Monday, September 29, 2014

Apple kills yet another photo sharing service - and generally screws up iOS photo management

I expect Apple to screw up anything related to long term data management, but this is extreme even by their standards. GigaOm, in language restrained by fear of Apple, tells us of another Apple datacide and botched product transition.

In the article quoted below “iPhoto” is for iOS. Given the timid language, I’ve added some inline translation in square brackets …   
[ has been removed from iOS, replaced by with fewer capabilities, including loss of iPhoto Web journals.
… In November of 2010 .Mac HomePages gave way to MobileMe Web Galleries. Then in June of 2012, MobileMe Web Galleries ceased to exist as iCloud came online. Now the most recent successor, iPhoto Web journals, is being shut down, or at least that is how it appears. With each transition, users of the previous online journaling feature really had little to no options available when it came to migration to a new or replacement feature. [users were totally screwed and lost hundreds of hours of work with no recourse
… you could add titles, insert comments, include maps, weather and other information intermingled with your photos. Users of journals would typically spend a good amount of time personalizing the delivery of their online photos by telling a story alongside their photos. 
The problem this time around is that there was very little notice and there really is no recourse or action that can be taken to preserve your iPhoto projects. … “Photo Books, Web Journals, and Slideshows are converted into regular albums in Photos. Text and layouts are not preserved.” And thats it, no more iCloud scrapbooking per Apple. 
… Apple has finally removed the concept of the Camera Roll …  all of the photos you have taken, whether they are on your device or not, now show up in the same “Recently Added” folder. This is not just a simple name change, it is a completely different experience. All of your photos are now synced across all of your devices, or at least the last thirty days worth. 
… iOS 8 has actually made it even harder to delete photos stored on your device [image capture delete all no longer works]. Tap and hold a photo in your “Recently Added” album and delete it from the album. It will move into the newly created “Recently Deleted” album …  delete it again from the “Recently Deleted” album…
Apple is a bit of a serial data killer -- usually with no public response. I still miss the comments I'd attached to iPhoto albums that were lost in the transition to Aperture.

Speaking of Aperture, both iPhoto (and Aperture) for Mac have been sunset, though Aperture is still sold. All three are eventually to be replaced by “”, which may be an improvement on iPhoto but is certain to be a disaster for Aperture users. We can expect a large amount of personal metadata to be lost. (No, Lightroom is not a migration path.)

New users may be transiently better off once all the pieces are finally in place -- until the projects they invest in disappear. This is a cultural problem with Apple, not a bug that will get fixed. Never make Apple the owner of your data.

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