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Exit iPhoto, enter Photos for Mac

The journey I want to describe in this text has not started recently, but on June 2, 2014, when the iCloud Photo Library Photo Library was launched in testing on iOS 8 beta. Since its launch to this date, iCloud has never been very functional for the generation of photographers with iPhones and iPads: through My Photo Sharing (My Photo Stream), Apple from Steve Jobs and Scott Forstall offered only a centralized Camera Roll feature with simple sharing tools, both of which were unable to offer much inspiration to their users.

For Apple, worse than dealing with the low flexibility of these features was seeing many of its customers have access to what they really wanted in the hands of companies like Dropbox, Google, Microsoft and many others: dedicated services for photo backup and storage on a cloud. Today they integrate desktop and mobile, allow instant access to content captured from a device anywhere and, in some cases, offer simple and intuitive tools for editing and sharing, capable of serving well what the public consumes on the internet.

With Tim Cook's new leadership working on platforms and services, Apple is making the iCloud Photo Library much more than a simple resource of its onslaught in cloud computing, but also the foundation of what users need to have hands on to take care of. your photos in the future. The "digital hub" prophesied for years in Jobs' speeches has served us well, but the way iPhoto has been positioned in the success of this trend in recent years has never been very clear. To form a model capable of serving all of its platforms, Apple chose to give its standard iOS photo manager extra powers and, from it, create a completely new solution for the Mac.

Knowing about the transition that would take a few months to complete (after all, iPhoto would be discarded, since a new application is being created in its place), I decided to import a copy of my photos to iCloud and I was testing how the new service behaved along the way here. Today, Photos for iOS is well known and we already have a web version for viewing and management for some time, so the focus here is to see how the new Mac application can be used.

Photos for Mac OS X

Getting Photos for Mac

At the moment, the only way to start using Photos for Mac by enabling your computer to receive beta versions of OS X Yosemite today, we are in the sixth build of version 10.10.3. You can venture to do so on the Apple website, but do so at your own risk: until the update is finalized for distribution, you may encounter some problems with one or other system resource.

Getting started

Photos for Mac OS X

Two important things deserve less before we talk about what Photos for Mac can do. First, right after upgrading your computer, you will be able to control it as an iCloud service enabled on it. To do this, simply visit the System Preferences (System Preferences) and click on the iCloud panel. Then, next to Photos (Photos), click on Options (Options).

Photos for Mac OS X

Here you have control over what you want to use Photos for Mac on your machine. The old My Photo Sharing (My Photo Stream) and the sharing service (iCloud Photo Sharing), which you used to adjust as iPhoto services previously, can be kept connected to the iCloud Photo Library. As with any service on it, you can disable it completely by clearing the checkbox next to the application name on the previous screen.

Second, when opening the application for the first time on your Mac, try going to Preferences to explore additional options in the menu bar, click Photos Preferences (or Command + ,) on your keyboard. The General tab (General) allows me to make my adjustments previously possible in iPhoto, regarding the location of your library, form of import, use of metadata and even access to the print shop.

Photos for Mac OS X

In the iCloud tab, Apple offers an adjustment that many users would like to know. As the center of your photos now in the cloud, you can also choose to keep only an optimized copy of them on your computer, just as possible on iPhones or iPads. When you need to make edits or create projects, you can work with the original images being downloaded on demand, but this option allows the minimum of disk consumption, which is very useful if your Mac cannot have a lot of space dedicated to photos and videos.

Photos for Mac OS X

Browsing

Photos for Mac OS X

You can browse photos using the same controls as the iOS app. This means the system will automatically make groupings and summaries based on Moments (photos taken in the same time range and location), Collections and Years. It is easy to navigate through these views using page gestures on the trackpad, but the same navigation hierarchy as the mobile application is also available on the Back button, located in the upper right corner.

When opening a photo, you can count on a left sidebar showing the other photos of a given Moment or take it out of the view by clicking on its corresponding button, between the arrow for Back and the manual zoom control. On the right side of the Toolbar are the buttons to bookmark, display information (location, camera, date, etc.), add to a project, share and edit.

Photos for Mac OS X

Because it was developed from the iOS version, the new Photos for Mac has an optimized and very fast architecture. It is possible to browse thousands of photos even on a not-so-recent MacBook Air and, with internet access and iCloud facilities, work with much more content than you would have stored on your local computer.

Editing

With iOS 8 and the new Photos for Mac, Apple brought a select set of editing tools for users to make minor adjustments to content captured directly from the iPhone or available on the computer. The objective here is to offer resources to make improvements without the need for additional software, which is the intention of the users, of course.

Photos for Mac OS X

On the Mac, it is possible to manipulate some information about a particular photo opened on the screen by clicking on the "I" located in the upper right corner. In addition to being able to add title, description and keywords, all EXIF ​​recording made in the file is elegantly formatted, the capture location is conveniently displayed as a map and, if there are faces (faces), it's easy to add them here.

Photos for Mac OS X

Clicking Edit (Edit), the application window goes dark and then we have our little toolbox at our disposal. Seven direct commands of the selected image are displayed and, again, they are intended for basic tasks: auto-adjustment, rotation, cropping / framing, filters, adjustments, touch-ups and correction.

Photos for Mac OS X

The interface of these commands is very aligned with your interactions on iOS. For iPhoto users, a unification of commands that makes daily interaction between Macs and iPhones / iPads pleasant.

In some cases, more details are easily editable at hand. Take the settings as an example. In this tool, Apple leaves a number of features that can be individually changed without effort. You can choose to add fine editions for each available attribute, but once you recognize that the colors in the image are the only problem, just add specific adjustments to address that end and you're done. No more strolling through long editing menu items, something quite convenient for an ordinary user.

Photos for Mac OS X

Sharing

Photos for Mac OS X

Any application on your Mac integrated with the standard OS X Yosemite sharing service is eligible to have an option in Photos to receive your images. Just enable it in the Extenses panel (System Preferences) and exit using.

The share button appears not only in photo selections, but also automatically in Moments and Collections, when hovering over them in the image list. By default, you will be able to share images via Mail, Messages and / or AirDrop, in addition to Twitter and Facebook, if your accounts for these services are configured in the system.

Not surprisingly, it is possible to add content to shared albums hosted on iCloud that may have restricted or public access, even via the web interface. Comments and opinions from people you offer your images with will be displayed on the Shared tab (Shared) if you offer these possibilities to your audience.

Projects

Photos for Mac OS X

Here we have an exclusivity of Photos on Mac at least be this first moment. With the end of iPhoto, Apple was not expected to abandon its printed products, which have been a huge differentiator for its imaging applications for a long time.

Mac photos

Only the wooden bookcase was left behind for good, in my opinion. But all the printed options are in place: there are three different types of books, three categories of cards and four individual printing options, in addition to calendars and slide shows for the screen, all very easy to create and edit.

No one misses anything about iPhoto except us Brazilians, since the print shop cannot be used here yet

Interestingly, smart albums and albums are also treated as projects, even though they have their own section in the application completely dedicated to them. Around the entire application, where you can select groups of photos, the button "+" can be used to add content to any type of existing project, or create a new one.

What do I need to know for the change?

Some mentions are needed here. Perhaps the most important is regarding the positioning that Apple decided to take with Fotos. As we already know, your ad ended up placing both iPhoto and Aperture in front of the bullet. However, while the new product was designed to simplify the work of iPhoto users, making them able to do more than they were used to in an app better designed for today's needs, in contrast it is not positioned as a replacement for Aperture.

Unlike iPhoto, Aperture was a professional tool maintained by Apple for almost ten years, covering a more select group in its community. Both applications, however, maintained a very similar library structure in several aspects, so it made sense for the company to offer migration means from two sides. But, if you are a professional photographer and need the best available for post-production, consider a specific third-party solution for this purpose: here among my colleagues MacMagazine, Adobe's Photoshop Lightroom, much appreciated.

That said, when migrating a library, it is necessary to pay attention to some things, starting with metadata: in Photos, Apple decided to simplify their use, aiming to favor its automatic organization by locations and dates. If you used stars in previous applications or other advanced features of Aperture, such as color coding, the company converts this information into keywords in its new application, retaining its usefulness in searches. Even the flags (flags) will receive this treatment.

In Photos, Apple retained Faces and Places as different types of content organization in the albums tab, along with the categories the company made popular on iOS, such as Panoramas, Time-Lapses and images in Continuous Mode (Burst Mode). However, iPhoto / Aperture Events saw common albums in the new application. You can, if you want, keep common projects in Photos from iPhoto, including Smart albums.

Regardless of whether you're migrating from iPhoto or Aperture, your old libraries will continue the way these products left you; o Fotos takes care of creating the new organization of that content and consolidating what is in iCloud locally, without duplicating or moving anything existing. However, you will not have synchronized editions if you decide to go back to old applications and use them.

Finally, it is important to remember that Photos for Mac was made for use with iCloud, which does not have free space to store a few years of photos saved in iPhoto that will tell the entire collection of a professional who breathed every day in front of Aperture . Although Fotos is capable of working with some flexibilities that some users have become used to so far (multiple libraries, for example), it was designed to work with a single collection synchronized with iCloud. It is recommended to leave a specific library for the Apple service that does not compromise your plan, if you do not intend to migrate it to the paid options that offer up to 1TB for $ 20 monthly.