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iPhoto-killer Photos for Mac takes a bow

Apple has released an early test version of its new Photos app, which will replace iPhoto on Mac OS X.

Photos for Mac is now available as a developer preview, with a full consumer launch set for the spring.

Apple first showed off this new desktop photo management solution at WWDC 2014 in June, alongside the new Yosemite OS. Of course, Yosemite has been with us for approaching four months now, but we haven’t seen any more of Photos – until now.

The general look of Photos, and its way of organising your photos, will be familiar to iOS 8 users. There’s that familiar layered view of years and collections, which should make it easier to skim through your thousands of photos than it ever was on iPhoto.

Photos works with iCloud Photo Library to sync up all of your photos across your OS X and iOS devices. This also works for edits, so if you make any changes on your iPhone, they’ll instantly appear on your desktop – and vice versa.

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The kind of precise editing tools you’ll have at your disposal appear to sit somewhere between the the simplicity of iPhoto and the power and complexity of Aperture, the professional photo editor that Apple is also doing away with. There’s also an online photo print service built into the Photos app.

Photos is available to download for free now to registered OS X developers.

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