Apple’s all-new ‘Photos’ app turns iCloud’s silver lining into pure gold

“This spring, Apple plans to replace its 12-year-old iPhoto with a new application for Mac desktops and laptops called, simply, Photos,” Geoffrey A. Fowler writes for The Wall Street Journal. “It looks and works much like the streamlined Photos app already on the latest iPhones and iPads, and is designed to make Apple’s subscription iCloud storage more relevant in our lives.”

“Apple gave the new Photos software to developers Thursday, and says it will be a free download later this spring for people who have Macs running OS X Yosemite,” Fowler writes. “I had a chance to preview Photos for a few days on a laptop filled with photos on loan from Apple. I’m an avid photographer, but I abandoned iPhoto a few years ago because it was too slow and limited for managing and editing my large collection. From what I’ve seen so far, Photos is a significant improvement for people who stick with Apple for all their devices.”

“Using Apple’s iCloud has been rather confusing in the past, but the approach in Photos finally makes some sense. If you choose to turn it on, all of your Apple devices feed all their full-resolution photos into iCloud, making them all available over the Internet to the Photos apps on all your Apple devices,” Fowler writes. “If you’re waiting for the catch, here it is: The Photos application may be free for Mac owners, but iCloud storage isn’t. Apple whets everyone’s appetite with 5 gigabytes of storage for free, but then charges $4 per month for 200 GB, or $10 for 500 GB. And it caps out at 1 TB for $20 per month.”

“If you don’t want to store and sync your photos in the cloud — or don’t trust cloud services in general — you can still use Photos as a standalone photo organizer and editor on your Mac,” Fowler writes. “Even without the cloud connection, it’s a big step up from iPhoto’s old knobs and menus.”

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Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Photos can’t get here soon enough. iPhoto is on its last legs!


  1. Well that’s good news…especially after it was recently reported that almost all mention of “Photos” had been purged off Apple’s site. Many speculated that it might get cancelled; let’s just hope 1.0 isn’t a total cluster****

  2. I have a lot of home movies in iMovie and even iPhoto too. To store them all on iCloud, I image it will cost me to much to do so.

    I have a lot of different sets of iPhotos on different laptops and desktops that are all using the same iCloud username. I am curious how duplicates will be handled.

    I really hope Apple is able to pull this off.

    1. This is my thought too: the last time that I checked, my iPhoto library was over 800GB in size…and that’s 100% all my own personally created content (no ripped DVDs)…which would cost $240/year in iCloud storage expenses. Sorry, but I’m already buying redundant hard drives for backups *and* paying the rent on a bank safety deposit box to put them in for a secure off-site data repository…for less than $240/year.

      Plus because we don’t have affordable high speed bandwidth connectivity where we live, consider the burden of the bandwidth time required to conduct the initial library synch: if my connection were to run at its advertised theoretical max (which it never does), it will take 621 days (1.7 years).

      Even if we had a dedicated T1 line, we would still be looking at 50+ days (nearly 2 months) for that synch…and both of these numbers assume ideal conditions with no ISP caps.

  3. One curious omission: Photos doesn’t let you assign star ratings, a tool I use to sort my collection. They’ve replaced it with a “favorites” button, good for calling out the crème de la crème, but I miss having star ratings to highlight my second and third tier of shots. (Star ratings imported from iPhoto libraries now simply get tagged with labels like “5 star.”)

    Sigh… getting rid of yet another useful feature for no good reason.

    Current iPhoto: select photo(s), click star. There is no step 3.

    New Photos app: select photo(s), click tags field, type “5 star” or select existing tag.

    Anyone thinking of saying “don’t judge til it’s out” I ask you, how would you feel if Apple got rid of stars for your iTunes music library, and you now “rate” them by writing in the comments field?

    1. If you are right about Photo then that IS a big mistake. Stars are a standard among consumer and pro photo applications alike. The eight colors are also common, but not as much as stars.

    1. Killing Aperture, I have no idea what the current state of FCP is, Apple’s server OS is killing me with temp file and permission issues.

      Seems like Apple cares more about the consumer market then the pro/enterprise market.

      1. Than go find out what FCPX is doing. I like, however there are other sites. After the initial shock people started understanding the direction Apple was going. Apple brought back a lot of the features that were left out at first, some like multi cam were vastly improved. Plug-ins have also filled a lot of the gaps. I think the same will be true of aperture. According to Apple they are going to allow plug-ins, this will make it a rapidly evolving application. I totally understand not wanting everything in the cloud. However this is the way Adobe is taking Photoshop, even worse you have to pay a subscription just use the software. Storing your photos online is an option, not a necessity, According to the article. You just will not have the instant sharing.

    2. Right? Why share the intimate details of your life with Apple aka Big Government? And all you haters can piss off with flaming this post because I don’t give two shites about your fanboyism. I like and use apple products, and I have a lot of them, but there’s is a line in the sand. iCloud sucks.

  4. Well I guess I’ll have to wait and see, but I don’t have very high expectations that Apple will provide something substantial for managing and organizing photos. Look at what they’ve done to iTunes with music library management. iTunes 10.7 was world class. 11 and up have been total crap for people with serious libraries. Library management of photos wasn’t the best in iPhoto. It was horrendously slow but the tools were there. I read the posting above where they’ve removed the star rating. That’s just ridiculous. The article even states it’s been simplified to be more iOS-like. I’ve been a Mac user since 1988, and the trend with their software these days isn’t good IMO.

    1. If wifi is still broken then maybe it is not the OS but something to do with your router. Alternatively there could be corrupt files in the OS that are messing up the system.
      If it were me with these issues I would:
      1. Backup my data
      2. Do a clean install on a machine.
      3. Test with only one Mac in the network and see if the issue still occurs.
      4. If using a third party router, get a new one from the service provider.
      5. Also have your service provider come in a check the quality of the line. That can cause issues.

      1. There are many postings from people saying that since they are not having any problems, the OS is fine.

        There are many very intelligent people have problems with OS X. I am not new to macs. I’ve been managing Macs at work for over 20 years. There are issues, there always have been for every OS, and that is life. But lately, there seems to be more then normal. I would like to see Apple skip a year like they did with Snow Leopard, fix some core issues and not introduce any new features.

      2. I have a PhD in computer science, mate. I know what I’m doing and saying. The same setup was perfect under Mavericks. I love Apple, but they have been f€&ing up lately.

  5. For those wondering…

    iCloud is optional
    iCloud is completely optional in Photos. It’s off by default, and there’s not annoyance or anything to turn it on. They’ll be marketing iCloud as a feature, but it entirely optional.

    You could use other cloud services
    Simply store your library in the cloud syncing directory such as Dropbox. But keep in mind, you’ll need Photos on OS X to open that library as a library. Otherwise, you’d need to navigate within the package which is messy and you certainly wouldn’t want to edit there.

    Almost everything from iPhotos in in Photos
    iPhotos users should be happy with the transition to Photos. The big exceptions comes from things like what you could do with Faces and Places.

    Much is missing from Aperture
    I can’t imagine any true Aperture user being satisfied with Photos. You’d have to have been someone who was really on the iPhoto side of the fence with Aperture to be content with Photos. Clearly Lightroom is the intended transition path for Aperture users.

    There’s not much reason to use Photos on a Mac versus Photos on an iOS device
    They share much of the same UI and functionality. There are some advantages on the Mac, but little that I could see that differs from what you could do on an iOS device. Faces is more functional on the Mac version. On the other hand, since few extensions are available on the Mac version yet, advanced editing may be stronger with iOS for now.

    Import from iPhoto or Aperture
    Importing from iPhoto or Aperture is easy and painless but… you can’t go back with the library. Duplicate your library and import that into Photos first and keep the original just in case.

    All the old sharing features are still there… Facebook, Flickr, etc…

    Multiple libraries
    Still there, just hold down the option key on launch.

    You can revert back to the original… even on a library imported from iPhoto/Aperture, but you can’t undo any previous single edit done in iPhoto/Aperture.

    While this is still beta, I’m not expecting Apple to had many if any significant feature before launch, and certainly not expecting them to add anything that makes this Aperture level anytime in the foreseeable future.

  6. I still use Aperature on 10.6.8 with time machine and aNAS. No significant problems. Was waiting for a stable 10.10. Even when I finally update, I plan to have 10.6.8 and legacy software on a separate volume.

    1. Stick with Aperture, even if you are not a Pro Aperture user, the smallest features you’d use are missing from this new App. You can’t even sort the photos let alone see the file names. I don’t know about you but I’m not naming 200,000+ photos just so I can use this.

  7. Another terrible product name from Apple. Why do they continue to piss away the powerful and valuable iBrand? Ever try web-searching for help on a “Numbers” topic? “Pages”? And now “Photo”. Yeah, thery’ll be more than a few zillion hits returned from the googlemonster when I try and find out how to change the white balance on my “photo”. #valuedestruction

  8. After uploading a set of test photos into this new Photos App, I happy to announce I’m sticking with Aperture!! This new App is very “Cute” and is missing a bunch of features. This is another thing Apple has made for all the simpleton switchers!! They need a new version of Aperture and let this crap replace iPhoto.

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