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Apple releases public beta of OS X 10.10.3, gives the masses a first taste of new Photos app

Members of the public OS X Beta Program can now experience Apple's forthcoming Photos app for Mac, thanks to the release of the first OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 public beta.

Identified as build 14D87p, OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 Public Beta is now available to download through the Mac App Store. The download is available to users who have registered for the free OS X Beta Program.

Apple advises that users install the beta software on a system or partition that they are prepared to erase if necessary. Users are also told to always back up their Mac when using beta software.

The release includes the new Photos app, which organizes a user's photo library and helps to perfect photos with comprehensive editing tools. Users can also store their photos and videos in the cloud using iCloud Photo Library, and then access them on all of their devices.

Features of the new Photos app, according to Apple, include the ability to:

  • Browse photos by time and location in Moments, Collections, and Years views
  • Navigate a library using convenient Photos, Shared, Albums, and Projects tabs
  • Store all of your photos and videos in iCloud Photo Library in their original format and in full resolution
  • Perfect photos with powerful and easy to use editing tools that optimize with a single click or slider, or allow precise adjustments with detailed controls
  • Create professional-quality photo books with simplified bookmarking tools, new Apple-designed themes, and new square book formats
  • Purchase prints in new square and panoramic sizes

Photos is Apple's forthcoming replacement for iPhoto on the Mac. Developers have been able to test the beta application out since it became available to testers last month.

Photos for OS X features a sleek, uncluttered interface that will feel natural to anyone who has used the modern Photos app for iPhone and iPad. It brings many of the features of that app to the Mac, including strong iCloud integration and basic editing capabilities.