Getting started with iPhoto for iOS

Apple just announced the new iPad, but one of the bigger announcements today aside from that was the availability of iPhoto for iOS.

Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
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Most hardware announcements Apple makes are usually accompanied by a piece of software. With the announcement of the new iPad and Apple TV today, Apple also announced the launch of iPhoto for iOS.

You can purchase iPhoto for iOS starting today in the App Store. It will set you back $4.99, and you will need to be running iOS 5.1 on your iOS device(s) for iPhoto to install. With the size of the app coming in at 106MB, you will need to be connected to Wi-Fi to download the app on your device.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

After downloading and installing the app, your photos will be presented to you in albums, with four tabs along the top to narrow down the photos you want to view.

The Albums tab groups your photos by status, whether they have been edited within the app, beamed to you from another iOS device, stored in Photo Stream, or on your camera roll. The Photos tab will display the photos currently stored on your device; you won't see your Photo Stream photos stored here. The Events tab will display your photos sorted by event, which is set up by syncing photos through iTunes or with the iPad Camera Connection Kit. The Journals tab will display the photo journals you create within the iPhoto for iOS app.

Viewing photos
Tap on the photo or album you would like to view. On the left side you will see thumbnail previews of the rest of the album you are currently viewing. You can adjust the size as well as relocate the column of thumbnails by touching the top of the bar and dragging it.

If you want to view more than one photo at a time, you can use a flicking motion to move it out of the thumbnail area and into the main section of iPhoto. You can also double-tap any photo's thumbnail, and iPhoto will automatically display all similar photos to you. This will come in handy if you have taken multiple photos of the same thing and want to quickly decide which one to keep.

You will find the editing tools along the bottom of your screen. In the lower-left corner of the screen you will find the tools that allow you to crop and straighten, adjust exposure, color, use brushes, and add effects to your photo.

If any of these tools intimidate you, the auto-enhance button looks like a magic wand and can be found in the middle of the toolbar. Located next to the auto-enhance button are the rotate, flag, favorite, and delete buttons.

Should you get lost as to which tool does what, tapping on the question mark at the top will show you what each button does, as well as link to a guide on how to use that exact tool.

If you want to edit a photo, tap on the Edit button to bring up the editing tools.

Once you are happy with your edited photo, you're ready to share it. You are given a healthy dose of options of what to do with your photos. Creating a journal will allow you to upload the Journal and share it with your friends, or you can Beam a photo from one iOS device to another iOS device running iPhoto on the same Wi-Fi network.

You can also upload photos to a specific album on Facebook, print, or e-mail multiple photos. Unfortunately, the iOS limit of five photos per e-mail is still in place.

It's important to note that any photo you edit or change in iPhoto won't appear in your device's camera roll until you save it to your Camera Roll using the share button.

Just scratching the surface
While this post doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of the potential and capabilities in the iPhoto iOS app, it will definitely help you get started using the app, and hopefully put you a bit more at ease.

Over the coming days and weeks as we have more time to dive into iPhoto, we will be bringing you more guides. In the meantime, if you discover a handy tip or trick, be sure to leave it in the comments below.