iOS App Review: Photo Manager Pro

20121130-163959.jpgPhoto Manager Pro – $0.99 (Universal)

A few weeks back I wrote about some of my most-used apps that I have installed on my iPhone and/or iPad. One app that I didn’t include on that list (but should have) is Photo Manager Pro. It’s probably fitting that I didn’t include it as it really does deserve its own stand-alone review. I would say it’s probably currently one of my most-used apps. But enough about me…onto the app!

What Is It?

20121130-163951.jpgAs you may have guessed, Photo Manager Pro is a photo management app. I have tried quite a few photo management apps in a seemingly never-ending search to find a good replacement for the bare-bones Photos app built in to iOS. Organizing photos in iOS has always bugged me. I’m a sort-into-folders kind of guy so the melting-pot photos app has always bugged me. Yes, they added the ability to create albums to sort your photos, but they all still remain in the main photo album with no way to tell if you’ve added them to a different album! Not ideal in my opinion. Whenever I want to find a photo I took a couple months back it feels like searching for a needle in a haystack sometimes.

Other photo management apps I’ve tried have had shortcomings that kept me from using them to “replace” the stock photo app. But once I tried Photo Manager Pro, I knew there was finally hope! Photo Manager Pro lets you create as many folders (and sub-folders!) as you want which gives great flexibility in organizing your photos. Simply create a folder, click the import button, select the photos from your camera roll, and the photos are imported. Easy!

Tip: If you’re using an iPad, I find it easiest when importing a large number of photos to first put those photos into an album in the iOS photo app. Then, in Photo Manager Pro you can browse to that album, and simply press the “Select All” button to import. Otherwise, in Photo Manager Pro you have to select every photo individually. But don’t you have to select each photo individually to put them in an album in the iOS photo app anyway, you ask? Well, no, you don’t. This leads to my second tip. There is a little known feature in iOS on the iPad to quickly select a range of photos in the photo app. Try it for yourself: Go into your camera roll and select the “Edit” button in the top right corner. At this point you can select multiple photos to add to an album. You can tap each photo individually to select them, or, press and hold on a photo with two fingers close together and hold for a second. Then, without lifting your fingers, simply slide across multiple photos to select them. You can even snake your way down the screen, row by row without lifting your fingers. Unfortunately, this two-finger swipe selection does not work on the iPhone.

Transferring Images to PC (or Mac)

Another great feature of the app is the ability to transfer my pictures off my phone and/or iPad through my wifi using the web browser on a PC or Mac. No need to plug my device in with the USB cable. I simply start the app’s “Photo Server” which allows me to connect to it from a computer on the same network as my wireless router using its IP address. Once connected, I see all my folders and I can click on any folder to see thumbnails of the pictures in that folder. I can then either select individual images or select them all with one click for downloading to the computer. The selected images are automatically compiled into one or more zip files (depending on how many pictures are selected) for easy downloading. You can also transfer pictures from the PC to Photo Manager Pro using the same web interface. It is much more user-friendly than manually transferring pictures using the USB cable!

Transferring Images From one iDevice to Another (Peer-to-peer)

Thanks to photostream in iOS photos you take on your iPhone will show up on your iPad. But I for one was disappointed to discover that the photos were down-sized when added to photostream. So if you want to get a picture from your phone to your iPad without losing resolution photostream isn’t a viable option. The good news is, with Photo Manager Pro, transferring those 8 MP iPhone images to your iPad is a breeze! Once you have the photos imported into the app, simply open the app on your iPad and start the transfer photo server. Then, on your iPhone select the image or images you want to transfer in the Photo Manager Pro app and select the P2P button. This will bring up a list of available servers which should include your iPad. Select your iPad and you will see a list of the folders you have created in the app on it. Simply browse to the folder you want to transfer the pictures to and start the transfer! Easy! Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway) this process when reversed can transfer images from your iPad to your iPhone.

Viewing Images

One of the pitfalls of many of the photo management apps I’ve tried out has been actually viewing the images once they’re imported into the app. Many apps either crashed when attempting to view larger resolution images or didn’t have a clean “swipe” transition from picture to picture like the built in photo app. Not so with Photo Manager Pro. Viewing photos is as smooth and reliable as the built-in app. The app overall has been extremely stable in my experience. Very few crashes if any at all.

Other Features

Other features of the app include the ability to color-code your folders as well as password protect certain folders or the app entirely. You can also rate images using a five-star rating system as well as view the EXIF data of images. Oh, and it imports and plays videos flawlessly as well!

Conclusion

I have been extremely pleased with the performance of this app in pretty much every aspect that it functions. I haven’t found much fault with it and it has enabled me to keep better control over my once-bloated camera roll. Once I import images into Photo Manager Pro I delete them from the camera roll (once I’ve also transferred them to a computer for backup). Your needs or desires may differ from mine, so the app may or may not be what you’re looking for, but it has been a welcome addition to my mobile toolbox!

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iOS App Review: Photo Manager Pro