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Back from Florida

State of FloridaThe weather was so nice, it was difficult to leave and come home. I feel very fortunate to have been able to spend a bit more time in Florida this winter. Thanks to FaceTime, Skype, Polycom, iMessage, email, and the web, it was easy to participate in board meetings remotely. I was even able to chair a hospital quality committee meeting remotely, thanks to the high quality PolyCom video-conferencing system they have. My current doctoral course is in health care economics. One of the team assignments required a teleconference. There were four of us in diverse locations; Ottawa, Baltimore, Florida, and Jordan. If two of the students were in Canada and the Middle East, it didn’t matter that I was in Florida instead of home in Connecticut. We were all just a few hundred milliseconds apart.
Before leaving Florida, I decided to try out the new iPhoto app on the iPad3. It goes beyond the photos app that comes with the iPad. In addition to taking advantage of the greatly enhanced retina screen, the iPhoto app has a new feature called Journals. In addition to viewing your albums, events, faces, and places, you can create journals. A journal is a web page that can include pictures from your albums plus special add-ins from the app including a calendar icon representing the date you took the pictures, a map showing where you took them, and a weather icon showing what the weather was like when you took the picture or alternatively what the weather there is now. You can also add quotations and text boxes. See March in Florida for a page I created as a first try. The pictures can be edited, touched up, brightened, manipulated with effects, air-brushed, and arranged in a collage — all with your fingers. You then save the journal to a glass shelf and it is uploaded to iCloud where you can share it with friends, family, or the public. A home page shows all your shelves with the journals lined up on them in date sequence. In effect, journals gives you the ability to create a web site at iCloud with no traditional design tools. Just your iPad and your fingers.  This is classic Apple making things easy — it just works. But, it is not perfect.
iCloud can be slow in accepting your upload. The shelves on the iPad include a favorites shelf but that shelf does not appear on the homepage at iCloud. The six journals I created are not in date sequence as they are supposed to be. The iPhoto app does not sync with your iPhoto app on the Mac or your photos on a PC. The iPhoto pictures sync to the photos app on the iPad, not the new iPhoto app on the iPad. Syncing is one-way. If you delete or edit a picture or add a new one in one of your iPhoto albums on the iPad, it does not sync to iPhoto on the Mac or on your PC. There are a few things that need polish but you can see the vision coming through. Take a picture with your iPhone or iPad and the picture automatically goes to your photostream at iCloud. iCloud then pushes the picture down to all your other devices. You can then create journals and share them via iCloud. Facebook, Google, flickr, and others have nice ways to store and share photos, but journals are now offering an alternative that includes content creation for anyone with some imagination and an iPad.  As usual, I confess to not being a good photographer nor artistically creative.