Apple Brings Photos App To The OS X Public Beta Program

Apple has launched the preview software of its upcoming Photos app for OS X in the public beta channel, using its new AppleSeed program that invites members of the general public to test Apple’s major software releases before they become more widely available. The Photos app debuted in the Developer Preview version of OS X back at the beginning of February, and we provided an early look at the software then. Apple said at the time that it would arrive via the AppleSeed program in advance of a general release this spring.

Those who are participating in the Apple public beta for OS X can download the latest 10.10.3 build now, which includes the Photos app pre-installed, to give it a try. Apple’s new photo management software for the desktop is a much faster, much leaner version approach to the task than is existing iPhoto software, with an interface that borrows heavily from the version of Photos currently available on iOS, and with a lot of great automatic and manual filter options.

The graduation of the app to the public beta program means it’s getting closer to a general launch, but it’s not yet clear when exactly that will happen. Apple has a special event planned for next Monday, at which it is widely expected to debut its Apple Watch. The wearable does have a photos tie-in, so perhaps we could see the minor point update for OS X arrive then, but if not, we’ll almost certainly see a broader launch in time for this year’s WWDC.