Apple just recently launched its 10.10.3 Public Beta for Mac OS X Yosemite, and while it comes with mostly bug fixes for 10.10.2, it also includes a brand new Photos application that's meant to replace iPhoto and Aperture, as well as the inclusion of more diverse emojis.
If you're not familiar with the OS X Public Beta program, anyone with a Mac computer can join. First click here to sign up with your Apple ID and enroll your Mac to receive Beta updates. Shortly thereafter, you'll get an update in the Mac App Store to install the 10.10.3 Public Beta. It's that easy.
The new Photos app comes with a revamped design and adds many power-features that iPhoto was lacking. From the top of Photos, you can easily go through the images on your computer, any shared iCloud photos, your albums, and projects.
With Photos, you can sync iCloud images from your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch so that you can manage all of your photos and videos from your mobile device and computer. While Photos definitely has received that Yosemite touch, it also shows signs of the Photos app on iOS, with the ability to view pictures in Moments, Collections, and Years.
Editing a photo is now easier than it was in iPhoto, with simple-to-use controls on the right side of the editor. In addition to all the old tools (adjusting exposure, saturation, etc.), there are several new ones that give you more control when editing.
Even after just an hour of use, I can definitely see the difference in speed with uploading, sharing, and editing photos. The features may be tiny in comparison to ones that typically excite us, but they do make a difference when it comes to productivity.
Unfortunately, the new update still isn't on par with the feature-packed Aperture app, which Apple retired back in 2014. But this is a beta version, so there's still time for improvement.
A long time coming, emojis across all Apple devices are finally being diversified, with the addition of several different skin tones for certain characters, same- and mixed-sex families, and new country flags.
When brought up in Mac OS X, emojis now come in a single page and include all of the new diverse icons, available by clicking on the small arrow beneath each customizable emoji.
Sign up for the OS X Public Beta Program to get your hands on the new Photos app and diverse emojis, or you can just wait until Spring when the final version of 10.10.3 comes out to the general public. If you only have one computer and no backup drive, that might be the safest option anyway.
Have an iPhone? See everything that's new with Apple's latest iOS update: