Apple would like you to use the Photos app on a Mac. But you don’t have to. You can bypass it and gain access to your photos using one of OS X’s oldest tools: Image Capture.
The steps are simple:
- Attach your iPhone or iPad via USB. Sadly, you can’t use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth for this.
- Close Photos and/or iTunes if they open automatically.
- Open Image Capture, which you’ll find hidden away in the Applications list within Finder.
- Your device will be listed on the left, and your photos will be shown on the right. Just drag and drop to a Finder window to download them, or select any and click the Import or Import All buttons at the bottom right.
I hope it’s obvious but Image Capture can be used to grab images from ANY camera or phone, including Android – provided it uses the standard DCIM folder system (and most do). It can also grab MP3s or videos from media players, provided again they use a standard folder and interface system.
BONUS TIP: Click the small arrow at the bottom left of the Image Capture window and you can configure what apps – if any – auto-open when you attach your iPhone or iPad via USB. This way you can stop Photos opening automatically.