Part of me is really irked that Apple announced Photos for Mac way back in June, but that it won’t ship till “Spring 2015.”
That is an uncharacteristically long pre-announcement for a company that often ships within a week or two. It harkens back to that Microsoft-ian approach many of us used to chide—announce something, but don’t release it until half a year later (or more) where buzz and consumer attention spans go to die.

The new Photos for iOS and iCloud Photo Library, even as a beta, are really good so far. iPL had a bumpy start but it’s shaping up well, and dagnabbit, I have 90GB of photos and videos I’m itching to move to iOS so I always have them with me. Plus, when it comes to the tasks for which it has been properly designed, I simply enjoy using iOS more than OS X these days.

But the other part of me is relieved. With such a long runway, I hope Apple is taking its time to get this right.

Say what you want about iCloud’s reliability and whether Apple is giving it the attention it needs to succeed. But considering that Apple is a consumer electronics company that now makes the most popular camera in the world, I would argue the iCloud Photo Library ecosystem will become Apple’s most important product, if it isn’t already.

Most valuable, or generating the most revenue or profit for Apple? No. But most important in terms of being responsible for the care and safe, perpetual backup of the most precious data many of its customers will ever create? Absolutely.

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