Apple's iLife '09 'a must-have update'

iPhoto now scans photos for faces and uses geotagging to organize albums

Places is a useful feature, but it does rely on geocoding to work its magic. This isn't a problem with some of the new digital cameras that come with GPS capabilities or a GPS-enabled smart phone like the iPhone 3G. Older cameras and existing photos aren't likely to include this data, however, and even modern devices may not be accurate if they can't properly acquire a GPS signal, which can often happen indoors. IPhoto will allow you to manually add location data to any photo by mousing over the photo and clicking the small "i" icon that appears in the lower right corner, and you can do this in batches by selecting multiple photos. If you have a large iPhoto library, however, assigning all this information is going to take some time.

One feature that could be a little easier to use is the interface for managing your custom list of Places. The option is located in the Window menu in the menu bar and is easy enough to use. However, it can't be accessed while manually assigning locations to photos, which is probably when it would be easiest to use. As a result, you end up having to switch between creating locations and assigning them, which makes for a disjointed workflow.

Beyond Faces and Places, iPhoto '09 offers integration with Facebook and Flickr for sharing photos. While direct access to these sites was possible through third-party extensions in past releases, it's now built into iPhoto directly. Each upload will create a new album in Facebook or Flickr based on the upload itself, not on the events or albums in iPhoto, which could be a little confusing. Uploading all photos you want to share from a given event or album at one time avoids this issue.

When uploading to Facebook, individuals identified via Faces will be tagged as people in the photo automatically. If a user untags himself in a photo using Facebook, iPhoto will remember that instance and not attempt to tag them again if the photo/or album is updated. The one challenge here is that for Facebook tagging to be truly effective, you must be sure the names you are using in Faces match people's names in Facebook. Places geocoding data is included with photos uploaded to Flickr.

IPhoto also boasts enhancements to its photo editing capabilities, most notably the ability to automatically avoid adjusting skin tones when changing color saturation. Others include smart retouching to avoid blurring object edges, the ability to adjust the definition of an image, and smart adjustment of highlights and shadows. Also included are additional photo book templates, and slideshow themes. The themes include a variety of professional designs and transitions as well as integration with Faces to keep photos centered on people.

Without a doubt, iPhoto '09 packs a lot of punch and is pretty much worth the upgrade price in itself. Faces is definitely the standout feature, with Places a close second. That said, if you have a large existing iPhoto library -- or an extensive collection of photos to import into iPhoto -- be prepared to spend some serious time identifying people and locations to get the most value from iPhoto '09.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags ipodApplemacbookilife

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ryan Faas

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?