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Hello iPhoto for iPad & iPhone is an amazing new way to learn

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If there's one thing about iPhoto for iPad and iPhone that I've never been too happy with, it's that the apps aren't exactly self-explanatory and Apple doesn't provide much in terms of an onboard guided tour. Long-time Apple developer and publisher Saied Ghaffari has just published a new iBook titled Hello iPhoto for iPad & iPhone (US$1.99) that provides a unique way of learning the tricks of iPhoto for your iOS device.

I had the opportunity to talk with Saied recently about the book, which was created in iBooks Author and has been featured by Apple in the iBookstore. He's no newcomer to the how-to book market, having created the popular "It's About Time: Learn the Switch to Mac" application that led a generation of switchers to the OS X platform. That app made it into special bundles with Parallels Desktop as well, providing a way for switchers to painlessly make the way between Windows and OS X.

Times change, and now Saied has embraced iBooks Author and created a helpful companion to the iOS version of iPhoto. Once purchased and downloaded to your iPad, the book appears on the shelf in iBooks. With a tap, it opens to a gorgeous photo of the Grand Canyon -- an image repeated on other chapter headings. In the lower left corner is a small thumbnail that opens a launch page when tapped.

The launch page provides a portal to learning a bit about iPhoto and iTunes on your Mac, iPhoto on your iPad, or iPhoto on your iPhone. Tapping any one of the images on the launch page takes you right into that specific book chapter.

Going to the iPad chapter brings up three more images, any one of which can be triggered with a "tap to learn." The main topics are an Overview of iPhoto, Browsing & Sharing, and Editing. If I select Browsing & Sharing, for example, I see a more focused page with descriptions of two lessons -- one for Browsing, one for Sharing. With a tap on either description, I'm into the lesson. Once you're at this level, the document is readable in the usual "swipe to turn a page" manner.

This is where Saied's experience in computer-based training really shines. Through the placement of small "magnifying lenses" on the page, your eye is drawn to a feature of iPhoto that you're going to learn about. Saied then takes you through a succinct written description of the feature to accompany the images.

To be honest with you, I pretty much ignored iPhoto for iOS until I read Hello iPhoto. In the short amount of time that it took for me to go through the book, I was able to pick up a lot of hints and tips about iPhoto for iOS that I wasn't previously aware of. I feel that the $2 price tag of the book is a perfect price point for Hello iPhoto, as it definitely provided much more value in terms of a learning experience.

If you have purchased iPhoto for iOS, but still find yourself not using the app all that much, you owe it to yourself to buy Hello iPhoto. It will get you up to speed on iPhoto in no time at all.

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