelling one (Places). It also upgrades a few other familiar elements, most notably Slideshows.

Some of its older photo-organizing elements, such as Keywords, Ratings, and Flags, are holdovers from earlier versions - and it shows. Perhaps Apple left them in for folks who have spent tons of precious time hyper-organizing their photo collections and who would have a coronary if all that work were to be rendered useless.

Still and all, iPhoto '09 is a worthy upgrade, if not worth the entire $79 fee Apple asks for iLife '09. Whether the entire five-app creativity suite is worth that price is a question we'll answer as we trip through the other four apps - iMovie, iWeb, iDVD, and GarageBand - in coming days. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
Was ist das? Eine neue Suse Linux Enterprise? Ausgezeichnet!
Version 12 first major-number Suse release since 2009
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.