Get ready for Photos for OS X

It may be time to get prepared

get ready for photos for os x

Apple is approaching the launch of its new Photos app for Mac. Developers have been working with a preview version of the new app (which replaces iPhoto and Aperture) since last month. Are you ready to migrate?

Mobile Mac

Photos on the Mac is an app that’s highly influenced by iOS; icons and its user interface will seem familiar to anyone who has used Photos on an iPhone or iPad. In use, the app lets you see more of your images than iPhoto on a Mac, while your available tools are accessed in the toolbar at the top of the screen.

Those tools aren't for pros. While Photos for OS X offers image management, browsing, editing, publishing and image optimization tools, it does not aim to replace Aperture, which Apple is abandoning. Apple has advised pro photographers to migrate to Adobe Lightroom as a result. (You can continue to use both iPhoto and Aperture once Photos ships, though these will no longer be updated).

Migrating to the new Photos app is relatively straightforward. Apple says the software will automatically organize your photo library and allows you to store both photos and videos in iCloud Photo Library so they will be available on all your devices. If you are worried about space, your iPhoto library is not duplicated in the process.


If you use iCloud Photo Library then all your edits will sync between your iOS devices and Mac. You can also select an “optimize storage” setting; if you do, then only some of your images will be kept on your Mac at full resolution, others will be stashed in the iCloud. Images stored in cloud rather than on your Mac are marked with a cloud icon – the biggest snag is that if you choose to use this feature you’ll almost certainly need to cough up cold hard cash for additional iCloud storage space.

The process of migrating images between iPhoto and Aperture to the new Photos app simply requires you to launch the Photos app. The software will migrate your entire iPhoto library on first launch. Some features absent in the new app, such as star ratings or flags, will be given equivalent keywords so you can search for them, while iPhoto Events will become albums stored inside the new iPhoto Events folder in Albums view.

Backup first

Your images are valuable, so before you do migrate to the new software it makes sense to follow these steps so you are in position to move fast once Photos ships. But please, please back up first!

(This report should help you backup effectively. Please do.)

The new Photos is scheduled to ship this spring with OS 10.10.3. In preparation for the release, Apple this month issued an iPhoto software update that the company says  “improves compatibility when migrating iPhoto libraries to the new Photos app.”

If you are an Aperture or an iPhoto user who does not want to migrate to Photos for Mac, then this report offers the best advice I could find on how to take your images out of Apple’s apps in order to export them to another solution.

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