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Apple's old iPhoto app could be configured to use an external editor like Photoshop or Elements, but its replacement, Photos, could not.
Keen photographers might not have paid iPhoto much attention in the past, but Photos is different. Get the best tech deals, reviews, product advice, competitions, unmissable tech news and more! TechRadar is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. We also have the lowdown on all the updates to Photos in OS X El Capitan, including Live Photos, Using extensions in El Capitan, editing a photo's location, and other updates in the new verison of OS X. Photos also brings photo management fully into line with recent OS X innovations, such as the Share Sheet system that lets you quickly and easily share items with your Facebook, Twitter or photo sharing services like Flickr, via the share button at the top right.
When you start Photos for the first time it will ask if it should convert your existing photo library from iPhoto or Aperture. Converting simply makes your existing library Photos compatible while retaining backwards compatibility with the older apps, although should you subsequently use iPhoto or Aperture to edit or add photos then this won’t be synced to the Photos app. Conversion takes a few minutes to complete during which you’ll see a progress display. Although Photo Streams still stick around, of which more in a moment, Photos will next ask if you want to also use iCloud Photo Library.
Should you select to use iCloud Photo Library, Photos will attempt to sync all the photos in your existing library.
Uploading your existing snapshots to iCloud Photo Library is likely to take a very long time!
Note that syncing your entire library with iCloud Photo Library when you setup Photos is likely to take a very long time, especially considering nearly all UK users have slow upload speeds as part of their broadband packages. Running along the top is a thin toolbar that always stays put, although its options might change depending on which of the tabs you have selected, as follows. Photos: This lists your photos by the time they were taken, with the newest at the bottom of the list. Albums: You can create your own private albums in which to organise photos, including Smart Albums that automatically contain photos based on certain criteria such as the camera used, or location. The Photos tab gives an eagle’s eye view of your entire library split into the same Years, Collections, and Moments groupings as with the iOS Photos app.
If you aren't in the Year view already, click the back button at the top left of the toolbar until it greys out to switch to viewing Years. Click anywhere on a Year and you’ll zoom into one of many Collections, which cluster your photos by much smaller timelines, and also places. When viewing a Moment you can double-click on any photo to open it for full-screen viewing (and editing, of course), or click the heart icon at the top left of the thumbnail to mark it as one of your favourites.
Double-clicking any Shared Album will open it for viewing, and double-clicking any image will open it for full-screen viewing. This means you will have to re-import the edited version into the Shared Album after you’ve finished your work if you want it to be seen by others. To add photos to an existing Shared Album, again select them and either click the Share button and follow the instructions earlier, or switch to the Shared Album in question and click the Add Photos and Videos link. To create an album, select the photos in either Photos or Shared views, and click the Add button, before selecting Album from the dropdown list.
Panoramas, Videos, Slo-Mo, Time Lapse and Bursts show any photos in your library taken using the iPhone or iPad Camera app with those picture modes selected. Smart Albums can also be created via the Add dropdown list, and let you create albums from photos in your library that match certain criteria, such as focal length, or camera used to take them. The Add dropdown list also includes options to create a Book, Calendar, Card, Slideshow and Prints. Slideshows can in fact be created ad hoc and at any time by selecting photos and clicking the Play button either on the toolbar if viewing an Album, or at the right of a Collection. When using Photos view, the back and forward buttons on the toolbar don’t always work like those in a browser. Note too the zoom button at the top left of the window, which makes the thumbnails larger or smaller, such as those in a Moment or album – but NOT when viewing Collections or Years, for reasons known best to Apple. To edit a photo you’ll first need to double-click its thumbnail to open it for viewing, and then click the Edit button at the top right.
The screen goes black to indicate Edit mode is activated and the toolkit appears at the right of the program window, while a zoom control appears at the top left.
Photos uses non-destructive editing, which means the original is always stored alongside your edits, no matter how extensive these are – or even if you quit the app after making them.
There are six icons in the toolkit at the right of the screen and you can see what they are by hovering the mouse cursor over each.
Filters: Various readymade one-click filters that apply visual styles to your image, such as Mono, Instant, Chrome, and so on.
Clicking the Add button at the top right lets you reveal even more tools including some to sharpen the image, remove noise, and add a vignette effect. Right-clicking on the image lets you copy to the clipboard the current set of edits you’ve made, and you can then paste them onto a different image in the same way by right-clicking. Perhaps one of the best advanced tricks for using Photos is to hold down Alt (Option on some keyboards) while using any of the tools. Photos includes a handful of automatic tools that can organise your images and one of the most useful is facial recognition. Facial recognition is accessed via the Faces album, which is accessible by clicking the Albums tab.
When the Faces album is opened for the first time you’ll have to click the Get Started button. You’ll probably need to return to this thumbnail listing in the future as you import new images, but right now just double-click one of the faces and then type their name in the dialog box that appears at the top of the Photos window. Once an individual has been identified in the way described above, further photos will appear showing images that Photos thinks are the same person.
Click the Add and Continue button and you’ll probably see yet more photos of that person. It can take quite a while to train Photos, and it’s impossible to say how much is needed. Whichever method you choose, Photos will add a circle to where it thinks the face(s) are in the picture, and each can be expanded by dragging the handle at the right if they’re too small. On our test Mac the Photos app had previously imported its library from iPhoto, where we’d already spent some time training iPhoto to recognising faces.
Facial recognition can only be carried out on the Mac version of Photos, and there’s no way to view the Faces album on your iOS devices either. El Capitan promises to offer a more fluid and powerful experience, and that’s thanks to the introduction of Metal. It’s more of a technical update for developers, who can then use Metal for Mac to make their apps and games faster and more optimized.


Photos hasn’t been available on OS X for very long, but it’s going to get even more powerful in El Capitan. These extensions will be available from the Mac App Store, and run right in the Photos app.
Every year Apple makes significant changes to Safari, and every year I go, “I’m going to switch.” I never do, but these latest features might finally convince me. Finally, AirPlay will let you play video from a web page to your TV without showing everything that’s on your desktop.
Going forward, when you shake your mouse or move your finder over a trackpad, the cursor will get bigger so it’s easier to spot. Apple pretty much just breezed over its El Capitan update, because, really, not much is changing.
There are a lot of other features coming to the update Apple didn’t get a chance to talk about onstage, including the switch to San Francisco font, Safari top hit in Spotlight, autohide menu bar, improved autofill, and more.
Brandon’s deep love of technology stems from watching the Back to the Future trilogy one-too-many times. Macphun, the company that makes several popular photo editing apps for Mac and iOS, today updated some of its Mac apps with support for OS X El Capitan and the new Photos extension. Third-party editing capabilities have been available in iOS for quite some time, but are new to El Capitan, which was released to the public yesterday. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page. Apple plans to adopt a glass body for at least one iPhone model set to debut in 2017, reports Nikkei, citing a statement from Catcher Technology CEO Allen Horng. Apple today invited journalists to San Francisco to preview its new Union Square store, set to open this weekend.
Today marks 15 years since the first two Apple retail stores opened on May 19, 2001 in Tysons Corner, Virginia and Glendale, California. You can unsubscribe at any time and we'll never share your details without your permission.
Options on this list are setup system-wide via the Internet Accounts icon within System Preferences. If you choose not to convert there and then don’t worry because holding down Alt (Option on some keyboards) when starting Photos lets you switch to and subsequently convert other libraries. If you decide to make the switch you may need to enable the identical option within the Photos & Camera section of the Settings app of your iOS devices too. They might be new pics you take with your iPhone, or photos you import from a dedicated camera via the Photos app on your Mac. Unless you only ever take photos at birthdays and weddings you’re probably going to have to upgrade your iCloud storage to make space, and Photos will very kindly prompt you to do so if needed. However, creating a new shared album or adding photos to an existing stream isn’t handled here.
Any slideshows you create also appear here, although you can create impromptu slideshows of pictures by selecting them and clicking the Play button on the toolbar. A Collection might group together a series of photographs taken during one week in which you visited Cornwall.
These split out photos into smaller groups according to individual dates, split further by location.
This is referred to as Split View, and it can be resized by dragging the bar alongside the thumbnails.
As you might expect, All Photos lists all your photos, from oldest to newest, in order but without the location ordering present in the Photos view.
All but the Slideshow option involve ordering a physical artefact direct from Apple, and the process is similar to that of creating an Album as mentioned earlier – first select the photos you wish to be included via Photos or Album views, and then click the option you want from the Add menu.
However, creating a slideshow from the Add menu allows you to not only create a slideshow for later playback, but also output it as a movie file in up to 1080p HD resolution – just click the Export button at the top right of the program window. If you’re viewing a Moment then clicking the back button takes you to your Collections, and clicking it again will take you to the Years view.
Pro tip: You might notice the toolbar slides off the top of the screen along with the menu. When zoomed you can navigate around the image by clicking and dragging, or via a two-fingered scroll if using a trackpad. Holding down the Alt key (Option on some keyboards) switches it so it rotates clockwise 90 degrees. Perhaps the most useful for those used to Aperture or other pro-level tools is the Levels tool. This is useful if you find yourself correcting many images with a similar low-light fault, for example. Doing so while adjusting the cropping box will cause it to resize in a different way, for example, and doing so whilst adjusting the rotation dial will decrease the severity of your drag. Theoretically this feature is automatic in that Photos will create albums of people once you’ve told it who an individual is, but for best results it needs constant training and checking. Subsequently circular thumbnails will appear along the bottom of the program window, showing a range of faces that Photos has spotted within your existing library.
This dialog is tied into your contacts database and suggestions will appear automatically when you start typing, but if the individual isn’t in your address book then just type their full name. Photos is usually spookily good at this but you should click any that aren’t the person. Rather oddly, Photos didn’t automatically create entries in the Faces album for these people, although images for them did appear when we typed their name into the search field. In our tests it thought a desktop fan and a cup of tea were faces, for example, as well as the queen’s head on a banknote that appeared in a photo.
While Apple spent a lot of time emphasizing how El Capitan is meant to refine on last year’s Yosemite update, the company also introduced some cool new features, like Split View, a more powerful Spotlight, and improved full-screen support. For you and me, the new technology should make El Capitan a much smoother experience overall.
Now you can run two apps in full screen side-by-side, allowing you to browse the Web and email a friend, for example.
Right now, users are only able to use Apple’s built-in tools to edit photos for things like rotating, adding filters, cropping, and more.
There are new features like Pinned Sites, the ability to quick mute audio, and new AirPlay features.
Even when you close your browser, your pinned sites will be there when you open Safari again, making it easier to stay connected.
Safari will indicate to you which tab is playing audio, but rather than hunting for that tab and then muting audio manually, you can now mute it right from the smart search field. How often have you found yourself furiously shaking your mouse back and forth because you couldn’t find your cursor?
Metal is probably the biggest addition, but only developers were really excited about its announcement.


In OS X El Capitan, third-party photo editing apps from the Mac App Store are able to share their tools with Photos, making it possible to edit images with these apps without ever leaving the Photos app. Four Macphun apps are now able to be used within the Photos app on OS X El Capitan, including Noiseless, Tonality, Intensify, and Snapheal. As photography enthusiasts ourselves, it made perfect sense to improve Photosa€™ weaknesses,a€? commented Alex Tsepko, COO of Macphun.
Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winners and send the prizes. Specially adapted versions of image-editing tools can now be launched from within Photos to provide tools and effects that Photos can't. Any extensions installed so far will show on the drop-down menu and you select the one you want. And to bring to your Mac iCloud Photo Library, which syncs your snapshots harmoniously and invisibly via the cloud.
However, right now there doesn’t appear to be any way to merge your various older libraries into a consolidated whole.
It’s kind of like a backup of your entire photo library, combined with ease of access from any of your Apple hardware.
Additionally, on our test MacBook Pro setup the machine frequently got hot enough for the fans to spin wildly. Instead, you must select the photos in either Album or Photos view, then click the Share button at the top right of the program window, before selecting iCloud Photo Sharing. However, Photos also comes with several readymade albums that organise photos according certain characteristics. A single Moment might show the evening you spent at a particular restaurant near Lands End, for example, and again the date will be shown along with GPS details, such as the street the restaurant was on. You’ll then be walked through the process of creating the item, including agreeing to the price (orders are charged to your Apple ID in the same way as iTunes or App Store purchases). Similarly, clicking the Forward button will move you to your Collection, and clicking again will move to your Moments. For example, if you alter the brightness and then switch to the Retouch tool, you won’t be able to undo the brightness alterations you just made other than reverting to the original image as described above.
To control brightness, contrast, colour etc you’ll need the Adjust tool, discussed below.
It’s not possible to flip the image vertically or horizontally here, although these options are available on the Image main menu and in the Crop tool, described below. However if you find it doesn’t work quite as it should then holding down Alt (Option on some keyboards) and selecting a nearby point in the image for a sample will improve accuracy.
Clicking and dragging the white bar within each control lets you make adjustments, although if you hover the mouse cursor over each you’ll see an Auto button appear. Drag the handles beneath the levels histogram to adjust the darkest, lightest and mid-points of the image. Then move onto the next individual by clicking their thumbnail back in the Faces album view. There didn’t appear to be any way to convert these search results into an entry in the Faces album. Apple claims Metal will allow for 1.4x faster app launching, 2x faster app switching, and 4x faster PDF opening in preview.
Sure, you could do that anyway on a Mac, but being able to fill the screen with multiple apps will ensure that you aren’t distracted by everything else that’s going on. In the future, though, you’ll be able to use third-party editing tools from within Photos, making it a much more capable alternative to other editing software on the market. Meanwhile, the experience has also been tweaked slightly so your library of photos is easier to manage; you can add a location to a single image, for example, and sort albums by date, title, and more. This is by no means a new feature for browsers—you can do this in Chrome already—but it makes Safari a more powerful alternative.
And if there is audio coming from a tab while you’re already listening to audio in another, you can mute the one you don’t want to hear.
I do it all the time, and it’s especially frustrating when you’re trying to get something done right this second.
All of the apps are available from the Mac App Store, and customers who already own them will receive the updates for free. Apple Photos is a useful tool for photo organization and simple enhancements, but extensions open the door to much more powerful editing tools.This feature is already available on iOS 9 equipped devices, but it's new to the desktop version of Photos. The iCloud section of Photos’ preferences dialog offers an syncing progress display, as well as the option to pause uploading for a day if you have to do other urgent things via your Internet connection. Of particular interest is the All Photos album, that lets you see all your photos listed from old to new, without any kind of organisation, as with the Photos tab. This means a photo can be used in several albums, for example, and deleting an album won’t delete the photos in it. Last Import shows which photos were imported last (but not including those automatically added to your library via iCloud Photo Library). The Auto button will attempt to automatically rotate and crop the image so lines within it (horizons, poles, walls etc) look straight. Clicking the Reset button at the bottom of the screen undoes any edits you’ve made using the Retouch tool. This attempts to auto-adjust to the best settings based on the image data, as well as the Histogram graph shown above. The only way of doing so appeared to be to use the Info window, as discussed above, to re-recognise the images from scratch. Not humungous improvements, but these are little actions you perform everyday, so it all adds up. Many of the tools Macphun will bring to Photos are not present in Aperture, Lightroom, Affinity or Pixelmator.
When the Photos tab is selected you’ll also see an upload count at the bottom of the photos listing. Favorites shows any photos you’ve marked as being favourites by clicking the heart icon at the top left of their thumbnails.
Wea€™re confident this update will be an exciting element of Applea€™s eagerly awaited El Capitan.a€?To celebrate the launch of the El Capitan updates, Macphun has offered to give away copies of Noiseless, Tonality, Intensify, and Snapheal to three lucky MacRumors readers.
The original photo is still there and you can revert to it at any time, but if you want to see both the original and the edited version in your library, you'll need to make a copy of the original before you edit it.Is this a new dawn for Apple Photos?Probably not, because its image organizing tools are relatively basic so it's never going to replace a professional image cataloguing tool like Adobe Lightroom.



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