If you have OS X, iPhoto is free. That should be a good-enough reason to upgrade if you haven’t already. If you already have iPhoto, it’s a no-brainer.
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Over the past few years, Apple has excelled itself when it comes to home-grown applications. The ‘i’ applications in particular are an excellent showcase for what’s great about computing the Apple way. The latest to be updated is iPhoto – which isn’t even months old, yet the 1.1 upgrade brings significant benefits.In version 1.0, users could do basic image-editing, such as cropping and red-eye removal. Now, the brightness and contrast can be adjusted, too. You can also access the EXIF (Exchangeable Image File) data that’s recorded when a picture is taken with a digital camera. This is handy, because it saves all the settings information, such as shutter speed, aperture, focal length, and even the distance from the subject. This will help keen photographers figure-out what made a picture good or bad. Possibly more useful is the resolution and date information – so you can tell which pictures are high-resolution, and when they were taken. One great new feature has a fatal flaw, however. The ability to send an email with a picture attached is fantastic. But this only works with Apple’s Mail application. People will probably be using a more powerful third-party mail application like Entourage, and so won’t be able to use this. There are also a couple of minor – but nifty – additions. The ability to set the desktop or screen-saver directly from iPhoto is one. Just select an image for the desktop, or a folder of images for your screensaver, and you can personalize your Mac in minutes. The search function has been upgraded, too. Previously, you needed to apply up to 14 keywords and then click the keyword buttons to locate a selection. Now, there are fewer restrictions – the comments panel can be scanned with a normal search. It would have been nice if, in the original version, slideshows could be saved with associated music within iTools. This still can’t be done, but movies with music can now be made. Previously, only silent movies were possible.