Apple is bringing some major updates to our photo libraries this fall. The new Photos app in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite looks to be everything we have been asking for.
Here is the promise:
Every photo you take.
Now on all your devices.
I believe Apple will deliver this promise. And execute it well.
This is my dream come true: taking a picture on my iPhone, later go to my iPad, make some edits, delete the bad ones. Open the Mac, organize my albums, make some more edits, choose some of my favourites. Go back to my iPad to view and enjoy with a friend.
And it doesn't stop there. Other applications will be able to tap into that single canonical photo library to apply filters and make edits. Open Waterlogue app to apply some fancy artsy filters to your photo and it will be reflected on all devices. Extensions will enable a whole new level of interactions with iOS and OS X. A slew of things that were simply impossible on both platforms before, are now possible.
It Just Works
This seamless experience finally brings to light the promise Steve Jobs made on WWDC 2011 to how the photos corner of the new digital hub would work.
Photo Stream is awful and confusing. At the minimal, it is a very badly implemented stepping stone that just left users confused time and time again. There were so many duplicates and confusion in my workflow that I gave up on Photo Stream and turned it off about a year ago.
I have since been stuck taking pictures on my iPhone and having to sync photos with the USB cable to iPhoto and using iTunes to get the good ones back to the iPhone.
Bye, Bye Camera Roll
Well with iOS 8 the camera roll is gone. Thank you Apple. Now there will simply be a 'Recently Added' smart album showing the latest pictures taken. All pictures will be in your iCloud Library. There will also be a smart album for 'Recently Deleted' photos. Which, is a great addition, as currently there is no way to recover a picture deleted from your cameral roll.
What About All My Existing Images?
A few years back I spent a lot of time scanning my early family pictures one by one and later organizing all of them with dates and locations. I have a library that spans back to before I was born. I always really wanted to have these portable with me at all times.
I was at a family wedding last year, and an uncle of mine was asking when was the last time all of the 22 cousins had been together. We talked about it and I remembered the date from about 10 years prior. And I had the picture in my iPhone. I pulled it out and in about 10 seconds had the picture to show him. He was incredulous, and it was emotional for him to see those moments.
All pictures from the Mac will have to wait for the Photos for OS X version (coming out early next year). Until then, it will be enough for me to get my sanity back regarding photo management with all the new functionality in iOS 8. I'll know my pictures will be my iCloud library and that the Mac will join the party next year.
We can all delight in browsing, editing, organizing and choosing favourites of our pictures on the iPhone and iPad this fall in a complete new and integrated experience. I can't wait.