March 06, 2012

Aching for better iOS app integration

[Disclosures: If I had any inside info, I obviously couldn't share it here, and I've been hopeful/disappointed on this subject before.]

Poor integration leads to bloated apps: if jumping among apps/modules is slow, customers gravitate towards all-in-one tools that offer more overall efficiency, even if the individual pieces are lacking.

Today I saw Neven Mrgan writing, of iPad photo apps,

[I]t’s just so much more convenient to stay in the canonical photo store; importing and exporting photos to and from another app is clumsier.

 

I experienced the pain, over and over, on my trip to Guatemala.  Having taken just my iPad & Camera Connection Kit, I was eager to put a variety of photo tools to the test.  Moving among apps was far & away the crappiest part of the experience.  For example:

  • I’d review images in Photos, where I can see them nice and large. But I can’t say “Open in App X,” so…
  • I’d leave Photos, launch Snapseed, bring up the tiny, default image browser component, navigate to the same point in my photo library, and then try to pick the same image I’d just been looking at in Photos.
  • After editing, I’d hit Save, and images would go into the Camera Roll (not Imports, where I’d been browsing them).  Thus I couldn’t see the edited images alongside the originals.
  • After repeating the process many times, I’d go to Flickr Studio, then carefully & laboriously add photos from various albums.  (The app doesn’t let you re-order images, so I had to dive into the albums again & again just to get the sequence right.)
  • At last I’d upload.

 

This really, really sucked.  Far more desirable:

  • Browse the images in the browser of my choice (Photos or something else–one that could, say, flag/sort/whittle down images, local or remote).
  • Tap one or more images and say “Send to App X” (to build a panorama, composite in PS Touch, apply a tilt shift blur, whatever)–no manual navigating to the other apps, no navigating back to the photos.
  • Be able to save, return to my browser, and see the edited image alongside the original.
  • Hand off one or more images to the sharing tool of my choice.

 

Let’s not bloat PS Touch with every damn filter we can think of; rather, let’s have a great way to pass data back and forth, so that apps can function as plug-ins to one another. (PhotoAppLink is a nice start, but we need something universal.)  And let’s not all bloat our apps reinventing the image browser, integrating the same sharing services over & over, etc.  There’s a far more elegant way to proceed.

Tangential: Neven also writes,

The iPad is too big to shoot with; the iPhone is too small to edit on. Bridging the two is fine in theory, but in practice there’s the hairy matter of extremely large file sizes.

But why is it that my phone or tablet can send HD video streams instantly to my TV, yet they can’t send photos or video to each other (or to my Mac)?  To put a phone video onto my Mac, I have to upload the whole thing to something like Dropbox, then download it again; isn’t that kind of bizarre?  I really thought that AirDrop would sort things out; hope springs eternal.

12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments [7]

Camera Raw 6.7 available on Adobe Labs

Camera Raw 6.7 (required for full compatibility between Lightroom 4.0 and Photoshop CS5) & the free DNG Converter (which can make your raw files readable by any DNG-capable app, including older versions of Photoshop & Lightroom) are available as release candidates from Adobe Labs. New cameras supported:

  • Canon EOS 1D X
  • Canon EOS 5D Mk III
  • Canon PowerShot G1 X
  • Canon PowerShot S100V
  • Fuji FinePix F505EXR
  • Fuji FinePix F605EXR
  • Fuji FinePix HS30EXR
  • Fuji FinePix HS33EXR
  • Fuji FinePix X-S1
  • Nikon D4
  • Nikon D800
  • Nikon D800E

See the Lightroom Journal for a full list of camera profiles added.

11:13 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

Lightroom 4 arrives (at a great new price, too)

I’m delighted to say that Lightroom 4 is now available!  Tom Hogarty writes,

With over 300,000 downloads of the Lightroom 4 public beta we’ve heard some resounding feedback that photographers would like to start using Lightroom 4 on a daily basis and migrate their previous Lightroom work to this latest version.

We’re also excited to announce new pricing for Lightroom 4: $149 for those new to Lightroom and $79 for the Upgrade and Student/Teacher editions.  (You can upgrade from any version of Lightroom to Lightroom 4)

Changes since the public beta:

  • Reverse geocoding now available in the Map Module
  • Revamped and improved auto tone in Develop based on new controls
  • Increased range of local white balance controls (temperature and tint)
  • Updated Develop presets plus added new presets for video
  • Maximum Blurb book size is now 240 pages
  • Over 800 bugs found and fixed! (Thank you Lightroom 4 beta customers!)

Check out the rest of Tom’s post for additional details about camera & profiles now supported, etc. And happy shooting!

[PS--Customer feedback I just happened to see on Prodig list: "The new way of organizing the Raw adjustment sliders is to die for… You can fix your histogram with precision like a lepidopterist pinning a butterfly to a board." -- Robert Workman. Nice!]

7:16 AM | Permalink | Comments [17]
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