TIME apps

Why Facebook’s New Photo App Isn’t Coming Out in Europe

Views of The Facebook Inc. Logo Ahead of Earnings
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Regulators are wary of facial recognition software

Facebook rolled out a new photo-sharing app in the U.S. this week, but it won’t come out in Europe in the near future due to concerns over how it uses facial recognition technology.

The app, called Moments, allows users to share photos with each other privately based around specific events and uses facial recognition software to detect which friends are in a given photo.

The technology, which is used to offer photo tagging suggestions on Facebook proper, is automatically set to be used on all users in the U.S. However, in Europe, Facebook will be forced to make facial scanning and tagging an opt-in feature, Facebook head of policy Richard Allen told the Wall Street Journal. Moments could roll out in Europe after the company develops an opt-in process.

This is not the first time European regulators have pushed back against Facebook’s practices. Belgium is currently suing the social network over its privacy policies and the European Union as a whole are drafting a new law that would increase regulators’ power to control Facebook’s activities, along with other websites.

TIME apps

Photo Storage Showdown: Google Photos vs. Apple iCloud vs. Amazon Prime vs. Dropbox vs. Flickr

Georgetown v Syracuse
Nate Shron—Getty Images A general view of the Carrier Dome seen through a camera on an iPhone of a fan in the stands at the start of the game between the Syracuse Orange and the Georgetown Hoyas on February 23, 2013 in Syracuse, New York.

Get the big picture on storing your photos in the cloud

Smartphone cameras have been a blessing, allowing us to capture the moment, any moment — nay, almost every moment — with just the tap of the screen. But the curse that comes alongside all these photos is how they gobble up storage space not just on your handset, but also on your computer.

Part of the problem is that most digital packrats don’t delete the flotsam and jetsam of our daily lives (how long should you keep those blurry snaps of last year’s July 4th fireworks?). But the bigger issue is that the more photos we take, the more files we have. Every Instagrammed latte is another failed attempt at feeding the photo monster.

To take some of the edge off, several popular cloud-based photo storage services have popped up to help you store your precious moments. Here’s a look at five popular choices:

Google Photos

The newest pic product on the block, Google Photos seems to have taken the best of every other service and rolled them into one great offering. But it’s by no means perfect. Available on Android, iOS or through a web browser, Google Photos gives users unlimited free storage for their standard-resolution images. As smooth looking and fluid feeling as you’d expect from a Google-made app, Photos displays, organizes, and shares your pictures better than anything available. In fact, it’s the display and organization where this product really stands out. Categorizing images with People, Places, and Things tags, it uses facial recognition, GPS location, and image search capabilities to make searching your photos easier than ever before.

But the tradeoff for this incredible convenience is privacy. After uploading his photos to Google’s service, Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt had second thoughts about Google’s use of his data. Be sure to actually read the terms of service on this one before you send your pictures into the cloud.

Apple iCloud

If you’ve got any Apple handheld product, there’s a good chance that you’re already using this service (and you may not even realize it), through something called “Photo Stream.” This is representative of how convoluted and confusing Apple’s online photo storage options have become. Actually, Apple has two online photo storage solutions: Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Library. The former stores your 1,000 most recent photos in the cloud, making them accessible across all your devices for free. The latter backs up all your photos ever and is free if you only use five gigabytes of space — though who could get away with that little storage? It’s more likely that you’ll have to pay, which ranges from monthly charges of $.99 for 20 gigabytes to as high as one terabyte for $20.

There’s no comparing that to Amazon or Google’s free-for-unlimited-storage pricing, but as far as user-friendliness is concerned, iCloud’s photo storage can’t be beat — so long as you’re purely an Apple user. Integrating into the company’s line of desktop and mobile apps, the service provides almost anything you’d want from a storage service, including access to Apple’s printing service and RAW file compatibility. It even has the ability to hunt down duplicate pictures to cut down on your digital clutter.

Amazon Cloud Drive

Unlimited online photo storage is one of several lesser-known perks of Amazon Prime membership, though non-Prime customers can pay $12 a year for the same deal. Whether it’s through a web browser, a mobile app, or a desktop program, the service lets users beam their pics up to the cloud. Compatible with Android, iOS, Mac, and PC, its cross-platform nature gives users access to their full photo library wherever they are: work, home or on the go.

While the promise of an infinitely large photo collection is alluring, the big knock on this service from current users is that it’s slower than it should be. But if good things come to those who wait, this should be enough (or maybe the speed will improve). Still, Amazon does store photos in their original, full resolution, which makes the unlimited offer attractive to archivists of all stripes.

Dropbox Carousel

A longtime favorite for storing files in the cloud, Dropbox released its Carousel app last year to make it easier for users to access web-archived photos. Though it started as one of the first cloud-based storage options, Dropbox’s free offering of two gigabytes is now far under par compared to the competition. The good news, however, is that its one terabyte for $10 per month deal is a better than average value—and if you can’t fill all that space with photos of your kids, you can store other files in there as well.

Carousel excels for those who use a wide range of devices, because Dropbox is compatible with operating systems ranging from Android to Ubuntu. Additionally, Carousel plays nicely with most social networks, letting users post images and videos online without a hitch. And sharing photos with others is as easy with Carousel as it is with Dropbox, which is to say, you can send over secure download links. If recipients also have Carousel, it’s a much better experience, keeping the photo transfer within the app. But since this application isn’t linked to an operating system like iOS or Android, it’s unlikely that you’ll encounter that coincidence.

Flickr

Yahoo has been working hard to rebuild its image in recent years. One way it’s done that is by making changes to Flickr. A longtime favorite of photographers, Flickr has been storing people’s photos online since 2004, perhaps longer than any other popular service. And because it’s been around so long, Flickr has a lot of features packed into its offering, from an excellent image searching tool (type in “flower” and it will find all your best buds) to in-the-cloud editing options. In order to attract new users, Flickr announced last year that it’s offering a free terabyte of storage for every user. The free option is ad-supported, which means in addition to your selfies, you’ll also be looking at glam shots of models and products, but that’s the price of gratis.

TIME Mobile

Here’s the 1 Trick to Getting People to Like Your Photos

Flickr study shows that filters increase engagement

Are you the kind of person who proudly attaches a #NoFilter hashtag to your photos online so that people know the pictures are authentic? Well, you’re missing out on a whole lot of likes, comments and other Millennial manna.

And now there’s data to prove it.

Researchers at Yahoo, in partnership with a professor at Georgia Tech, have published a new study analyzing how filters impact engagement on Yahoo’s photo-sharing site Flickr. According to the study, filtered photos are 21% more likely to be viewed than non-filtered photos and 45% more likely to be commented on. Photos with filters that project warm colors tend to drive more engagement than cooler filters (though we’re unconvinced anyone ever “likes” photos filtered with Kelvin, the overly orange tint available on Instagram)

By interviewing photographers, researchers also discovered different motivations for using filters. Serious photographers use filters to correct coloring errors or bring attention to specific objects. More casual photo-takers, meanwhile, use filters as a means of personalization or to achieve a general “vintage” feel.

While the study focused on Flickr users, it’s safe to say the findings apply to Instagram as well—in fact, more than half of the photos researchers analyzed had been cross-posted from Instagram to Flickr. So next time you’re trying to ensure that your latest picture will get that coveted 11th like, embrace the filter (but again, please, don’t use Kelvin).

TIME How-To

How to Automatically Post Instagram Photos to Twitter

TIME.com stock photos Social Apps iPhone Twitter
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

Here's an easy fix to a frustrating problem

Once upon a time, it was easy to share your Instagram photos via Twitter. But these days, sharing your Instagram images directly to Twitter just tweets out a boring old link, not that fav-worthy snapshot you just took.

No worries — there’s an easy fix.

IFTTT, short for “If This Then That,” is a program that lets you create “triggers” for your various apps. IFTTT has lots of great applications, but one of them is sharing Instagram images natively on Twitter once again.

To do so, you can create a recipe—IFTTT’s name for its triggers—for posting an image to Twitter every time you take a photo with Instagram.

First, visit IFTTT’s website and create an account. Then, visit this link and activate the recipe. You’ll then be asked to activate your Twitter and Instagram accounts, which you should go ahead and do. Then, the service will essentially link those two accounts, sending out a tweet every time you post a new photo to Instagram.

A few caveats: This setup can be a little slow, so fret not if your photos don’t show up on Twitter immediately after you post them on Instagram. And if you want to temporarily turn off the auto-posting, download IFTTT’s mobile app, which lets you turn recipes on and off on a whim.

 

TIME Nepal

See Satellite Images of Nepal Before and After the Earthquake

Photos show the destruction and the camps where survivors are sheltering

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake that devastated Nepal on Sunday has altered the face of the country, as new satellite images show. The disaster has killed more than 4,600 people and leveled buildings—many of them historic—to rubble.

The Dharhara Tower, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was toppled, leaving about 180 bodies in its ruins. Survivors have set up tents and other temporary structures in open areas of their towns and cities, away from the danger of more buildings falling in an aftershock, as they await aid. Meanwhile, villagers in remote areas of Nepal are cut off by landslides that prevent rescue crews from providing relief.

TIME golf

See Sports Illustrated’s 100 Best Masters Photos

Since the 1950s, Sports Illustrated has captured every big moment at the Masters. Take a look back at the 100 best photos, including Jack's magical finish in 1986, Arnie's last win in 1964, and Tiger's 2001 masterpiece.

TIME Smoking

These 4D Ultrasound Photos Show How Fetuses Respond to Their Mothers’ Smoking

See the difference between smokers and non-smokers

A group of researchers have released 4D ultrasound photographs that show the impact smoking during pregnancy has on fetus movement in the womb.

Dr Nadja Reissland, Durham University

The top row shows fetuses of smoking mothers and the bottom row represents those of non-smokers.

The study, out of Durham University in the UK, found that the fetuses of women who smoke have higher rates of facial touching and mouth movement — normally there would be a declining rate. This suggests that fetuses who are exposed to cigarettes have a delayed development in the central nervous system.

“These results point to the fact that nicotine exposure per se has an effect on fetal development over and above the effects of stress and depression,” lead researcher Dr. Nadja Reissland said in a release.

The study looked at 20 fetuses, four of which had mothers smoking an average of 14 cigarettes per day. Although researchers say that a larger study is needed to confirm the results.

Conclusion: Maybe don’t take your pregnancy health advice from Mad Men.

TIME apps

Hands-On: Apple’s New Photos App for Mac Is a Major Overhaul

Apple Photos App
Apple Apple Photos App

You can download it now

Updated Wednesday, April 8: The Photos app is now available for download with the OS X 10.10.3 update.

All I wanted to do was save a few videos onto my iPad for a presentation.

But, already, I’m getting ahead of myself. A few days ago, I downloaded the Mac OS X 10.10.3 Beta, Apple’s not-yet-ready for launch operating system. It packs many improvements, the most noteworthy being an entirely revamped photo managing interface. Gone is Apple’s multi-prong photo solution that included Aperture for the experts and iPhoto for the rest of us. In its place is a new Photos app, which takes many a nod from its iOS counterpart.

Upon first glance, the new Mac Photos app is an enormous improvement when it comes to handling massive amounts of images. And let’s face it, after six generations of iPhones, with high-quality DSLRs and action-cams aplenty, most of us have more pictures than we’ll ever need, let alone look at again. I personally have more than 15,000 in my library.

This app makes you fall in love with your forgotten photos all over again. Using the Mac’s touchpad, you can pinch and spread your fingers to zoom out and in on your images, respectively, just as you would if you were browsing your photos on an iOS device. The most impressive part of the interface is how it renders your pictures instantly, turning icon-sized images into full-fledged photos in a snap.

But as with any update, I had this nagging feeling that Photos somehow didn’t have all my pictures in it. I couldn’t think of anything I was necessarily missing (and truth be told, I had excised a chunk of about seven years from my cache), though it didn’t seem possible that Photos could be this good at displaying, reordering, and resizing all 15,000 of my memories at once. But without any specific photo missing, I just shrugged and moved on.

Fast forward to a couple of days later, and I’m trying to save a few Dropcam videos onto my iPad to show during a presentation. While these movies can be viewed within the Dropcam app, it’s never safe to assume there will be functional Wi-Fi when you’re giving a presentation, so I decided to save them to my device. But that wasn’t possible through the Dropcam app, so I had to save them using Safari on my Mac. Then I figured I’d import them onto my iPad using Photos. (Dropcam engineers: Note, while it’s possible to share these videos and download them on other devices, it’s not possible to save them direct to an iOS device. Please fix this.)

It was at this point when I noticed the current pitfalls of Apple’s new Photos app. With my iPad plugged into my Mac, I scrolled through my photos, realizing these were not the photos on my iPad. In fact, there was no mention of my tablet on the user interface. I clicked on the app’s various tabs, and finally came across my iPad’s library when I clicked on the “Import” button. But the only thing that would let me do was copy the images on my iPad onto my computer — so that’s what I did, requesting they be deleted from the device once uploaded. That actually never happened; my iPad still has the images on it, even though they were imported to my Mac’s photo library.

I clicked on Photo’s “help” menu, and navigated down to the “Photos Quick Tour” option, only to discover that it’s “coming soon.” This is understandable for a beta app, if still disappointing. And it was then that I realized what was missing between Photos and iPhoto: a sidebar.

One reason Photos seems so slick and fluid is that it looks like an iOS app: simple, single-screened, and singularly focused on displaying your images. iPhoto, for all its clunky faults, had a file manager-like sidebar that allowed users to make albums, drag-to-copy photos, and quickly navigate to file formats like videos or the last batch imported. As Photos’ first glance turned into stone-cold reality, it seemed like the new app had forsaken all of these crucial features.

After a few more seconds of poking through the app’s menus, I was relieved to see that Apple included a sidebar after all — it’s just turned off by default. Relieved, and ready to love Photos again, I dragged my videos onto the iPad icon only to — wait, this can’t be! — the app wouldn’t copy my video onto my iPad.

More web-based troubleshooting ensued, and I discovered that to save a video onto your iPad, you have to use iTunes, Apple’s music app which is mostly used for buying songs, apps and movies. Think about that sentence for a moment, and maybe give it another read if you need to. And what’s worse, once you’re in iTunes, you select your iPad and then the Photos setting to import your video. (Also, once videos are copied to the tablet, they don’t appear in the Videos app — they are placed into the Photos app, mixed in with your pictures.)

It’s so disheartening to be critical of Apple’s new Photos app, especially when iPhoto is so outmoded that it needed to go to pasture years ago. But this experience, while mixed, shows how much further Apple has to go before it untangles the knot introduced by its two distinct operating systems. Technologies like Yosemite’s Continuity show the potential of a realm in which all Apple devices work in harmony, but the reality, once you start using it, is still a lot of discord. Hopefully Apple’s Photos app will be more polished when it’s released to the public, expected to happen in the next few months.

TIME People

Rare JFK Vacation Photos Will Go Under the Hammer

The images are unusually relaxed and candid

Rare photographs of John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline on vacation in Cape Cod will be put up for auction later this month.

The pictures were taken in August 1961 and depict the then First Couple in rare moments of candor — the former president casually enjoying a meal at Listerine heiress Rachel ‘Bunny’ Mellon’s beach house, Jackie smoking a cigarette and JFK going for a swim in the bay.

The photos are the latest in a series of JFK memorabilia to go under the hammer, with negatives from the couple’s wedding ceremony selling for $34,000 in October 2014.

“They’re amazing pictures,” Jackie Style author Pamela Keogh told People. “These were the masters of the universe in their downtime, sitting on beach chairs, smoking and eating clam chowder.”

See two of the images here.

TIME portfolio

The 32 Most Surprising Photos of the Month

From fireworks in Munich to tiger cubs in London, TIME shares the most outrageous images from January 2015

Phil Bicker, who edited this photo essay, is a Senior Photo Editor at TIME

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