Photobucket’s Stories Akin to iPhoto for iOS Journals

Photobucket has introduced Photobucket Stories as a brand-new Photobucket feature; in fact, it looks like Stories are still in Beta, and part of a general overhaul of Photobucket.

screen shot of an iPhoto for iOS Journal pageThe basic idea behind Stories is that you upload pictures, you select a background, you arrange them and title them, you select their size (small, medium, large), and you add text annotations in the form of small text fields with a choice of color and font (limited in both cases, but quite reasonable options).

You can drag and drop to rearrange; you can change photo size, text placement, etc. And it’s dead easy to Share your saved/published story, or invite collaborators.

Photobucket Stories are strikingly similar to iPhoto for iOS Journals. You can see what I thought about Journals for iPhoto for iOS.

You can’t add weather and calendar widgets, and stories are a bit more limited in terms of options for layouts, but the concept is the same, and frankly, it’s a bit easier to us (at least on the Web; thus far it doesn’t seem to be actively supported by the PhotoBucket iOS app). Like Journals, Stories have built in facilities for sharing a link to a Story, but at least at present there’s no way to download all the content and make a stand-alone static Web site, the way you can with iPhoto for iOS Journals.

What’s interesting in particular about Stories is that you can collaborate with others on a Story. That’s a neat way to create a record of a family or group event, or to share data.

I made, roughly, the same kind of a Story as one of the previous Journals I made with iPhoto for iOS.

Here’s the Photobucket Story about Life in Washington.

Here’s the iPhoto for iOS Journal about A Year in Washington.  

I’m curious to see which of the new features are implements and supported in iOS apps.

iPhoto for iOS Journals

One of the niftiest new features of iPhoto for iOS are the Journals. Journals are digital scrapbooks, with photos, videos, and text items, including dividers, subheads, free-form text fields, and widgets (“Extras” in Apple parlance) like calendars, weather, and location and map data.

The Journals are created via the Sharing icon; you select images and videos, a layout and background, and give the Journal a title (if you’re creating a Journal based on an album, the album name is automatically supplied as the title, but you can change it). Once you have arranged the images and videos, and added the extras you want, you can Publish the journals to iCloud, or to a public Webpage derived from your iCloud account. Any changes you make to the journal (or its photos) can then be applied to the published version.

That’s all well and good.

But if you use the iTunes File Sharing support for iPhoto, you can export your journals. Open the journal in iPhoto, tap the Share icon, then tap the iTunes icon. Next, connect your iOS device to your computer, and open iTunes. Select your device, then click the Apps tab, and scroll down to the File Sharing pane.

Exporting is a bit slow (the speed is very much dependent on the resolution and size of your photos and their number) but you end up with a neat, orderly directory named after you journal, with all the photos, thumbnails, versions of the widgets and their data, and Javascript, htacces, html files included to create an independent mini Website. All you need to do is upload the entire directory and its files.

I suspect Journals were at least partially meant to be a replacement for .mac Web galleries, and, to some extent, for iWeb. It’s a nice idea. What I would have preferred as a feature, personally, was something like the old iCards, even if they were email only.

Meet iPhoto for iOS

Cover of Meet iPhoto for iOSToday is the official release date for my new ePub ebook from Peachpit. Meet iPhoto for iOS is a quick introduction to using iPhoto on iOS 6.x to organize, caption, crop, rotate, edit, adjust, and share photos using the iPhoto for the iOS application.

This really is a quick introduction written to help you start using iPhoto for iOS right away.

You can read more about Meet iPhoto for iOS here.

Google Releases Snapseed

Last year Snapseed, Nik Software’s nifty photo editing app for iOS was named the 2011 iPad App of the year. Then in September Google bought Nik Software. There was already a version of Snapseed for the OS X desktop, and now there’s a version for Android too.

Snapseed uses the Camera Roll on iOS for photos, but lets you edit, crop, rotate, adjust and apply various filters, and then share the results. There’s a decent Getting Started Snapseed tutorial on their Web site.

Today, Google released Snapseed 1.5 for iOS for free. Go, get it. It’s a super companion to iPhoto for iOS, or the iOS Photos app. The update includes the expected cosmetic branding changes (new icon Google branding) some new filters, and Google + integration for sharing. I’m intrigued by the Instagram-like “square mode” given the disappearance of the Twitter “cards”feature for inline images from Instagram.

Apple’s March 7 New iPad Announcements

First, the big news.

Apple is taking orders right now for March 16 shipping for their third version iPad. The specs are here. The crude details:

  • Retina display with 3.1 million pixels (2048-by-1536-pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch)
  • New rear-facing iSight camera offering 1080p HD video recording, 5 MP images, stabilization, Auto focus (tap to focus)
  • Also 2nd FaceTime camera with VGA-quality photos and video at up to 30 frames per second.
  • Voice dictation (this is NOT Siri)
  • An A5X CPU with quad-core graphics
  • Both WiFi 4G LTE versions (buy the model for either AT&T or Verizon) and WiFi only. See Glenn Fleishman’s explanation of LTE and why you should care.
  • Form factor a tiny bit larger (fractions of a millimeter larger), includes Bluetooth, battery life about the same, storage (16G, 32G, 64G) and pricing identical to the iPad 2. Black and white bodies both offered.

Apple’s shiny pictures and tasty videos are here. Smart coverage from TidBITS here, Jeff Carlson in the Seattle Times here.

Other announcements included the refreshed Apple TV, iWork updates, the $4.99 iPhoto for iOS (which is available now from the App store, and looks very very sweet, but requires iPad 2 or the new iPad), and iOS 5.1, with updates to lots of Apple’s apps, available now.