Apple teases iCloud-centric photo app for Mac in 2015

The Photos app will allow users to have on their Macs all of their images and videos in their original format and resolution taken across devices.

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A look at Photos for Mac. Tim Stevens/CNET

In its keynote presentation at WWDC 2014, Apple spent much of its time talking about iOS and OS X launches that will happen this year. But it also spent some time teasing some new features that will be available next year.

Consider the new Photos app that was built from the ground up, according to Apple senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi. The app lets users zoom in to individual albums or out to years, and stores all of the photos and videos in their original format and resolution taken across all iOS or OS X devices.

Like other photos apps, Apple's Photos for OS X allows for modifications to images that can boost color or change tones.

The big change with Photos compared to Apple's own iPhoto app image-storing app is that the former relies on iCloud for storage. That, of course, has brought with it some pricing considerations for users who will store lots of content in the cloud.

Apple says that the first 5GB of iCloud storage will be free. Those who want 20GB of storage will need to pay 99 cents per month. Boosting storage to 200GB will bump the price to $3.99.

For Apple, this year's WWDC, with about 5,000 developers in attendance, comes at a critical time. Apple continues to sell millions of iPhones and iPads, but demand for the devices has started to slow. Google's Android software, and particularly vendors such as Samsung, have been gaining market share and also have made inroads in former Apple strongholds like education. Apple also hasn't released any truly revolutionary products since the iPad in 2010, while rivals such as Samsung introduce new devices every few months.

Apple has used its WWDC keynote as a chance to introduce new products in the past, but it more recently has focused on software, saving new mobile device announcements for separate events.The company is expected to launch many new devices in the fall as part of what it calls its "best product pipeline in 25 years." However, concerns have emerged that Apple may have lost some of its innovation edge -- a worry that Cook and his team have tried to quell by promising "exciting new product categories" for 2014

Photos for Mac is set to launch next year. It's not clear yet whether it'll be a free download or part of an upgrade to the newly announced OS X 10.10 Yosemite.

 

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