Photo-Sort iTuneless, and hits more notes

Here’s the bottom line. Last Thursday I discussed ways to get photos to and from your iPad without the USB/iTunes connection. Today I’ll discuss Photo-Sort, an app to help you manage them.


  • Lets you create albums with smaller albums inside
  • Name individual images
  • Use all the viewing features of iPad Photos

Photo-Sort does have some limitations, so it will never serve all your image catalog. needs:

  • Limited wireless transfer
  • Can’t export the albums themselves
  • Isn’t as pretty as iPad Photos

In addition, I do nothing. Seriously. No snide comments; at least none that don’t rise directly from the review itself. No rambling stories about life with Siamese Rescue. No passing references to names of people you should remember from college even if you don’t remember why smart people remember them.

I know you don’t believe me, but it’s true.

More like a file cabinet than an album, but that’s okay

Last Thursday, I wrote about Photo Transfer, an app to move photos between your iPad quickly and with a wireless connection. But that still leaves you with the need to depend on iPhoto and iTunes to organize your iPad photos.

This would be the perfect opportunity for a caustic remark about the ongoing shortsightedness of Apple’s iPad software development team. However, I’ll let the last sentence suffice and simply mention another app that steps to the plate. Photo-Sort for iPad allows you to create photo albums directly on your iPad. You can move photos from one album to another, nest albums inside other albums and even reorganize your entire collection.

I’ve placed Photo-Sort right next to Photos and Photo Transfer on my iPad and use the three together constantly. In fact, if Photo-Sort would let me load photos directly from my laptop or email I probably wouldn’t use Photos at all.

I would have posted this blog Friday, as a direct follow up to Photo Transfer, but Friday’s game day and no topic trumps game day. At least not until I get tired of it.

And yesterday was the 4th of July so I didn’t post a column. Well, actually it was the 5th of July but we don’t celebrate the 4th on weekends in America.

Think Photo mini-Finder

Photo-Sort reminds me more of the Windows file manager than the Mac Finder, but it’s slightly less kludgy. You can add folders to the app’s main window, and the nest as many folders inside as you want. You can name and rename the folders and the folder icons display the first image in the folder.

You can create as many folders as you want.

Each folder can hold photos and more folders.

You can copy any folder to any other folder or simply move it with cut and paste.

Photo-Sort comes with a complete panel of file management tools. You have to bring the photos in from your camera roll, but once they’re imported they’re yours to manage.
When you need to use the photo with another app you can send it back to the camera roll, email it, or send it to your hard drive with a wireless ftp connection.

Photo-Sort offers a number of photo management tools..

Name individual photo files

With the iPad and Photos you really have no way to name or keep track of your photos other than to use the places and faces features (which still require Mac users to do all the work in iPhoto on your main computer; I’m not sure how it works in Windows).

Photo Transfer assigns the folder name and a number whenever you import an image from your camera roll. You can change the name at any time with the iPad’s virtual keyboard.

This provides you with two ways to find your image. You can look by name and by image icon. The actual image thumbnails are comparable to camera roll thumbnails. However Photo-Sort stretches the thumbnail to icon proportions. Apple’s Photos crops the image area outside the thumbnail proportions.

Full image browser

Photo-Sort’s image viewer is almost identical to Apple’s Photos app. Each folder functions as a photo album that you can view one image at a time, or play as a slideshow. You can even view the photos as thumbnails from inside the viewer.

The Big However

Photo-Sort is a nifty little app, but it has a couple of limitations. It certainly won’t serve as your only photo management tool.

Limited wireless file transfer

I’m listing this as a Photo-Sort limitation because the file transfer feature exists, but it’s marginally functional. You connect to your iPad from your home computer using the device’s ftp address, which will be displayed in a Photo-Sort dialogue. Your iPad appears as a file window on your desktop. You move the files to any folder on your hard drive by dragging any folder or files from one window to the next.

You can connect your computer directly to Photo-Sort

Actually getting the files to copy can be a bit of a chore. In practice, Photo-Sort can handle a maximum of sixteen to twenty images. And forget about dragging nested folders inside a larger folder. I pretty much had to drag and drop every folder individually. With larger folders, I had to move the images fifteen or twenty at a time.

Do you want to move images from your hard drive directly to Photo-Sort? That’s not going to happen.

I basically use Photo Transfer for this task, and it runs more smoothly without having to look at my computer’s desktop.

The albums can’t move to your Photos folder

You can move individual images to email or the Photos camera roll, but the folders aren’t leaving the Photo-Sort app. Your albums can’t be accessed outside of the app. However, I don’t see this being any different from the Photos app itself.

Photo-Sorts’s folders aren’t as pretty as Photo’s albums

When you look at Photos on the iPad TV commercials, they look cool. You see little photo stacks with the top image displayed. The albums pop against the black background. No question about it, Photos on TV is sexy.

It’s one thing to want to get sexy with an app. It’s another thing to have to deal with it once the package is unwrapped and you see what’s underneath the window dressing. When I was a teenaged boy we had a phrase for that. “Nice house. Nobody home.”

Photo-Sort’s folders look like folders with an image icon pasted on top. There’s nothing sexy about that unless you fill the folders with sexy photos. The folders are lined across a white background and look as plain as Windows.

Once I start organizing my images, I forget how ugly those folders are.

Jenny Manytoes rates

Jenny Manytoes would take a nap next to Photo-Sort. But don’t let the middle of the road rating fool you. What it does well, it does very well. Unfortunately it doesn’t do enough to function without other apps lending a hand.

The Jenny Manytoes Rating System

Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat
  • When Jenny makes biscuits on a product she thinks she’s in heaven.
  • When Jenny purrs over a product she’s very happy.
  • When Jenny naps next to a product it’s okay with her.
  • When Jenny bunches her tail she can live with a product, but she has higher expectations.
  • When Jenny leaves it in the litter box….I don’t think I need to explain this one.

iPad Envy is created entirely using apps from my iPad
iPad Envy.


About Phillip T Stephens

Phillip T. Stephens disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle twenty years before he was born, creating a time travel paradox so confusing it remains unspoken between physicists and sci-fi writers to this day. Follow @stephens_pt
This entry was posted in Accessories, iPad, Photo Utilities, Power Apps and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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