Photos for OS X Collections Mac screenshot 001

Get your Macs ready for a major software refresh as Apple gears up to release the OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 software update with the long-awaited Photos for Mac app and other improvements.

Associated Press, which ran a review of Photos for Mac earlier this morning and first reported that the software update is due today, praised the software’s professional-level and advanced fine-tuning tools such as granular color correction.

“Apple’s new Photos app for Mac computers, available Wednesday as a free software update, makes it easy to organize and edit your pictures,” the news organization wrote.

“Like other free apps such as Google’s Picasa, Photos is good for auto-enhancing, cropping and other basic touches such as lightening underexposed shots,” reporter Anick Jesdanun wrote. “But it goes further by also including some of the advanced fine-tuning you’d find in a tool like Adobe Lightroom, which costs $149.”

With Photo for Mac, users at last can enjoy a unified, streamlined photo-management solution across their Mac, iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices.

Photos for Mac teaser 001

The app can be optionally used in conjunction with iCloud Photo Library, a feature that stores entire photo libraries in the cloud in full resolution in order to save storage space on your devices. Any changes made to a photo on one device instantly reflect on all your others via iCloud Photo Library.

Photos for Mac lets you import content from iPhoto, the app it replaces as the default photo-management solution on Macs. You can import photographs from other sources, including those in cameras’ proprietary RAW formats.

Deleting a photo or video automatically removes it from both the cloud and all your synced devices, but you have about a month to retrieve it from the cloud should you change your mind.

Photos for OS X Edit Levels Mac screenshot 001

However, Apple only gives five gigabytes of cloud storage for free, hardly enough to store even a modest library of high-resolution photographs and videos in the cloud.

The company offers storage upgrades but at a higher price than Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and others, though none of competing solutions are as tightly integrated with the Apple platform as iCloud Photo Library is.

For example, for 99 cents per month your iCloud storage will be expanded to twenty gigabytes of cloud-storage space. The 200GB/500GB/1TB tiers are priced at $3.99/$9.99/$19.99 per month.

Are you excited about OS X 10.10.3 and the Photos app?

Source: Associated Press