With a metric that’s bound to make mobile app developers jealous, Apple has confirmed that its newly launched iOS-compatible version of iPhoto hit the 1 million user mark, only 10 days after its release. That’s not app downloads, mind you, but unique users. Given the app’s universal nature, it’s likely that many are installing it at least twice – once on the iPhone, or possibly the iPod Touch, and then again on the iPad. But Apple is counting such an installation only once in this metric. The number of actual downloads may be much higher.
This figure was reported first by The Loop, but Apple confirmed to us the same thing – 1 million in 10 days. That doesn’t mean as of today, to be clear, as the app was originally announced on March 7th in conjunction with the new, Retina display-ready iPad. (Apparently, iPhoto’s metrics as of today aren’t a nice, round enough figure to be worth highlighting.)
iPhoto, of course, is an ideal showcase for the new iPad’s capabilities, featuring a completely reworked interface designed to take advantage of the new iPad’s crisp resolution as well as the multi-touch gestures that Apple’s devices and others have made popular. With the iOS app, you can compare photos side-by-side, grab and move corners around to crop photos, touch up photos using a variety of fingertip brushes, add effects to photos by tapping, and more.
It’s also the third addition to Apple’s iLife suite, whose GarageBand and iMovie apps have previously been ported to iOS. But given the broad appeal of photo editing, it may end up being one of the most most popular Apple-branded apps yet. So far, more users seem to be happy with the app than they are displeased, at least based on iTunes reviews – iPhoto has 1,114 five-star reviews and 467 one-star reviews in iTunes, with a couple hundred plus in the 2, 3, and 4-star ranges.
Maybe it’s not perfect, but for $ 4.99 and guaranteed support thanks to the iGeniuses, it’s likely to be one of Apple’s hits, where others, like GarageBand perhaps, may have more niche appeal. After all, we’re not all musicians, but practically everyone takes photos.
I installed the app myself without even thinking twice – I mean, really, why not? Even as someone who’s far, far, far from being a professional photographer, it’s a great app in the sense of having a wealth of photo-editing tools all in one places. In many ways, it beats Adobe’s iOS version of Photoshop. For an in-depth review as to why, Ars Technica has a good read. But that’s more for people who care about things like tooltips, layers, and pixel limits – for an app to be a hit, it will have to convince mainstream users to take a shot on it, too. And that comes down to less easily quantified metrics like ease-of-use and “joy in using.” On that front, iPhoto is no Instagram, for sure, but it’s definitely more enjoyable to swipe your finger across images to adjust them that it ever was edit photos while sitting at your Mac, clicking your mouse. One feels like work. iPhoto on the iPad, and to a lesser extent, iPhone, feels like fun.