Good News From Apple

Industry Perspective

Good News From Apple

by Ron Leach

Most of the news about Apple these days has to do with the health of the company’s Co-Founder and visionary Steve Jobs.  In fact, much of the buzz at the recent Macworld Conference and Expo in San Francisco concerned the absence of Jobs and the news that Apple won’t be participating in the event next year.

Somewhat lost amidst all this, however, was some interesting news for photographers announced by Apple Vice President Philip Schiller. As part of his keynote address, Schiller unveiled a new version of Apple’s iLife suite, which includes a feature that can organize your people pictures by utilizing face-recognition software—a technology we discussed in this column exactly two years ago.

This iPhoto feature called “Faces” helps you organize your galleries by identifying the faces of your subjects and grouping images that contain the same person. Once you put a name to a face in a couple of photos, Faces will search your image library to locate more potential matches. One way to use this feature, for example, is to create people-based “smart albums” to stay up to date with family and friends.

Also new to iPhoto is a feature called Places, which enables you to organize your images based upon where they were taken. This capability requires the use of a GPS-enabled camera (or iPhone) to sort images by location and convert GPS positioning tags to more user-friendly file names. The idea here is that images you take in the Big Easy would be labeled by familiar, searchable names like  “New Orleans,” “Louisiana,” or “French Quarter.” You can utilize some of this software’s capabilities even if you don’t have a GPS-enabled camera or iPhone to help you name images, create galleries and navigate your library by location.