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Tap That App: iPhoto for iOS lets you touch to improve images

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Tap That App: iPhoto for iOS lets you touch to improve images

3:43 /

Apple's iPhoto is now available for iOS devices and, though it has a bit of a learning curve, offers plenty of editing features and sharing options to make it well worth the $4.99.

Welcome to Tap That App, I'm Jason Parker, and this is the show where we cover the hottest apps in the mobile space. At the Apple event last week, the big news was the announcement for the new iPad, but Apple also had some software announcements including a brand new app for iOS devices. iPhoto was already used by many Mac users to edit and organize photos and share them with friends and family. Though the iOS version is not as feature rich as its desktop cousin, there is plenty of useful things you can do with iPhoto on an iOS device. The touch screen interface is a joy to use, but definitely takes some practice to get used to. While all the tools are available in only a couple of taps, it's not immediately apparent how to use them. Fortunately, Apple included an excellent help interface that calls out each interface element with more information should you need it. Once you've got the basic controls down, you can start improving and playing with your images. I'll grab one I took earlier today on Second Street. The picture is a little drab, and the grey skies aren't helping, so maybe I'll start by cropping the image. After touching the cropping tool, I can drag the sides of the image in to make it smaller. I'll try to get rid of that grey sky first. Alright. Now, with that finished, maybe I want to adjust brightness and contrast to bring out the details. Use the sliders at the bottom to adjust both brightness and contrast simultaneously, or grab just the contrast slider to adjust it independently. Next, I'll adjust colors. iPhoto separates the colors into real-world terms, so after adding a bit of saturation, I can adjust the tones for blue skies, greenery (there's not much here, obviousy), and Skin Tones. This photo is starting to pop out a bit more. To bring out specific areas of the image, I'll use the brush tools. These are a little confusing at first because people generally think of brushes as painting tools, but it helps to think of it as painting the effect onto the image. Maybe I'll saturate the color on this building a bit more. There are several brushes to play with to brighten, darken, and sharpen your image. Finally, we can add effects. Touching the effect button makes effects fan out on your screen. You have options for warm or cool effects, Duotone, Black and white, vintage, and others, but I'll choose Artistic to take this image to the extreme. I've concentrated so much on the building that maybe I'll apply a the tilt-shift effect to make sure the focus is on the building. Finally, to really go to extremes, I'll add the oil paint effect. At any time during the process, you also have the option to reference the original image by touching the Show Original button at the top. One of the great new features for iOS devices is the ability to make Journals with your photos. Journals arrange your images into a collage and, once you've assembled a journal, you can move and resize images to get them just where you want. You also can add in a map using your GPS location for the image. Or add in the date to show when you took them. When you're finished you can watch your collection of images as a slideshow, export them to iTunes, or publish to iCloud which lets you send a link to family and friends. The finished product (this was made from a trip to Maui recently) lets you touch an image to see it full screen--great for sending to family so they can see your adventures. Your family member will recieve a link, and your finished journal will show up full screen in their Web Browser. Certainly, we haven't covered everything here, but with a unique set of tools, cool projects to make with journals, and tons of effects and image-editing options, iPhoto is a great value at $4.99. While it's not as feature rich as the desktop version, we still recommend you Tap this app immediately. That's it for this week's show, but if you have any suggestions for Tap That App, please send them to tapthatapp@cnet.com. I'm Jason Parker for CNET, thanks for watching.

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