Following a public preview of the iPhoto replacement back in February, Apple is now releasing the all-new Photos app for OS X hardware.

The free update simplifies the navigation of massive numbers of photos, while providing the tools needed to give each one the loving care it deserves.

"Featuring an easy-to-use and streamlined design, Photos has been engineered from the ground up to help you keep your growing library organized and accessible," Apple stated. "Powerful and intuitive editing tools help you perfect your images as well as create beautiful gifts for sharing."

The Photos app reads the location data tagged to images to help sort massive collections of images into something most people can manage. They can even be organized and plotted on a map. The app also uses face detection to aid in the sorting process.

The iCloud Photo Library doesn't hinder users with the photos-per-hour and photos-per-day restrictions of the Photostream. Users can also consider an iCloud subscription, paying anywhere from $1 to $20 a month to get between 20 GB and 1 Tb of storage space — for those with truly massive collections of pictures.

The Photos for Mac app draws inspiration from its iOS counterpart. Syncing plays an even bigger role across the Apple ecosystem, according to the AP report and review of the app. The iCloud Photo Library service connects iOS and OS X, syncing photos and their edits across all connected devices — edits made to a photo on a MacBook will appear on a copy of the image stored on an iPad, for example.

Syncing also helps to save space, as full resolution images can be stored in iCloud and local copies can be compressed — the "Optimize My Mac" option takes care of this process.

For people who like to perform large batches of preliminary edits before moving the best shots into Lightroom, the Photos app brings a more robust toolkit of image editing tools than its predecessor. The Photos app includes a histogram for adjusting light level, cropping tools and other features.

"The Enhance button alone will improve many shots," the AP review explained. "The Adjust tool enhances lighting, color and other attributes separately. Each attribute has an auto button along with a slider you can adjust. Click an arrow to unveil the advanced controls."

To get the new Photos app, visit the Mac App Store and download update version 10.10.3.

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