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Drop the i, keep the photos

iPhoto is dead. Let’s celebrate. For a company that has build so much on or around photography, Apple took too much time to kill the ugly beast in its mist. With the release of “Photos”, the company finally turns the page on what was probably a shameful oversight in development.

The release of Photos clearly signals  that Apple is going to take the photo bull by its two horns and dedicate itself to creating the best seamless experience for its users across platforms. After all, this is the key take away of this release, multi platform sync with the cloud – pardon me, the iCloud  – at its center. This denotes a strong willingness to go beyond attracting consumers past buying  new  shiny cool products and create a reason for them to stay on board as  faithful Apple users.

Apple Photos App
view your whole photolibrary in one screen

Photos works on all the existing Apple ( and future, we can assume) universe of products with a seamless ability to sync from one to the other. As users go from Macbook to iPhone and iPad – some might even have AppleTV – so those their precious collection of snapshots. It makes sense as after all, we want our pictures to be available when and where we need them and not have to go fetch a special piece of hardware to enjoy them. In fact, it makes so much sense that it is surprising that it took so much time to release it. Regardless, it’s here.

The second strong point of this release is the enhanced editing tools that sits half way between  Instagram and Aperture, itself scheduled for demolition, probably to be replaced by a paying pro version of Photos. More advanced, but still filter-filled, than the number one photo app but not too much as to alienate casual users or cannibalize the pro / advanced amateur market. A broad potential user base that has huge market potential, especially since its free.

Finally, Photos, like so many others, wants to be at the core of your photo experience, the holy grail of the photo:tech market, the place where everything you do with your images starts from.  Because wether created by your cell phone, iPad, iWatch ( ?) or any other non Apple device, it is not only Apple platform agnostic but capture device neutral. You shot those images with a Galaxy or a Canon, no problem, Photos will handle it. After Photos for OS X, will we see an android/windows version? After all, the drop of the”i” is not accidental.

As we wrote extensively in the past, whoever owns your images, owns your digital world. “Photos”  is positioned to become the most visited of all your apps.  It is in direct competition to Dropbox’s Carousel initiative, Google photo strategy and Microsoft’s offering as well as any of the Adobe initiatives in that space.  Being free, it has alleviated any risk of not being immediately adopted by the millions of Apple users, even if they only own one iDevice .

Let’s not forget that Facebook success is largely due to its ability to quickly share photos, as well as Twitter’s, Pinterest, Snapchat and Instagram. If Apple wanted to, it would be rather easy for them to build from Photos a propriety sharing platform that would maximize its already large network of its products, iPhone first and foremost. Not a bad strategy.

Photo by Alba Soler Photography

Author: Paul Melcher

Paul Melcher is the founder of Kaptur. He is an entrepreneur, advisor, consultant with a strong background in licensing, copyright, sales, marketing and technology with more than 20 years experience in developing world-renowned photo based companies with two successful exits. Named one of the “100 most influential people in photography” by American Photo magazine.

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