Difference Between iPhoto and Photos

Key Difference – iPhoto vs Photos

Photo editing, sorting photos, and saving photos have become very common in today world as the amount of photos taken have increased compared to the past years. iPhoto was a great app that had all the features needed to solve the above problems. But now, Photos app has come as a replacement of iPhotos. Photos is a new app with almost all the features that iPhotos has and much more. The key differences between iPhoto and Photos app exist in the sorting and editing features. Let us take a closer look and find out more differences between the two apps, iPhoto and Photos.

iPhoto App Review

iPhoto was designed to support the Mac and iOS as the premier photo editing tool and photo management software when it was released with OS X 10.9 Mavericks. The desktop version had differences when compared with the mobile app which supported iPhone and iPad. The interface of the mobile app was more modern and elegant compared to the desktop version of the same app.

When taking a photo with a camera, the photo will need some kind of editing to enhance it. There are high-end tools like Photoshop that provide a lot of editing features which might be too much for many who do not have prior experience and expertise with the tools that it contains. This is where apps like iPhoto have an advantage. The interface is simple and using and getting familiar with the editing tools it contains are easy as well. With just a click, the photos can be improved automatically by changing photo related parameters and features. Photos can also be converted to black and white, vignette, etc.

After the photos have been imported into the library, photos can be pinned onto maps, used for creating albums, and create groups of particular people in photos, which is useful for family photos. The photos can be grouped according to events as well.  These photos can also be used to make slide shows and can be shared via Facebook or Twitter. Also, basic editing is supported by this app. The basic editing features provided by iPhoto include cropping, rotate, straighten, red eye, enhance, and retouch. There are further panels like effects and adjust for further enhancing the image.  After editing, the photos can be published to make photo books, cards, prints, and calendars.

The iCloud photo sharing makes it possible to share photos and videos clips. This can be setup so that family and friends can share their photos and videos and view each other’s photo at the same time. With the use of the iCloud library the photos that are uploaded to iCloud.com can be viewed on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. 

Photos App Review

The Photos app was released by the Apple to replace Aperture and iPhotos as a single app in June 2014. The Aperture and iPhotos were Apple’s two photo editing applications prior to the launch of the Photos app. The Photos app is able to integrate well with Photos iOS and iCloud photos web.  This can be done by logging onto your iCloud account and clicking on the Photos button. With the Mac OS X 10.10.3 update, all the Photos have been integrated across the Mac, iOS device, and the iCloud. The photos can be viewed in the same way across all three platforms. If a photo is added to any one of the above devices, it will be updated across all the devices, which is a cool feature. However, the photo update could be slow due to the connection speed, but if the photos were shot using an iPhone or iPad, we could expect the update to be faster with JPEG. The other factor for the slower update could be the RAW format, which consumes a lot of space.

There is another problem with the storage capacity of iCloud; it is limited to 5GB free of charge space. Anything more than that would cost a monthly subscription. And if you are looking for a high-end photo library using iCloud, The capacity provided for free will not be sufficient, and we would need to move on to other storage providers for a cheaper rate.

The Photos app organizes photos using information like time, date, and location which comes with the image with Apple devices. If the photos were taken using a camera, it may lack the location unless built-in GPS features are present with the camera. This could become a problem when organizing photos using the Photos app and sorting the photos.

The Photos app groups the photos according to Years (uses the date on photos), Collections (uses the date range and location), or Moments (uses the date, location if available). These photos can be edited easily by pressing the enter key, or double clicking will lead you to a full-screen preview. In the event, if the images were shot using a regular camera, there is a feature called Albums where the photos can be saved manually using preferred criteria like file name or location. Using the Albums is more structured when comparing with the grouping method provided by Photos. Album also provides features to make slideshows, cards, calendars, and books with the use of the project tab.

The editing feature that comes with the Photos app is much better compared with the iPhoto app. On the right-hand side of the window comes many editing options which sound simple but have depth. Enhance option adjusts the properties of the photo, like color and brightness, automatically whereas the rotate option rotates the photo 90 degrees. There is also a crop tool to crop away parts of the photo that are not needed.

Difference Between iPhoto and Photos

The Photo app also has a tool to straighten the photos that were taken at a slant using the calibrated degrees feature. The aspect ratio can also be set inside the editing area for printing and screen viewing on the monitor. Effects is also another feature that enhances the image with just one click.

iPhoto vs Photos_Key Differences

The adjustments come with a range of editing tools that empower the user to separate them as basic, details, and advance under the add menu. There is also an auto button which edits the photo with the above options automatically. The retouch feature in the app is used to heal image areas or clone areas of the image to cover up imperfections.

What is the difference between iPhoto and Photos?

Most of what iPhoto had as its feature came with Photos as well. However, there are some features that were enhanced while some other features were removed. Let us take a look at them in detail.

Enhanced Features

Sorting Special photos and videos

Photos: Panorama photos, bursts photos, slow motion videos, and time-lapse videos can be sorted using apple’s Photos

iPhotos: Only capable of doing standard sorting.

Editing Features

Photos: Photo can be straightened and supports aspect ratio

iPhotos: Only standard features are applicable.

Shared Activity View

Photos: Photo are represented as a running log.

iPhotos: Photos can be viewed as an album.

Auto Crop Tool

Photos: Automatically detects the horizon and adjusts the crop setting.

iPhotos: Only standard cropping can be done with iPhotos.


Photos: Photos operates faster and capable of handling large image libraries.

iPhotos: iPhotos operates slower, comparatively.

Zoom View

Photos: Collection and years can be viewed as small thumbnails. Photos can be viewed by clicking on them or previewed by hovering over them with the pointer.

iPhotos: Photos can be viewed in the standard method.

Square Book

Photos: Printing photos can be done in square book format

iPhotos: The above feature is not supported by iPhotos.

Removed Features

Star Rating

Photos: Photo are rated as favorite using hearts. The star rating is preserved inside the photo when migrating from iPhotos to Photos.

iPhotos: Star rating is used to rate of photos.

Built-in Mail Tool

Photos: Built-in mail tool has been replaced with Yosemite’s Mail app. Message will be sent to the sent folder

iPhotos: Accommodated by a built-in mail tool.

Sharing on Flickr, Facebook

Photos: The direct sharing feature on Flickr and Facebook has been replaced by a system wide sharing tools.

iPhotos: Photos can be posted directly to Facebook or Flickr.


Photos: Not available with Photos

iPhotos: Geo-tagging is available.


iPhotos vs Photos Pros and Cons

From the above comparison, we are able to see that both apps have almost the same features but Photos has been further enhanced with more features. Performance of the app has also been improved. Due to the enhancements, many have migrated to Photos from iPhotos, but it is noteworthy that some features have been removed, and which may cause some users to opt to stay with iPhotos.