Is the Apple iPad really the best device for enjoying and sharing photography?

Is the Apple iPad really the best device for enjoying and sharing photography?

Summary: At the long-awaited Apple iPad unveiling today, Steve Jobs claimed that the much hyped tablet from Cupertino is "the best device I've ever seen for enjoying and sharing photography." That may be a bit of a stretch, but there's no denying that the digital photo interface is pretty slick.

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TOPICS: Apple, iPad, Mobility
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At the long-awaited Apple iPad unveiling today, Steve Jobs claimed that the much hyped tablet from Cupertino is "the best device I've ever seen for enjoying and sharing photography."  That may be a bit of a stretch (one could argue that viewing photos on a big, fat flat-screen TV is a lot more enjoyable), but there's no denying that the digital photo interface is pretty slick.

The beauty of the iPad photo experience is that it's incredibly simple and intuitive. The iPad's new Photos app is essentially a beefed up version of the iPhone Photos app (yes, the one that's so easy my daughter figured out how to use it when she was barely 10 months old). There are some nice new touches, such as displaying the albums as stacks of photo thumbnails photos. You can use the pinch/spread gestures (a la iPhone) on these stacks to quickly peek through or open your album altogether, and then flip through your photos with a flick of your finger, just as you would on an iPhone. And as with the iPhone, the iPad's accelerometer rotates your photos automatically as you turn the unit between landscape to portrait orientation (or even when you flip it 180 degrees--something the iPhone doesn't do). A slider bar of photo thumbnails at the bottom of the screen allows you to rapidly scroll through photos to locate the one you want.

The Photos app can grab metadata from any PC or Mac, and can also get Events, Faces, and Places info from iPhoto, so you can sort your photos accordingly. The Places interface shows a map of places you've taken photos (so long as they're appropriately tagged of course) and lets you open up an album of each location by clicking on the respective map pin.

Built-in slide shows are even simpler to set up than in iPhoto (which is already pretty darned simple). Just select your music, select from various transitions, and then hit Start Slideshow.

Apple has also announced a couple of photo-friendly accessories:  The iPad Camera Connection Kit includes a tiny SD card reader that allows you to import photos or videos directly from your memory card to the iPad, as well as a connector that allows you to import via your digital camera's USB cable.

And finally, the iPad Dock allows you to use the iPad as a digital photo frame while the unit is docked and charging (though only in portrait orientation).

Of course, viewing photos is only a fraction of what you'd use the iPad for, but since Jobs put it out there:

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Topics: Apple, iPad, Mobility

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13 comments
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  • Prints.

    Great big 24" X 36" printers.

    After that, email/pbase/smugmug/flikr/benfolio.
    Bruizer
    • RE: Is the Apple iPad really the best device for enjoying and sharing photography?

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      three-shao
  • RE: Is the Apple iPad really the best device for enjoying and sharing photo

    I think so - today I either pass my iPhone to people so they
    flip through pictures themselves or I turn my macbook so
    that they can see the pix and then put my hand in front of
    the screen to use arrow keys to move photos.

    An hdtv will not prove as a good tool neither - you have to
    plug everything in to be able to use it and people cannot
    look closer, and one cannot control the show that easy...

    With iPad I will:) just hold it in front of me (on my knees)
    and flip and zoom the pix naturaly. I see no better way
    today to readily show photos. Of course - a wall projector
    is the real thing but I don't usually have one in my
    briefcase on a skiing holiday.
    Ondrax
  • IPS panels are the best

    Try viewing this test on an average laptop. Make sure that the screen is set to the native resiolution. Warning: you may not love your screen after this test.

    http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/viewing_angle.php
    Earthling2
    • IPS is the key.

      I retired my consumer/gamer LCD monitor and replaced it with an older IPS from Dell. Big, big difference.

      Brightness/color/contrast are good from a variety of angles. Good for viewing with a friend or two and absolutely necessary for accurate correction and editing of images.

      With my laptops, the only one who sees the photo well is the person sitting immediately in front of the screen and then only if viewing it at just the right vertical angle.

      If it's important, I'll move the photos to a DVD or USB drive for playback on the TV. Many happy viewers when we do it that way!
      gjl229@...
    • CRTs Rule

      My heavy-duty engineering apps (3D drafting and PCB layout) are hard on the eyes and I completely gave up on LCDs. If you stare at a screen all day long LCDs have tiring, irritating images.

      I got two 21-inch Nokia displays from the eBay fairy so I'm now back to where I was five years ago and the image quality is fabulous.
      kenift
  • RE: Is the Apple iPad really the best device for enjoying and sharing photography?

    No I dont think so. Ipad is very sensitive device although it has gr8 features and brand too.


    Regards,
    SportsStore
    SportsStore
  • digital picture frame

    And the best ones all run Linux!
    Ron Bergundy
  • RE: Is the Apple iPad really the best device for enjoying and sharing photography?

    For photos, the iPad app is a JOKE unless you just have a few albums and a few hundred photos. You CANNOT nest photo albums folders. You are limited to one set of folders all at the same level. I want to put 15,000 photos on my iPad with 400 folders and I can't do it. To be useful to me, the photo app needs nested folders. I did manage to do the above (nested folders) on my iPod touch by using a app called FILES. With FILES I could also upload photos with the resolution that I wanted instead of having the iPod convert the photos to a much higher resolution than needed. I just hope that the FILES app gets upgraded for the iPad.
    eagleeye88
  • The max resolution for photos on iPad/iPhone is...

    Photos in the "Camera Roll" are displayed at full resolution (the original image file), as they have not been processed by iTunes/iPhoto yet. Once synched to iTunes/iPhoto, the photos are extracted from the "Camera Roll" and enter the iPhoto Library and then handled by a different process.

    The iPhone has a 320x240 screen and displays photos up to 640x480, using *.ithmb files. The iPad has a 1024x1024 screen and displays photos up to 2048 x 1536 also using *.ithmb files.

    I for one would like to find a way to put those 2048x1536 photos on my iPhone.
    rokoge@...
  • iAlbum Virtual Photo Album for the iPad

    If you're looking for a low-tech approach that provides the look and feel of a real photo album, check out iAlbum at http://www.applgasm-apps.com/ialbum/
    applgasm-apps
  • RE: Is the Apple iPad really the best device for enjoying and sharing photography?

    hey there are various apps available like Sortshot which can be helpful to you as it is Quicker an easy way of image retrieval through unique photo and video tagging. Tagging options include personalized keywords, ratings, favourites, or type of media ? photo or video. Tapping on a tag provides instant results so that we can further refine our search with additional tags and keywords.
    andykeating
  • RE: Is the Apple iPad really the best device for enjoying and sharing photography?

    After using the third party app named Sort shots i feel the ipad is the best device for sharing & enjoying photography.This app is really awesome.It is the easiest way to Sort, Sequence and Share your photographs.It uses the power of tags to quickly sort and organize your photos. You can rate your photos (to sort your favourites to the top quickly) and tag multiple photos at once.Now i can easily share photos via Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Picasa, create slideshows etc.
    andykeating