The new Photos app

Photos_App

Photo Stream was always clunky, Photos does it better. But there are significant issues with Photos, like the inability to drag and drop photos out of it into other apps.

Serious photographers will undoubtedly move to Adobe apps because Photos just isn’t going to cut it for them.  It is hard to understand why Apple have discontinued Aperture, it was a generally well-liked application among photographers.  Photos is good but it is not a professional grade app, it replaces iPhoto not Aperture.

For the average person who likes to take photos and have them on multiple devices this is far better than iPhoto.  The OS X app and its iOS counterparts sync everything, and I mean everything!  Videos, bursts, albums and edits all get synced.  This is all well and good, but you will need to pay for the iCloud storage, unless you take only small amounts of photos and videos (especially) before you deleting them after they have synced to your Mac perhaps.

I was already paying for cloud storage to back up my iPhoto library before the Mac Photos app became available.  After it became available I compared iCloud prices with what I was already paying.  Although iCloud is pricier per GB it was competitive in that I wasn’t using most of the storage I was paying for with Google, so I thought I would transfer to it as it is a more native solution.

So far I would say I’m happy with the move.  I like the ability to sync albums without having to create lots of iCloud albums that don’t function the same way.  Now all edits I make are visible on all devices and wherever each photo appears.

There is a niggle with the OS X app right now, and that is the lack of drag and drop capabilities.  In iPhoto it was possible to drag a photo out of the app and into another (e.g. Skitch), the image would be copied into the new app.  This is not possible in Photos (yet).  To achieve the same effect the image has to be exported to the desktop or similar and then copied into the other app.

All in all I think the move from iPhoto to Photos is a positive one, it’ll be interesting to see how it develops in the future.

What are your thoughts about the new app?

Having trouble AirDropping? Here are a couple of tips that may help.

iOS to Mac

If you are having trouble AirDropping to a Mac from an iOS device – like I do frequently and randomly – then it may be that for some reason your Mac’s Bluetooth connection is not “visible” to the iOS device.  There is a way that should force the Mac to reveal itself to your phone / iPad.  In the menu bar click the Bluetooth icon and select “Open Bluetooth Preferences…”  A System Preferences window will open, leave it open and try the AirDrop again.

Having_trouble_AirDropping_to_Mac_

Hopefully you have Bluetooth visible in the menu bar, if not just open System Preferences and select Bluetooth.

Mac or iOS to iOS

If you can’t find your iOS device as an option in AirDrop maybe Do Not Disturb (DnD) is on, if so that will deactivate AirDrop.  The solution is to turn off DnD : )  If DnD is active a crescent moon will display in your status bar, you can deactivate it by pulling up Control Centre and tapping the crescent moon icon.

Do_not_disturb_turns_AirDrop_offI hope that if AirDrop woes have been getting you down, like they have for me, that these tips helped you!

How to make Time Machine backups a bit more efficient

If you use a Mac, have Time Machine keeping a regular back up and use a cloud storage service (Dropbox, Box, Drive, One Drive, Tresorit, etc) you might be able to tweak your setting to make Time Machine more efficient and require less space.  By using a cloud storage service you are already keeping a regular backup of your most frequently used documents and files, so there is probably no need for you to keep another backup of them with Time Machine.  You might want the extra piece of mind of a backup on your own premises and in your control, but that said you already trust your cloud service(s) so Time Machine doesn’t offer much more.
Should you want to exclude the files in your cloud storage from Time Machine here are the instructions – screenshots in the slideshow below.
  1. Click Time Machine icon in menu bar and select Open Time Machine Preferences…
  2. If the icon is not visible then open System Preferences and choose Time Machine.
  3. Click the Options… button in the bottom right of the screen.
  4. Click the + to add a new folder to exclude from the back up.
  5. In the file browser that opens navigate to the folder you want to exclude, select it and then click Exclude (or hit Enter).  You can also select very large files that aren’t important for a backup.  For example I have an installer for OS X Lion that I don’t mind if I lose.

Click to add these instructions to your Evernote account (including screenshots).

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