OS X 10.10.3 Beta 1 with Photos App Released for Testing
Apple has released the first pre-release seed version of OS X 10.10.3 to developers. This particular beta version of Mac system software arrives as build 14D72i and seems to focus primarily on a new Photos app, which aims to replace iPhoto in OS X.
Mac Developers can download OS X 10.10.3 beta 1 from the developer center, or through Software Update in the App Store. Presumably, the 10.10.3 beta will carry over to OS X Public Beta users in the near future as well.
The full pre-release download is around 1GB in size and requires a reboot as usual. Be sure to make a backup before installing.
With Photos being the primary mention in this build, it’s unclear what other bugs and issues OS X 10.10.3 will eventually focus on as well. It’s possible that 10.10.3 will focus on networking issues again given that some users are continuing to experience wi-fi trouble with OS X 10.10.2. All other prior minor updates to OS X Yosemite have included various bug fixes and focuses on wi-fi, which have resolved troubles for some users, while persistent issues remain for others.
The release notes bundled with Photos for OS X 10.10.3 focus on features of the new picture management and editing app:
All new for OS X, Photos automatically organizes your photo library and helps you perfect your photos with comprehensive editing tools. You can also store your photos and videos in the cloud using iCloud Photo Library, and access them on all your devices.
Photos lets you:
– Browse your photos by time and location in Moments, Collections, and Years views.
– Navigate your library using convenient Photos, Shared, Albums, and Projects tabs
– Store all of your photos and videos in iCloud Photo Library in their original format and full resolution
– Access your photos and videos stored in iCloud Photo Library from your Mac, iPhone, iPad, or iCloud.com with any web browser
– Perfect your photos with powerful and easy-to-use editing tools that optimize with a single click or slider, or allow precise adjustments with detailed controls
– Create professional-quality photo books with simplified bookmaking tools, new Apple-designed themes, and new square book formats
– Purchase prints in new square and panoramic sizes
The Photos app is highly functional and quite attractive, with a familiar iOS-like interface in most of the app:
There is also a very nice sleek dark black user interface visible when editing photos:
Overall Photos for Mac has many similarities to the Photos app in iOS on iPhone and iPad, but with additional functionality that is more appropriate for a desktop computing environment. Photos app for OS X will rely heavily on iCloud to function as intended, with syncing from iOS devices happening through iCloud, assuming that feature has been enabled. Users can learn more about Photos app at the Preview page on Apple.com.
Given that Photos app is currently in beta, users interested in trying it out with OS X 10.10.3 should absolutely back up their Macs and particularly their pictures before attempting to import them into the beta application. Beta software doesn’t always behave as intended, which is why it’s recommended for developers and advanced Mac users only.
The most recent public version of OS X Yosemite is 10.10.2. Apple says that Photos app will be released this spring, suggesting that OS X 10.10.3 will be released then too.