Apple has released Photos for all Yosemite users with the 10.10.3 update. This is the program that will replace both iPhoto and Aperture (although it’s important to note that if you already have either program on your computer, it will not be removed when you install Photos). We thought we’d take a minute and discuss some of the pros and cons of the new software.
Apple designed Photos to look a whole lot like the app of the same name on your iPad or iPhone. This consistent experience between the apps means a faster experience overall. Plus, they’ve added additional cloud support, including Photos in the Cloud — a service which allows you to upload your entire iPhoto library to the cloud, giving you access to it anytime and anywhere via the web, your computer or your iOS device.
Of course, if you have a big photo library, you’ll quickly exceed the limits of your free 5gb of iCloud storage, meaning you’ll have to pay an additional monthly fee (which varies based on how much storage you need — 20gb a month would be .99, while 1TB is $19.99).
One of the things I really like about Photos is the simplification of it. I train people in iPhoto, and often end up with befuddled customers on my hands wondering what the difference is between events and photos and why some random event from 2013 is showing under the recent column. While it’s nice in theory to have so many different views for the same picture, in practice it ended up confusing and messy.
Photos takes that away. You can see all of your photos under the photo tab, shared photo streams under shared, albums under albums (this tab also preserves your iPhoto events as albums, so you won’t lose any organization you did there), and projects (cards, calendars, etc) under projects. It’s all a little bit more SENSIBLE.
Editing options are now more like their mobile counterparts, as well. If you are coming from iPhoto, they’re actually pretty great — easier to understand (I’ll take a slide bar over a histogram any day, not having any photographic sense) and easier to control. You can still get to the old options and add additional editing options to the pane so what you use most often is easily in reach. That said — it’s not Aperture. If you’re professional or a professional hobbyist, I’m not convinced that Photos will be an adequate replacement — which is why it’s good that Aperture and iPhoto will remain.