Apple Photos Print Products Unavailable After Sept. 30; Here Are Alternatives

Since 2002, iPhotos and Photos on the Mac have always offered the ability to create books, cards, and calendars, as well as to order prints of favorite photos. With the recent update to macOS 10.13.6, Apple has quietly announced that it will no longer offer Photos Print Products after September 30, 2018. The announcement comes in the form of a dialog that appears when selecting any of the File > Create options in Photos:

The dialog notifying Photos users to switch to third-party extensions to create print products

(The dialog notifying Photos users to switch to third-party extensions to create print products.)

The project extensions described in the dialog have actually been available for some time, primarily for those who wanted an alternative to Apple’s Photos Print Products.

Related article: How to Combine Multiple Photos Libraries Into a Single Library

At this time, clicking the Open App Store button on the dialog launches the Mac App Store and displays product extensions from a handful of vendors that provide printed products from Photos (see image below):

(Photos project extensions available as of July 13, 2018.)

It’s unknown why Apple has decided to drop “in-house” printed Photos products, but it is most likely due to the explosion in the use of iPhones and iPads to view photos. That reduced the demand for printed photos and books, and as a result, the ability to create printed projects was never added to the iOS version of Photos. The current macOS 10.14 “Mojave” beta also directs users to Project Extensions in the Mac App Store.


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  • I have been a mac user from the beginning and have probably most mac products at one time. I am getting fed up with the changes in OS, apps (used to be called programs) and devices. None of them work the way they have been offered. Those of us who are greater than 60 years owe to the millennials the decline and probably death of a fine way of computing. This is just one more example. I am charting my way with software even if I have to go back to the ugly windows-based software.




  • I’d bet this has something to do with the dropping of 32 bit applications.

    But since this is still a relatively free country, you will see others take advantage of the opportunity this presents.




    • According to Apple Support Photo Print Products is not available to users of iPhoto effective now, not Sept 30. And he made no promises that it would work using Photos, just “try it and see”. Thanks to all who posted alternatives like AdoramaPix; the options suggested by Apple are awful.




  • I have been a user of AdoramaPix in NYC for a number of years now. I have found their products, prints of all kinds, and books as well, to be of consistently high quality, inexpensive, and fast and great service. I used to create and sell my own prints for my pro clients. But now I just refer them to AdoramaPix.




  • I used Apple until I discovered MyPublisher, which was FAR superior. Unfortunately, Shutterfly bought them and dropped their products. But this weekend I saw a Shutterfly book on amazing thick paper with good color, and my friend said she paid extra to have it printed without advertising Shutterly all over.




    • My wife just tried to order a book and got the following message, “An error occurred while trying to contact Apple Online Store.” The service is available until September 30th, correct?




  • Also, why doesn’t Apple sell wheel bearings for my steam powered thresher?




  • With so many other options for printing books, cards, albums, calendars, cups, canvas wall hangings, etc. available from Walmart and the local Rite Aid it’s totally understandable why Apple is getting out of the print business. While yes it was neat, easy, and cool, to do it right from your home computer, and the product was good quality – let’s face it a company HAS to be profitable and when something is losing money it has to be let go. Eventually. EVERY company must do that. The quality of what we’ve gotten from processing our photos and ordering books and cards (and cups and…) through the Fuji system at Rite Aid very closely rival Apple’s at a much more reasonable cost to us. So we already switched away from using the feature in Photos/iPhoto. (I guess we are part of the reason Apple had to drop support for it)




    • Paul,

      You cannot be seriously comparing the quality you get from Apple to Walmart or Rite-Aid. If you cannot tell the difference that is fine, but for those that can it is a big difference.




  • Agree with comments made, another useful feature arbitrarily removed by “father knows best” Tim Cook. I assume this applies to iPhoto users too?




  • That’s a shame. I’ve used their phonebook service for over 12 years and as a print designer, the quality has been excellent (a little falloff in the last year or two). Excellent color, paper and printing.

    Shutterfly was ok but not one I’d go back to. Tried Mixbook last year and found it to be the first true alternate. May try Blurb next.




  • Just another case where supply and demand are working together against the non-technically oriented public.
    The question I have is will Photo and iPhoto still be functional for organization and archiving photos? Or is this too headed into extinction?




  • That’s a bummer for us. We use their print services for all sorts of ‘kids photos as gifts’ to family members. Their calendars are actually pretty great, with good quality, and they will drop ship to the grandparents. Oh well.




  • Too bad. Their products were superior the others that I tried over the years




  • Another bad move. The third party products are not as good as the Apple photobooks. This is clear when you look at independent reviews like the one from Tom’s Guide on Best Photo Books 2018.

    Apple is rated #2 with an 8/10 score. The only service in the top 10 list is Shutterfly with a mediocre score of 6/10. Would rather have seen the prices increase than lose the Apple photobooks.

    I have tried some of the extension apps before and the product quality is not good compared to what you get with Apple. Ultimately this makes Photos a more useless app since I will not be printing books with any of the low quality vendors that have extensions for Photos.

    I know a few photo studios that rely on Appl photobooks for the quality and ease of deliverability to clients.

    I do not think this is due to lack of demand. I think Apple decided the service was not as profitable as they want and decided to cut it rather than raise the prices and risk higher for a lower volume.




  • TBH, I’ve been using macs since ’96 and didn’t even know about this feature.




  • Where are the alternatives mentioned in the title?




    • They’re the third-party extensions that are already available. To be honest with you, some of them have pretty bad ratings…but I guess they’re better than nothing.

      Steve




  • Just another in a long line of betrayals by Apple. I am no longer a from the beginning total fan of Apple. When there is a decent alternative I am ditching all my mac setups. Why create such animosity?? Why betray the professional base?? Because they are rich and don’t care about quality and creativity anymore. Sad world we live in. Thankfully we have OWC!!




    • Oh please. I guess you never noticed all the projects Google and Microsoft have abandoned over the years. If they fail financially, they fail altogether.

      What professionals ever used iPhoto of Photos to manage their projects? It was always a consumer related enterprise. And consumers have gone elsewhere.

      The only alternatives are Linux, not a viable graphics platform, and Microsoft. You’re welcome to choose Microsoft—if you’ve got lots of money to replace your computer and all/any software you use. Oh, and don’t forget the learning curve. Windows 10 is a decent operating system, but it includes no free software even slightly comparable to Photos (not to mention Pages, Keynote and Numbers). You’ll have to spend additional money for that, too.

      As for publishing your photos in cards of books, there are plenty of on-line services out there to choose from. You don’t need Photos to access them. Just a little initiative.

      It’s true Apple has left plenty of abandonware in their wake—like just about everybody else you can name. They are not the least bit unusual in that respect.

      You might feel justified in feeling annoyed, but betrayed? Hardly.




      • Justified or not, I feel betrayed, especially with the abandonment of Aperture and the numbing down of Final Cut. I don’t really use Photos that much. I resent the commercialization beyond a reasonable profit across the spectrum of big boys having a contest. I am older and can tell the difference between crass making profit and enjoying making a good fun usable product.




        • You are, of course, entitled to your feelings. The loss of Aperture was, indeed, a betrayal of sorts since Apple provided no comparable alternative. Long before that, though, I decided that it was unwise to depend on Apple to provide long term support for anything beyond their core services, as in Apple Mail, which has been around longer than most of the competition, though it’s far from best in class. In fact it was when Steve Jobs decided it was a good idea to mess up iMovie with all it’s third-party extensions that made it truly useful. The new iMovie was not, nor is it extensible. That was eleven years ago.

          Of course Adobe abandoned Premier on the Mac in that time, but they later reconsidered their decision. Steve Jobs did not. Then too Adobe has not been entirely reliable either. Which is to say that no one has. The sad fact is that products come and go; we may not always be happy with that fact, but there it is. Coming the end of next year will be the death of 32bit apps on the Mac. Many developers will simply not make the move to 64bit and we will be stuck with finding substitutes, if we can.

          Not even app developers take our feelings into account. In the end it’s the bottom line that matters. You may be older but you are mistaken if you think it was ever otherwise. If businesses don’t make money they don’t stay in business and the end result is the same. They and their products disappear—fun or not.




        • Isn’t it interesting how people scream about Adobe’s subscription based Creative Cloud, but then criticize FCP X when it’s considered a brilliant and affordable application used by many videomakers. Perhaps you couldn’t adapt beyond the aging interface of old-style video editors. I hear there are people who still complain about how great WordStar and PFSWrite were…




          • You’re very welcome to Final Cut X. I refuse to add Pro to the product’s title. Apple made a bold leap into the future with that software … with two left feet and blindfolded. Things do change, it’s true, but it’s a shame when they change for the worse. Apple lost 90% of its professional film editing software users for a good reason. IMHO.




        • Smitty, if demand isn’t there nor profits, then you must think Apple is not a business, and a publicly traded one. I’m a shareholder and appreciate smart business decisions using my money. But there are alternatives if you take the time to seek them out. Plus, there are far better paid products like Adobe’s for instance than “bundled” Photos. And in the same vain, Mail, Numbers and Pages are fine for free but lack a ton of features in Numbers and Outlook. Mail is atrociously underwhelming as is Contacts too boot. Have you never paid for an app found in the App Store or else where by the way?




    • Agree and I am a shareholder.