Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Photos for OS X

Macworld’s Christopher Breen got a sneak peek at Apple’s new Photos app for the Mac, and it sounds pretty great:

I’ve had very little time with Photos but my general impression is that it hits a sweet spot for the casual-to-enthusiastic iOS and digital camera shooter. Its navigation is more nimble and, from what I can tell, its performance is significantly improved over iPhoto’s, which I found sluggish with large image libraries. And, scaling back to the big picture, it’s the first of the old iLife apps that shares a common experience among the Mac, iOS devices, and iCloud. All your photos, your most recent edits, wherever you are.

Lots of new details. Photos does, indeed, support both RAW and JPG files, and it doesn’t look entirely like a scaled-up version of the iOS app. It even includes printed products, contrary to the word I received that they might be removed. I’m happy to be wrong here.

Apple’s spotty record with cloud services is worrying, though. I feel comfortable with syncing my calendars and contacts with iCloud, but I’m not sure if I can entrust my most precious memories to the company. I should be able to — my local backup solution is nothing compared to Apple’s server farms — but I worry about whether all my photos will be there when I need them to be. Federico Viticci has put his whole photo library in iCloud, but I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet, especially considering the spotty record I’ve had trying to set up iCloud Photo Library.1

See also: Apple’s promo page for Photos. The adjustment options are few, but powerful. I do hope VSCO releases their film stock imitation processes as a Photos extension; I get a lot of use out of the Aperture plugins.


  1. No matter what I’ve done, enabling iCloud Photo Library in Settings has shown a dialog reading “iCloud Photo Library will begin syncing when restore is complete”, or something to that effect. There hasn’t been an ongoing restore, and there appears to be no way to override this. Visiting iCloud.com would also not show the Photos web “app”.

    After toggling with a bunch of settings today, I finally made the web app appear, but it’s been “preparing [my] library” for about an hour, so I’m not entirely sure it’s working. My iPhone has also said that it’s “uploading 2,541 items” all day, so I have no idea whether anything’s working at this point. Not a confidence builder.

    Cupertino-area folks, rdar://19744889↩︎