Apple is most likely developing a Photos web app for iCloud.com to support desktop viewing of photos backed up in iCloud Photo Library using any computer with a standard-compliant web browser, according to a screenshot and other evidence discovered Wednesday in an Apple support document by Benjamin Mayo of 9to5Mac.
Furthermore, error messages from iCloud.com shown when trying to access the beta.iCloud.com/#photos URL strongly indicate there’s a Photos app in development for iCloud’s interface on the web.
The top image used in Apple’s help document clearly shows the non-existent Photos icon in the iCloud.com’s main navigation menu. Seen below is the error message saying “there was an error loading an application” when attempting to access beta.iCloud.com/#photos.
In addition to the user-facing iCloud.com interface, developers also have access to the Beta.iCloud.com website where future features are being tested. The fact that the iCloud beta site responds with an error message to the beta.iCloud.com/#photos URL is the strongest indication yet that the Photos web app, if any, would eventually be located at the iCloud.com/#photos URL when ready for public consumption.
I should also point out that accessing other URLs like beta.iCloud.com/#photoos or beta.iCloud.com/#photos1 yields no error message whatsoever, another proof that some sort of a web app has been locked at the URL.
I have no doubt in my mind that a web-based Photos app is in the works. It makes a lot of sense to be able to access our iCloud Photo Library in a web browser, in addition to the stock iOS 8 Photos app on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices.
Just recently, Apple introduced the new iCloud Drive and Settings web apps for the iCloud.com portal. Therefore, if we can now access our files in iCloud Drive using a web browser, why not our photographs, too?
iCloud Photo Library is currently in beta (funny you should ask). A Mac version of the Photos app is in the works and due for public release at some point next year. As you know, Apple has stopped development of the iPhoto and Aperture software for the Mac in favor of the upcoming Photos for Mac software.
Is the Photos web app a good idea, do you think?