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Apple to release OS X 10.10.3 update with new Photos app today

Mac users are expected to get a major mid-cycle software upgrade later Wednesday with the free release of OS X 10.10.3, featuring the all-new Photos app for Yosemite.

The apparent impending public release of OS X 10.10.3 and OS X Photos was revealed in an overview published Wednesday by The Associated Press. The report also said that Wednesday will signal the launch of iCloud Photo Library, suggesting that the cloud-based service might exit its beta period.

Thus far, developers have been provided with six beta builds of OS X 10.10.3, the most recent version arriving last week. In addition to the new Photos app, the latest version of Yosemite also features developer tools for the new Force Touch trackpad found in the latest 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the soon-to-arrive 12-inch MacBook.

Members of the public have been able to test the new Photos for OS X app since early March thanks to Apple's public beta program. But Wednesday's apparent release will mark the first time that Photos and the accompanying iCloud syncing service will be available to the masses.

The new Photos app serves as Apple's replacement for iPhoto. It organizes a user's photo library and helps to perfect photos with comprehensive editing tools.

And with iCloud Photo Library, users can store all of their photos and videos in the cloud and then access them across all of their devices, including iPhones and iPads running iOS 8 and above.

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

    In our hands-on time, AppleInsider found that 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.