[This post is part our ongoing series introducing Photosmith 2 which will be a free update for all users]

In preparing the press stuff for launch we realized that most people have never seen what version 2 looks like unless you bought Jeff’s book.  We’ve talked about it a great deal and offered a few glimpses but we’ve never shown full screenshots.  Well that’s all going to change right now.

Here’s Grid view:

01 Grid new

View Mode

Starting in the top-left corner are the view mode buttons, they provide direct access to the 3 ways to view your photos. You can also get to Loupe by double-tapping a photo.


Just below the view mode buttons and anchored to the left side of the screen is the Sidebar.  At the bottom of the sidebar are tabs for Library, Tagging, Services, and Dashboard.  Here’s a quick overview of them now but we’ll detail them further in future blog posts.

  • Library is the list of all your collections, both the Photosmith built-in ones and any you’ve created or synced.  iPad Photos app’s albums are not displayed because apps aren’t allowed to edit them(1).
  • Tagging is where all of your metadata is edited.  If you’re familiar with version 1 this is the sidebar you see in Loupe view. Now it’s available all of the time.  If you have more than one photo selected it shows you the aggregated values for each field.  This makes it pretty quick and easy to find anything that’s out-of-sync (like missing location assignment, etc.)
  • Services is your import/export hub.  You can change the settings for importing iPad photos or Eye-Fi. Configure Lightroom sync (both directions) or, export to Flickr, Facebook, and Email.
  • Dashboard is maintenance headquarters.  Purge old data, check for suspect photos, re-run the setup wizard, access the in-app help (wifi or data connection required), or contact us with ideas or request support.

The biggest change you’ll notice when using the app isn’t immediately obvious in a screenshot. It’s that the sidebar mode is no longer tied to the view mode.  You can look at collections in Loupe or edit the metadata in Grid, etc., whatever works for you.  Photosmith 2 is all about being flexible to allow you to work the way you want to.

QuickTag Bar

Across the bottom of the screen is the QuickTag bar.  This gives you instant one tap access to rotate, color labels, star ratings, and reject(2) your photos.  If you are in Grid this will apply to all of the photos you have selected in the current collection.  In Loupe & Fullscreen it applies ony to the currently visible photo.  The QuickTag bar has a few more tricks up it’s sleeve but we’ll save those for another day.

Content Area

The large area just above the QuickTag bar is where your lovely photos show up. We’ve kept everything else on screen quiet and as sized down so that your photos get as much attention as possible.

This shot is showing Grid and you probably noticed right away that the grid is broken up into rows, that’s our Smart Groups at work. We’ll describe them in more detail tomorrow but trust us, it makes sorting through a large batch of photos nearly effortless. You really have to try it yourself to believe it.

Each section has a header with a group select/deselect button on the left and the data range of the photos in the section.  Two cool features we really love here is that the resolution of the time reported matches the range of the photos.  For example: If your group has photos spanning only a few minutes you’ll see hours, minutes, and seconds too. If they span years there’s much less detail to distract you.  The second cool thing is that you can Smart Group on any of the fields we sort on: Import Date, Capture Date, Stars, and Colors.  The groups and headers update to match.  This makes progressively narrowing down a set of photos really easy.

On the far right of the Grid is a quick index slider to make it quick and easy to jump to any group you want.

As we count down the final days to release (we’re just waiting on a few necessary approvals now) we’ll be posting more of these walk-throughs. Hopefully, we’ll have an honest set-in-stone date to report to you very soon. (And that date will be very soon too).


  1. Third party apps are allowed to create new Photos.app albums but they can only be edited during the same app “session.” Once you close the app and come back they are read-only.  Albums created by other apps are always read-only.  For this reason, we treat them exclusively as one-way export-only destinations.
  2. As of Lightroom 4.0 there is no plugin API to set the Reject flag so therefore it doesn’t sync directly.  Instead, we don’t transfer it via our own Sync but if the file already exists (like if you did a cable sync) then we set the copy name field to “Rejected” so that you can easily find them with a Smart Collection. We believe Adobe is going to add the necessary APIs to a near-future version.

Posted in: Design | 22 Comments

22 Responses to “Photosmith 2 Screenshots: Overview & Grid”

  1. MS says:

    Hi. I don’t get the problem and your solution regarding syncing rejected photos. Do you mean that during sync of pictures that are already in LR4 and I only marked some of them as rejected on iPad they got duplicate in LR4 and duplicates ones have word rejected in text field?

    The idea that would work best for me is following: i have a catalog in LR4 with 1000 canon 5d mark 3 mRaws. The work I do it is flagging pictures as picked and rejected. What I wish to do is to start on my computer and when i have to leave home I’d like to grab iPad and continue flagging. Then back at home sync it back and continue on computer. Please tell me that this is how it will work :)

    • Chris Morse says:

      If the photo was rejected in Photosmith and it doesn’t exist in LR, we won’t copy it there. If it does already existing LR (either because it was already there or you imported it from the memory card) we’ll set the “Copy Name” field to “Rejected”. In no case should we duplicate the photo.

      Yes, that is exactly the idea of how it should work.

  2. Richard Southworth says:

    Are “Events” displayed as collections? Even with smart grouping it would be easier to work with a day’s shoot – each time images are loaded from the camera connection kit a separate event is created, I always do at least one import per day.

    • Al says:

      Exactly what I have requested since the release of v1.00!

      • Chris Morse says:

        You’re not going to be happy with my answer –until you try it.

        Why should you have to spend all that effort to manage your upload groups? Our Smart Groups does it for you. It really works.

        However, we didn’t ignore this request. You can also sort by Import Date and Smart Groups will then automatically group by the batches that you imported. As a bonus, by just adjusting the slider you can break it up by any time period that makes sense. If you typically import exactly once a day the default group setting will probably give you exactly what you are looking for (it’ll depend on how many files you have). If it doesn’t, a quick adjustment will get you there.

        But the bonus is that turning down the grouping level will let you group by week or month instead. If you happened to import more than once a day turning the level up will give you those groups separated too.

        Try it, I don’t think you’ll feel the need for event collections anymore after you do.

        • Richard Southworth says:

          I certainly will withhold judgment until I try V2. However, I hope performance doesn’t become an issue. I can easily stuff 2000+ raw files into my 64gb iPad, over the course of say two weeks. And yes I often do multiple imports a day, so that the built-in “Recent Imports” will be useless, assuming it refers only to the last camera connection import.

          So as the trip continues I will be smart grouping with “All Photos” only, looking for the last day or two worth of images. Please tell me as the total grows I won’t see a corresponding slow down in my ability to create collections.

          I guess I have to ask why not include Events in the built-in collections, is it a programming problem or are you worried about too many entries? It just seems like such a natural division for initial selection, take some of the performance burden off of the smart grouping process.

          • Chris Morse says:

            The Smart Grouping itself is blazing fast and heavily optimized.

            The rest of the UI will start to slow down some when collections exceed a couple of thousand photos. Scrolling will be fast but the collection changing itself slows down a little. This is due to the limited memory available. It’s worst on iPad 1 but not too significant on gen 2 or 3 devices. This is something that will improve with time as we get back to polishing older code.

            One area that we know we still need some performance tuning is with really big keywords trees (think 10,000s)

        • Al says:

          Ok! Sounds good (even great). Looking forward to the release.

  3. Hans van meenen says:

    Is it possible to use this app as an album, to search on multiple IPTC keywords, so I see the pictures containing all the keywords on the search field?

    For example search on all photos of John in Paris together with Jane

    Best regards,

  4. Luca says:

    Thank you for your job . Do you have any news about the release data ?

    Best Regards

    • Chris Morse says:

      Nothing to share yet. We’re waiting until Apple has approved the app and we’re sure that everything is working as expected in the live version before releasing.

      • Dave says:

        Chris, does your reply mean that you have submitted V2 to Apple for approval?

        • Chris Morse says:


          but… there are more parts and pieces to launch that just Apple. but… yes, that does mean that we should be getting *really* close now.

  5. Mike11 says:

    Can you export to an iPad photo album? And create one in the same process? E.g. I want to tag some selected photos and when I’m done I want to export them to an iPad photo album (e.g. “Project XY v1″) because I need to edit them in another iPad photo editor next (e.g. iPhoto).

    • Chris Morse says:

      Yes, you can, subject to the limitations documented in footnote #1 above. Basically, it’s a one-way one-time only export. If you want to change the photos in that album you’ll have to delete the album (but not the photos) from the Photos app and then come back to Photosmith and re-export. –Not our rules, we just have to live by them.

      • Mike11 says:

        Thanks for the answer! But now after thinking some more about footnote #1 I’m a little confused (“one-way export-only destinations”). I get that I can’t edit iPad photo albums in Photosmith, but I thought that I could at least access them like in any photo editor app? So it’s not possible to open the previously created “Project XY v1″ iPad photo album in Photosmith, change some tags and then export to (newly created) iPad photo album “Project XY v2″?

        • Chris Morse says:

          I’m sorry I’m not describing it clearly enough. Let me try again. :-)

          1) From Photosmith you can export an iPad Photos app album.
          2) Once it’s exported, we can’t edit it in any way (except for a very brief period of time we can add more photos)
          3) Any app on your iPad that lists Photo albums will see the new album and the photos inside of it.
          4) Photosmith cannot edit any photo in the iPad Photos album so the metadata you add in Photosmith will NOT be visible to those other apps
          5) And metadata you add in Photosmith can be done at any time regardless of the number of albums that photo is a member of.
          6) You can only edit or delete the albums from the iPad Photos app itself. The same is true of deleting photos.

          None of the above applies to Photosmith’s own collections.

          I know this is pretty confusing and I’m sorry for that. Apple’s choices to make the Photos album so locked down really hurts the user experience and causes confusion.

          • Mike11 says:

            Thanks for the explanation! And I really appreciate all the effort! But… I still don’t fully understand. Sorry! :-/

            Problem 1:
            “2) Once it’s exported, we can’t EDIT it in any way (except for a very brief period of time we can ADD more photos)”

            I understand what you’re saying but it contradicts my experience with my main photo editor app, Photogene for iPad. There I can create iPad photo albums and add photos to any iPad photo album at any time. Even hours later and after a power-off power-on cycle.

            Maybe it’s just a problem of semantics?
            In Photogene I can “Add” photos to albums at any time (like in Photos.app where it’s also called “Add to” album), but I can’t directly “export” or “save” a photo (a modified copy) to an album, only to the camera roll and then I have to manually add it to an album (but I can still do it all directly in Photogene).
            To me, to “edit” an album includes to “add” photos to it. And yes, I know that albums are not the same as folders :-)

            Problem 2:
            “3) Any app on your iPad that lists Photo albums will see the new album and the photos inside of it.”

            So Photosmith could list the iPad photo albums but you chose not to? Because you can’t add any photos to it (read-only) and because of the way Photosmith works it doesn’t make sense to you to show something as a source if you can’t use it as a destination?

          • Chris Morse says:

            1) Indeed it *should* work that way but our experience found it to not always be true. We check if iOS will let us edit the album (which is restricted to just adding new photos, as you mentioned) and will allow you to do so if it allows us.

            2) You’re exactly right. Rather than have a mishmash of some editable albums and some that are not we separated them. At this point the Photos API is responsible for about 40% of our total development/debugging time so we’re probably going to keep moving further away from it (similar to what ShutterSnitch and most other photos apps have done). We’re sad to do that because it makes the experience worse for users but a useful app with OS limitations is better than a crippled app that integrates perfectly…

          • Mike11 says:

            Thanks for your explanation, now I get it!

            2) With good local import/export/update features this sounds like a good idea to me. But maybe you don’t have to go down that road, I’m curious to see what iOS6 brings to the table in just a few weeks :-)