Apple has said that it’s finally killing the clunky old iPhoto app, and today it said it’s released a developer beta of the app’s successor — Photos for OS X.

The Photos for OS X beta is going out to developers today, and it will be followed by a public beta. The finished version will be distributed in an update this spring.

The new app is expected to have a cleaner design, a better file management system, and far tighter linkage to the cloud. For anyone who has used the Photos app on the iPhone or iPad, the design and general look and feel of Photos for OS X will seem familiar.

Photos for OS X has four main tabs, according to the Verge, which was privy to a preview of the new app.

  1. The Photos tabs contains all images in chronological order.
  2. Under a Shared tab you’ll find all images from shared photo streams (Instagram, etc.), and here too the images are organized in chronological order. You can also see the “likes” and other social stats around your image streams.
  3. Albums contains all the photo collections you’ve created yourself.
  4. A Projects section stores your slideshows. It’s also the space where Apple tries to sell you printed versions of your images in various forms, such as cards, books, and calendars.

We’ll have more information on the the layout and performance of the new app after we complete our hands-on.

Apple said last June that it would be halting development on the iPhoto app and the Aperture image processing app.

Photos for OS X was introduced at the company’s WWDC developer conference last fall.

As for Aperture, interest in the app among professional photographers has declined in recent years. The professionals have moved toward Lightroom, a similar-featured app developed by Adobe. Apple said it’s actually working with Adobe to develop a process for Aperture users to transition to Lightroom.