Apple releases first OS X 10.10.3 Public Beta with new Photos app

Apple today released the first Public Beta of the upcoming OS X Yosemite 10.10.3. The new release includes the iCloud-based Photos application for the Mac, new Emojis across the system, and simpler login to Google accounts for profiles with two-factor authentication enabled. This beta is labeled as build 14D87, which is the same as the second 10.10.3 beta for developers, which was released a week ago. The Public Beta is available in the Mac App Store Software Update tab for registered beta users. Apple plans to release the first Public Beta of iOS 8.3 in mid-March, according to sources. Thanks, DJ!

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Apple’s new Photos app means big future changes for free photo storage

Photos for Mac

Apple yesterday released a preview of its upcoming all-new Photos app for Mac, which replaces iPhoto and Aperture with a simpler all-in-one photo editor and library manager. Most of the discussion of Photos focused on the huge number of changes from iPhoto and Aperture, burying one very important detail: Apple is changing the way it handles cloud-based photo storage.

Before Photos, Apple offered free storage of photos with limitations in a feature called Photo Stream, which didn’t count against iCloud storage. But the new Photos app uses Apple’s beta iCloud Photo Library feature, which was recently added in iOS 8.1. iCloud Photo Library promises to let you synchronize your entire photo collection including edits and albums across all of your devices… but you have to share your iCloud storage with photos, and album syncing and edits don’t apply to the free 1,000 – 25,000 image storage of Photo Stream.

As most long-time iOS users know, the free 5GB of iCloud storage Apple offers is often not enough to store much more than a single device backup, and for many that will mean no spare room for a photo collection. Consequently, Apple is suggesting that users should buy additional iCloud storage, paying monthly fees to store and sync their photos. As the Photos app is rolling out, Apple is allowing users to stick with the old Photo Stream feature and continue using the new Photos app without turning on the iCloud Photo Library. But it remains to be seen if that will be an option long-term once Photos is released publicly and how users will respond when they find out their free 5GB iCloud storage isn’t cutting it for their photo collection…

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Adobe releases iPhoto/Aperture importer plugin to help users transfer their libraries to Lightroom

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When Apple announced earlier this year that it would be discontinuing iPhoto and Aperture in favor of the upcoming Photos app for OS X, Adobe announced that it would be releasing a tool that would allow users to transfer their libraries into Lightroom.

That plugin has been released today on Adobe’s website and allows users to import photos, flags, ratings, keywords, and much more from the two outgoing apps into Adobe’s own offering. If you’d like to transfer your data to Lightroom, you can grab the importer for free from Adobe.

The full description of the plugin is below: Read more

Apple seeking ‘photography enthusiast’ retail employees to test OS X Photos app

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Apple is seeking employees from its own retail stores who have shown an enthusiasm for photography to test the upcoming OS X Photos application and iCloud Photos feature. Apple, last week, reached out to retail employees offering such a “career experience,” and here is the message to retail staff as provided by multiple retail employees:

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Apple to replace Aperture and iPhoto with Photos for OS X early next year

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Apple has told 9to5Mac that that the company will be ceasing development of Aperture and iPhoto, offering Photos for OS X as a replacement, which was first shown at WWDC.

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. When Photos for OS X ships next year, users will be able to migrate their existing Aperture libraries to Photos for OS X.

Apple says libraries will be able to migrate across to the new application when the application ships. Apple is working with Adobe to offer a upgrade path to Lightroom. As noted by TechCrunch, Apple will offer a Yosemite compatibility update for Aperture, but otherwise development has ended.

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Report claims iPad 5 & Retina iPad mini will sport 8MP rear cameras w/ larger aperture

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With Apple’s rumored next-generation iPads expected to be launching as early as this month, often reliable KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is sharing some new details on the expected iPad 5 and second generation iPad mini. Kuo is still expecting both products to launch later this year sometime in 4Q13, but in his latest report claims that Apple is prepping a camera upgrade for the new iPads that would include a bump up from the current 5 megapixel iSight camera to 8 megapixels along with other improvements:

Apple could upgrade the camera as a selling point for the new iPad in a bid to increase competitiveness.

We expect the upgrade will include 8MP rear camera, up from 5MP, and larger aperture. Lens module ASP will rise 10-20% on this optics spec upgrade.

As a reminder, the new iPhone 5s includes a new five-element lens designed by Apple that also includes a larger a F2.2 aperture with an 8 megapixel sensor. The device also brings a sensor with a 15 percent larger active area, auto stabilization, and bigger 1.5 micron pixels.

That would indeed be a nice camera to put on iPads. Read more

Apple updates iPhoto and Aperture for Mac with Photo Stream improvements, bug fixes, Safari and Java

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Today, Apple has released software updates for the Mac version of iPhoto and for Aperture. The updates both focus on bug fixes and improvements.

Notably, both apps were given improvements and fixes for Photo Stream integration. iPhoto now has easier image deleting and exporting from Photo Stream, while Aperture has a bug fix related to Shared Photo Streams.

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Safari and Java were also updated with improved security (release notes below). Notably, the new update introduces controls to specify which websites can use Java – something that should help prevent malicious websites from exploiting the never-ending stream of Java exploits.

Full release notes below:

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Apple releases Thunderbolt, printer drivers and Aperture updates

Apple has today updated Thunderbolt (again), printer drivers, and Aperture.

Today’s updates come after yesterday’s MacBook Pro EFI update firmware 2.3.

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