Hands-on with Apple’s new Photos features in iOS 10 and macOS Sierra

“Photos has long been a snooze of an app in iOS, and when its OS X complement arrived in Yosemite, it was underwhelming,” Glenn Fleishman writes for Macworld. “Through many small releases in El Capitan, Photos’ stability improved and features expanded. Now, in iOS 10 and macOS Sierra, Photos is poised to be much more useful for the most common task after sharing: searching.”

“Apple finally added content analysis of photos, allowing Photos on both platforms to recognize and associate faces of the same person across many images, and interpret a limited array of emotions,” Fleishman writes. “It also now tags images that contain any of thousands of object features, like mountains and dogs.

“Photos automatically assembles sets of memories into pseudo-albums, ostensibly saving you the tedium of organizing and culling,” Fleishman writes. “Apple goes one step further, creating movies that are…well, they’re pretty hilarious and may be more accurate about our lives than we want to believe.”

Read more, and see all of the screenshots, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Photos is much more powerful, especially as a n organizational tool for people with tens of thousands of photos. The days of Apple’s photo management app choking on larger libraries are hopefully behind us.


  1. STILL amazed how far photo’s is behind what IPhoto was and especially Aperture. I moved to Lightroom a year ago and still miss Aperture greatly. I don’t see why they dumbed down iPhoto and moved to Photos. Real head scratcher. Aperture was ahead of its time. The keyboarding, faces ID, brushed in adjustments, just don’t understand what Apple is going for here.

    1. Right there with you Tom.
      Apple is (for reasons known only to themselves) ignoring professional photographers.
      iMovie and Garageband have their pro-grade counterparts, but not only did Apple let Aperture die on the vine but they didn’t even tell their customers. Some Apple exec happened to mention it in passing to a Macworld journalist.

      Don’t get me wrong, Photos is great. It’s fast and stable and will only get more powerful with time. Also, don’t think Apple is idle, they have updated Core Image with a new set of APIs for iOS 10 and macOS Sierra.

      While all this is lovely it’s aimed squarely at consumers. There is going to be no Aperture X surprise. Apple’s disinterested in professional photographers is now a widely accepted problem and it is harming them in ways they cannot yet see.

      The issue can be best illustrated by the recent addition of fitness capabilities in watchOS aimed at athletes in wheelchairs.
      Everyone is rejoicing, today, but in 3 years when Apple loses interest in fitness and goes on to the “next big thing” they won’t be.
      (In Cook’s Apple, btw, that’s not the next big innovation, but the next big money maker.)
      Not only will Apple not upgrade the accelerometer but will actually remove some current features.
      People will cry foul but who cares? The hard truth is that Apple is utterly deaf to users’ needs unless those people can potentially harm the company financially. They have the headlines today and that’s all that counts.

      This is exactly what happened with Aperture, FCP X, iWork, etc, etc, and it will definitely, positively happen again.

      1. “(In Cook’s Apple, btw, that’s not the next big innovation, but the next big money maker.)”

        That’s what’s been bugging me, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

        This is the only way the Mac Pro and other pro-level products can be neglected or outright killed off: it doesn’t make enough as a *percentage* of Apple’s total revenue/profits, therefore it’s not important.

        That’s beancounter logic, and it seems Apple’s fallen into this trap listening too much to Wall Street and short-term traders.

    2. I’m still using Aperture for its unmatched organizational tools for my main photo archive. I use Photos and iCloud as a duplicate so I have every photo on every device.

      1. I cannot even conceive of putting high resolution raw photos on a cloud. Do you mean to say you have a local master archive in Aperture in full resolution, then make lower resolution copies that can actually be shared on iOS devices? Because despite having 4K cameras on iPhones and iPads, it is no fun attempting to synchronize them with anything but a cable connection to a Mac.

  2. I am so happy that I have a version of iPhoto which can run on Yosemite as it is impossible for me to use Photos because it can not display the file name under the picture (of my 23.000 photos)
    Interesting to hear if it will be able in thd new version?

  3. Photos is an absolute embarrassment to Apple. It is a pitiful, truly pitiful program. iPhoto had so much more capability and along with Aperture, put Apple on the photographic map, making the OS X platform, THE space to do serious photography.

    Apple flushed all that down the toilet with they discontinued both iPhoto and Aperture and then laid that amazing TURD called Photos.

    Nothing, absolutely nothing personifies the horrible direction that Apple has taken, and continues to take today than this move with Photos.

    Terrible Apple, well and truly terrible.

  4. i use photos but frankly it’s a kiddie toy. Similar in some ways to iPhoto but with extensions. The interface is easy to use but without brushes it’s not a very sophisticated tool…Lightroom is extremely powerful and works well but the interface is simply a stupid one, the workflow made difficult without purpose. So.. I still use Aperture and Photoshop of course.. When Photos adds Plug ins with good brushes it will join the league of worthy apps.

    1. I hear you on the Lightroom Interface. What were they thinking? Its like they “tried” to make it backward and complex. Did they not even look at Aperture or Capture One? How Lightroom got to be the market leader is beyond me – and why Apple didn’t dig in an own the market seems silly.

  5. it’s still no Aperture, but photos can now hook into Pixelmator retouch and edit tools, which allows brushes, and also there’s an app “external editors”on the app store which allows photos to use a whole bunch of external editing apps, like Nik Tools and PTLens!

    1. Almost hurt my neck nodding “yes” on that one Mossman. Keywording and star ratings, how do they NOT do those? Complete “miss”. I do not see a path were Photos is usable for even mildly active amateur photographers.

  6. These seemingly unconscious decisions to gut their key apps like iPhoto, Aperture, the entire iWork suite, the senseless difficulties with WiFi on every version of every OS and iOS since Snow Leopard and their near total neglect of their Pro customers after attempting to show their continued loyalty with the trash can Mac Pro which seems both alone and forgotten and the discontinuance of the 17″ MBP, removal of too many ports, etc., etc., causes me serious concern. How can a business invest in Macs when Apple may crippled their investment with their next update, sold as a great step up and not easily exchangeable. Those situations could crush certain types of small businesses and that they get all that hassle as part of the premium price they paid suddenly doesn’t seem like such a bonus, now does it?

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