One of the biggest problems right now is what to do with all our photos. Taking them is easier than ever. So is sharing them. But storing and organizing them all in different places still manages to be an experience filled with gotchas, and one that varies wildly depending on what companies you’ve sworn allegiance to with your phone and computer. And if that company’s been Apple, you’ve basically been a guinea pig in a good idea that was hastily (and poorly) executed.
Apple might have just fixed that for Mac users with the new Photos app. It’s the final piece in a plan that Apple unveiled last June, and one that both fixes and unifies a patchwork system it rolled out in 2011. It’s a rethink of how people manage their photo library on a Mac, something that’s been iPhoto’s home turf for more than a decade. Apple’s discontinuing that software along with Aperture (which is aimed at pro photographers), in favor bringing the tools people have on their iPhones and iPads to the Mac. It’s also been built with Apple’s iCloud in mind instead of an afterthought, which feels years overdue.
At a high level here’s three things that anyone thinking of using Photos for OS X should know:
- You should probably use the iCloud Photo Library feature, which syncs all your photos across all your devices — but you’ll almost certainly need to buy more iCloud Drive storage to take advantage of it.
- Everything you shoot with your iPhone or import into the new Photos app is backed up to your iCloud Drive and shared seamlessly across your devices. Using it is a pretty great experience.
- If you don’t want to try iCloud Photo Library, you can keep using the new Photos app as an iPhoto replacement, but you’ll be stuck with the old My Photo Stream feature (and its odd restrictions) for syncing photos across your devices.
As simple as Photos is, the devil is in the details, and there are quite a few details here. Familiar features have moved or changed, and in classic Apple fashion, some have also been quietly removed. We’ve spent some time with a pre-release version of the software to highlight some things you should be aware of.
Reports The Verge