Adobe GroupPix - Shared photo album

Use Adobe Grouppix to share photos of your next event

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When was the last time you were at an event and people weren’t taking photos with their smartphones? Exactly! It’s probably been years. No matter what the event is we always see people taking photos using their various devices. While I’ll always prefer my Nikon DSLR, the reality is that I have my iPhone 5 with me 100% of the time and my Nikon D600 with me probably 60% of the time at best. We’re all taking pictures at the event, but rarely do we get to see the pics that our friends have taken unless they’ve posted them and we happen to see them. There’s a better way (or an App for that).

Adobe Grouppix creates shared albums in the cloud

Adobe Grouppix is a FREE App that allows you to create shared Albums. All you and your friends need to do is download this free App to your iPhones. One person creates the shared album and invites their friends to it. Now as each of you takes photos and adds them to the album everyone that has been invited to the album will have instant access to all the photos that everyone has shared. The best part is that you can add just the photos you want to share instead of all the ones you’ve taken like Photo Stream does.

You can invite people to your albums via email or in person using the built-in QR code in the app for the album. For example, I was sitting next to my colleague Jason Levine at an event. I had already created an Album and photos were in it. I tapped the Add Friends button and tapped on “Scan a Pass”. A QR code for that album was displayed and Jason just tapped Join Album on his iPhone and a QR code scanner appeared. He scanned my screen and within about 2 seconds the pictures appeared on his iPhone. Cool!

What if they don’t have an iPhone? If you want to share your album to people that don’t have an iPhone you can turn on the Web Sharing feature for any Album including the ability to download the photos.

P.S. If you’re an Adobe Revel user these albums will also show up in your Revel account.

Adobe Grouppix - Adobe

PhotoMarks — Watermark Photos

Photomarks – Watermark Photos

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There are pros and cons to watermarking photos and I tend to do it more for identity/brand purposes than trying to protect the images from unauthorized use. It’s easy to add my logo to my photos on my desktop using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. However, on my iOS devices I have to rely on Apps and while I’ve got some good apps to accomplish this, I’m always up for looking at new ones that may do it better. The folks over at Bits&Coffee bill their Photomarks App as a “watermarking” App for photos and I would agree that it accomplishes this task. You can either capture a photo with the App or use one in your albums. Once you bring the photo up you can very very easily add text to it. You can lower the opacity, add shadows. change the color, change the font or the stroke. All the things you would expect to do with text. It can even pull the date and time from the image metadata and use that as part of your stamp. Once the text is in place you can pinch/zoom to size and rotate. Easy buttons for adding copyright and trademark symbols. As far as text goes, they’ve nailed it.

My disappointment came when I added my logo to a photo. I have my logo saved in my iPhone in various versions. I have a black version, white version and white version with transparency (ie. no background). I tried placing each one and no matter what, I was stuck with a white background. It seemed to ignore the transparency in my .PNG file which means that I can’t use this App as my default watermarking app. Once you do add a logo you can lower the opacity of it, scale it and rotate it.

Once you’ve watermarked your photo you can save it to the camera roll or share it via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or email right in the app. It’s a Universal App and therefore is native to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

If they fix the transparent PNG issue and allow me to store my logo so that I wouldn’t have to keep importing it, I’d easily give this one 5 stars. If you’re looking for an easy way to add text to photos, this is it.
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Instagram

Instagram Adds Video, thumbs nose up at Vine

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Apparently the folks at Instagram (Facebook) weren’t happy with Vine (Twitter) being so popular and they decided to add Video support to their popular photo sharing app. With the new 4.0 version of Instagram you can now post either pictures or up to 15 seconds of video with sound. Like some users I have mixed feelings about this. I think Instagram was doing pretty good at what it was already doing. Trying to be all things to all people rarely works. I would have almost rather seen them come up with a separate App for video so that people that want to post videos could do so and build a following of their videos. Nonetheless, it’s here and it’s probably here to stay. There are no surprises here in the interface. It works the way you would expect it to (very Vine like). You can switch from Camera to Video. You can hold down the record button to record continuously or do stop motion by tapping the button. I was a little surprised that you couldn’t choose an existing video on your camera roll though. This means you won’t be posting videos that you didn’t capture with your phone. That’s both good and bad. When recording your new Instavideo you can tap to focus. You can delete bad takes and once you have your masterpiece you can apply any one of 15 filters to it before posting. Thankfully since the videos can have sound you can turn OFF the autoplay feature in the preferences. Many will want to do that immediately. Nothing like scrolling through photos only to have a random video start blaring . It would be nice to have a pref to turn off videos period, but turning off autoplay will suffice. That means that I’ll only have to watch video that I actually want to watch by tapping to play them.

I like Instragram because it’s my one stop shop for posting pictures to social media. I simultaneously choose to post to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Email, Tumblr and Foursquare (with check-in). I’ve not seen any other app that does that. I never really got into Vine and I now I will be less inclined to. My friends are on Instagram and now I can see their videos too (If I choose) in the one spot.

Let the booty shaking videos commence (LOL, but it’s true. You know it will happen).

Instagram - Burbn, Inc.

Behance

Behance and Creative Portfolio for iPhone and iPad

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Behance.net is the largest online creative community with well over 1 million members. While I’m a member of several different photography sites to showcase my photography, Behance isn’t just focused on photography. It’s about all types of creative projects. It’s free to join. Once you join you can post projects that are a work in progress or completed. You can get inspiration from the over one million other creatives as well as get feedback on your own projects. There’s an iPhone App for Behance. With the Behance App you can follow the comments on your work. See the activity of the people you follow as well as post new work directly from your iPhone. You can also use the app to “Appreciate” the work of others and leave comment. Since Behance isn’t just limited to photography you can post your audio and video projects too. If you have an Adobe ID you can setup your Behance.net account by just signing in with that. Once you’re signed in/signed up, download the iPhone app and away you go interacting with your Behance community.

Download the Behance App here:
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Remember to follow me on Behance here.

 

Your Behance Prosite Portfolio on your iPad or iPhone

While Behance.net is free to use, there is an option for “Prosite”. If you’re a Prosite member (included in your Adobe Creative Cloud membership) you can create a customized professional portfolio using any of your Behance Projects. You can completely customize the look and feel of your Prosite portfolio. Once your Prosite portfolio is built you can take it with you on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Just download the free Creative Portfolio App and sign in. Your Prosite projects will sync to your iOS device. This means that you can even show off your Portfolio if you’re offline. You can even show your work wirelessly on an Apple TV via Airplay. If you’re an Adobe Creative Cloud member head over to prosite.com log in and get your Portfolio started. Then simply download the Creative Portfolio app and enjoy showing off your Prosite Behance projects right from your iPhone or iPad.

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Download the Creative Portfolio App here:
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Check out my Prosite here.

iOS 7 and my top 10 Favorite Features!

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After spending more than 24 hours with the new iOS 7 I have to tell you that this is the best iOS yet! It’s fast, nimble, and even more intuitive than previous versions (if that’s possible). The interface adds a sleek new minimalistic look all while including a ton of new features that really sets the iPhone apart from the competitors again!

Top 10 Features of iOS 7

 

Here are the Top 10 things that really make iOS 7 awesome (in no particular order).

 

The Design:

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I think this is the first thing that hit me about iOS 7. Apple has gotten away from the aging icons of previous versions and gone with a minimalistic look. The App icons are translucent to allow for a “there but not there” feel. This also aids in viewing the background a little better than before. Along with the translucency, the way apps open and close has a smoothness to it. It’s something that you obviously can’t see on a picture but the way Apps open and close, the way the phone locks and dims, the way you shift from page to page… All of it just has a smoothness to it.

 

 

Control Center:

 

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It seems to me that with every new version of iOS, Apple takes away a few more reasons to jailbreak your iPhone. iOS 7 is no different. With the launch of Control Center, I see no need for SB Settings (a popular jailbreak App). With a quick swipe from bottom to top you gain access to Airplane mode, wifi toggle, bluetooth toggle, do not disturb, screen lock, brightness, audio control, airdrop, airplay, and a few quick Apps that are used a lot. Being able to control my bluetooth without having to dive 3 menus deep into the settings App is a welcome addition. Also added within this section is the new Flashlight App that’s built in from Apple. This negates the use of a third party flashlight app that is more than likely (and annoyingly) supported by Ads.  Control center is a really useful tool for any iPhone user but especially power users like the readers of this site.

 

Camera:

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Camera… There are so many camera Apps out there that it takes a LOT to impress me when it comes to the camera. What Apple has done with the built in camera app is not only impressive, but it’s amazing. It is HANDS DOWN the fastest iOS camera App available. There use to be a lag when taking a photo. The screen would flash and the live view would come back. Now there is no lag, or time between pressing the shutter button, to when the camera is ready to take another photo. It’s instantaneous. Also added in iOS 7 to the camera is the ability to view your images in “square” mode. People who use Instagram often, will love this feature.

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Along with the added features, the interface change to the Camera App makes it a lot easier and faster to access all of the controls. Switch from standard photo to square mode, to filters, to pano quickly and easily with the new layout.

 

App Folder Redesign:

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12. That was the number of Apps that used to fit in an iOS folder. NOW, Apple has redesigned the folders so that you can have as many Apps as you would like. 9 at a time display for each page and you swipe side to side to access the rest. Again, Apple has reduced another reason to Jailbreak. To have this ability before, you would have to jailbreak your phone and install Infinifolders. No more. Apple has it baked right into the OS!

 

Air Drop:

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Taking a cue from OSX Mountain Lion, iOS 7 adds AirDrop natively. If you’re on the same network as someone else that is running iOS 7 you are able to send and receive photos, videos, files, and more, very quickly by selecting the item to share and tapping the person to share it with! Within the Control Panel, you’re able to select who can see and send you files. The options are Everyone, Contacts only, and Off. Right now with the Beta 1, there is a bug that is preventing people from seeing their contacts so unless you have “Everyone” selected, you might not be able to see the other person. I expect that this will be fixed before the public release. Even with that bug, this feature is amazing!

 

Photo Sorting:

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I’m sure this will come as no surprise to the readers of the Best App Site, but the iPhone has become the most popular camera in the world. Take that in for a second. Not Nikon, not Canon, Not Leica, or Fuji… With all of the years that those brands have been in existence, they can’t compete with the ease and portability of the iPhone. Because of the convenience of the iPhone many of us have accumulated thousands upon thousands of photos in our camera rolls (Kylie Wilkerson I’m looking at you) and we need a way to quickly and efficiently sort through our photos. Apple has provided a tool for us to do just that. In iOS 7 Apple has included sorting by logical events and years. But what does that actually mean? Well at the root level is Years. From here you can select the year in which to start your search through images. Drill down one level and you will find collections. Collections can be anything from dates, to event titles, to locations. For example within 2011 I have “Orange County Convention Center” from April 1-April 4th. This houses all of my 2011 Orlando Photoshop World images. This makes it super easy to quickly get to a set of photos or a time frame to search for a particular photo.

 

Multitasking:

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Multitasking is nothing new to iOS. We’ve had it since iOS 4, BUT with iOS 7 Multitasking has received a beautiful makeover. No longer do you just see the icon of what is running when you double tap the home button. Now you see a preview of what’s actually running. This gives you a quick view of what’s going on inside of the Apps that allows you decide if you really want to kill the App. This is very similar to the way that multitasking shows your windows on a Mac.

 

 

Today Mode:

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One thing that has changed with iOS 7 is the ability to see the notification center from the lock screen. With a quick top to bottom swipe you get to see your notifications but with a new twist. Now instead of seeing all of your notifications, you have the choice of selecting missed, all, or my new favorite, Today. Today shows you just what’s going on today From the day, date, appointments, weather for the day (mine isn’t showing here because my weather App is broken, more on that later), and a quick view of tomorrow’s day. This is a really nice, quick way to see what’s going on during that day.

 

Automatic App Updates:

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With iOS 6 Apple changed things around a little bit for App updates. No longer did you have to type your password just to update Apps that you already had on your phone. With iOS 7 Apple has taken it one step further and completely automated the App update process. No longer do you even have to go to your App store to download updates, your iPhone does it automatically. To see which Apps have been updated, you simply launch the App store and select updates. You will see a list of the Apps that have been updated and the word open next to them. This feature is of course selectable. If you don’t want your iPhone to automate this process for you, you are able to turn it off in the settings.

 

Block Calls:

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Do you have certain numbers that make you cringe when they appear? Marketers that somehow avoid the “do not call” list? In-laws perhaps? Apple has added a “Block this Caller” option to the contacts section. This is pretty strait forward. Open or create a contact for the number or person that you don’t want to receive communication from, and tap “Block this Caller” at the bottom. Easy as that. No more annoying calls or texts from that person. Oh just in case you are wondering that’s the local Apple store so I won’t be blocking that one ;)

 

Better Every Time

Is this the perfect OS? Nope. No OS or product for that matter is. It’s getting pretty freaking close though! Keep in mind that this is Beta 1. The actual release of iOS 7 to the public isn’t until the fall. There are certain things that don’t work quite right just yet (remember the weather App) for some people. There are also certain features that need tweaking. For example currently iTunes Radio is a great concept, BUT NONE of the Apple stations play explicit content. The stations that you create yourself sporadically will play uncensored songs, but they are few and far between. There needs to be an option to select inclusion or exclusion of this content. I for one will not be listening to iTunes Radio much until this is fixed. There are tons of other little things that aren’t right just yet but again this is Beta 1 so by the time the public gets their hands on it, iOS 7 should be bug free (or close to it) and ready to perform! As it stands it’s very, very close to public ready so be excited for what’s coming! As always we’ll keep you updated as the new features roll out within iOS 7 as well as when the bugs are fixed. Keep checking back to the Best App Site for all of the updates!

 

 

 

 

 

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