Riding the Adobe Carousel

December 17, 2011 12:55 am

Tags: Adobe, Carousel, iPad, iPhone, Photography

file_476229.jpgProduct Review: Adobe Carousel

With Adobe® Carousel, you (and your selected friends) can store, edit, and share your photographs … all within one little (but oh so powerful) App. The Adobe® Carousel App is very intuitive, and I was very impressed with the nearly nonexistent learning curve. It is truly an "open and enjoy" App.

Although a Windows/Android version of Adobe Carousel is in development, as of this review, the Adobe Carousel App requires a Mac OS X v10.7 or an iOS 4.2 (or later) operating system, and is only compatible with the following devices: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and both iPad and iPad 2.

The ability to open, view, manipulate, and share "carousel" stored images on an iPad, iPhone, and Mac without having to manually sync to a specific device makes this a must-have App. One of my favorite features is the capability to collaborate with others in regards to uploading, editing, and deleting images within a carousel album.

Choose an album, Select an album, and Pick Photos within an album

Uploading images into your Adobe Carousel is easy. If you have a Mac, you can upload directly from your computer. If you own a PC instead of a Mac, and you own an iPhone or an iPad (and you don't want to wait around for the Windows/Android version) … no problem … you can still utilize the Adobe Carousel's features on your iPhone and/or iPad.

It's easy to add photos taken with your iPhone and/or iPad device, as well as "grabbing" images from the web, along with sharing images between iPhones and/or iPads. And, you can still fully manipulate and share images using your iPhone and/or iPad. Furthermore, if you own an iPhone and/or an iPad, but use a PC instead of a Mac, Adobe states that the upcoming Windows/Android version of the Adobe Carousel App will include support for all new platforms.

Within the basic UI: you can rate an image; open the Edit Mode; open the Actions Mode

Adobe Carousel is more than a place to safely store your photos; it also functions as a mini-editor. Clicking the "Develop" button gives you access to the 3 editing functions: Adjustments, Looks, and Crop & Rotate.

In Looks: using the "Aquatic" Filter

"Looks," with its 17 visual effects filters, puts the fun back into editing. Just click on one of the filter examples, and the filter is temporarily applied to your image. Apply the effects that you like, and undo the ones that you do not.


"Adjustments" gives you additional editing functions (White Balance, Exposure, Contrast), that can be either manually or auto applied.

The arrows next to each editing feature, in turn, opens additional editing functions

If you opt for the manual-sliders, under each of the three functions are additional editing tools (for example: under White Balance, you can also adjust Temperature and Tint).


The "Crop & Rotate" is one of my favorite editing functions. The cropping screen is composed of nine equal sections, adhering to the artistic "rule of thirds." Within this editing function is also the "straighten-slider," which aids in converting a lopsided image into a picture-perfect photo.

Adobe Carousel authorizes the user to create up to five separate "carousel" photo albums. You can then share each carousel album with up to five different users. You can also upload and store a limitless number of images within each carousel album. The innovative Adobe Carousel technology allows you to view copious photos on your iPhone and/or iPad … without exceeding your device's storage space.

You can share each of your five carousels with up to five individual users.

Like a traditional carousel ride, Adobe Carousel's sharing aspects has its ups and downs. The upside of sharing is that you can select the people you want to share specific albums with. Those you invite to share albums can utilize the Adobe Carousel App without having to purchase their own subscription. Once you authorize a person to share an album, they can add images to that album, edit images within that album, download images from that album, as well as share (and delete) individual images within that album.

The downside: anyone you invite to "share" your carousel album(s) … can edit, share, upload and delete any image within that specific shared album (there are some limitations imposed on the shared accounts, but its best to have unconditional trust in those you invite to share, especially if you value your photos and your friendships).

On the subject of sharing, you can also share individual photos (not complete albums) with social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. You can also email images directly from within the Adobe Carousel App.

Easily share an image within the Actions Panel.

Like all new programs, there are some features that are lacking, and others that need improvement (and some of these features are already on Adobe's development list). Currently, photo albums can only be grouped by date, which can make it rather difficult when searching for a specific image, especially in a large carousel album. Also, with this version, JPEG is the only file format that Adobe Carousel supports (adding additional file formats is one of the new features that is already on Adobe's "coming soon" list).

Adobe offers a 30-day "try before you buy" option … if you want to continue using Adobe Carousel, it does require a subscription. For a limited time, you can lock in your subscription for $5.99 a month (or commit to a full year for $59.99, which saves you nearly $12). Be sure to check the Adobe website for the current subscriptions prices.

Although I own a PC, I enjoyed working with all of the Adobe Carousel App features using only an iPad and an iPhone. With many new features to be added in the near future, I would recommend this App for its ease of use, its functionality, and its piece of mind (knowing your images are stored in a safe external location). Are the features worth the price? Take it for a free, month-long test-drive and then you can decide for yourself.

Visit the official Adobe site, to learn even more about the Adobe Carousel App, or follow Adobe Carousel on Twitter for the latest updates.

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December 19, 2011

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