At some point in the past few days, Apple unexpectedly pulled the Photos app from iCloud.com. Logging into the site, you might notice that there is an icon missing from the main menu page. Apple hasn’t given any explanation for the disappearance of the app, but some believe that this is a sign that the company is finally ready to launch a native, full-featured Photos app for Mac OS X.

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As 9to5Mac notes, the direct link to the Photos app within the iCloud site (https://www.icloud.com/#photos) still attempts to load the application, but after several seconds redirects to the main menu and delivers an error message.

Several users have reported that the application was acting up before being taken offline, so there’s a chance that Apple is simply performing maintenance and will restore Photos once it has been repaired. This could even be related to the iCloud exploit which recently appeared on GitHub. In order to avoid another disaster, Apple might have simply removed the app in time to handle the issue without giving hackers easy access to the app.

On the other hand, Apple has stated in the past that it would release a replacement for the defunct Aperture and iPhoto software in early 2015. We’re mere hours into the new year, but it would certainly be a welcome surprise for Mac users if Apple managed to release Photos in the near future.

In the meantime, we’ll be keeping an eye on iCloud.com to see if and when Apple restores Photos.

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