New Mac Photos App First Look

The new Mac Photos app has finally arrived with OS X 10.10.3. Take a quick look at the app and its major new feature of syncing across all of your Apple devices. The app looks and behaves much like the iOS Photos app. You can create albums, edit photos, order prints, and more.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with On today's episode let's take a quick look at the new Photos app.

The new photos app is brand new in Mac OS 10.10.3 which was released today. It replaces iPhoto and matches up now with the Photos app in iOS. There is a ton of new features so let's just take a quick look at it.

So once you've moved to the new Photos app you will notice that it looks a lot like the Photos app in iOS 8. You've got three main levels here to view all of your photos and you've got it chronologically here broken up by years and it shows you locations within that year as well.

You can use these arrows here to move down into the Collections view which basically breaks it down into small, you can call them events I guess, inside of the year. So it breaks it down into a collection of photos that maybe matches a certain set of dates and an area.

Then you can go further into that like looking at the individual photos here. They come a little clearer and they break down to specific dates here. So you've got those three levels to look at.

In all those levels you can do somethings. Like, for instance, you can click and hold and you will be able to see the photos just by swiping back and forth. If I would release it would go directly to the photo. In addition you can double click on the locations there and it gives you a map view and then you can dig down from there into a picture view that restricts you to those photos.

You can always use this back arrow to go back different levels. So you have lots of different ways to flip through all your photos and just dig down into them.

Now let's go and take a look at an actual photo. So we will dig down here into third level down and we will look at an individual photo to edit. So once we see this one here, we can see the individual photo, we can zoom in on it here. We can go to a view here which shows us all the photos in that area, or event in this case, if we wanted to have that and be able to quickly move between them.

We also have the ability to do things like Favorite it, get information about it right here like the camera, it would have location information if available for this photo.

You can also share it to an album or create all sorts of different things which we will look at in a second. Here is the actual share button which allows you to not only do the standard stuff like email it or send it to Facebook but you can also create an iCloud photo sharing album which is something you can share with other people.

You can also, of course, edit. The edit controls are very similar to iOS. You've got an enhance button, rotate here, you've got crop which also allows you to adjust the angle there. You've got filters to apply and a full set of different adjustments that you can get into. So there way too much to go into in one video. I'll probably be looking at some of the specific features here later on in individual tutorials.

But you've got most of the functionality of iPhoto from before. You've got Faces, you've got Places, you've got the ability to share things not only to say Facebook or something like that but you can create a new iCloud Photo Sharing area where you can share an album with other people and even have them available by the web.

So you can use Albums here to organize your photos like you want if you would rather not look at them in chronological order here. Of course you can just use both. You can order print products. All sorts of things that you can do like that. So there is just a ton of functionality and it is very different than iPhoto.

So you've got to kind of not look at this as the next version of iPhoto at all but look at this as a completely new app with a simplified interface and the huge new feature of having your photos available across all of your devices.

So having all your photos shared across all your devices and in iCloud means a lot of different things. It means you will never again have all your photos on your iMac on your desk and not being able to access them from your sofa on your MacBook or not be able to see them on your iPad or iPhone.

Everything just syncs all the way across. As a matter of fact it syncs over the internet pretty instantly. I'm going to take a photo right now with my iPhone and what will happen is it will sync up to iCloud and then it will sync over to the photos app here on my Mac. So it will just take about a minute here.

Okay there it appears, the photo I just took of my desk. So I took that on my iPhone. I didn't do any syncing or anything like that. It just connected over the networks to save this photo to iCloud and then save it here so that I can see all my photos everywhere.

There is a first look at the new Photos app. I will be digging deeper into it, like I said, in upcoming videos, into each individual features so we can get to know it together.

Comments: 85 Responses to “New Mac Photos App First Look”

    4/8/15 @ 2:12 pm

    where is the Library? I keep all my photos on an external hard drive 30000 + , does this mean we no longer need a library ?

      4/8/15 @ 2:23 pm

      Local copies of the photos are still kept in a library file on your drive. You can choose whether to keep originals or compressed copies locally in Photos preferences. So depending on how you want to do it, you could keep your library, or have a reduced one that probably doesn’t need to be on an external drive. You can also choose to just use Photos like iPhoto — everything local, nothing on iCloud.

        4/17/15 @ 7:37 am

        Gary, since I have uploaded all my photos and videos to icloud, can I delete the photo library from my macbook so I free up space? would deleting them cause them to delete in icloud also? thanks.

          4/17/15 @ 7:43 am

          Do NOT delete your new Photos library! That’s your local database of photos that syncs with iCloud. I can’t imagine what havoc would happen if you deleted it. Perhaps it would just be re-created from the iCloud database, I don’t know.
          If you really need to free up space, you can go to Photos, Preferences, iCloud and check “Optimize Mac Storage.”

            4/17/15 @ 7:49 am

            thanks for the quick response. I do have optimized checked. but seems like no free space has been cleared.

              4/17/15 @ 7:53 am

              Do you still have your old iPhoto library there? Perhaps archive that to an external drive and delete it. Also, give it some time. I imagine that Photos has to create the optimized versions of the photos and I guess that could take a while.

                4/17/15 @ 7:56 am

                I’ll have to check. thanks.

    4/8/15 @ 2:24 pm

    I mistakenly selected the wrong photo library. How do I delete the wrong one and import the correct one?

      4/8/15 @ 2:25 pm

      Just like with iPhoto, if you launch Photos with the Option key help down, you get to choose a library or make a new one.

        4/8/15 @ 2:38 pm

        Thank you Gary for your helpful response about iPhoto.

        I enjoy your videos. They contain many useful pieces of information. I regularly refer to your videos for help on a specific subjects such as video editing.

    4/8/15 @ 6:25 pm

    So what happens if I have 500GB of photos on my iMac and I have about 5GB free on my 32GB iPhone and I enable both?


      4/8/15 @ 6:36 pm

      You’ll see compressed versions of some photos on your iPhone, and others may need to download on the fly as needed. Wow, 500GB? I’v got 15 years worth of photos (and I take a lot) and it is only 60GB.

    4/8/15 @ 6:26 pm

    Emptying trash don’t see the trash icon anymore. Okay now when photos are deleted where do they end up at?

      4/8/15 @ 6:34 pm

      From the menu: File, Show Recently Deleted Photos.

        4/8/15 @ 6:39 pm

        Thank you Gary..

    4/8/15 @ 11:25 pm

    any possibility yet to resize photos in this app?

      4/9/15 @ 6:12 am

      Do you mean export at a different size? Yes. You can export at any size you want. But you could do that before in iPhoto too.

    Cyrus Dubash
    4/9/15 @ 6:51 am

    I want to know if I can comfortably delete the file named…
    iPhoto Library.migratedphotolibrary, after having downloaded and launched my New Photos App ?

    Somehow the new file Photos Library.photoslibrary shows 130 GB and the old file – iPhoto Library.migratedphotolibrary shows a side of 99 Gb

    How is that possible ?

    Thanks Cyrus !

      4/9/15 @ 7:13 am

      My Photos library is actually a little smaller than my old iPhoto library. You’d need to have an expert take a first-hand look at them to know what is going on specifically. One reason it could be larger is that Photos has pulled in iCloud photos or videos that weren’t previously in your iPhoto collection — shared albums and others that you had on iOS but not on your Mac.

    4/9/15 @ 8:06 am

    Hi Gary,
    I found a “problem” not mentioned by others. After the upgrade of 10.10.3 with installation of Photos, there is a “Photos Library” in my Pictures folder, along with the old “iPhoto Library”, and they have similar size. Since my “iPhoto Library” is about 140GB, the “Photos Library” takes extra 140GB. But actually, it is kinda reference, not taking real space, since my remaining hard drive only changes a little bit. Do u have any comments on it? Thx~

      4/9/15 @ 8:10 am

      Not sure what the problem is. You can, of course, get rid of the iPhoto library. I’ll wait a few weeks to do that, or perhaps archive it somewhere. You have an option in the Photos preferences as to whether you keep originals on your local drive or compressed versions. I’ll be keeping originals since I have plenty of drive space and like the fastest access to the photos when doing things with them.

    4/9/15 @ 8:10 am

    Hi Gary,
    More details about this topic: If I check the size of the Picture folder by “CMD+i”, it is 298GB. But if I type “du -h -d depth=1” in terminal, it is only 148GB, which looks more reasonable to me according to the remaining space of the SSD.

    4/9/15 @ 8:36 am

    It appears that Apple has removed the option to batch change titles and descriptions? If not, how is this completed? Also, I have always sorted albums different ways, date, title, etc. This too seems to have been removed?
    You provide a great service to all of us. I truly appreciate the post and followup comments you provide. Keep up the good work!

      4/9/15 @ 8:53 am

      Since this is the first version of Photos, Apple couldn’t have removed anything as there is no previous version of Photos. This is a completely new app, so the functions will not match iPhoto exactly. Perhaps there will be optional extensions in the future, as there are with other new OS X apps, that will allow people that want extra functionality like batch changes.
      You can use View, Keep Sorted By Date as one option to switch between manual ordering and date sorting. But that seems to be the only option.

    4/9/15 @ 9:05 am

    Bummer- I hate the iOS 8photo iPhone system, so that means I really hate the new photo. All my photos are in titled events, not chronological order- I created events according to topics,people, trips, holidays etc. Do you know if when I upgrade to the new photo system what will happen to my current events? I think that I better find a new photo system quickly. I am a photographer and don’t want all my pictures on my iPhone etc.

      4/9/15 @ 9:07 am

      All of your Events from iPhoto are preserved as Albums in Photos. If you are a pro photographer, then you should probably be using a pro app for storing your photos, like Lightroom.

    4/9/15 @ 9:19 am

    Hi Gary

    With regards to Photo

    I have several libraries do I have to transfer each one separately or is there a way to do the whole lot as one?
    I do have iphoto manager library could this be used to move all librararies in one go and if so then how

    Thanks. Viv

      4/9/15 @ 9:21 am

      I think you’ll need to start with your main one, and then import (drag and drop?) the others if you wish to combine them. As for “iphoto manager library” — do you mean some third-party software? If so, you’ll need to contact them to ask.

        4/15/15 @ 9:28 pm

        The third party (Fat Cat Software) iPhoto Library Manager can be used to combine the libraries (and search for duplicates) in iPhoto before they libraries are imported to Photos. Fat Cat will have an entirely new app (PowerPhotos) available in the next few days to manage libraries in Photos. I believe it will be FREE to existing iPhoto Library Manager customers.

    4/9/15 @ 9:21 am

    Great overview! In iPhoto and Aperture I could create a smart album that showed any face recognition for which no name has been assigned. I see in Photos the smart album does have a Face selection but I can’t figure out how to denote ‘no face assigned’. I assume this is no longer possible? Thanks!

      4/9/15 @ 9:23 am

      I don’t see a way to do it. Perhaps request this as a feature.

    4/9/15 @ 10:40 am

    Gary, my big issue with photos is usually RESOLUTION. If I have a 6 MB photo that I want to email to friends, my first step is to reduce the resolution to about .5 MB. Please do a tutorial exploring the options.

    PS: I am an iMac user, and NOT a mobile user.

      4/9/15 @ 10:47 am

      If you are using Mac Mail, then just select the photo, use the Share button and choose Mail. Then in the Mail app you’ll see a drop-down in the composition window for “Image Size.” That’s the quickest way to do it, though you don’t have as many options.
      The other way is to use the File, Export command in Photos. You can choose from four JPG compression amounts and even resize the image.

    4/9/15 @ 10:49 am

    Dear Gary, on Aperture I could chose to edit my files in Photoshop. I cannot see how to do it in Photos

      4/9/15 @ 10:53 am

      You’ll have to drag and drop it out of Photos. Edit in Photoshop. Then drag it back in. An alternative would be for Adobe to create an Extension that would allow for this to be done from the Share button. Maybe contact Adobe and request it.

    Raiford Gardiner
    4/9/15 @ 2:41 pm

    Is there somewhere a list of exactly what functionality has been dropped from iPhoto by this change to MyPhoto. I really don’t want to go through another Pages debacle.

      4/9/15 @ 2:48 pm

      Think of the Photos app and iPhoto as two different apps, not that Photos is the next version of iPhoto. There are bound to be some things in one that are not in the other. The iCloud functionality in Photos is a huge leap forward from what iPhoto offered. But if you compare them detail for detail I’m sure there are some things that Photos doesn’t have that iPhoto has — after all the latter has 13 years on it.

    Chris Hubbard
    4/10/15 @ 1:50 pm

    Hi Gary, Thanks for the intro to Photos.
    Just one thing. I’m not clear. If I allow ‘Photos’ to create its own new library on my i-Mac, will I still have my original i-Photo library of Events and other created albums that I can refer to if needed? Can they exist in parallel or will all my i-photo cataloguing be superceded? Thanks.

      4/10/15 @ 2:32 pm

      It will leave the old iPhoto library there. But it is basically just in case — as you say, you can refer to it if needed. Your events, by the way, are imported into Photos as albums, as well as your other albums.

    Glen Tuggy
    4/10/15 @ 1:54 pm

    Will adding Photos to my computer disable iPhoto? From the comments of others it sounds like it makes a new copy of the library file, so can both apps can be used with double the amount of disk space. (This is what I’ve done with Pages 5. I still use Pages 4.3 for features, except when syncing to iPhone. Only I don’t have to keep two copies of everything.)

      4/10/15 @ 2:35 pm

      It doesn’t disable iPhoto, but it does give you two photo libraries that don’t talk to each other. If you go back to iPhoto and work with the photos there, the changes won’t be seen in Photos. And vice versa. So it is not like Pages 4.3 and 5 — both of which create individual documents not single libraries, so the comparison don’t make sense.
      So start using Photos, with the “safety net” of knowing that your old iPhoto library and iPhoto is still there just in case. Though there’s not much point in looking back.

    Linda Taylor
    4/10/15 @ 3:00 pm

    I’ve deliberately avoided iCloud storage due to the cost when surpassing the default “free” storage level. Besides, security may become more of an issue as the cloud becomes used by more people. I guess we older folks tend to be more leery than you young people! LOL

    Will I be able to stick with iPhoto if I choose to do so or will I be forced to upgrade like I am with OSs if I want to get Apple support? I’m tired of all these constant changes…

      4/10/15 @ 3:04 pm

      Note that you don’t need to use iCloud with Photos. You can use it like iPhoto, with your library on your drive only. Sticking with iPhoto isn’t a good idea as it won’t remain compatible with things in the future.
      It is easy to suspect cloud services as being less secure, but if you use a strong password and two-factor it is quite secure. On the other hand you are more likely to suffer hardware failure or a disaster and lose you photos than to get an online account hacked. Placing your data in the cloud protects you from that. Something to think about.

    Peter Ogilvie
    4/10/15 @ 3:58 pm

    Fantastic new app taking over from iPhoto.At first I was a little stunned to see iPhoto missing from the dock but once i explored Photo’s I am a lot more relaxed with the change .Great one is you have 30 days before deleted photos are permanently deleted from photo’s .Love all your video’s which just make the iMac experience the best .

    Pete S.
    4/10/15 @ 7:14 pm

    The new Photos app looks like a great improvement. One question though. If I look under PICTURES in FINDER after migrating the iPhoto libraries to Photo I see duplicate libraries. One shows the new Photo icon and the other shows the old iPhoto icon. Can I delete the old IPhoto libraries or do I have to keep them?

    Thank you,

      4/10/15 @ 8:14 pm

      That’s your old iPhoto library, yes. Since you have a backup anyway (right?) you can delete it if you really need the space. I’m keeping mine around for a while, but I’ll delete it eventually.

        Pete S.
        4/10/15 @ 11:52 pm

        Thank you. Yes, they are backed up and keeping them for a while is good advice in case something goes south with the new Photos app.

          4/11/15 @ 6:10 am

          Or, what I think it more likely (for me at least) is that in my exuberance in playing with the new Photos app I will mess something up.

    Jerry Spencer
    4/11/15 @ 8:13 am

    Is there a way to add location to a photo that has none? My iphone photos have location data but I have a lot of older photos that do not and would like to add location info. Can’t figure out how to do it in the new Photos app. thanks.

      4/11/15 @ 10:01 am

      Doesn’t look like there is a way to do that in Photos right now. Request that as a feature if you want it.

    Jerry Spencer
    4/11/15 @ 8:48 am

    Another question. While looking at my photos in the photos tab, some of them appear upside down or sideways. When I click on an individual photo, it orients correctly, then when I go back it goes upside down again. I’m not sure but I think it is only the ones from photostream. Any idea what is happening? Thanks.

      Jerry Spencer
      4/11/15 @ 8:51 am

      And it does it in the album tab also.

      4/11/15 @ 9:56 am

      Sounds like a glitch. Probably related to whether the orientation is from the camera data or you manually changed it. Might have to do with the camera used as well.

      Ron B
      4/14/15 @ 4:44 am

      When rotating in “EDIT” you need to click on DONE , then it will be saved that way .
      OR if you have your photos open and you right click on the photo to rotate , a menu will open to rotate ,click on rotate , after it rotates thats all you need to do .

    4/11/15 @ 10:13 am

    It has really messed up my 5000 pictures by labelling 90 percent of them as “Cyprus” and showing them as being taken in that country. I had one iPhoto event that was titled “Cyprus” and had about 50 pictures taken on vacation there.

    4/11/15 @ 2:10 pm

    Hi Gary,

    I use Macbook Pro with OS X 10.10.2 and iPhone 4 with iOS 7.
    I didn’t turn on iCloud storage as I don’t have an iOS 8 device.

    Now, can I update my mac to OS X 10.10.3 ? ( I don’t have an iOS8 device)
    Will this effect my iPhone 4 photos app and other iPhoto libraries on my mac ?

      4/11/15 @ 3:37 pm

      You should definitely update to 10.10.3 (always stay up-to-date for security purposes at least). You don’t need to use Photos yet. Or, you could start using Photos and use it the same way as you did before — iTunes will sync from the Photos app OR iPhoto, either one.

    Michael Shillito
    4/15/15 @ 9:25 am

    Hi Gary, big fan, quick question, what do i do with the old iPhotos app, do drag it to applications or store it somewhere.

      4/15/15 @ 9:28 am

      Unless you are desperately short of hard drive space, just leave it in your Applications folder for now. Some people have old iPhoto libraries they keep around as archives and it would be useful if you have one of those. Otherwise, you’ll eventually delete it. But you can certainly remove the shortcut that is in the Dock if you have switched to the Photos app. That doesn’t get rid of the app, just the Dock shortcut to it.

    Roland Svensson
    4/15/15 @ 10:10 am

    The “old” photostream didnĀ“t use any of the free 5Gb Icloud space, is this going to work the same or do I need to upgrade the storage space?

    4/15/15 @ 9:32 pm

    I am searching for a way to add location information to older photos (say, scanned slides) as I add them to Photos. Easy to do in iPhoto, can’t seem to find it in Photos. Any clues, Gary?

    One other “missing” item is the edit in an external editor. At least I cannot find it short of exporting the photo, editing it and bringing it back in.

    Initially, I was bummed not finding the white balance adjustment, but I stumbled on the advanced adjustments. I’m cool with that now.

      4/15/15 @ 9:39 pm

      Photos doesn’t seem to have a way to manually edit location metadata yet. Hopefully we’ll get that in an update soon. Same for external editors.

        4/16/15 @ 2:12 pm

        Thanks, Gary. Glad that I wasn’t just missing it.

    4/17/15 @ 3:42 pm

    Good afternoon Dary, I just upgraded to the new Yosemite 10.10.3 then opened Photos and am now panicking a bit because all of the pictures I have saved of the family and our adventures that were saved into separate albums I do not see, help…..where are all of my separate albums and photos that i had dilligently created in iPhoto? How can I set up Photo to look like iPhoto in appearance to keep my sanity? Are all of my pictures from iPhoto still there? thank you Michael

      4/17/15 @ 3:51 pm

      They are most likely in the folder of albums titled “iPhoto Events.” Look in there. Turn on the Sidebar in the View menu and you can see them more clearly.

        4/17/15 @ 4:45 pm

        Gary, thank you for the reply, I opened the folder of albums titled “iPhoto Events” and turned on the Sidebar in the View menu but it is showing all of my pictures listed by the date they were taken and not in the separately titled Albums I created for each Album in iPhoto. What setting to I use to keep the pictures I put in each Album in iPhoto to reflect this in Photos? thank you Michael

          4/17/15 @ 4:54 pm

          There should be albums inside of iPhoto Events. If you just select iPhoto Events, you’ll see all of the pictures in all of those albums. But if you open iPhoto Events and select an album you’ll just see the ones from that particular album.

            4/17/15 @ 5:24 pm

            I found them, thank you so much, this new Photo will take a little getting used to but I do welcome the new features and upgrades…..happy to see the upgrades. thank you Michael

    4/18/15 @ 3:26 am

    Thanks for another great video, Gary.
    If I delete a photo from my iPhone, will it be deleted on my laptop as well, or do I have to delete the photo on each device individually?

      4/18/15 @ 6:42 am

      Try it. You’ll see. A message appears telling you that it will be deleted from all devices. That’s assuming you are using iCloud with Photos.

        4/20/15 @ 3:02 am

        I used to use iCloud with photos, but then stopped as I got so annoyed with how it worked. For example, I would take 10 photos on my iPhone of basically the same thing (with the intention of deleting 9 of them later and only keeping the best one). But then I’d open my laptop, all 10 photos would go into iPhoto, and I’d have to spend ages deleting them off both my laptop and my iPhone.
        Just checking that this isn’t the case with Photos now.

          4/20/15 @ 6:10 am

          You are referring to Photo Stream. That’s different than the new iCloud Photo Library which is a complete solution — your entire library is synced. Photo Stream is just a stream of recent photos.

            4/22/15 @ 3:18 am

            So if I delete a photo on one device, it’ll be gone on my other devices too?

              4/22/15 @ 6:08 am

              Yes, you’ll get a warning telling you exactly that. Try it — duplicate a photo and edit it so you can easily tell the difference. Then watch it appear on your other devices. Then delete it from one.

                4/22/15 @ 8:10 pm

                Great, thanks so much, Gary.

    4/18/15 @ 8:26 am

    Hi Gary
    I just wanted to check edit functions. On i-photo, shadows and highlights could be adjusted separately. This does not seem to be the case on Photos. Have I missed something or is this an unfortunate downgrade of what was there before? Also in effects, each effect could be adjusted separately – and there is no matte or vignette?
    Also, if at some stage I delete my i-photo library, does it will remain independently imported in Photos?
    Thanks for all your clarifications.

      4/18/15 @ 8:29 am

      I’ll be dealing with photo adjustments in another tutorial. But yes, you certainly can adjust shadows and highlights separately. Choose Edit. Choose Adjust. Move your mouse over where it reads “Light” and you’ll see a down-facing arrow appear to the right. Click on it to reveal individual controls for everything.

        4/20/15 @ 1:39 am

        Thanks Gary. Found that hidden edit section. Much better.
        What about the adjustment of filters and masks?
        I look forward to another excellent tutorial on adjustments.
        Thanks again for your patience with all these enquiries.

    4/19/15 @ 7:21 pm

    I knew how to make the photoshop the default editor for pictures in iPhoto, but can not find how to do it in Photos. Am I missing something or is it impossible as of now?

      4/19/15 @ 8:39 pm

      No way to do that presently. Looks like it should be easy for Adobe to create an extension now that Apple allows those. Maybe request it from Adobe?

    5/4/15 @ 6:59 pm

    I rename all of my photos (1, 2, 3, etc) numerically because I still use iDVD and that is the only way they will appear in the order I want. In Photos, it doesn’t show this or sort by this. I appears that I have to manually enter these as titles..,any way to have the image name appear as in iPhoto?

      5/4/15 @ 7:29 pm

      You have titles in Photos like in iPhoto. One way to see them is to choose View, Metadata, Titles. Then you can view and edit them in moments views and albums. You can’t sort by them, but you don’t need to if iDVD is your only need for them.

        5/5/15 @ 4:42 pm

        Thanks Gary…but I don’t want to sort by titles, I want to sort by the image name, which doesn’t appear to be s choice. The image name is found in the info on the photo but isn’t a view choice, unlike titles. I just don’t want to have to manually add a title, which will be exactly the same as the image name.

          5/5/15 @ 4:55 pm

          Do you really need to sort them at all? There is no link between Photos and iDVD, since iDVD hasn’t been supported for years. So you just need to export the files and then they will be sorted in the Finder by filename when you go to bring them into iDVD.

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