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Apple Photos for OS X release date rumours and Q&A: Photos for Mac 'may launch tonight'

Karen Haslam | March 11, 2015
Apple announced a brand-new Photos app for Mac OS X alongside Yosemite, but we're been waiting a long time to get our hands on the new Photos app. Luckily Apple has now released a beta version, so in this feature we look at the beta version of the new Photos app and its new features and enhancements, and weigh up the clues and rumours about its final release date.

What do you do if you have multiple libraries?

If over the years you have accumulated more than one iPhoto library, whether to avoid slow downs, or because you have had to archive photos as you ran out of space you may be wondering if you will be able to combine your photo libraries in Photos.

Unfortunately it doesn't appear to be possible. If you have multiple iPhoto libraries, you hold down the Option/Alt key while launching Photos and then, in the Choose Library window that appears, select which library to use. Unfortunately you can't import them all this way.

However there are apps you can use that will help you combine your iPhoto library before you import it to the Photos app. Our colleagues at Macworld US recommend Cat Software's $30 iPhoto Library Manager which costs $30 (£19.50).

Do I have to import all my iPhoto images to Photos?

That appears to be the case, but if you don't want the whole of your gigantic library to sync to iCloud (which will cost you) then we suggest you create a default library that will sync, and a second library for images you don't want to sync.

If you have two libraries and want need to switch between the two, close Photos, and when you restart the app hold down the Option/Alt key and select the album you want.

What happens to the photos in my iPhoto library when I import them to Photos?

When you 'import' you photos into the new Photos app, this won't cause them to be duplicated. Photos will simply work with those images that are already stored on your Mac.

Should I delete my iPhoto library after importing into Photos?

When testers downloaded the beta version of Photos it appeared that the iPhoto library was duplicated, with a separate, identically sized, iPhoto library and Photos library. Even the Finder indicated that the new Photos library was taking even more space than the iPhoto library. Except it isn't.

Both libraries are pulling images from the same location so you can edit them in the app. The images aren't really in that file.

If you are worried that deleting your iPhoto library will leave you with no images, fear not. When we imported an iPhoto library into Photos, and then deleted the iPhoto library the images remained in the Photos library.

Do I have enough space to import my photos into Photo?

If your iPhoto library is getting on for 30GB you might be wondering if you will need more than 30GB of space to safely import it into Photos. Luckily not: you will not be duplicating your images, just directing Photos to the library on your Mac where the photos you wish to sync exist.


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