Fremont, California based ArcSoft, Inc.’s Photo+ is a photo viewer app for OS X that enables browsing of photo contents in any folder or drive without importing them to the application. The utility also includes handy built-in features like auto-rotation, arrow key and gesture navigation, support for over 35 image formats (including RAW files and animated GIF—see summary below), zoom, crop/rotate/delete while browsing, sharing to Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, and fullscreen or slideshow viewing. Photo+ currently sells for $1.99 (introductory price) in the Mac App Store and supports Mac OS X 10.7.3 and later.
Unlike iPhoto and other programs that oblige users to import photos into the application in order to view, Photo+ pulls images directly from any folder or drive. By just dragging or selecting a single image in a particular folder, Photo+ automatically displays every image contained within that folder without the constant closing and clicking that accompanies use of many photo-viewing programs. The latest version of Photo+ also supports Apple’s Retina displays.
Photo+ is smart enough to rotate vertical photos automatically so users don’t waste time rotating each photo. A swipe of the fingers moves the slideshow backward or forwards, and a quick pinch allows Photo+ users zoom without having to find the individual file, open it and begin zooming. If users prefer an overview of their photos, the thumbnail view is instantly available while the slideshow option allows for customization options such as music and more than a dozen transitions.
Sharing photos to the Cloud is as quick and easy as clicking the spacebar and selecting favorites while browsing. From there, individual photos or a slideshow are uploaded to Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.
Photo+ starts up with gratifying dispatch—about four seconds to display the user interface screen. The UI is a bit sombre-looking in grey on a vary dark grey field; not a functional issue, but it could be more cheerful. The default configuration is also more screen-filling than I prefer, but is easily resized.
Display of folder contents is also virtually instantaneous—faster than iPhoto. The thumbnail preview strip appears on mouseover toward the bottom of the window along with the program’s various controls/tools. Clicking on the image hides them again. The slideshow mode defaults fullscreen, but return to desktop window view is just a click away.
File information displayed with your images defaults to Date Taken, Resolution and File Size. You can set preferences to display any or all of: File Name, Camera Maker, Lens, F Number, Exposure Time, Exposure Bias, Focal Length, ISO, flash, Metering Mode, Exposure Program, White Balance, Brightness, Contrast and Saturation.
Note that if you edit an image and save it as a new file, the info displayed reverts to the defaults.
The program is stable and I encountered no bugginess or rough edges.
Photo+ is focused on its intended purpose, making no attempt to be a do-all or Jack-of-all-trades image app. It’s easy and intuitive to use, and performs the tasks for which it’s designed gracefully and efficiently as a Finder-based image viewing, slideshow, and Cloud upload app with a few image editing/manipulation tools included for convenience. Especially at the current price of $1.99, it’s an excellent value.
Buy ArcSoft Photo+
Provides: Folder-based photo viewing
Format: Digital download
Minimum System Requirements: OS X v10.7