Apple Kills Aperture Photo App - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software // Enterprise Applications
News
6/30/2014
09:15 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Apple Kills Aperture Photo App

Apple will replace Aperture with OS X Yosemite's built-in Photos app, but the company says it remains committed to its professional customers.

8 Gadgets For The High-Tech Home
8 Gadgets For The High-Tech Home
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Apple announced last week that it is ceasing development on Aperture, its professional photo-editing application. Last updated in 2011, when Apple added 64-bit support, Aperture will be replaced by the new Photos app in the upcoming OS X Yosemite.

Both Aperture and iPhoto -- the consumer-oriented photo app that comes in Apple's iLife suite -- will be replaced by the new app, which will debut in early 2015. OS X Yosemite will ship this fall, so Aperture users won't have immediate access to the replacement. Apple said even though Aperture will not receive additional updates, it will be compatible with OS X Yosemite.

The news was first reported by the website The Loop. In a statement sent to InformationWeek, Apple confirmed, "With the introduction of the new Photos app and iCloud Photo Library, enabling you to safely store all of your photos in iCloud and access them from anywhere, there will be no new development of Aperture." The company said users will be able to migrate their existing Aperture libraries to the new Photos for OS X app.

Apple's upcoming Photos for OS X app
Apple's upcoming Photos for OS X app

Apple's decision to kill Aperture has already sparked concerns among users that the company intends to drop professional apps and instead focus on easy-to-use, consumer-oriented software. Apple has faced this sort of concern before. In the first half of 2011, Apple announced Final Cut Pro X, a revamp of its popular video editing software, to substantial fanfare. When the app reached users a few months later, however, many balked at the unfamiliar UI, which some compared to iMovie, and an incomplete list of pro-oriented features. Final Cut Pro X was even lampooned by Conan O'Brien.

[Will Apple's design savvy help make smartwatches popular? See Wearable Tech: Fashion Will Rule.]

Since then, Apple has added more advanced features to Final Cut. The software is still popular among many film and video professionals, and has arguably gained new support thanks to its close integration with Apple's Mac Pro. But while Apple was maturing its new app, many users switched to alternatives such as Adobe Premier.

By dropping Aperture, Apple could similarly lose enthusiast and pro customers to Adobe. In a thread on the photography site DPReview, many commenters on Friday were discussing whether Apple intended to water down its photo tools. Some argued that Aperture had already fallen behind Lightroom, Adobe's equivalent product.

But Apple isn't necessarily abandoning professionals. On Friday, the company issued updates to Final Cut X, Motion 5, and other pro apps. Given the timing, it's possible Apple wants to reassure users who were dismayed over Aperture's demise.

Apple stated that it doesn't intend to drop its other pro apps. The company declined to specify which Aperture features will or won't appear in Photos for OS X, but if Apple bakes popular Aperture functions into OS X's out-of-box tools, it won't have turned its back on professional photographers. In online forums, some Aperture users wondered if Adobe's Lightroom would remain a standalone app now that Aperture has folded. Though Lightroom can be purchased under a standalone license, Adobe has shifted most of its products -- including Photoshop, which many Lightroom customers also use -- to its subscription Creative Cloud service. That said, the company has previously indicated it will continue to support Lightroom as a standalone app. If comparably deep functionality becomes available to Apple users for free, the company could retain a large chunk of the Aperture user base. But if the new app is focused mostly on syncing with the iPhone's camera and the company's new iCloud Photo Library cloud storage service, the outcome could be much different.

For its part, Adobe clearly senses an opportunity. The company quickly responded to Apple's announcement with a blog post that encouraged Aperture uses to check out Lightroom. "Put simply, we're doubling down on our investments in Lightroom and... you can expect to see a rich roadmap of rapid innovation for desktop, web, and device workflows in the coming weeks, months and years," Adobe VP for digital imaging products Winston Hendrickson wrote. "We also continue to invest actively on the iOS and OS X platforms, and are committed to helping interested iPhoto and Aperture customers migrate to our rich solution across desktop, device, and web workflows."

InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of the Internet of Things. Find out the way in which an aging workforce will drive progress on the Internet of Things, why the IoT isn't as scary as some folks seem to think, how connected machines will change the supply chain, and more. (Free registration required.)

Michael Endler joined InformationWeek as an associate editor in 2012. He previously worked in talent representation in the entertainment industry, as a freelance copywriter and photojournalist, and as a teacher. Michael earned a BA in English from Stanford University in 2005 ... View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Michael Endler
50%
50%
Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
7/2/2014 | 12:33:36 PM
Aperture Update
Apple reps have made a few more comments that make it sounds like a lot of Aperture's deep toolset will be preserved in the new OS X Photos app. Apple is also evidently going to let third party developers play.
Thomas Claburn
50%
50%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
6/30/2014 | 5:55:02 PM
Re: Arrested Development
How do you like Lightroom? I'd consider it for its Lua-based scripting. But I don't want subscription-based software.
Michael Endler
50%
50%
Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
6/30/2014 | 10:30:41 AM
Re: Arrested Development
Good points.

On the one hand, Apple might not see why it should bother competing with Lightroom. Lightroom comes free with the complete Creative Cloud packages, which are basically mandatory for a lot of art/film/design/photo professionals. Apple isn't going to try to compete head-to-head with everything Adobe makes, so to an extent, Lightroom is going to have a bult-in user base no matter what Apple does. Even if you want to use Final Cut Pro X instead of Premier, for example, it's hard to ditch Photoshop-- and if you're going to use Photoshop, you're gonna get Lightroom for free.

On the other hand, even if a lot of people are already using Lightroom, if Apple's new Photo tools are easy to use and fairly powerful, a lot of Mac users might switch over. Even if you already have Lightroom, if you have a Mac, the new Photos app will be free, so it's not like Apple has to convince you to buy a new piece of software. If the Photos app does 95% of what Lightroom does and is easier to use, that might tip the scales, at least for Mac users. I also wonder how much functionality Apple will leave open for third-party plug-ins. If they let the developer community fill in whatever functionality is missing from the core Photos app, that might help Apple compete.
Michael Endler
100%
0%
Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
6/30/2014 | 10:09:06 AM
Re: Arrested Development
Aperture is pretty good. If I recall correctly, it added some really useful features, like using brushes to locally apply certain effects, before Lightroom did. I also like the default RAW conversion settings in Aperture better than the ones in Lightroom, and I think Aperture is, on the whole, a little cleaner and more intuitive. I think Lightroom handles noise and sharpening better, but I like how Aperture handles colors. But Lightroom is still fairly easy to use, and has slowly crept ahead on features. Some cool plug-ins (e.g. MagicBullet) aren't compatible with the newest version of Aperture either.

But the vibe I got from Apple wasn't necessarily that they're abandoning Pro photographers-- more like, photos have become such a big part of most users' digital experiences that Apple decided to bake photo features more directly into OS X. We'll see if they live up to that. Given the way Final Cut Pro X has evolved, I suspect the first version of the Photos app will fall in prosumer territory. 
Slideshows
11 Things IT Professionals Wish They Knew Earlier in Their Careers
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/6/2021
News
Time to Shift Your Job Search Out of Neutral
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/31/2021
Commentary
Does Identity Hinder Hybrid-Cloud and Multi-Cloud Adoption?
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  4/1/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Successful Strategies for Digital Transformation
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll