Apple Photos

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Photos icon for OS X.png
Apple Photos screenshot Mac.jpg
Photos app running in OS X Yosemite
Developer(s)Apple Inc.
Operating system
TypePhoto gallery and editing software Edit this on Wikidata

Photos is a photo management and editing application developed by Apple. It was released as a bundled app in iOS 8 on September 17, 2014—replacing the Camera Roll—and released as a bundled app to OS X Yosemite users in the 10.10.3 update on April 8, 2015. It was released for tvOS 10 on September 13, 2016.


In June 2014, Apple announced its plan to discontinue the applications iPhoto and Aperture, to be replaced by a new application, Photos, at some point in 2015.[1][2] Photos was included with OS X Yosemite 10.10.3, released as a free update to users on April 8, 2015.[3][4][5]

On September 13, 2016, the app was later included in tvOS 10.[6]


Photos is intended to be less complex than its professional predecessor, Aperture.[3] Through version 4.0 (released with macOS 10.14 Mojave) the Photos app organized photos by "moment", as determined using combination of the time and location metadata attached to the photo.[5] Starting in version 5.0 (released in 2019 with macOS 10.15 Catalina), photos can instead be browsed by year, month, or day.


Photos tucks complex editing tools into several simple controls by default. Photos is designed to "reward curiosity and additional clicks with ever more granular manipulation capabilities". A one-click auto-enhance button is also available.[7]

iCloud Photo Library[edit]

iCloud Photo Library is heavily integrated into the program, keeping photos and videos in sync with various Apple devices designated by the user (such as Macs, iPhones, and iPads), including edits and album structures. Storage starts at a complimentary 5 GB and can be bought in a number of tiers up to 2 TB.[8] While iCloud integration is still optional, it is much more central to Photos as compared to iPhoto.[7]

Professional printing[edit]

Like its predecessors, Photos initially included a number of options for professional printing of photos, which could then optionally be turned into books or calendars and mailed to an address. With Photos, Apple added new types of prints, including square sizes and the ability to print panoramas.[5] In July 2018, Apple announced, via a pop-up message in Photos, that they would be discontinuing these services, adding that users should submit any final orders by September 30, 2018.[9]


iCloud Photo Sharing allows sharing photos with others. Others can view, like or comment existing shared photos or contribute new photos to the shared album.[10] Other ways of sharing includes e-mail, social platform that integrates through iOS Extensions, or Apple's peer-to-peer AirDrop technology.[11]


Critics have noted the loss of functionality in Photos as compared to its predecessors. In particular, photos can no longer be ordered as events but are either automatically ordered chronologically into moments or must be put into albums; the latter do not allow for automatic sorting.[12] (Although smart albums, with customized user-defined rules, will allow for sorting.)[13] As of OS X El Capitan, only the latest version of iPhoto still operates; because iPhoto has been removed from the Mac App Store, customers who upgraded to El Capitan without first obtaining the latest version of iPhoto were locked out of iPhoto without warning, pushing them to use Photos.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The demise of Apple's Aperture and iPhoto: What does it mean for you?". The Next Web. June 27, 2014. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  2. ^ Panzarino, Matthew (June 27, 2014). "Apple To Cease Development Of Aperture And Transition Users To Photos For OS X". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Klosowski, Thorin (April 8, 2015). "OS X 10.10.3 Arrives with New Photos App". Lifehacker. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  4. ^ Simmons, Dan (April 8, 2015). "Apple releases Mac app to store photos in iCloud". BBC News. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c "About the OS X Yosemite v10.10.3 Update". Apple. Archived from the original on April 9, 2015. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  6. ^ Price, David (October 27, 2016). "New tvOS 10 update | tvOS 10's 8 cool new features for your Apple TV". MacWorld. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Etherington, Darrell (April 8, 2015). "Photos For OS X Review". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  8. ^ "iCloud Photo Library FAQ". Apple. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  9. ^ Holger, Dieter (July 12, 2018). "Apple ends its photo printing service after 16 years". Macworld. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  10. ^ "Everything you need to know about Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Sharing". iMore. Retrieved 2018-04-16.
  11. ^ Snider, Lesa (August 20, 2015). "How to AirDrop photos and videos between Macs and iOS devices". Macworld. Retrieved 2018-04-16.
  12. ^ "How Photos handles content and metadata from iPhoto and Aperture". Apple. September 28, 2018. Archived from the original on March 12, 2019. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  13. ^ Klosowski, Thorin (May 29, 2015). "Automatically Sort Pictures with Smart Albums in Apple Photos". LifeHacker. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  14. ^ "Can't update iPhoto". Apple. Retrieved August 3, 2016.

External links[edit]