Mac: Photos for OS X will make you forget iPhoto forever

“In recent years, iPhoto has started to feel ponderous and bloated, with simple tasks requiring too many steps and taking too long to complete. This has caused some amateur photographers to go looking for leaner, faster alternatives to meet their needs,” Kraig Becker writes for Apple Gazette. “Apple is preparing to release its own new photo editing software for the Mac, and it looks like it has the potential to make us forget about iPhoto forever.”

“The new program is simply called Photos for OS X and it is a completely new piece of software built from the ground up to address the needs of digital photographers in a more connected age,” Becker writes. “The preview version of Photos is fast. Very fast. Because the new software was written entirely from scratch, it has been built to run more efficiently on modern hardware. It has also has gotten rid of much of the bloat in the iPhoto code, allowing it to perform even advanced tasks extremely quickly. Better yet, it doesn’t seem to bog down with larger photo libraries either, which bodes well for the future.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Re/code: ‘Photos for OS X looks to be a huge improvement over iPhoto in all aspects’ – February 6, 2015
How to prepare your iPhoto library for Photos for OS X – February 6, 2015
The Verge on Apple’s all-new Photos app: New design, better performance, and much better cloud syncing – February 5, 2015
Apple’s all-new ‘Photos’ app turns iCloud’s silver lining into pure gold – February 5, 2015


    1. Are you sure that it wasn’t you?

      Interesting that the reviews that I have read and the extensive time and effort that I have put in and instructed my students, colleagues to do likewise, that someone bases their comments on virtually opening a box and sniffing the glue.

      Years ago, I learned that reading and studying the manual, querying the Help tab and seeking expertise advice/instructions, that invariably, software works as most are designed to do so.

      In fact, the more experience I gain using a product the better I find it to be. And iPhoto is one of them. It is and has been getting pretty damn good.

      True, it may lack the sophistication of some (much more expensive) applications, however, for the most part, it works extremely well.

      Perhaps, the price of software in the past prompts more effort than we see today, particularly by those who think it should be free.

  1. I used iPhoto last summer to organize some vacation photos. I could not believe what crap it had become. I swear, iPhoto used to be good back when I first used it (in 2008 I think). iPhoto, in its newest version on a high end Mac, is slow, it crashes, it sometimes shows the wrong thumbnail, and unforgivably, it lost my photo albums, for no apparent reason, multiple times.

    Twice I had spent over an hour sorting my photos into albums. Then when I reopened iPhoto, all my photo albums were empty. I looked into apps for recovering iPhoto libraries, I looked into how iPhoto stores album data, checked file permissions, and found nothing that could undo or stop this from happening. What a waste of time. I can’t wait for Photos to permanently end that iPhoto nightmare.

    1. And what makes you think that the first version of Photos will be better than the latest and umpteenth version of either iPhoto or Aperture? I don’t plan to ‘upgrade’ any time soon, unless the reviews for Photos are stellar. And even then I’ll be plenty leery of it, given Apple’s recent penchant for pushing out buggy software and feature-trimming.

    1. Why yes, it will. You’ll launch it, try it out, realize that everything you need in Aperture is missing, and move on to Lightroom, perhaps getting a Windows 10 PC in the process.

      Photos is great for anyone who is an iPhoto-level user, and while it’s clear that there are some features they’ll likely add and refinements here and there, nothing about it is Aperture-level, nor intended to ever be.

      1. Or perhaps not.

        We haven’t yet seen the release version of Photos, much less the capability that will be rolled in over the first year or two. Or third-party plugins using the non-destructive plugin architecture that is new for Photos.

        Equal to or better than Aperture at initial rollout? No. As good as or better than Aperture a bit further down the road? Odds are, I think, pretty good.

        I’ve got, and use, both Aperture and Lightroom, and Aperture is still much better for me than Lightroom. I can wait; Aperture will still work just fine for the near term.

        1. Yes, it’s always possible to say that it’s not finalized, or that version 2.0 will add more… but that’s being overly pollyannic in the face of what Apple has clearly done here.

          “Or third-party plugins using the non-destructive plugin architecture that is new for Photos.”

          Everything I write in my assessment goes with the idea that at launch there will be magic plugin filters that turn every photo into gold. That’s not the issue. The issue is in the management of the library and the workflow that a professional or even a prosumer would need that’s present and well fleshed out in Aperture, but clearly missing from Photos.

          Sure, I’d expect future versions of Photos to add geotag editing and other meta data, but there is a ton of stuff missing from Aperture that’s a clear indication of what Apple did here.

          What Apple did was design a consumer level photo app that leverages built in graphic libraries in OS X that would share the UI (and other technical stuff… database/plugins/etc…) as much as possible with the iOS version of Photos and replace iPhoto, while at the same time deciding to abandon the pro-photo app market.

          This isn’t “merge iPhoto and Aperture” into one new product that can be used by all. If they wanted to do that, what they would’ve done is taken Aperture, enabled a “consumer” mode and then modernized the UI, while making core improvements for speed, plugins, etc…

          Or, they would’ve announced a “Pro” version of Photos (even if it was coming later).

          For those of us who prefer Aperture over Lightroom (and have used them both to know), this really sucks, because almost every reason to prefer Aperture over Lightroom is gone with Photos with the notable exception of syncing with iOS devices.

        2. I have used Photo for OS X for a week and here are my thoughts. Blazing fast. Freaky to have all my videos in the cloud. I had to expand my iCloud storage to 20GB, but no biggie. Your CPU will get cruched for several days if you have a lot of videos as Apple converts all of them before uploading. I suggest upgrading before bed.
          The editing tools seem basic at first (good for average people) but by tapping “add” or tapping an adjustment like “light” reveals very sophisticated tools.
          My guess: Apple will add extensibility for third parties and will be extremely competitive. This is like every other app Apple has rebuilt to great dismay, only to realize the new base has much better,faster legs.

          1. “Apple will add extensibility for third parties and will be extremely competitive. This is like every other app Apple has rebuilt to great dismay, only to realize the new base has much better,faster legs.”

            The extensibility isn’t the issue, it’s already there, and let’s assume every developer out there creates world-class plugins for it. You’re still ending up with a consumer-level app that in no way competes with pro or prosumer level apps like Aperture in terms of management or workflow.

            For iPhoto-level users, Photos is already pretty great, but for Aperture-level users it’s clear that Photos is not meant for them, and won’t be for the foreseeable future.

            “This is like every other app Apple has rebuilt to great dismay, only to realize the new base has much better,faster legs.”

            No, this is pretty different. This is more like when Apple redid iMovie and Final Cut… imagine if they only redid iMovie and discontinued Final Cut.

      2. Sadly, it is clear that Cook has turned his back on professionals and power users. He and Ive are driving hard to make Apple a consumer luxury fashion company.
        To the Bang & Olufsen listening crowd who care more about looks than substance or value, this probably seems exciting. To those of us who use Macs for our businesses, this continued drive to screw over power users is total BS. Cook can stuff his buggy ugly software all designed to tie users to the crappy iCloud where the sun don’t shine.

        Pathetic, Apple. You give us no choice. Since Apple can’t/wont’ provide best in class apps anymore, sooner or later Aperture users like us will move on. Isn’t there anyone left in the management at Apple who understands business & pro user needs?

          1. Apple’s focus is exactly where it needs to be. That’s why they’ve just sold more than 5 million Macs, 75 million iPhones and have reported the most profitable quarter in the history of business while retaining the highest level of customer satisfaction scores in the industry. Not to mention AAPL! 🙂

    1. That’s a really good question. Prior to the release of the Photos beta there was only speculation that Apple was intending to somehow merge the needs of iPhoto and Aperture users into one product.

      Now we can see that’s clearly not the case.

      I’m not sure why Apple didn’t life-support Aperture. Not entirely re-write it or even significantly update it, but rather just give it iCloud support, the new database architecture and commit to keeping it updated with new releases of OS X. It seems like Photos would graduate people into Aperture much more so than iPhoto did.

      Now, it’s like if you’re serious about photos, Apple is telling you to go to Adobe.

    2. Because Lightroom is fine and dandy and much more popular with pros than Aperture. I use the latter, sharing my main current library of 29,000 photos with iPhoto, which my wife prefers to Aperture because quick and simple gets the job done (sharing snaps on FB). Contrary to the strong negative opinions here, iPhoto is fine at what it does; opens the shared library in few seconds and is not slow or buggy (2012 MBA). It’s just out of date for cross-use with iOS. From the reviews it seems Apple is making Photos more capable and more nimble that iPhoto but not a pro-level app, which would need to work quite differently in many ways to a consumer app to keep the professional crew happy.

    1. You obviously don’t need it. So, your comment is nonsense.

      Those of us that are serious about photos are extremely nervous about what apple is doing. We concentrate on workflow, we don care too much about your hatred of “flat”.

  2. I tried iPhoto once. It totally sucked. Never went back. Used Aperture since version 1.5 and loved it. Now I am using Lightroom and putting up with it, but at least I can get the job done. As for Photos, I doubt it will fill my needs based on the reviews I have read.

  3. I wonder does anyone know if OS X photos allows the export of multiple photo originals and edits like iPhoto does? I use this to create a cross platform backup of my precious photo memories (as well as a Time Machine backup).

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