Apple have this week released a preview to developers of their upcoming Photos application which is intended to replace iPhoto to take advantage of iCloud Photo Library and new API’s including the UXKit framework.
Released in 2002, iPhoto has been the non-power user’s go to photo management solution for storing, handling and viewing your photos. Over time and subsequent releases, iPhoto has lapsed into becoming a confusing, slow and unsatisfying experience made worse by it’s incompatibility with Apple’s recent iCloud Photo storage solution. In the same way that iTunes has become a bloated, slow experience to use due to both of these apps sharing similarities in how they are responsbible for managing large amounts or photos and music respectively. Every time these apps are opened, there is always a delay whilst the app looks for and compiles a local search on your Mac for it’s content. The ever increasing amount of photos it has to manage inevitably causes a slow down over time which results in a frustrating experience for the user.
I would presume Apple looked at these issues and instead of updating iPhoto to make it compatible with the iCloud features, they took the opportunity to completely re-write the app instead which would mean they could make the app faster, simpler and more lightweight. Having your photos predominantly stored in iCloud would mean the photos are not stored on your computer hard drive which would in turn speed up (depending on your internet connection speed) access to your photos.
Making changes to your photos on your computer by editing, cropping etc., and having them automatically update those changes on your other devices via iCloud is fantastic and the way it should be for connected apps and devices.
The Verge have a good piece including more details on how it will work here.
I got the chance to go hands-on with the new desktop software and found that overall, Photos is a vast improvement over iPhoto, and the new editing tools make it extraordinarily easy to transform a photo from “OK” to “Wow.”
The first thing I noticed about Photos is how straightforward the interface is. It very much takes its cues stylistically from the iOS Photos app, especially in how it organizes your library. The app opens with all your shots grouped into Moments and Collections, just like in iOS.
Even in its pre-public-beta version, Photos is fast, slick, and very easy to learn and navigate
Photos for Mac is long overdue but will be gratefully received – the preview has been released to developers this week and a public release is due “This Spring”.