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Photos for Mac and iOS: The Missing Manual by Lesa Snider


Book: Photos for Mac and iOS: The Missing Manual
Reviewed by: Deb Apperson, AAUG Member
Author: Lesa Snider
Website:O’Reilly Media & Lesa’s own site:

Price: e-book for iBooks (Mac or iOS) $14.99
e-book for Amazon Kindle app $14.99
new paperback at Amazon: $22.22
mooseProduct Rating: 5/5 Impressive
Rating: 5 moose
Pros: Well written and well organized, fun to read, and exactly the guide I need
Cons: didn’t find any.

Product Rating: 5/5 Indispensable Excellence

Conflict of Interest: O’Reilly provided a complimentary copy for this review.

Like many iPhoto for the Mac users, for several reasons I’ve resisted the change from iPhotos to Photos. For years, I’ve used iPhoto as my primary photo app, I have refined a system that works well for me, and I wasn’t looking change that. I use many other photo editing apps and import everything back to iPhoto, rather like a central hub for all my photos, as well as using iPhoto to make books and calendars. I am not a professional, just someone who enjoys working with photos. Besides having a good system that works for me, many of the features that I’d heard about Photos, such as it’s design for the mobile lifestyle and social media, do not appeal to me. Furthermore, some of the features I use often in iPhoto and Aperture, are not in Photos. Sure, on my iPhone I use Photos, it’s part of iOS 9, but I don’t do any of my main photo work on my phone, I use my iMac.

When I started reading this book, right from the start I wanted to read more. In an engaging manner, the forward addressed my concerns about the changes, and explained how I could even keep using iPhotos side by side while starting to use Photos. In fact, throughout the book, it “knows” my concerns and answers them. I like how the book admits the things Photos can’t do, and provides ideas, and often in a humorous manner. Let’s face it, it’s not really fun to switch to new programs, but this book lightens the mood while providing the details needed to smooth the transition.

The book is well organized, and fun to either read straight through, or to just look up specific topics. If reading the electronic version, all the topics in the index are clickable, as are references within the text.

The book covers it all: from how to make the move from iPhoto and Aperture as painless as possible – to all the fun things you can do such as editing photos, making print projects such as calendars, books, and cards, as well as slideshows of photos and working with movies. iCloud and social media are covered, both in how to use, or how to turn those features off. All the details you need are in the book, from the basic to the advanced features.

Sprinkled throughout the book are very helpful illustrations, tips, screen shots of the program to explain specific tasks.

I have to admit that this book changed my mind. I am ready to start the transition to Photos. And, I also learned that I like e-books for reference too, not just novels. I read it in iBooks, both on the iPhone and the Mac, and those clickable links are really useful.

While the ‘mobile lifestyle’ isn’t the way I work, this book helps me to figure out how to make the transition from iPhoto/Aperture to Photo work for me.

Gathering Sky


Software/App: Gathering Storm
Company: A Stranger Gravity
Web: gathering-sky.com
Price: $2.99 in iTunes Store

Pros: a very peaceful way to relax while using your iPad, music and visuals are serene, yet playful
Cons: none

mooseProduct Rating: 5/5 Impressive

by Gary Miller, Alaskan Apple Users Group Member

Conflict of interest disclosure:A Stranger Gravity provided a free copy of The Gathering Sky to me for the purposes of the review.

I love to open my iPad and just take it easy with this new game/app – Gathering Sky with lovely and relaxing soundtrack created for 45 minutes of taking it easy, perfect!

We love birds and the Gathering Sky is a journey of birds, shot looking down as they fly in animation, and I guided it with my touch screen iPad or just let it flow. The soundtrack was created by musician Dren McDonald that weaves within the soundscapes. The score was recorded this year at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music T.A.C. Studios.

Each time I play along, I enjoy it. Give it a go, only $2.99 in the iTunes store and available on all formats.


iPhone camera evolution

Remember how great the camera was on the first iPhone back in 2007-8? Curious how your 5s compares to the latest and greatest? Unless you have a stack of every iPhone at your disposal, save your time and enjoy the fine work by the team at tap tap tap, makers of Camera+, who put together this fantastic comparison: