Apple's New Photos App for Mac

We’ve now gotten a good look at Apple’s new Photos app, and from a photo-organization perspective, it looks great: integration with iCloud Photo Streams, shared edits between your Mac and your iOS devices, and automatic backup of all your photos to the cloud.

As a photo editing application, though, this app won’t do much to win back former users of Apple’s now-discontinued Aperture. Most semi-serious photographers (myself included) fled to Adobe Lightroom sometime over the last few years, frustrated by Aperture’s lack of updates and the huge feature disparity between the applications. I loved Aperture, and for a long time, Lightroom’s interface and workflows felt clunky to me. Now, though, I’m more productive in Lightroom than I ever was in Aperture, and I’m happy to pay Adobe $9.99 per month for a subscription to Lightroom and Photoshop. 

This new Photos app – which was supposed to replace both iPhoto and Aperture – arrives with editing features that are less powerful than both of them. As The Verge puts it, “it’s clear that Apple is targeting them mostly at novice users, not the advanced photographers that might have used Aperture in the past.”

For years, Apple relied on power users in the creative industries to keep Mac sales afloat. But more recently, users of Apple’s professional applications – Aperture, Final Cut, and Logic – have all gotten the same message from Apple: you’re too much work for us. The new Photos application is just the latest indication that Apple will continue to focus on the entry-level consumer, even if it means professionals have to turn elsewhere.