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Get an Early Look with “Photos for Mac: A Take Control Crash Course”

The ten-month limbo Apple left us in after announcing that the forthcoming Photos for Mac would replace both iPhoto and Aperture is nearly over. Photos has finally showed its face in OS X 10.10.3 Yosemite, now in public beta, and we expect it to be released within weeks. But should you trust your irreplaceable photo library to Photos right away? And what capabilities might you lose if you do? We have some early answers in our new “Photos for Mac: A Take Control Crash Course,” penned by Jason Snell, formerly lead editor of Macworld and now at Six Colors.

Based on the public beta, this early-bird version of “Photos for Mac: A Take Control Crash Course” helps you start thinking about making the transition and offers advice to anyone who is already running the beta or who plans to switch once Photos 1.0 ships. Right now, the tightly packed 30-page book assists you with:

  • Deciding whether to transition to Photos right away
  • Importing iPhoto and Aperture photo libraries
  • Getting around in the Photos interface
  • Keywording, favoriting, organizing, and finding photos
  • Dealing with Photos quirks

Once Photos 1.0 ships and we’ve had time to test it thoroughly and extract its secrets, we’ll release a free update — probably in May — that will more than double the size of the book. Topics it will add include:

  • Using iCloud Photo Library
  • Editing photos
  • Sharing photos with other people
  • Viewing photos on an Apple TV
  • Having prints made
  • Creating projects, such as calendars and cards
  • …and much more!

Like our other Crash Courses, this book has concise chunks of content so you can read quickly, all wrapped up in a modern, magazine-like layout in PDF that morphs to a reflowable design for EPUB and Mobipocket. Each chapter ends with discussion and sharing buttons, making it easy to ask a question (and please do ask questions that you want to see answered in the 1.1 update!) or share a chapter with Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and others.


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Comments about Get an Early Look with “Photos for Mac: A Take Control Crash Course”
(Comments are closed.)

Michael Whyte  2015-04-07 02:53
Is there any point to Photos if you live and work in a part of the world with very little network access? It seems that this issue, as usual with Take Control books, is not considered relevant for TC readers. But even they travel...
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2015-04-07 08:50
What makes you think that network access is necessary for Photos? It certainly is if you want to use iCloud Photo Library or share to Facebook, but for most things, I imagine that network access is simply unrelated.
Tony Voss  2015-04-11 01:38
Does Photos have any option for selective syncing to iCloud (perhaps by some attribute)? Or is is it all-or-nothing?

I am wandering how I might avoid the cost of having all photos stored in iCloud.

Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2015-04-12 16:14
No, it's all or nothing, as far as we can tell. You can have multiple Photos libraries and only the "system photo library" will sync to iCloud, but separating all the photos that way seems like a big mistake.
Michael  2015-04-13 18:19
Is it possible to change the number of days before Photos definitely deletes deleted photographs. It's 30 days by default, but I'd like to have a bigger value. Thanks!
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2015-04-13 19:07
I see no setting for that, unfortunately.
Greg Restall  2015-04-18 06:52
I have my iPhoto library on an external drive for my MacBook. Is there any way to convert that to Photo Library synced with iCloud Photo Library (and which acts as a backup of that library) and at the same time have a second Photo Library on my internal drive of that MacBook, which hooks up to iCloud Photo Library but only locally stores some of the photos?

I understand that I could do that with two computers (local archive library on one Mac with a big drive (internal or external); iCloud photo library on another mac with a smaller drive), but it seems to me that the “only one System Photo Library per computer; and only a System Photo Library can be an iCloud Photo Library” restriction rules this out.

Am I right? Is there any way to do this?
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2015-04-19 17:08
Yeah, I think you may be stuck there, since you can merge those libraries in iCloud Photo Library, but not have them be separate on the local side. Have you see Joe's article at ?
Dave Kitabjian  2015-05-11 22:57
Not sure if I missed it anywhere, but I have been surprised that I haven't heard more frustration about how the new slo-mo videos on the iPhone 6 do not import properly into iPhoto, and that Photos handles them perfectly, allowing you to adjust the sliders even after import. In spite of all the chatter about other differences, this may be the driving force to get me to change. I have been storing the slo-mos on my (64GB) iPhone 6 because there hasn't been any solution to import them and preserve the sliders...until Photos.