Lightening Review: iPhoto ‘11

The difference between the last version of iPhoto and the new version is: fullscreen. That is, iPhoto ‘11 is billed as a full-screen app all the time. Now of course you don’t have to use it in that mode, but why not, right? Well the odd thing is that you can go full-screen, but you can never get a picture full-screen like you could with the old version, you always have a top and bottom bar as far as I can tell. Which is about 90% of the reason that I used iPhoto in fullscreen.

Here are some more annoyances:

  • Flickr syncing seems to lag out iPhoto until it is done.
  • Emailing brings up a nice window that forces you to use an HTML template (you can’t just send a regular email without attachments, without exporting the pictures first).
  • You can only send 10 pictures at once (but your should really only be sending 3 at once if you want to save the other persons sanity)
  • The icons along the bottom for all the iPhotos controls in the non-fullscreen mode look out of place in Snow Leopard.
  • Switching into fullscreen mode produces a significant lag on my Machine with only 1211 pictures in the library.
  • In fullscreen mode the bottom bar looks like iOS, yet you are still in Mac OS X.
  • Faces still has that stupid corkboard background.
  • Resizing the window is a jerky animation, which just seems odd in OS X.
  • Correct me if I am wrong but Calendar creation appears to be gone.

And now some of the good:

  • Flickr integration is very nice, it may download all of your pictures – but that is pretty neat to have on hand.
  • The interface seems very much more streamlined, I bet new iPhoto users will feel right at home.
  • I may not like the letterpress card templates they have, but $2.99 per card with an envelope is not a bad price at all.
  • The flat printed cards and folded ones are also aggressively priced. Sure beats going to a print shop and not knowing what kind of quality you can expect.
  • The editing features seem a lot easier to use, even though they are not on par with more expensive photo editing software, they are more than adequate for most users.
  • Making books is really easy and can be quite fun.


So I the iPhoto ‘11 upgrade worth it? Only if you are all about Letterpress cards or creating books (it is actually great for making books) otherwise stick with what you have. The people who really should buy this upgrade are those that really like how the iPhone works and find the old version a little cumbersome. iPhoto ‘11 is all about straightforward ease of use.

I think iPhoto ‘11 is a great piece of software for most people, just not for people who are really into working with their photos.

Originally posted for members on: October 26, 2010
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