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Apple says out with iPhoto, in with Photos app

Apple has released its preview of Photos, the new image and video application which will replace iPhoto, for Mac developers.

Photos will be officially launched later this year and will be free to OS X Yosemite users.

Last year in June Apple announced iPhoto and the Aperture editing suite would be phased out in 2015.

“With the introduction of the new Photos app and iCloud Photo Library, enabling you to safely store all of your photos in iCloud and access them from anywhere, there will be no new development of Aperture,” Apple said.

The OS X Photos application is similar to the iOS app and replaces iPhoto, which has been used for the past 13 years.

With the Photos app, users can search, edit and manage individual photos and albums. The app also comes with editing tools, enabling users to adjust photos automatically or add filters and other enhancements.

The Photos app will be released in conjunction with the iCloud Photo Library, which allows users to store photos and video with iCloud, Apple's cloud-based storage and synchronisation service.

With this service, users can access their images and video on any iOS or OS X device or through a browser on another platform.

iCloud can also be used to sync changes to images and to share photos and video with others.

Users will also have the option to enable or disable the cloud-storing feature, and instead store their images on their local device, whether an iPad or Mac.

Apple offers users 5GB free with iCloud, which is said to often not be enough to store more than a single device backup, let alone a photo collection.

Previously, Apple users were able to store photos for free, with limitations, with the Photo Stream feature. It is unclear how long users will be able to use the old Photo Stream feature.

Once Photos for OS X is available, users will be able to migrate existing Aperture libraries and instead use editing tools through the new app.

Yahoo currently offers 1TB of free Flickr space and Amazon offers free unlimited Cloud Photo services to Prime customers. It remains to be seen how Apple's new Photos app and iCloud Photo Library will hold up in comparison.