Apple is finally getting out of the printing business

“Apple has been selling photo prints and books through the Photos (previously iPhoto) app for many years,” Kirk McElhearn writes for Kirkville. “But the company is exiting this business in the fall.”

“There is so much competition that there’s little point to Apple being involved in this,” McElhearn writes. “And Apple certainly didn’t do this printing themselves; they outsourced it to a company whose core business this is.”

“There are a number of Mac apps that can work as extensions to Photos that offer this service,” McElhearn writes. “If you install one of these extensions, you can access it from the File > Create menu when viewing a photo album.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Aw, we liked the Apple logos on our annual family photo calendars and Christmas cards. Oh, well, we’ll survive (and probably save some money making these things now, too)!


  1. Might be small fry change to Apple
    But this is just another example of some of the coolness being dismantled at Apple. This surely has very little impact to Apple’s bottom line but it has a big impact to its users who used the service time and time again to creat and share their Apple made books, cards, calendars etc. all within the Apple ecosystem. So many other important things to sort out, why take this cool functionality & service away when you could give so much more important things to improve and strengthen the overal product line. Smells like a bean counter move and that’s sad. I remember when Steve presented this, he was excited about it. Another small part of the legacy gets dismantled…
    See 1’14” on

    1. This is called change. In this case, I believe that Apple has thought it out and made a logical choice.

      Per the article:
      “There are a number of Mac apps that can work as extensions to Photos that offer this service,” McElhearn writes. “If you install one of these extensions, you can access it from the File > Create menu when viewing a photo album.”

      So, you choose the service that you want, add the appropriate extension to Photos, and everything is good. I thought that people on this forum wanted choice and alternatives to Apple’s “walled garden” and locked in features. Well, now you have choice. Apple was outsourcing the service, anyway, so they eliminated the middleman and delegated the power of choice to the consumer. Enjoy. With greater choice comes greater responsibility. lol

    2. Excellent post, David. Yes indeed, the things that made Apple very special are being dismantled one by one as pipeline turns the company into another celebrity Hollywood studio …

      1. “Is there *anything* that Apple produces or does about which you do not complain?! I think not.”

        Is there *anything* that Apple SCREWS UP which you do not DEFEND FANBOY?! I think not. …

  2. Tim Cooks confinues to eliminate the sticky ecosystem. He moves at a glacier pace. Many will wonder his legacy when Amazon, Google, Facebook and Alibaba surpass Apples market cap. Tim Cooks legacy will be stock buybacks and wasting a 4 year start in AI and Movie Streaming.

  3. Agreed, this is sad. Yes, Apple outsourced the printing of course. But they outsourced it to a reliable partner, they managed that partner and they ensured a quality product.

    1) I’m on the hook for figuring out why Photos isn’t working with the printer’s extension
    2) I gotta deal with why the company didn’t get the right data from my Photos app.
    3) My photos app version will have to be kept up to the printer’s supported version. This will not be information I have until I am trying to make a book.
    4) When my book arrives late / wrong / not at all, I’ll have to go through a customer support process with the printer.

    Apple’s management of this whole channel/pipeline was really really good. Sad to see it go away, and for sure reduces the incentive to use Photos. Which is probably their ultimate goal — make Photos less desirable, then kill it off when they can show that use is declining.

    1. You list a lot of possible complaints and undesirable actions. But, have you actually encountered any of these issues, or is this simply a failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) list?

      You may be right. But, so far, I do not see any evidence that this change has actually made things significantly more difficult or inconvenient for anyone.

      After hearing all of the griping about “Apple is doing X while failing to update Macs,” here is an example of Apple trimming some of its peripheral activities to gain improved focus and offer greater choice to consumers. I get so tired of people wanting it both ways.

      1. Wrong, greater choice enter confusion, homework on each vendor, shopping for price and reliability, finding and installing plug-ins and missing the Apple logos as MDN pointed out.

        Now it is magic and reliable as Steve demoed so many years ago. Pipeline is taking another choice of Apple magic away. As a defensive Apple fanboy, just count your replies, you will NEVER see it for what it is …

  4. FMEA in that I haven’t encountered these issues w/ Photos, but I haven’t used a 3rd party printing service with Photos+Apple.

    I *have* used other printing services outside of Photos, and have needed to have far more support encounters with them than I have had to with Photos+Apple. Those encounters I did have with Apple were shorter & easier than with other printers.

    The fact that I will need to have direct interaction with another company (via an account / payment / whatever) is enough to call it a net minus in the experience.

    The expectation that service from a company that consistently tops satisfaction surveys will be better than its competitors which have been ranked lower is not unreasonable.

    1. Your post is perfectly reasonable. Yes, the near flawless experience with Apple Photos is now tossed to the Wild Wild West. Dealing with all the issues we never had to deal with, sad …

  5. I think Apple is doing a huge mistake – instead of hiding this printing service more and more, they could have done a job to let people know about it; most people, Mac-users or not, don’t know what fantastic books one can make using the Photo app. I have made over 60 books since 2011, some in 6-7 copies, and had plans for more. Now I work day and night to finish the most important ones, before September 30.
    No, it is absolutely not a lot of other apps that can do the same job, even if the Photos app have lots of bugs and could have been better. It may be ok in USA then, to use another app that prints the book in USA. I live in Europe, and Apple got the books made in the Netherlands and/or Ireland, and UPS was on my door 3 days later with the book, “postage” about 8 Euro, one book or 7 books. Normal postage from USA, even for one book, will be at least 20 Euro. And what I have seen of books made by other apps/printing companies, they are not even close to Apple’s books, it’s like two different worlds.
    One of the things that was special with Mac, was this printing service. I know several people that was gong to buy a Mac soon, like my daughter, but not now, their only reason was to start making books. I bought my 2011 iMac because I wanted to make books. I bought a new iMac last year, for the same reason; making books. That will be the last one. I have scanned old photos thousands, and made books, I take digital photos, put them in books. I also take thousands of photos every day, that I put in a yearbook.
    I think people will get tired of having old photos in a box and new ones only in the cloud, so instead of hiding this print service more and more, and then stop it, Apple could do a job to make it better, and let people know about this very special opportunity, that is included in the Photo app.

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