The recent release of iOS 6 introduced a lot of new features, many of which are somewhat hidden away. Some of the changes, however, can come as something of a surprise. And if you like to share your photographs by e-mail there’s one change in particular that you need to note.
If you use the default Photos app to browse and share your images, you may be used to seeing a little “action sheet” pop up each time you choose to e-mail an image. Something like this:
(You’ll notice that this is a pretty big original file—that’s because it is an uncompressed TIFF taken with 645 PRO and then copied to Camera Roll.)
The nice thing about the choices offered here is that you can decide whether to send anything from a tiny file, to give the recipient a flavor of the image, through to the original, unmodified file.
[edit, with additional information]
However, in iOS 6 it’s not the same.
If you’re using iPad, it doesn’t asks you what size image you want to send. Instead, it decides for you. It always sends the photograph at its original dimensions, but compresses the image if it considers its file size is “too big”. (Under iOS 5.x, iPad didn’t ask either, but it did sent the image file unmodified.)
Meanwhile, your iPhone does give you the choices, but if it decides the file is “too big” it compressed it substantially first, so you still can’t send out your original files if they’re of high quality.
This might not have been an issue a year ago, when pretty much any picture on your Camera Roll was likely to be a standard quality JPEG of under 3 MB. But following on from the launch of Jag.gr’s 645 PRO, many more iPhoneographers are saving higher-quality files (in both TIFF and JPEG formats) of a size that Photos regards as “too big”.
Oh, and that’s not all. If the “too-big” image is a TIFF, it actually sends it as a JPEG but—really annoyingly—then gives that JPEG a file extension of .TIF. So you send (or think you send) a 14.4 MB TIFF but your recipient gets a 1.1 MB JPEG that (because it is described as a TIFF) they may not even be able to open!
If the image is below the “too big” threshold, on the other hand, it does get sent as an actual TIFF. The trouble is, when dealing with larger files, you don’t know what’s actually going to happen from image to image. And that’s confusing at best
So, if you want any control over exactly what you’re e-mailing, it’s clear the new version of Photos is not the tool to use (even if its simplified—one fewer click—interface may suit a lot of people a lot of the time).
So what other options are there for e-mailing high-quality TIFFs?
Using the Mail app
The obvious choice may appear to be the default e-mail client, Mail. After all, it now allows you to insert an image directly into an e-mail (just tap-hold on the message you’re creating):
The good news is that this does actually end up e-mailing a “clean” copy of the original file. The bad news is that a TIFF called (say) 20120924091036.TIF arrives as image.png. That’s right, not only does the filename get changed, it also appears to be a PNG rather than a TIFF. Only, once again, it isn’t what is appears to be, it really is a TIFF and—just like the JPEG pretending to be a TIFF above—this “PNG” needs to be renamed as a TIFF before most software will be able to read it.
OK, so what if you copy and paste from Photos into Mail. You can tap-hold on any picture in Photos, select Copy, then go to Mail, create a new message, tap-hold again, and select Paste:
Amazingly, this actually works. As with Insert Photo or Video, the file gets renamed, but this time it arrives as image.tiff, and can be opened straight up by your image editor of choice.
So, for now, this seems to be the best way to share TIFFs by e-mail.
Mailing TIFFs from 645 PRO: coming soon!
Why aren’t we just suggesting you mail your TIFFs straight from 645 PRO? After all, that’s where you probably took them, and there is an e-mail option.
Unfortunately—and this is where it gets slightly embarrassing—it turns out Apple’s not the only one capable of making a bit of a mess of e-mailing photographs.
645 PRO does a great job of mailing JPEGs—we think you should use it for that whenever possible. And while 645 PRO will certainly e-mail your TIFFs intact it, currently, takes an inadvertent leaf out of Apple’s book and renames them as JPEGs (you can name them back as TIFFs, but that’s still annoying). This will be fixed in Release 2.1 of 645 PRO which is coming very soon…
And once it is fixed, we really do advise using 645 PRO for TIFFs as well as JPEGs, because—just as in older versions of Photos—you get an action sheet letting you choose which size you want to send, so you have the choice between sending the full-sized TIFF or a reduced-size image, as you prefer!