AMITIAE - Tuesday 6 January 2015

New Version of the Plum Amazing Watermarking Software for iOS Devices: iWatermark+

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By Graham K. Rogers

Plum Amazing

Anyone whose photographs appear online these days is likely to have them stolen one way or another. There are ordinary users who see images on the web and think they might look good on their own pages; or they could be sent to friends who then believe it is open-season and have no idea that someone was at the beginning of a creative process.

There are also those running their own sites - not large operators - who want a couple of images to go with the information they have and simply copy and paste with no attribution. Several of my images have appeared on sites in Vietnam, Russia, Singapore and elsewhere.

There are major commercial sites, often news-oriented, who do sometimes try to contact owners of the original image, but in emergency - a breaking story for example - will use the images. In some cases, the companies will negotiate later.

There are also social networking sites, for example, Facebook, and if an image is uploaded there, it is owned by that site: read the Terms and Conditions. Apart from student images uploaded to a Facebook group, intended for such communications, I avoid putting high quality images on my Facebook pages (or other social networking sites), uploading only pictures with a deliberately low resolution. In most cases, I also add a watermark.

On the Mac I have been using versions of Plum Amazing Software's iWatermark, for a while now: originally iWatermark, but later iWatermark Pro as this has a plugin for Aperture and (for now at least), I can export in one go. I have also been using iWatermark on the iPhone and reviewed this in January 2012, commenting then on updates to iWatermark.

iWatermark iWatermark

On Monday a new version of the app was released, with two options: iWatermark+ Free; and iWatermark+ ($3.99). Plum Amazing point out that there are now versions for iOS, OS X and Windows. An updated Android version is coming soon. Other information includes:

  • Seven watermark types - text, text on an arc, graphic, signature, QR, metadata and steganographic.
  • Easy access to database of personal and public watermarks
  • Ability to select and use one or multiple watermarks simultaneously
  • Individual or batch watermarking of photos.
  • 262 fonts for text watermarks (212 regular and 50 iOS system fonts): fonts available at no extra cost
  • Signature scanner allows import of signature or other graphic as watermark.
  • Live preview and adjusting of effects like scale, opacity, font, color, tint, size, position and angle.
  • Steganographic watermarks that embed any info in the photo image and can be given a password
  • Optional PhotoShrinkr to optimize the look and compression on export.

[Note: Steganography is "secret writing" - allows text to be concealed within an image file.]

Both versions of the app are now available for download from the iTunes App Store: iWatermark+ and iWatermark+ Free. The OS X version is only available from the Plum Amazing site along with versions for the other platforms.

iWatermark iWatermark iWatermark

Those watermarks already available can be edited and there is also a feature that allows creation of a user's own watermarks, with several types offered. With the free version, a nag screen appears when the user opens each watermark.

The free version of the iOS app does add a developer watermark as well as those created by the user. This is a normal practice and does encourage those serious about protecting their photographs to upgrade: $3.99 (132 baht)is not a massive amount.

And despite the icon at the top of the page, I did upgrade to the full version.

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.



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All content copyright © G. K. Rogers 2015