Apple releases developer preview of Photos, their iPhoto/Aperture replacement app

by Gannon Burgett

posted Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 2:36 PM EDT


Today, Apple released the developer preview of Photos, their upcoming replacement app for iPhoto and Aperture. Not yet available to the public, this developer beta has been tested by a handful of publications, including The Verge, whose video we've shared below.

The developer preview release of Photos comes just a week after we shared with you the news that the app has been slightly delayed. It still appears the app will be ready for the public by late April, but there’s no word on whether that release date will be a final version, or merely a public beta for the world to try out. Traditionally Apple isn’t too keen on public betas for native apps, but it wouldn’t be the first time they’ve done it – Photos and Apple’s iWork suite on are still in public beta as of now.

From what The Verge and a handful of other publications have shown off, Photos is mostly what we suspected: for iPhoto users, it will be a massive improvement in speed and capabilities; for Aperture users, it will be lacking the more high-end features out of the gate.

If we were to use one word to describe Photos, it’s speed. In the examples shown off in The Verge’s video hold true for the end-consumer, Photos is going to blow away those who have been plagued by iPhoto’s sluggish response when dealing with large libraries. Even the synchronization between devices via iCloud appears fast – something Apple hasn’t had a solid track record with in the past.


For users who are looking for more powerful features from Photos, don’t run off yet. Similar to how Apple’s iOS Photos app works, Photos for OSX will offer extensions, a plug-in type system that will allow third parties (such as VSCO, DxO and other plugin developers) to make the most of the speedy, cross-device application.

That being said, without any definitive library options and more robust support for RAW images, Photos won’t likely be swaying away any Lightroom users.

As more information is released, we’ll keep you up to date. In the meantime, what are your thoughts on the Photos preview thus far?