iCloud gets photo galleries after all; they're called Journals

It looks like your photo galleries on MobileMe might get a stay of execution, but it isn't guaranteed. If iPhoto's new Journals feature is any indication, galleries may live on after all.

iCloud gets photo galleries after all; they're called Journals - Jason O'Grady

Back in September 2011 I wrote about one of iCloud's biggest omissions: photo galleries.

After using Dot-Mac and MobileMe to host photo galleries for years, many Mac users were upset to learn that Apple's shiny new iCloud service lacked a similar feature. MobileMe made photo galleries drop-dead simple to upload, it's a one-click upload from a prominent button in iPhoto and Aperture. The feature was understandably popular -- and users revolted when it was taken away.

Aperture 3 toolbar - missing anything? (Jason O'Grady)

Users were put on notice that Apple was dropping MobileMe Gallery on June 30, 2012 and scrambled to find another host for their photo galleries before Apple shuttered the service.

Just three months before their demise, Apple-hosted photo galleries appear to have received a stay of execution. It comes in the form a feature called Journal which is tucked inside iPhoto for iOS, Apple's killer $5 app for iPad and iPhone that was announced alongside the third-generation iPad last week.

iCloud gets photo galleries after all; they're called Journals - Jason O'Grady

It works like this, after laying out a series of photos from a particular event (with fun map, date and weather widgets) there's a new option beneath the "share" button. Journals allows you to publish said "gallery" onto Apple's iCloud service. After publishing a Journal, you get the option to email the link to friends and family.

Sound familiar?

It remains to be seen what Apple will do with user's existing MobileMe galleries which are due to expire in June 2012. It would be great if existing photo galleries automatically turned into Journals but Apple hasn't commented on that. This would potentially save me days (if not weeks) of downloading years of photo galleries that I dutifully uploaded to MobileMe from Aperture and iPhoto. It would also save me from uploading them to Picasa after getting burned by Apple.

One thing's virtually assured though, I'd bet you a subscription to Flickr Pro that Apple rolls our Journals in the next versions of iPhoto and Aperture for OS X. I hear that we won't see that until Mountain Lion ships in "late summer."

Where do you keep your photo galleries?

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