When Apple makes it rain, it makes it pour. In addition to releasing iOS 6 and OS X 10.8.2, the company updated a homescreen's worth of its own iOS apps on Wednesday, including Cards, iPhoto, GarageBand, iMovie, Keynote, Podcasts, Airport Utility, iBooks, iTunes U, Find My Friends, and Find My iPhone.
New in Cards 2.0 is native support for the iPad, so that you can now send your 100 percent letterpress missives from iOS devices of any size. Other new options in the app include the ability to send cards to multiple recipients at once, new holiday designs, new layouts for adding up to three photos to a single card, better image sharpening, integration with iPhoto, and - unsurprisingly enough - support for the iPhone 5's taller screen.
iPhoto gets bumped to version 1.1 and gains several new features. The app now supports the iPod touch (fourth generation and newer); the Help system also gets several new tips. New ink effects can be applied to images, and the existing tilt-shift and gradient effects can be rotated. Also new: You can edit images up to 36.5 megapixels within the app if you're using a third-generation iPad. The "Updating Library" message should appear less frequently, Apple says, and you can save multiple photos to your device's Camera Roll at one time.
Other iPhoto additions include smarter automated cropping, which leverages face detection to try to prevent cropping right in the middle of your yapper. You can create tag albums by adding custom tags to photos, and you can share photos and videos to Facebook leveraging iOS 6's built-in Facebook single sign-on option. Locations and friend tags can now be set when posting photos to Facebook, and comments and locations can be set on individual photos when sharing a group of photos on the service.
You can share iPhoto photos to Cards, iMovie, and other apps. There are numerous new options for Journals, as well.
Finally, several changes aid photo navigation: An overlay displaying month and year appears as you scroll through photos--much as it does in iPhoto on the Mac. You can sort photos by date and filter them in more ways, and thumbnail grids can now expand to multiple rows in portrait mode.
iMovie gets updated to version 1.4, and it gains three new trailer options. Photos that you add to trailers automatically animate with Apple's beloved Ken Burns effect.
Other new features include the ability to use the Precision Editor on the iPad to create split audio edits, an option to play clips in the Video Browser before adding them to a project, the ability to create a slideshow with photos from iPhoto for iOS, and inline coaching tips when you tap the Help icon. You can also now export videos in 1080p high definition to Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, and CNN iReport. And audio records you capture within a project now appear in the Audio Browser.
GarageBand gets in on the update action, too. Version 1.3 lets you create custom ringtones and alerts for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, if you're running iOS 6 or later. You can also import songs from the Music library on your iOS device. And, provided you're using an iPhone 4S, iPad 2, or fourth-generation iPod touch or newer, you can play or record with GarageBand in the background while using other apps.
Keynote 1.6.2 gains but two small features: support for iOS 6, and the ability to open presentations in another app. AirPort Utility 1.1.1, iBooks 2.2, and Remote 2.4 similarly gain iOS 6 support.
Podcasts 1.1 gets iOS 6 support, including a pull-to-refresh option for checking for new podcasts. It also adds subscription syncing via iCloud, a setting to limit downloading to Wi-Fi, a setting to toggle between playing podcasts newest first or the opposite, and various performance and stability improvements. iTunes U 1.3 gets iOS 6 support, gains a new single day view, and fixes a problem with Closed Captioning.
All the updates are available, of course, via the App Store.
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