iPhoto for iPad vs. Adobe Photoshop Touch iPad

Today with Apples big announcement on the new iPad Apple also updated many of their own apps like Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Along with these updates they released a new app that is part of their desktop suite of apps, iPhoto. While iPhoto never has been a professional photo editor it has always done a few things that I really liked and wish programs like Lightroom did. Even though its based on consumers iPhoto for your desktop has a lot of cool features like facial detection which will group together photos of the same person to easily find all photos of 1 person without having to go through and manually tag images. They also had geotagging as part of the app long before Adobe added the Maps feature in Lightroom 4.

Although iPhoto for the iPad isn’t geared towards professionals it does give you some great editing ability and at a great price. Here is a quick review of the app and a comparison to the recent Adobe Photoshop Touch iPad app released. First I do have to say that the design of the app is awesome but after watching the keynote announcement of the new iPad and the resolution I really can’t wait to see what this app will look like with that new display. As a side note, i’ll be reviewing the new iPad on launch day just like with all new gadgets so stay tuned next week for a full review of that new retina display.

When you first launch the app it will update with all the current photos stored on your iPad and display them as albums on a very clean looking glass bookshelf. The process only takes a few seconds and you can start editing your images. There are lots of pretty useful things if you want to quickly go through an entire shoot to preview or do some basic edits. The first is once you click into an album of images you will have a thumbnail view at the bottom (if you have the iPad turned vertical) or on the left (if its turned horizontal). But you can adjust the size of this to see more or less thumbnails which will also adjust the size of the main image you are viewing. Everything scales in real time and is totally fluid, they really nailed the performance of this app. If you tap one photo and then with another finger tap another photo it will bring up your entire selection at the top. This is a great way to compare images. See the image below on the left to see what happens when you select 4 images.


Now the cool part is I can tap one of these 4 images to make it larger or I can pinch to zoom. Another very useful feature is once you tap a photo to enlarge it on the screen you can then pinch to open up a loupe and see a zoomed in view. You can even rotate the loupe to go from 1x to 3x zoom and as you move the loupe around the image everything is real time and again totally fluid. The performance of this app is really the stand out feature, nothing needs time to render everything works just as you would expect from a very solid desktop app.

On the editing side iPhoto for iPad is actually pretty basic. The app really isn’t geared towards professionals so you have some simple editing ability however they do present it in a fun and easy to use way. The first thing you can do once you have a single photo selected is click on the brushes icon to open up some basic things you can brush onto the image. It’s simple stuff like saturation, lighten or darken and sharpen. All you have to do is select the brush and start painting away. If you want to see the strokes you are painting on tap on the settings tab at the bottom right and tap Show strokes. This helps by showing a red mask view of what you are painting in. Also in the settings you can adjust the amount of the brush that you are painting but don’t have any input on brush size.

You also have an effects tab that open up 6 different presets. Just tap on a preset like Duotone and then at the bottom use the slider to adjust the effect. You can also copy/paste these effects to other images by going to the settings tab once you have the effect just right.


You can also effect the levels of the image through a unique slider that is under the lens looking icon on the bottom left or use the palette icon to make adjustments to specific colors like skin tones, greens, blues and overall saturation. This is pretty useful if you want to quickly adjust the level of blue in the sky on an image and seems to work pretty well.

So how does this compare to Adobe Photoshop Touch iPad? The honest answer is they are 2 totally different applications, each with their own plusses and minuses. Adobe Photoshop Touch iPad is really geared towards editing a single image. Just like with Photoshop on your desktop you have to open each image into Photoshop and then start to edit. It has layers and many more advanced selection tools that iPhoto doesn’t even attempt to offer. There is much more creative editing you can do with Adobe Photoshop Touch and if you missed our article earlier check this out: Creating a Photo montage with Adobe Photoshop Touch for iPad. One complaint I had when I reviewed Adobe Photoshop touch was in the user interface and how things really weren’t optimized for a touch device, there were no creative controls or ways to use the app that other developers have been creating and it felt like the desktop version just paired down and put on the iPad. This Apple does very well and with some of the graphical things like how the brushes are shown as brushes make the app very quick to use and also fun. iPhoto for iPad is more like Lightroom, you can very quickly and easily sort through images, compare images and do some basic editing. Then if you really want to edit the fine tune details you bring those into Photoshop for more creative control.

You can get the app in iTunes for $4.99 here:

iPhoto - Apple

If you have used the app or have other favorite apps for the iPad let me know with a comment below.

If you like our articles remember to share them on Facebook, Twitter or +1 them on Google. I appreciate you spreading the word to your photo friends and it helps me to continue writing content for everyone!

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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  1. [iPhone+iPad] Adobe Photoshop Touch vs iPhoto - [...] Też bym chętnie poczytał jakieś opinie w tym temacie. Jak narazie znalazłem taki artykuł…

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