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Goodbye iPhoto — Apple’s new Photos app for Mac is here

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Developers have had their hands on Apple's new Photos app for the past two months, and now a finished version of it is available to everyone. Today, Apple released OS X 10.10.3, a free update for Macs that adds the new app, as well as a handful of other features and fixes to its five-month-old operating system.

The new Photos app was designed not only to replace iPhoto and Aperture, but also to play better with the photos and videos people have captured on their iPhones and iPads. That means that the editing tools are the same, and that your edits carry over no matter what device you're on, the same way Apple's handled some of its iCloud syncing in iWork office apps like Pages and Keynote.

You get some new features, but lose others

The arrival of Photos also signals the demise of iPhoto, which this new app replaces and modernizes. Many of its features are present in the app, but some have also been changed or are missing. For the most part though, its additions make it a worthwhile update, including the advent of iCloud Photo Library, which syncs full-quality photos and videos between devices almost instantaneously. This also lets people keep a copy of their photo library in the cloud, which can save serious space on people's computers. However the option also means you'll very likely need to pay to upgrade your iCloud storage plan. We go into more detail about what's new, and how all this works in our explainer, which you can read here.

Apple originally showed off the new Photos app at its developer conference last June, though developers didn't get their hands on the software until early February. Apple opened it up to a wider batch of testers in its Appleseed testing program last month, so that both groups could squash bugs.

Also in today's update are 300 new multicultural emoji, Spotlight suggestions, and support for two-step verification on some web accounts like Google. Apple also says the update improves Wi-Fi performance, and improves reliability when screen sharing. Full details of the update are here.