After months of anticipation, the Apple Watch has arrived, along with a gorgeous new Macbook; we'll come back to those but in fact, it’s a different Apple announcement that’s going to have a big impact on most people.
This week, Apple implemented two changes to the way it handles images. Both may require you to spend a little time adjusting, and the second may cost you money.
The venerable Mac photo-organizing and editing programs iPhoto and Aperture are being replaced by a new app called Photos (free). Here is a good detailed discussion of how and why you should upgrade to Photos on your Mac (no Windows version).
Second, Photostream (my least favorite Apple product) is being replaced by iCloud Photo Sync, neatly unifying sync across Apple devices in a clear and consistent way. Just as you turn iCloud sync on or off for contacts, calendars, documents, etc., you'll be able to do the same for photos.
A few key details:
- You can store your ENTIRE image library in iCloud at high resolution, and sync lower-res files to your Mac/iPhone/iPad to save space
- Synced photos will no longer vanish when they expire or get crowded out, as they do in Photostream
- Videos will sync automatically (they don't in Photostream)
There's a catch. . . .All those iCloud images will count against your iCloud storage limit. Apple gives you 5GB for free*, but your adorable family or fabulous vacation shots will max you out pretty fast. Your options?
- learn how to manage within the 5GB limit;
- pay a monthly fee for additional storage,
- or use one of the many other options for photo backup/sync that may be cheaper but less convenient.
(Note: Windows users with iPhones/iPads can use iCloud sync as well, but not the Photos app).
Apple Watch TimeDetailed reviews of the Apple Watch are all over the Interwebs (NY Times, WSJ, CNET) but in sum: they're way cool, but unless you’re a gadget and/or Apple nut, you’re likely better off waiting for the next round.
- Correctly set up, the first appealing wearable computer; life-changing as the best Apple products have all been.
- Battery life is short (barely a day’s worth)
- Large and quite thick
- Big learning curve
- A bit buggy (normal for a new product)
- and of course, expensive
- and, oh yes, sold out.
The new Macbook is kind of
the Supermodel of laptopsUltra-skinny, gorgeous display, expensive, and runs out of juice faster than you'd like.
Plus, it uses a very cool new connector that combines power and data; you won't have a power cord plus a bunch of other stuff plugged in on the sides, but there's only ONE port! (plus a headphone jack). Unless all your stuff is wireless, you're going to have to drop another $80 or so for an adapter until the rest of the world catches up.
*how big is 5GB? If all you store is images (unlikely), 5gb is roughly equivalent to 2,000 photos or less than 40 minutes of iPhone video.