technofile template iPhoto turns iPad into a photo workstation

If this app doesn't make you happy, have someone check your pulse.
Al Fasoldt's reviews and commentaries, continuously available online since 1983


iPhoto turns iPad into a photo workstation

July 1, 2012

By Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2012, Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2012, The Post-Standard

When the iPad was still a new phenomenon, I carried my iPad 2 to a local photo club and showed off its cool photo-editing tricks.

Club members had a hundred questions. They wanted to know the names of all the apps I demoed. They asked me to go through some of the demos a second time. One thing was clear: The iPad was not just a fun toy.

Now that the iPad has grown up -- so much so that it's not even counted as a series any longer, just named the "new iPad" -- photo-editing tricks are no big thing. Making people disappear from a picture or turning a greenish color picture into a trendy black-and-white photo aren't good enough to impress the crowd any more.

You need real photo editing. First class photo editing.

The iPad has always had a selection of good picture editors, but all of them have lacked the kind of all-in-one competence you can get on a modern home computer. Apple itself makes one of the best computer photo editors, its highly regarded iPhoto software for Macs. It's a superb picture organizer as well as a powerful photo editor -- especially in the current version, iPhoto 11.

But what about iPhoto for the iPad? The new iPad (the "iPad 3," for all of us who count model numbers) no longer has to do tricks to impress Doubting Thomases. It's ready for some serious photo editing, with a super-high-resolution display, spot-on color fidelity and enough memory (four times the RAM of the first iPad) to handle the large photos produced by modern cameras.

If only .... If only it could do lossless editing. That's what photographers have been telling me about the biggest flaw in the way the iPad handles photos. If only it could edit pictures without the dreaded JPG losses that come from repeatedly editing and resaving JPG photos.

And that's right where Apple has aimed its arrow. Computer-based photo editors, watch out. Apple's got a version of iPhoto for the iPad (and for the iPhone and iPod Touch, too) that lets you work on its native JPG photos, edit and save and edit and crop and edit again, with absolutely no loss.

It has all the functions required in a serious picture editor, is ideal as an organizer, has a cool touch-and-slide interface, does selective or all-around sharpening and offers multiple undos. And it costs only $4.99.

If this app doesn't make you happy, have someone check your pulse.