New Features in the Photos App In macOS Catalina

There are some changes to the Photos app in Catalina, most notably how you browse your photos. Gone are the confusing Years, Collections and Moments views, replaced by the more understandable Years, Months and Days views. You can also see square thumbnails in the All Photos view, plus a few other improvements.

Comments: 47 Responses to “New Features in the Photos App In macOS Catalina”

    Larry Weissman
    3 months ago

    Is there any difference in usability if my photos are stored in iCloud? Thanks.

    3 months ago

    Larry: Not sure what you mean by “usability.” It certainly makes things better when all of your photos are available on all of your devices and you no longer have to manually sync anything.

    Don Palmer
    3 months ago

    This question is for my wife, the iPhone person. Is there a way to get info on a photo on the iPhone? A bit off subject, but she will greatly appreciate it.

    3 months ago

    Don: In general, no. There are some apps like Metapho that will show you some basics like dimensions and camera info, but not titles and tags and such.

    Maggie Ireland
    3 months ago

    In Catalina, when I am in Photos and click the send/forward icon (that used to bring to screen where we could send or airdrop the photo, duplicate, etc), there is a side-scrollable list of recent recipients. How do I delete this list, or at least delete one of the suggested recipients? Thanks!

    3 months ago

    Maggie: Not sure what you mean. I can’t think of where that would be in Catalina. It sounds like the feature of iOS for sharing, not macOS.

    John Vertolli
    3 months ago

    Gary, I name every person in my large photo’s library, normally when I select the face and start typing it will provide me with names of people I have already identify, and I select them, in Catalina I’ve noticed, some of the faces are not showing up, and thus creating a new face folder for them. In the people folder I then have to merge the persons folder with the old one already there, is this a bug that need fixing?

    Jean Chandler
    3 months ago

    The negative thing I have noticed for Photos with Catalina is that one can’t use the Google Chrome web browser to send photos to the email of others. I guess I need to download Outlook for my Mac?

    3 months ago

    John: I don’t think a feature that uses computer logic to figure out faces is ever going to be perfect. Or, not any time soon.

    Linda Deedy
    3 months ago

    I have spent many hours creating albums in photos so I can find things more easily than by date. Will these port over just as they are? or am I going to have to do that all over again?

    TS
    3 months ago

    Same question. That is will iOS Albums now sync to Photos in Catalina over USB? Up to now, they wouldn’t without third party app. The only Apple way was to use iCloud Photo Library which I don’t want to use. I heard this might become available, Apple supported, via USB sync in Catalina. Do you know if it works now? Any other types of photos that don’t sync from iOS 13 to Catalina via USB without iCloud? Many thanks!

    3 months ago

    Linda: Yes. Well, “port” isn’t the right word. if you are just going from Mojave to Catalina nothing is “ported.” You are just updating to a new version of the app. The Library remains there along with albums, etc. Why would you think upgrading would erase those?

    3 months ago

    TS: The way to have your albums and other things sync from iOS to macOS is to use iCloud. Otherwise, you have separate devices with separate libraries. Or, you could maintain everything on your Mac only and sync TO your iOS device — not creating or modifying anything that. But that is the old way of doing it.

    Linda Deedy
    3 months ago

    You never know – stranger things have happened when I’ve upgraded. Just wanted to be prepared. Thanks for everything you do!

    Lilla Fodor
    3 months ago

    Looks like I can no longer add a title to a photo in the all photos view. I seem to only be able to do that in the pic info, for when the picture is in an album. Any way titles can be made visible in the all photos view?

    3 months ago

    Lilla: Just create a Smart Album with all your photos, such as Photo “is not” hidden. Then that Smart Album is pretty much the same as the All Photos view. But now you can see and edit titles there.

    Jim Goddard
    3 months ago

    Great Info!

    Jim P
    3 months ago

    Does Apple Photos have a function to find and manage duplicate photos? Or to find and delete duplicate photos?

    what recommendations do you have to manage duplicates?

    Lilla Fodor
    3 months ago

    Does anybody else find that since updating to Catalina Photos gets hung up a lot? I’m forever having to force quit to stop my rainbow wheel of death!

    3 months ago

    Lilla: Have you tried to repair your Photos library? Hold down Command and Option and launch Photos for that option.

    Lilla
    3 months ago

    Gary: I didn’t know I could do that…thanks! However twice now after several force quits I did a complete shut down/restsart and it went into Repair mode. Happened again last night.

    Jason
    3 months ago

    Gary, the workaround to see captions (creating smart albums) is neat. But I wish they would restore the old fashioned way we always saw captions. The pics in smart albums scroll as one long set. Seems to be a big step backwards and I wonder why they did that.

    3 months ago

    Jason: Do you mean seeing titles/filenames? That was fixed in the latest update. Not sure what you mean by smart albums scrolling as one long set either. The appear just as any other album.

    Lilla
    3 months ago

    So I did the last Catalina update on Monday, yes the titles are back, hurray, but my photos have been ‘restoring from iCloud’ since Monday evening, that’s 3 days ago! Ya I have over 30,000 photos and over 400 videos but this still seems like a very long time. Or is this possibly an iCloud question? Or does a restore take this long?? Meanwhile no new pics are syncing.

    3 months ago

    Lilla: Depends on the speed and quality of your Internet connection.

    Pete
    3 months ago

    I noticed in the new version of Photos, 16:9 pics do not show up correctly in ‘Photos’ (top left). They get cropped to 4:3 size. They do show up correctly in the Activity Stream however. The problem is it appears there are now two versions – one 16:9 and one 4:3 cropped (irregularly).

    Vivi
    2 months ago

    Is Catalina able to identify duplicates? If yes, where do I go to see these? I need to clean up! :)

    2 months ago

    Vivi: For a while now Photos tries to prevent you from importing duplicates. But there is no special function for getting rid of old ones. You just have to view in All Photos mode and remove duplicates on your own. Well worth it. Just make sure whatever you did to get the duplicates in the first place doesn’t happen again.

    Stephane Gripari
    2 months ago

    Is there any way of removing the white border which now comes around every thumbnail photo? This has started when I moved to Catalina os.

    2 months ago

    Stephane: Do you mean the empty white space between photos? That’s the the background as the photos themselves has a space in between them.

    venkat
    1 month ago

    my photo library occupies 70gb whereas the photos in it consume 3gb. Any issue with catalina update?

    1 month ago

    venkat: Maybe the rest are videos? Maybe you are seeing the difference between your total library (70GB) and the local files (3GB) while using the iCloud “optimize” function?

    Claus
    1 month ago

    Why can’t I edit .raw images anymore? It’s simply not working.

    1 month ago

    Claus: Not sure. I use RAW images all the time in Photos.

    John Dent
    3 weeks ago

    I upgraded 2 wks ago for my 176,000 images & 8400 videos. It finished “analyzing, curating and discovering duplicates” after looking like there was no progress for days. What happens to those “duplicates” or “poorer images”? Can I see & delete them to make more room for new pictures. I have used outside apps before, but seems like Catalina might have it built in now. Of course, my 2TB iCloud is full. My family LOVES seeing the pics any time. Any suggestions?

    3 weeks ago

    John: You would remove duplicates like before: a manual spring cleaning. There is no automatic process. As for the size, I would imagine a lot of that is video. That’s why I store my videos as files on an external drive. 8400 videos is enormous.

    Porter Don
    3 weeks ago

    I have not upgraded to Catalina because I don’t want to have anything done to any of my existing images (I duplicate and edit all the time … and keep my duplicates and “poorer” images on purpose). And “Poorer” in whose opinion? Thanks, Gary, in advance.

    Porter Don
    3 weeks ago

    P.S. The Catalina upgrade synopsis says “Photos intelligently showcases the best shots in your library, removing duplicates and clutter.” It sounds like the removal of “duplicates and clutter” is automatic. One man’s clutter is another man’s treasure.

    3 weeks ago

    Porter: What do you thunk upgrading to Catalina and Photos 5.0 will “do” to your photos? It doesn’t remove duplicates. It is just the view where you look at Days/Months/Years will showcase photos, and not show you a bunch of similar ones. So if on one day you took pictures of the beach, trees and flowers and look at the Day view, it will try to show you one beach, one flower and one tree picture instead of like 3 beach pictures. It definitely doesn’t delete anything.

    Porter Don
    3 weeks ago

    Thanks, Gary – but that sounds like it does delete the photos that look like other photos – e.g. if I take three photos of a sunset and I want to see all three of those will it keep all three? If I choose one from that day view I can bring up all three? If so, it’s not how I want to view my photos – I want to be able to scroll through all of them seamlessly. Am I missing something here? I want to choose which ones to delete and not have any intelligence select a “preferred” one. Thanks.

    3 weeks ago

    Don: It doesn’t delete any photos. It is just the “day” view shows you a summary of your day in the list, Then you can dive into the day to see all of the photos. It has to choose some photos to represent the day, right? So why not choose the ones that look different instead of some that look the same? But all of the photos are there when you view that day, and they are all there when you view All Photos, and if you create your own albums, then you see exactly the photos you put in the albums.

    Porter Don
    3 weeks ago

    Thanks so much, Gary. I think I understand now … at least about the photos. Now on to the apps that won’t work with Catalina (Word and Photoshop) …. another thread I guess. I think I’ll wait to upgrade for awhile. But thanks for your knowledge and help.

    Judy
    3 weeks ago

    Just installed Catalina When I gave edited a picture, it sort of disappears there is instead a grey thumbnail and a grey picture, when I click on “Done”. If I go back into Edit and revert to original, it comes back. Hope you can help on this, it is screaming frustrating!!

    3 weeks ago

    Judy: Not sure what you are doing based on your description. So you are viewing a photo in Photos. You click the Edit button. What happens then?

    Bob
    3 weeks ago

    I used to be able to type a location in the search bar and all photos from that location came up. Now NOTHING. Is this a deliberate “improvement” of the app? If so it is most certainly NOT an improvement but a hindrance.

    3 weeks ago

    Bob: That should work, naturally. If it isn’t working for you then you may want to have someone take a look.

Comments Closed.