The iPhone 3G brought changes in shape, function, features, etc., relative to original model, but, to the dismay of many cell phone, photographers, the device retains the same 2.0 megapixel camera. Apple enhanced the camera by coupling the camera to the GPS features of the iPhone 3G to enable photo geotagging, but this did little to calm the complaints about the camera's resolution, lack of flash and other features available on a few other phones. Last October, I wrote a lengthy article about the state of photography on the iPhone and, months later, I'm still amazed by … Read more
Apple updates its popular production suite, iLife, that aims to corral your video, photo, music, and Web needs inside one big fence.
Facebook compatibility, facial recognition algorithms, advanced editing features, and music lessons from the stars are just some of the improvements made to iVideo, iPhoto, GarageBand, and iWeb. Check out what's new in this First Look video. We've also got a slide show with even more iLife '09 goodness, and an in-depth review for iWork, Apple's productivity suite.
Jasmine posted her brief sneak peek at iLife '09 yesterday with a slide show, and it's pretty clear that major improvements have come to Apple's suite of lifestyle applications, most notably iPhoto '09, iMovie '09, and GarageBand '09. Since I'm an amateur photography nerd with aspirations of rock stardom, I'm most interested in iPhoto and GarageBand, though the new iMovie may be enough for me to whip out my Flip camcorder and record more than just dogs riding on skateboards. Of course, iWeb '09 has a few updates, too. I have just got through the iPhoto '09 face recognition hurdle, and am just starting on the rest of the iLife suite. So here's an in-depth look at the facial recognition bit of iPhoto, with more to come later.
iPhoto '09 Lets start with the belle of the ball, iPhoto '09. Why do I say that? Because the new Faces and Places feature on iPhoto '09 was definitely one of the biggest news out of Phil Schiller's Macworld keynote. While iPhoto '08 introduced Events, which lets you group photos based on the dates they were taken, iPhoto '09 introduced three new features that got the Mac community buzzing--facial recognition, geotagging, and social network support. For the facial recognition, you don't have to tag every single photo you have with a name and a face; the idea is that iPhoto '09 will be smart enough to do the facial recognition for you. However, it will only work after you do the necessary legwork to make it all happen.
Assuming you don't have photos in your iPhoto library already, you'll have to import them. Me, I have about 3,500 photos sitting in my Aperture library on the laptop, and that's not even counting the more than 10,000 photos I have in my external hard drive at home. So if you're a big photography dork like me, it'll take some time for all the photos to import over. Once that happens, you can immediately start identifying faces and names. Sometimes iPhoto will be smart enough to detect faces for you, and sometimes it won't be. If it does detect a face, it'll display a square over what it thinks is a face, with a placeholder name "unknown face" underneath it. If it doesn't detect a face, you'll have to hit the "Add Missing Face" button on the bottom left, select the face, and add a name. Once you identify a face with a name, you can go to the Faces corkboard, select a face, and iPhoto '09 will scout out your entire library to find photos with a similar face. Once it does, it's up to you to go through the results to confirm or not confirm if the photos really do show that person. This is how the facial recognition training works.
Now, this is kind of neat: Facebook Connect, the sprawling social network's universal-login project, has started to come to desktop software. Namely, it's been hooked up to the Apple photo-management software iPhoto, per a post on the company developer blog.
"We are excited that sharing your photos with the people you care about has become even easier with iLife '09, Apple's new suite of applications that includes iPhoto '09," the post by Facebook platform manager Dave Morin said. "Users of iPhoto '09 can easily share and tag photos from iPhoto directly to Facebook. With … Read more
The Joint Photographic Experts Group, which standardized the original and still ubiquitous JPEG format, sent JPEG XR to the "final phases of standardization" after a vote at a January meeting, the group said Thursday. That means the standard's future is more certain.
"The committee expects the JPEG XR International Standard to be published later this year," the group said.
JPEG XR offers a few advantages over JPEG, according to Microsoft. For one thing, … Read more
At CES last year I was lucky enough to get a chance to spend a good half hour with a prototype of the Microsoft Surface device. Since then, I've been to the campus in Redmond a few times and have seen a few more things it can do. It's promising technology, but Microsoft's going to have to hustle to get it to market if it wants to stay impressive, as other groups, like Sony, look to be rushing their own versions into the world.
Following the release of HP's iPrint Photo application, which allows printing from the iPhone to capable HP printers, River Past Corporation has released another wireless printing application with one key advantage: the ability to direct output to printers from any manufacturer.
The new iPhone app, dubbed Air Photo, requires a server to be installed on a host Windows or Mac OS X system. That means it's not a direct-to-device solution like HP's offering. The software's description reads:
"Set up the printer only once on your computer, then simply tap "Print" with Air Photo … Read more
I've been on the phone with several iPhone application developers this week and the common thread has been that all are excited about the success of the iPhone App Store. But one of the developers wanted to point out that one of his applications that's been around since the beginning, but hadn't seen much exposure yet. After checking it out, I decided to include it in this weeks post.
This week's applications include a free photo-driven social-networking application and a game that plays like a classic stand-up arcade game from the past.
A new iPhone application allows users to bypass the iPhone's inherent one-photo-per-email limit. Appropriately dubbed "Multi-Photo Email," the applications works by connecting to a user's SMTP server and sending photos as simple attachments. Users can designate a subject and body, in essence making this application the first third-party email client for the iPhone.
Multi-Photo Email includes the following features:Pick photos directly from the library Import recipients from the Address Book Adjust photo quality and reduce photo size
The new app is priced at $0.99 and is available through the iTunes App Store.