A look at new features in Apple’s overhauled Photos for macOS High Sierra

“Apple’s macOS High Sierra is due out in a couple of months, and beta versions, both to the public and for developers, have been circulating for a while,” Kirk McElhearn writes for Kirkville. “We’re up to the third version of this beta software, and we can now see many of the more obvious improvements in the operating system, and in specific apps.”

“Photos is one app that is getting an overhaul. The sidebar that lets you browse your library has been updated to include sections, as in iTunes,” McElhearn writes. “The more visible changes in the Photos app are apparent when you edit a photo. The interface has been rearranged, with three tabs at the top of the window: Adjust, for editing tools, Filters, to apply preset filters, and Crop, to trim your photos. You can access these three tabs quickly with keyboard shortcuts: Command-1, Command-2, and Command-3.”

“If you’re a casual photo shooter or a more serious shutterbug, you’ll find that Photos for High Sierra improves a lot of the app’s features and interface,” McElhearn writes. “These changes show that Apple is trying to bring Photos up a notch toward what Aperture used to be, while retaining the simplicity of the app for users who don’t need those extended features.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple reworked Photos app offers better organization, better editing tools, and a better UI When editing a Live Photo, Apple’s new “Long Exposure” effect is now one of our faves!


    1. Agreed.

      When Photos came out it lacked so many features compared to iPhoto – only a few of which have been reintroduced in Photos updates. I can’t fathom why Apple killed both iPhoto and Aperture…

      Apple’s in house software efforts have become increasingly worthless. Pages and Keynote actually LOST highly useful features, Photos does not hold a candle to iPhotos, Mail is flaky at best and Calendar is also problematic. I’m switching (or have switched) to 3rd party products for all my software needs.

      Mac user since 1985…

      1. I moved to the mac from windows around 2007 because of the included mac software and the switch to Intel processors. iPhoto was awesome and, to quote Apple, things just worked. Apple has also locked down the programs they want you to use (Gatekeeper) but the Apple provided applications are not very good. Apple is also expensive. For a while mac laptops were price competitive with quality Windows machines, but no more. I just bought a new Windows laptop that has better specs than the new MacBook Pros and it costs a lot less (by hundreds).

        1. You pay one way or another. I have to use Windows at work and it’s a major pain in the ass. Every time I use my PCs I wish they were Macs.

        2. Expensive? Try selling a pc after a year. No cigar! However I have little trouble selling a Mac after 4 years for around 50% of its original price.

          Total cost of ownership of a Mac is 3000 minus the the sale after 2 to 4 years………is approx 1500. Your cost of ownership for a PC is way more. Also try dealing with support if something doesn’t work. You’ll bounce between the hardware maker and the software maker. With no resolution of the problem. Eventually you just live with the problem (like living with a desease of some sort).
          You then end up buying a new computer and unable to sell your last one.

  1. I have so many pics that were there when Photos was introduced. Never had a way to put those 6000 into albums so things would be organized so I abandoned the app quickly. It really sux that there’s a great organization and editing app but no way to bring in large amounts of existing data and and organize it. This is where I have to believe there’s a break-down with Apple. These little details are lost these days and I have to ask if apple people really use their own stuff without some assistance from other apps. The Photos app is unusable for my purposes regardless how they fluff it up. Give me a way to organize 10,000 pics and then we’ll talk.

    1. Are you kidding me? Photos is all about organization. You just don’t need to do it manually. It is all arranged automatically. I can find any picture I want way better than any other app. Of course you can still create your own organization on top of this.

      Photos is about organization without the hassle. And it’s going to get way better.

      1. @Paul – glad you enjoy Photos, but …

        Image management needs don’t remain the same as one’s image library sizes changes (grows).

        And unfortunately, this is where the “automatic” organization of Photos fails – – it simply does not scale well for big libraries.

        Now sure, there’s a couple of manual organization tools, but these are still grossly inferior to what iPhoto/Aperture previously had offered. From what I’ve worked with them, they’re more of a hassle, not less.

        Case in point .. my current library is nearly 100,000 images large (~1.5TB), yet I can quickly do a search for all images I took in 2008 which have been marked as 4 Stars and have “lion” and “Landscapes” as keywords .. result is one (1) image … so then, just how would you have structured Photos to have this level of capability at all?

        Now granted, I’m not trying to claim that everyone needs my particular use case, nor will I say that it isn’t work to have done the keyword organization – – but what I am pointing out is that Photos doesn’t offer these sorts of organization tools, so it still isn’t as effective as iPhoto or Aperture had offered before it.

        YMMV, but I want to move forwards, not backwards.

        Which is why after 3+ decades as a dedicated Apple customer, I’ll be migrating all of this work over to Lightroom and probably then move it over onto a Tower PC before I buy another new Mac Pro and hamstring its potential by limiting myself to the dogfood of Apple’s Photos …


  2. An app as relatively new as Photos shouldn’t need to have its menus rearranged. Why weren’t they arranged better to begin with? Some apps keep going for many years with only relatively small changes to the interface, and others are rushed out the door with an obvious lack of attention to detail. I have never thought that Apple belonged to the latter category, but lately I wonder—Disk Utility being the most shocking example of an interface overhaul that practically destroyed the usefulness of a classic app.

  3. In this new version, anyone know if you can sort SHARED ALBUMS by filename or manually, instead of just the time when it was shot? That would make me a happy camper!

  4. As someone screwed over by Apple with Aperture, Final Cut Studio and Logic Studio, pardon me if I hesitate to put any value on Apple apps on the Mac.

    Apple has the attention span of an ADHD patient regarding the Mac in general and Software in particular.

  5. I’m not interested in “new” features, I want to know the “old” trusty features will remain, alas that’s no longer the case. I used iPhoto, I don’t use Photos. I tried using the “My Photo Stream” feature to send new pictures to Photos on my Mac. Only some of them were sent.

    How in the world is it still not possible to add a simple tag to a photo in iOS (where 99.999% of my photos are created through my iPhone!). “Favorite” photos aren’t very useful when you have thousands of them The earlier comment about photo organization being “automatic” is a joke, different people have a variety of needs that an algorithm will never cover.

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