Apple iPhoto 9.5.1 review
The latest version of iPhoto demands that you move with the times and update to OS X 10.9. But the Mavericks support and new 64-bit engine seem to have given this creaky old app a new boost.
It imports at speed and applies adjustments and corrections in the blink of an eye. There's no facility to use a second monitor though and indeed iPhoto seemed unable to stay in one place when at its maximum window setting, constantly switching over to our second screen until we assigned it to Display 1 in the Dock.
Apple Maps is used in this version for the Places feature to display geotagged photos, or more usefully find photos by location based on EXIF data.
The interface has undergone a small redesign, dropping the Create menu and sensibly amalgamating its functions within the Share menu. These include the Book, Card, Calendar and Slideshow features, which all remain pretty high-quality in terms of design and functionality. There's now support for sharing images to iCloud or post videos to shared photo streams. The new version also offers Twitter support, sorts out privacy settings and captions when sharing to a Facebook timeline, as well as having better synchronisation with Flickr. However you need to add these accounts in Systems Preferences/Internet Accounts before you can access them in iPhoto.
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The Quick Fixes panel offers you a place to sort out common photo errors, with varying results. Retouch brush is a fairly effective tool for removing blemishes and Fix Red-Eye is moderately intuitive on the Auto setting, but the manual setting could do with some more interactive control.
There are some nice touches in the Adjust panel, such as the checkbox to prevent the saturation slider over-affecting skin tones. If you feel the need for something more, the Advanced preferences allow you to assign an external application to open when the Edit menu button is pressed.
The interface and editing are a bit limited, but iPhoto is fine if you have a consumer camera or smartphone and just want to keep and share your memories. It's also an ideal consumer tool for organising images. There are enough quick fixes to satisfy the odd red-eye or adjust a blemish on a face, with a good range of sharing and output options. For those who can't get it for free with a new Mac, the price is a not unreasonable £10.49.