Yes, the new Apple Photos app can be used without iCloud

With the latest update of OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 Apple added the much anticipated Photos app. Photos which Apple developed to work more closely with the Photos app on iOS devices and in the process has meant the ceasing of development of iPhoto and Aperture.

While Apple advertises the iCloud Photo Library to sync photos it still remains possible to sync photos via iTunes for those that don’t wish to upload all of their photos. At the time 10.10.3 was released iTunes was also updated to support Photos. In order to change syncing from iPhoto to the Photos app, one needs to setup and resync the photos.

When opening the Photos for the first time it will ask about using the iCloud Photo Library at which time you can decline. To make any changes later go into the iCloud Preferences pane within Photos.

In iTunes after you have connected your iPhone or iPad select it and then find the tab for Photos in the Settings. Here there is an option with “Copy photos from Photos”  and then select which photos you want to transfer. You can transfer all photos or recent months or particular albums. When you apply the changes it will resync your photos.

My personal use of iPhoto at present (and now Photos) is primarily for syncing photos between the Mac and iOS devices. I also use it for the occasional project, such as gift cards. To avoid depending on iPhoto/Photos which hides the pictures in the Finder I import into a regular folder structure and use other software such as GraphicConverter to access the photos. Importing the photos can be done using Image Capture.

Some more tips for using the Photos app:

  • Select “Show Sidebar” from the “View” menu, in order to see albums listed.
  • Photos doesn’t appear to support Events, however, events in iPhoto are imported into albums.

Fine tuning Yosemite

On the weekend I updated to Yosemite and the process went well. Here are some tips to reduce some of the drastic changes to the user interface and bring back a couple items that are hidden in Safari.

  1. To reduce the transparency added with Yosemite there is an option by going to System Preferences -> Accessibility -> Display and selecting “Reduce transparency”.
  2. One of the options that Mac OS X has is to change the blue colour for highlights in menus to grey. I find it especially helpful in Yosemite to minimize the overly bright nature.  In the System Preferences -> General ->Appearance and selecting “Graphite”.
  3. Yosemite brings a new version of Safari and one of the changes made was that URL is reduced to the domain name. To view full URLs go to the Safari Preferences and selecting “Show full website addresses”.
  4. Safari also takes away the title for the current page. This can be shown by making sure that the tab bar is always shown by selecting from the menu View -> Show Tab Bar.

Update 11/11/2014: MacWorld includes an article with information on why you might want to keep Apple’s new URL behaviour.

OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 preview at WWDC

This morning Apple previewed the next versions of OS X: named Yosemite and iOS 8. Changes to OS X include a redesign of the user interface. While I think that they finally got things consistent throughout Mavericks and so not what I would say would make it a high priority, it will provide the option of a light or dark look to the UI. One of the major new features is Continuity that will allow one to move from working with one iOS device or Mac to another.

Some features for the camera and photos app will be access to all photos on all devices, via an enhanced iCloud service. One will be able to search photos and new editing controls within the photos app. Third party developers will also be able to extend with their own filters. In addition a Photos app that will be coming to the Mac next year.

The new updates will be available in Fall and look like they will have much to offer.

Upgrading an iPhoto Library

In the process of moving photos that were originally on an older Mac onto my current Mac with Mavericks and iPhoto 9.5.1. When I first opened the library there weren’t any images showing. To help in this situations Apple has a Library Upgrader available. The upgrader is for iPhoto libraries that you want to use from iPhoto ’08 (version 7) or earlier. iPhoto will still go through the upgrading process when you open the library after that. This worked for a couple different libraries when I used the upgrader.

To open a library other than the default one, use the option key when starting iPhoto. There is also a shareware program called iPhoto Library Manager that is useful when you are working with multiple libraries.

Update 17/04/2014: Unfortunately I found the upgrader doesn’t work in all cases and the pictures still don’t appear in iPhoto. iPhoto Library Manager can help in these cases by using the “Extract Photos” menu item. This will search for the pictures in the library and put them in a folder on your hard drive.

Desktop image: bokeh effect

One of the things I enjoy doing is creating desktop images/wallpapers for my computer and mobile devices: providing some variety. I found a good tutorial for the Mac image editor Acorn to create some nice desktop images. The tutorial makes use of something called the bokeh effect. The tutorial can be found in the Acorn help section.

Below is one of the desktop images that I created.

Bokeh desktop image 1024x768

Bokeh desktop image 1920x1080

Bento and iOS 7

Unfortunately after today Filemaker will be no longer offering the easy to use database program Bento. If you use the Mac program and the iOS app one ends up with problems syncing after upgrading to iOS 7. The fix is to setup syncing as a new device.  Check the Bento forums, i.e. this thread for info.

Bento continues to work at the moment and hopefully Mavericks won’t cause any serious issues. That is what I find so problematic about Filemaker quitting development at this time, it is right at the same time as major operating system updates. If you want to check for other programs available, Bento users have posted a list of some of the options available.