The End of Aperture?

So Apple have announced that development on Aperture, its professional photo editing software, has stopped. The news was broken on The Loop last Friday which also revealed that iPhoto, Apple’s consumer-level photo application, will be killed off. Instead of Aperture and iPhoto we are to get a new application called Photos (see image below) which will be a part of OS X Yosemite due in early 2015.

PhotosforOSX2

The precise statement from Apple, as reported in The Loop was:

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 When Photos for OS X ships next year, users will be able to migrate their existing Aperture libraries to Photos for OS X.

For now it’s very unclear exactly what professional level features Photos will have versus Aperture. Many are reading much into the fact that Apple have said they are working with Adobe to “help users transition to its Lightroom app for Mac“. Certainly Adobe have wasted no time in announcing how it is “doubling down on its investments in Lightroom and the new Creative Cloud Photography plan“.

Having invested much time and effort into Aperture over the last few years, including figuring out a decent workflow solution, I have to say I am disappointed in the news from Cupertino. I’ve never been a great fan of the Adobe products and really do not fancy the huge amount of time investment it could take to get up to speed on using Lightroom and Photoshop.

As you might expect this announcement has caused lots of excited chatter on the web. Is this another example of Apple focusing on “short-term gain in increasingly dumbed-down disposable consumer electronics ignoring its users and doing whatever it wants” or is it actually the next logical step into moving photographers onto the (Apple) cloud and giving them photo-editing capabilities from multiple devices?

For now I think I am going to play a waiting game to see exactly what Apple Photos has to offer and whether its editing capabilities are indeed on a par with those of Aperture. There are of course other editing suites out there. I for one use Perfect Photo Suite from onOne for doing layers based editing and there are other RAW image management suites out there, such as Capture One Pro, to be investigated before jumping onto the Adobe platform. It would be good to know what others use and what the pros and cons are. Please feel free to comment.

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