• Editor Rating

  • Rated 2.5 stars
  • OK

  • Unbound
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: Dec 12, 2013

Review Summary:

PROS: Simple and distraction-free interface. Very fast performance. Has a lot of potential. CONS: Seems like a beta version in terms of functionality. Overpriced, at the moment.

When it comes to storing, organizing, and editing images on a Mac, I guess most of us rely on Apple’s iPhoto. This application comes preloaded with every new Mac, so when you buy a new computer you’ll also receive a set of free applications which are very powerful and useful. Even though a lot of people use iPhoto, there are still those who are not truly satisfied with this application and are trying to find the best replacement.

The truth is that there are a lot of reasons to like iPhoto, but there are also numerous negative sides to this application. Owners of older Macs often experience lags and slow performance, while other users get overwhelmed by iPhoto’s organizing and editing capabilities. This is why you can find a lot of simple and complex photo editors right in the OSX App Store.

Unbound 1

In this article we’ll take a look at Unbound, which is being marketed as a speedy iPhoto alternative. This application is priced at $10 and it’s available on the Mac App Store.

Before even starting to explain how this application looks like and how well it performs, there are several things that need to be said. Even though you’ll hear that Unbound is called an iPhoto alternative, this isn’t completely true. Unbound doesn’t have any editing capabilities, and this application is made to help you organize photos and view them. There are also some other minor features which we’ll talk about throughout this article.

Unbound scr3

The biggest selling point of Unbound is its speed, and this is something that iPhoto users will appreciate since Apple’s photo editor can become very slow with larger libraries. Unbound takes pre-existing folders on your hard drive to create its own library, where subfolders will be recognized as albums. This will give you a very easy organization, much simpler than iPhoto’s. It also comes with a fairly simple interface where you’ll see a left-positioned sidebar with all your albums, while the rest of the screen will show images positioned in a grid. You can create new albums inside Unbound, but if you create a new folder with images on your hard drive it will be also recognized as a new album. This can be especially useful in case you use Dropbox to keep photos in sync, where you can see live changes right within this application.

When it comes to organization, there’s not that much you can do inside this application. You can create new albums, and you can name your images. This way you can find an exact image, even though this sounds like a lot of pointless work. There’s no way to use tags or ratings, so Unbound is pretty basic when it comes to organization. What you can also do with this application is to create slideshows, view metadata (with maps included), and share your images. That’s pretty much it.

Even though I would really like to see a well-executed iPhoto replacement, Unbound seems like a good foundation which comes with a lot of potential. I believe that asking price of $10 is too much at this moment, but if you’re interested you can download a free beta version to give it a try.


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