iPhoto For iOS Review

It seemed so strange for Apple to only have iPhoto available for desktop and laptop computers, but not have it for their mobile devices. They tried to add some editing capabilities to the Photos app, but that wasn’t nearly enough. Finally, with the release of an iPad with a much better camera, comes a matching iPhoto for the iOS.

No longer will iPad and iPhone users have to use third party apps or their desktop or laptop computers to edit and arrange their photos. Not only will the photos on iPad be taken with a better camera, but everything that has to be done to the photos can be done “in house”.


The iPhoto for iPad app opens up to the library. All of your available albums are shown, along with them unorganized as just Photos, Events, and Journals. It takes full advantage of the graphics of the new iPad with its retina display. It shows a sharp glass shelf displaying the albums that appear to be leather-bound.


Opening an album brings up all the pictures in thumbnails to the left, and highlights a picture for display in the middle. If you click on the question mark in the menu at the top, it gives you a quick description of each of the options, including one to get even more help. This help continues throughout every different stage of the app.

There are two different ways to bring up multiple pictures. You can either do a long tap on them to add them to what you’re already viewing, or double tap on a picture to bring up other pictures that are similar. This helps you to work on them all at the same time.


And finally, there is more we can edit in these photos on the iPad than just auto-exposure, cropping, rotating, and red-eye. iPhoto has all of of that and then some. I was able to control the brightness and contrast of the picture above to get it from a picture that was taken when it was pitch black outside to lightening it up to be able to see these girls’ faces. It should be noted that changes made to pictures in the Photo Stream doesn’t change those in the Photo Stream, but places an additional picture in an Edits album with the changes.


I didn’t need to use the Brushes on the picture. I just wanted to show them off because they just look fun to use. Who wouldn’t want to use them? While the third-party vendors might have apps that do all these same things, they just aren’t this fun.


Through the information pop-up, you can see that I didn’t even take this photo on my iPad. I took it with my iPhone. It displays the device that took it, the date, the size, location, etc.¬†Captions can be easily added in at the top of the menus here. Oddly, what can’t be done is tagging Faces. That’s one thing that can be done in some other apps, as well as iPhoto on the Mac, but it can’t be done here. Apple is going to have to figure out a way to do it. It’s now become part of the iPhoto experience for veteran users.


There are a multitude of ways here to share your photos. There are the social networks, Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr, print via AirPrint, Email, or save them to iTunes or the Camera Roll. They can also be “beamed” to other devices using iOS. If there are a group of photos to be shared, they can be stored in a Journal together.


Journals appear in the library like another leather-bound album. Opening it up, iPhoto organizes all your pictures into a spread for you. I chose to change mine and move them around to highlight and group different pictures. I also changed the captions on them at this point, which changed the captions on them all over iPhoto, except in the Photo Stream. It also saves copies of the photos in an album of just edited photos, so you know what you’ve worked on. You can make other changes to the Journal like you would a scrapbook, such as as adding text, quotes, weather, maps, etc. When it’s complete, the Journal can be shared either with a Slideshow, in iTunes, or in iCloud.

Apple has come a long way making iPhone available on iPad. With a few minor adjustments, such as the adding of Faces, it will be complete. Another option that can’t be done yet is to change or add a name of a photo. Not a caption, but a file name. If iPhoto can find a way to make those small adjustments, it will leave less of a chance for users to have to use outside apps.

Laura Tucker
Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

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