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Apple to Cease Development of Aperture and Transition Users to Photos for OS X (techcrunch.com)
156 points by apress on June 27, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 130 comments

As a multiple-times-a-day Aperture user for the last several years - I'm really glad to hear this. Apple has made it abundantly clear, that they were longer going to invest any effort into Aperture, and so we're going to get the best of all worlds. The application is absolutely rock solid for me - most of the database crashes, and corruptions have stopped occurring for over a year - so in the interim, I have a product that works for me and will keep me satisfied for the next couple years.

Meanwhile, Apple is going to put all their energy into a single photo system, instead of trying to do some schizophrenic split between iPhoto/Aperture - I expect to see a pretty excellent system out of it.

Perhaps it's because I don't work commercial or event photography, but the reality is that most of what I use Aperture for these days could probably be done with a slightly beefier iPhoto - which is pretty much what Photos is going to become.

Photostream, as of about 3-4 months ago, has also gotten reliable enough that I never have to worry about any picture that I've taken being on my Laptop. Unlike the early days (months, year?) when it was pretty much a crapshoot as to whether your pictures would move from your iPhone to PhotoStream and then to your laptop - It Just Works now.

So, good news all around.

The one worry, and this is more of an ancillary one, is that now without the Aperture competition, Adobe will let lightroom development slack off. Lightroom is (was) one of the adobe apps that don't totally suck, and I always credited this w/ them getting taken off guard by Aperture (competitions is a great thing, etc etc). That being said, I suppose the writing is on the wall and whatever changes in direction were in store for lightroom is probably already in motion.

I'm not even so worried about Adobe letting Lightroom languish as I am about them using their newfound monopoly position to at last move Lightroom into the mandatory Creative Cloud subscription model that ate the Creative Suite last year. As an enthusiast photographer and avid Lightroom user, there's no way I'm paying a recurring subscription for the same app when I'm not using it to make an income.

That said, there's a potential twist here. Apple's upcoming Photos app can go one of two directions: Apple could, as everyone seems to be assuming, go the consumer-focused route and stay out of Lightroom's market. On the other hand, Photos could pack all of Aperture's pro features and more behind an "advanced mode" UI. Suddenly, Lightroom isn't just competing with an Apple product, they're competing with free.

>I'm not even so worried about Adobe letting Lightroom languish as I am about them using their newfound monopoly position to at last move Lightroom into the mandatory Creative Cloud subscription model that ate the Creative Suite last year.

I think they've already done that, a few months ago.

You can still buy stand-alone Lightroom, though they also offer it as part of the $10/month Photography subscription where you get both Photoshop and Lightroom.

I see. I had the impression the standalone version was off-ed by now.

I myself have forked for the PS + Lightroom subscription -- and I hate subscriptions --, and the reason was, that, if I am not mistaken, you can't use the Lightroom app for iPad without the subscription.

The copy of Lightroom you have right now isn't going to suddenly stop working, even if the next version becomes part of CC. If somehow it does fail to do the job for you in the future, you can switch to DarkTable, RawTherapee, CaptureOne, or any number of other programs.

It will stop working if you ever get a new camera. RAW formats are all different and Lightroom needs constant updates to support new camera models. It's a huge mess, the camera companies don't make the specs public and the formats change subtly with camera releases. Adobe obviously gets access to the formats, but open source tools are left to guess and it shows.

I just had this burn me when I got a new camera (Panasonic GH4) and I couldn't import a thing. Even worse is that I was on a road trip and didn't have a way to install the software that came with the camera (also terrible, but I took photos at Yellowstone and badly wanted to see them). As of the last week an update came out and now I'm good to go, but if you want to remain on an old version of Lightroom it can indeed be tricky.

None of the other programs you mentioned are anywhere close to Lightroom. For example, while RawTherapee can technically open images from my new camera, it displays them incorrectly. They're not even the right size and I don't want to talk about color.

You might want to play around with Darktable (http://www.darktable.org). I have no affiliation other than using it a bit. I use an Olympus EM-5 and it handles the raw files just fine.

I have an E-M5 too (great camera!), but it has been out quite a while which helps out. It's still not perfect though, the color is off a bit for the E-M5's RAW images (.ORF). The GH4 images are unusable in Darktable, they look they have been through an Instagram filter. This is straight off the camera in both Darktable and Lightroom:


good lord, why don't the camera companies publish specs?

It's rage inducing, but I think they are of the opinion that it's part of their secret sauce. I get the idea that they're all similar enough so that open source apps can get most of the way there, but Adobe has the full specs and is able to get them perfectly.

True, but it won't handle or process RAW files from your new camera. Yes, you can use the free Adobe tool to convert RAW to DNG, but that adds another step, and reduces some of the current simplicity of Lightroom.

You can't expect software written before your camera was even released to support it. It will never stop working for existing cameras. What more can you expect?

Apple never does simple/advanced mode UIs

Also, compare clicking on various Menu Bar items (or other UI features) with option-clicking on the same item. Apple has advanced little mini UIs all over the place.

Similarly, look at many current System Preferences panels in Mac OS X. The basic stuff most users need is up front, and the rest is hidden behind an "Advanced..." button.

I conclude that having an advanced mode, or various enhanced features accessed in different ways from the standard UI, is not inimical to Apple's approach or UI philosophy.

Not the best example, but the OSX calculator app seems to have this.

Aqua (GUI) and Terminal (CLI)

Lightroom isn't the only game in town. Both CaptureOne from PhaseOne and DxO's Optics Pro handle raw files better than ACR. Bibble also still exists in the guise of Corel After Shot. There are a few decent OSS options too. it looks like Apple are incorporating the Aperture toolset into the new photo app, so it's not necessarily the end of the world.

With Apple supplying the RAW codecs with the OS, Hasselblad's Phocus [1] is a viable (and gratis) alternative on the Mac. For Windows types, it's only good for Hassy's own cameras, but if OS X understands hte RAW format, Phocus can work with it.

[1] http://www.hasselbladusa.com/products/phocus-.aspx

I don't think Adobe will slack off too much, they know it's a massively popular product but that most photographers are geeks and won't put up with them taking their foot off the gas, they'll look elsewhere (although elsewhere is mostly nothing at the moment).

This seems like all the more reason for Adobe to double down on Lightroom if you ask me. They stand to gain a lot of displaced users from this. I'm certainly going to have to make a choice now.

> The application is absolutely rock solid for me

There has been some bugs since Mavericks came out that still hasn't been fixed, mostly related to multiple monitors. That was an indication that it was going to be dropped.

It's fairly reliable but it's showing it's age right now.

My only hope is this doesn't turn into a FinalCut-type fiasco where what they consider the new "pro" isn't all that useful for pro. (Yes, I know more pros are on adobe lightroom, but I really hate renting software so I'm not going in that direction.)

As a professional editor and technical director, I hope Apple continues to innovate, trying to push their software into the future. Otherwise you end up with a bunch of NLEs that really don't offer much of a difference (which is where we were with FCP7, Avid, and Premiere several years ago). I want my tools to become better, faster and more efficient and sometimes that will mean I have a bit of a learning curve to adjust to the new tool. Regularly bouncing between the four major NLEs (really 3 major plus FCPX), FCPX has become the fastest and most efficient NLE for my workflow.

You mileage may vary in your desire to see your tools evolve, but I much prefer radical evolution, otherwise we'd still be cutting film on slightly upgraded Steenbecks and Moviolas.

I think Lightroom is one of the few Adobe products you can buy without a subscription, unless they changed that recently.

Good to know. I haven't used it, since I like Aperture, but I'll keep that in mind if Apple delivers something that doesn't do what I need/want. (FinalCut is still useless for my workflow.)

This is still true

Seems foolish to change. Unlike every other app Adobe offers, LR is also a library. Renting access to your own assets is categorically different from renting access to software which is already somebody else's IP and is also getting (more or less) continually updated.

Letting people buy LR makes them feel comfortable about never losing access to their own raw material. The savvy approach is to let them have this much, charge them to do interesting things with it, and let them keep the final output in a place that remains entirely theirs.

I really like what Apple did with FCP X and use it quite a lot. I'm probably in the minority though.

Actually tons of editors have reversed their opinions with the subsequent updates.

As of 10.1 I don't think anybody thinks it's any kind of bad program anymore.

Initially it was mostly people not understanding that a "rewrite from scratch" is inevitably going to lose some of their features, but will provide a better foundation for future stuff. Plus, some professional users think that the rules of software development don't apply to them, and that some features they used in 2002 should continue to exist in 2014, because "we're pro". And Apple discontinuing fcp 7 prematurely didn't help with that either.

Yeah, I'm really hoping that "Photos" will have all of the features of Aperture. It sounds like that's what they're doing.

If it does, that will be great.

I would bet that it won't initially but will long term. Apple has a track record of releasing things with key features missing, but putting them in down the track. The most recent example being iWork.

Doesn’t look like it.

The screenshot in the linked article is quite high res (no idea where they got that one, though). You can see what’s in there: http://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/photosfo...

So, that’s quite extensive (definitely compared to iPhoto), but it doesn’t seem like they are going for Aperture levels of possible adjustments. But maybe they are, that interface could be hiding things.

Interestingly, in the top right hand side of the Adjustments panel, there appears to be an "Add" button.

As long as they continue to allow plugins, whatever they do will be fine.

Years ago we had the choice of Aperture or Lightroom - we have been happy with that decision so far and this just confirms it. But lightroom still leaves a lot to be desired from a photo management perspective - and I wish there were more alternatives. I'm afraid that the one main competitor going away will cause improvements to languish in lightroom. Even though we didn't use Aperture, I will be sorry to see it go.

On the other hand, I will give credit to Adobe: since the transition to Creative Cloud and the new incremental release model I've felt that they've been much more responsive to actual customer needs. From an outsider's perspective, getting to this point seems to have been a cultural shift that took a lot of work to get to -- and they've been getting a ton of positive response to it.

So I'm hopeful that Lightroom and the rest of the CC apps will continue to improve considerably because of culture rather than purely the goad of competition.

I'm not sure I agree with you - they released Lightroom 5 around the same time as the CC transition, and as far as I can tell they haven't updated it since beyond support for new cameras and bug fixes, which I would have expected for lightroom 5 anyway. The last major update I can find is over a year ago now. They have released Lightroom Mobile but thats all I am aware of.

I hope you are right though and that they do improve based on culture - but if lightroom is the only major option for a digital darkroom and photo management, and most of their customers are paying monthly anyway, I don't see them pushing new innovations.

I think Lightroom was already a bit of a cultural separation from Creative Suite. It's more like Creative Cloud is playing catchup with Lightroom's model, which was already fairly modern and nice.

I don't think the monthly model discourages innovation -- as a product person, more people using the new product is more motivating for the organization, not less.

I hope you are right, but I am much more cynical. With a product for professionals like this, when they don't have to come up with a punch list of new features to convince you that the new version is worth spending your hard earned money on instead of staying with your current one, I don't see it as likely that they will be spending the effort they once would have. If the users don't like it, where will they go?

>I don't think the monthly model discourages innovation -- as a product person, more people using the new product is more motivating for the organization, not less.

Well, "more people/more motivation" wasn't exactly the case with Quark. Or with lots of enterprise software companies having their customers by the balls.

Quark wasn't subscription and it fell down the "Who cares about OS X anyway" hole. Adobe saw that, and smashed indesign onto the market.

I'm not strickly talking about subscription vs no subscription.

I think the key distinction, which is common in Quark of old and Adobe's subscription model, is "having the customers by the balls".

And the problem I'm reffering to with Quark was not the "Who cares about OS X anyway". It was about arrogant and complacent company, not caring about its customers in general, even in the platforms it did support.

Adobe have picked up the pace massively since CC.

I'd call it the opposite of complacency. I work heavily in most of their products (the entire Adobe suite), and the amount of features they are releasing and the speed at which they are doing it, is amazing given their size.

If you focus on one product (like lightroom, which is a minor product at best) then sure, it doesn't look like much, but take a look at Edge, InDesign, Flash, etc, and there is a lot of improvements taking place.

How are they not caring?

>Adobe have picked up the pace massively since CC.

Yes, but it's also the opening stage of this. They would risk a backlash if they started their CC-only period as complacent. After all CS6 still works atm.

A few years down the road though?

After all Quark was also innovating and caring at first.

I'm not seeing it. What I do see is an organizational change. I can't agree with the argument for the gloom and doom.

Whats new in Lightroom 5.0 to 5.5:


This includes a ton of new features, as well as the release of Lightroom mobile, web and sync services.

The major features in that list were introduced as part of lightroom 5 - the only other features to lightroom itself came in lightroom 5.2 and these are small enhancements and bug fixes. All other changes are lightroom mobile, which while i'm sure they are useful, I don't consider to be improvements to lightroom itself.

Replying to myself - this is a good sign and hopefully means I'm wrong: http://blogs.adobe.com/photoshopdotcom/2014/06/apple-apertur...

I really wish the Pixelmator guys will do a product in this category. They've already got the core engine, and they have a perfect 100% intersection with the Aperture userbase (Mac-only).

I for one would like to see a OSX-only photo editing suite. If it's anything like Pixelmator (no UI/UX compromises for the sake of cross-platform, insanely fast hardware-accelerated-everything) it'd be a real treat.

The amount of work required for software of this type that can reasonably compete with Lightroom is really massive.

Beyond the obvious editing features you've got colorspace handling issues that most image editors don't bother with (Pixelmator actually handles this fairly well already), the need for a very robust plugin system, non-destructive editing, cataloging features (including image stacks), and a huge amount of largely unnoticed work that goes into simply keeping up with RAW formats for new cameras as well as profiles (for automatic CA/distortion fixing) for new camera/lens combinations.

RAW conversion is provided by MacOS if they wanted to go that way. They could easily position themselves as product to handle those cases when the new Photos app isn't enough. This probably won't suffice for a professional workflow, but it might capture a significant portion of the enthusiast market.

Most of the technical features you list (colorspaces, raw conversion, ca) are provided by the OS. That leaves plugins, non-destructive editing and organization, which are still a pile of work, but definitely manageable for a determined small shop.

> a huge amount of largely unnoticed work that goes into simply keeping up with RAW formats for new cameras

Could this be largely mitigated by only working with DNG files and letting Adobe handle the conversion? Their RAW->DNG converter is free after all.

You could go that way but it introduces an extra step and overall extra complexity in file handling and a big part of the value proposition of something like Lightroom is making the photo editing workflow as painless as possible.

It is hard to describe how valuable that workflow simplicity is but it is a real thing; if I had to RAW process and edit all my photos using DPP (Canon's RAW editor, for my 70D), or Sony's RAW editor (for my A7) or even RawTherapee (an open source RAW processor that actually does a good job of supporting lots of RAW formats), I could do so, but yet I pay Adobe $10 a month to give me a really nice workflow for all of this.

It certainly wouldn't be impossible for a Pixelmator-like competitor to emerge for Lightroom, it'd just be a lot of work for a small team; perhaps more work than it would seem at first blush since there's a lot of complexity hiding behind a relatively simple UI there.

Raw DNG is no more a standard for sensor data than MKV is a standard for video encoding.

In other words, raw (as opposed to linear) DNG is basically a container format for sensor data and related metadata. So even assuming Adobe's DNG converter perfectly supports your camera, you still need code to handle its underlying sensor data format (your Bayer demosaicing code won't be much help in processing data from, e.g., a Foveon sensor) and whatever mandatory image correction it requires (e.g., many cameras and lenses rely on software correction driven by camera- or lens-supplied metadata, and will yield heavily distorted images if this correction is skipped).

In other words, until camera development stagnates, raw processing is a moving target by its very nature.

With that said, AFAIK, Aperture uses public OS X APIs for raw support, so potential Aperture replacements on OS X can get up-to-date raw support "for free". Given that Photos will support camera raw, this announcement gives me no reason to believe Apple won't continue to add support for new cameras in future OS X updates. Which is not to say Apple will support as many cameras as Adobe, of course — I'm pretty sure they already don't — or that support for new high-end (think $20K+ medium-format, not Nikon DSLR) camera support will decline now that no first-party professional software requires it.

Yup, all true.

I think (generally speaking, for most people) that Linear DNG using the Adobe DNG conversion method asked about is probably sufficient, if inconvenient. Most people I know who shoot RAW do it for the high-bit-precision dynamic range and white balance adjustment capability, both of which Linear DNG preserves.

But there are very valid reasons not to want to settle for partial-baked DNGs. Personally I was converting my CR2s to DNGs at Lightroom import for a couple of years (since DNGs compress and take up much less disk space) but regretted that when Canon's DPP DLO got really useful and I was unable to easily get those DNGs back into DPP as RAW.

Now I'm a big fan of saving the actual camera RAW file as the 'digital negative' even if that means the files are bigger and the format is more likely to be 'obsolete' in the future (there will always be older versions of Adobe DNG converter and dcraw to use if that is ever a real issue for me).

Not to mention one of the most commonly used features: adjustment sliders that have intuitive results, but not necessarily intuitive mappings. (Highlights, Shadows, Clarity, etc.)

Photo editing (non-destructive) is nothing like bitmap editing, I don't see how they are well positioned for coming up with a product.

The same way Adobe was well positioned to coming up with a product in the same category.

Photo editing is bitmap editing, and Pixelmator is well positioned to implement the non-destructive property.

By virtue of being OSX-only, they can abstract out the trickiness of RAW conversion (something Adobe must heavily invest in by virtue of being cross-platform), and rely on Apple's very good implementations instead. (side note: Apple is sometimes faster to implement RAW demosaicing support than Adobe itself).

This simplifies the problem to purely that of bitmap editing. It's important to note that unlike Lightroom, Pixelmator is already hardware accelerated from top to bottom, this allows real-time rendering of the entire edit stack on top of the unaltered original data, potentially giving us much more responsive feedback as users (sliding a slider and having it respond with much less lag than Lightroom, for example).

Agreed, building on Pixelmator seems like a great fit. If nothing else, another great product from the team that's already creating some Photoshop converts would hopefully be a shot across Adobe's bow to keep them active in development of Lightroom.

I'll second that with some hope: if this is a standard system library like it is on iOS, then they should be able to at least have an "edit in Pixelmator" extension for the system photo library.

I have to imagine they'll do three things:

- Feature/Adjustments parity with Aperture

- Migration of 100% edits/metadata from Aperture/iPhoto

- Photos Extensions on Mac

The third will be really exciting. It's already going to be awesome to have VSCOcam connected to the Photos library without having to create duplicate images; this on Mac will be terrific as well.

I am looking forward to moving off Lightroom! Seems very far out for Apple though.

When you use apeture, you realize it's a branch of iPhoto anyway. They use similar library formats / directory structure and probably shared a lot of code. Many people have DSLRs now a days, so raw management should be a given.

Based on Pages, Numbers, FCP it seems likely that the first version may lose some features but many will be added back in subsequent updates.

just like Final Cut Pro X, right?

(can't tell if you're sarcastic, thought maybe not)

I wasn't being sarcastic, but with FCP's history I can see the skepticism.

I do think/hope it will be different. I feel like there are more signs pointing to "Photos" app as being superior to Aperture/iPhoto (which, yes, are totally the same thing really now) and Lightroom.

Someone help an Adobe-acolyte out: about how far behind/apart was Aperture from either Photoshop or Lightroom in feature set? My impression (from reading Wikipedia and past announcements) was that it was closer to Lightroom in intended use?

I've recently seen a few articles about startups/business ideas in the mobile/consumer photo space pointing at the problem of users not having enough storage space for photos. I guess? My perception and personal experience has been that users don't have enough ability to sort/filter the photos they already take. Digital/phone photography has allowed users to be voracious photographers...without a corresponding increase in being able to handle the information overload...it's already hard enough to pick the best photo among 5 - 10 takes, but a cognitive-chore to search through a flat-folder collection of thousands of photos with nothing more than a vague recollection of the photo's date...a wedding photographer once told me that by far, the best marketing tool he has is to produce a physical album of 50-100 photos, rather than just a PhotoDVD of thousands of photos. Theoretically, that DVD can be reproduced and sent around, and many more photos included for the client's enjoyment...but realistically, clients (and their relatives) don't find browsing through photo volumes on their OS default viewer to be engaging. Brevity in editing is important, but also, visitors to a client's living room can directly see and touch the physical photo album (and see who produced it), and that in itself is an effective marketing tool.

I guess this is a long way of saying that whatever the state of Aperture was, I hope Apple makes some innovations in photo sorting/filtering, rather than just trying to provide tools to beautify photos. I'd argue that Instagram's killer feature is how it limits the user's ability to hoard photos...once you take a photo, you are pushed into publishing it...the photo filter is a way to make you feel less self-conscious about it. After taking 100 photos with Instagram, you have 100 photos to show off in a nice web album. If you take 100 photos with just your standard phone camera app, you have 100 photos waiting to be uploaded/downloaded to iCloud into a standard file system.

>My perception and personal experience has been that users don't have enough ability to sort/filter the photos they already take. Digital/phone photography has allowed users to be voracious photographers...without a corresponding increase in being able to handle the information overload...

I think that's fair. Presumably facial and other pattern recognition, together with the increasing prevalence of geo-encoding, will improve this to a certain degree. But I know that I'm not nearly as good as I wish I were at entering metadata into Lightroom today--and I'm probably better than most.

The one saving grace is that I do publish a subset of photos to Flickr through the jfriedl Flickr plug-in which has, as sort of a side effect, the characteristic of creating a sort of album of my better photos.

Aperture is a Photo Management tool, with minimal touch-up/editing features. It is a direct (though inferior) comparison to Lightroom for the commercial/event photographer. Not related to Photoshop at all.

Do pros really want to store their photos "in the cloud"? I'm just an amateur and have ~500GB of photos. Uploading that much is almost impossible over a normal asymmetric home internet connection, and I imagine professional photographers must have multi-terabytes of data easily.

500GB would take about a week to upload? Maybe a couple of weeks?

Having the security and knowledge that 500GB of your precious photos are stored off-site multi-redundancy, blah blah, vs your own hard drives definitely seems worth it to me.

I mean, one flood and kiss 500GB of photos gone. That would be a very sad thing indeed.

I would love to have better peer to peer syncing, so my home desktop could hold all my images, but my laptop could connect and sync a subset for mobile editing. However, you I'm not at 500gb, but I'm large enough (230gb) that I doubt it would be terribly useful. Maybe I'll be proven wrong, but we'll see.

Not a chance. Takes too long to upload and download and the 'cloud' data usage and rights assignment stuff is pretty unclear. My father (a pro) has about 3TiB on a NAS and AIT backup.

Offsite backups are critical. What happens when wherever you're storing those nas drives / tapes gets flooded or destroyed?

Tapes are manually archived off site in a safe deposit box monthly. A month window is an acceptable loss.

Agree entirely. T'was an idiot company I worked for at the time that stored their backups in the basement of the World Trade Centre. Yes that worked out well...

Not at all. We have about 4 TB of photos. I signed up for Backblaze last August to get an online backup of just the past few years and it's still ~400 GB from finishing.

I had to read this headline 3 or 4 times before I realized Transition wasn't an additional product being phased out.

Apple to Cease Development of Aperture, Transition Users to Photos for OS X

Makes sense really, I know people who do use Aperture but they're out numbered by Lightroom users by a fair margin. It'll be nice to see more advanced features being provide in Photos as well, to fit the gap between the advanced (Lightroom/Photoshop user) and the keen amateurs.

Man, this just sucks. iPhoto (okay, they're killing that too, but "Photos" will be similar if not more limited) is weak, and Lightroom feels like a bad Java app. Aperture was fantastic, a true Mac app.

It's clear they are putting everything into Photos and so this makes sense. Big question is what they do with all the edits/metadata/etc that people have invested in Aperture.

Aperture and iPhone seem to share a lot of data even if that data is not accessible from iPhoto. I would assume everything would still be available in Photos even if the UI isn't as advances.

That’s not clear. They obviously won’t do that. It will be much, much simpler. I mean, Apple is working on a transition tool to Lightroom together with Adobe. That should tell you everything you need to know. Apple no longer wants to compete in that space.

I think photos will be even simpler than iPhoto. Or maybe simpler in many ways, more features in others. Hopefully it will be nice and lightweight. OS X needs that. Both iPhoto and Aperture were sluggish and their whole interface was just so heavy handed and complex.

Sometimes I feel as though I'm in a minuscule minority, as an avowed Mac user who gives a wide berth to any of their software. From the saga of FCP/X, to mail.app changing archive formats, to the auto-save/save-as clusterquack - I've long preferred finding niche vendors for my niche needs. I chose Lightroom at version 1 for exactly this reason.

+1 In the modern Apple era their applications, particularly the consumer or pro-sumer oriented ones, have tended to (1) not live up to their demos (2) and get constantly redesigned and yanked around. What made using a Mac a joy was the culture of quality espoused by third-party software vendors.

I agree... I love the OS and like my iDevices but their commitment to application software over the years has been abysmal.

Unifying the integration with iCloud is okay, but that's really unfortunate. Apple kills a "pro" app while the "basic" apps lose features every new release.

If you compare iMovie and iPhoto '09 to the latest ones it's a downgrade from every angle. Even GarageBand lost features, you could use plugins before.

I'm afraid they will "transition" users to Photos in the sense they will let you import your Aperture library, and that's it. The app will have 50% of the editing features, because that's what happens everytime a company promises a new version written from the ground-up.

Look at what happened with FCP, though. They released a new version, missing lots of features, and then future releases restored functionality.

When you're doing a ground-up rewrite, it makes sense to get the basics working first.

> When you're doing a ground-up rewrite, it makes sense to get the basics working first.

And you do that in alpha phases. You don't replace working software with inferior, incomplete software.

At least, that's what is supposed to happen. I have no idea why people think it's reasonable to downgrade users to a new version that has fewer features and expect the users to use the new, inferior version while waiting for the equivalent features to be restored. I would say that it's greed, the desire to sell new software at lower development costs for more profit, but since the FOSS community has been one of the worst offenders in this regard (KDE 4, GNOME 3), I guess it's not that simple. Maybe some other factors are laziness, irresponsibility, and lack of pride in craftsmanship.

However they radically changed the way the workflow works in ways that some (many?) users cant adapt to. I don't do much any more since I shuttered my production side business, but I can't use the current FCP. It's still (and will always be) missing some do-or-die features for me. The Apple Pro App that I really use though is Logic, and, please Apple--do not "improve" it.

I was wondering if they ever brought it back to parity with the original.. guess not.

It is odd, though, in that releasing a gimped product to be improved later seems counter to Apple's whole design ethos. (The "back of a dresser" parable of Steve's comes to mind).

What do-or-die features are missing for you?

For me, batch log and capture from tape. FCPX no longer has any tape support.

> Even GarageBand lost features, you could use plugins before.

Just to clarify, this is not the case: you can still use Audio Units as always.

I used Aperture for a long time, and last year moved to Lightroom. Aperture has been effectively dead for awhile and this news is just confirmation.

I'm a fairly happy aperture user but have been thinking about moving for a while since practically everybody uses Lightroom. How did you find the transition?

Not too bad. I spent a weekend figuring out the different workflow and then some time learning the LR adjustments. The part that took the most time was unlearning/relearning the different hot keys for basic operations.

A weird thing to think about: Instagram is, by most metrics, the world's most successful photo editing software.

Not really that weird. Fast food is, by most metrics, far more popular than Michelin star restaurants. Doesn't mean it replaces them.

McDonalds is probably making more money for its shareholders than The French Laundry, however.

And when I'm looking for a nice dinner, I'm definitely considering the value the restaurant provide to its shareholders in my decision.

I'm just talking about the incentives as to which type of restaurant to open, or more generally, which set of tastes to cater to. Do labors of love scale? No. Does it make sense to start a business that doesn't scale? I have no idea.

When I worked in that area, the number we heard was Facebook got 3 or 4 flickrs worth of photos a month. I'm sure with Instagram the numbers are more impressive.

It's not really about editing.

It seems to have been confirmed (as Techcrunch reasonably speculated) that development will cease on iPhoto as well. http://www.loopinsight.com/2014/06/27/apple-stops-developmen...

The Photos app looks like they are rebranding iPhoto, not "ceasing" anything.

This seems logical, especially in light of the Aperture news, but I'm not so sure -- all references to the new Photos app, including the demo at WWDC, refer to it as a viewer for your iCloud-stored photos. It's possible that instead of cloud storage being an option added to iPhoto, it is being re-designed as the primary use case, with your Mac as just another iPad-like device that may occasionally cache some local copies of photos as needed. I understand that from a practical point of view in 2014, but I think I'm philosophically against it.

I think most people kind of knew that Aperture was not going to be updated, it's been on life support for a while now. I prefer the editing tools of Lightroom, but I prefer the Aperture way of organizing photos. Oh well, can't have everything I suppose.

I really hope thet will allow for (optional) manual control of where jpeg files are stored regarding the file system. The opaque "photo library" thing was really inflexible especially as the size eventually outgrows the internal SSD drives.

Aperture has a pretty nice method where you can save photos in the library or in a separate location. You can also have multiple libraries (which are basically just packages and you can go in and access the jpg and raw files as well)

I'm kinda bummed, I have been a pretty happy Aperture user for a while even though I know most people use Lightroom. Not exactly sure what I'm going to do now.

I tried it once and it was pretty horrible, the folder structure on disk didn't stay in sync with the aperture library. Moving or renaming photos or folders in one stop didn't update the other spot, so when you thought you had organized stuff physically, only the aperture library links updated or vice versa.

This is unfortunate. I hope someone is working on a competitive software offering.

I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned DarkTable yet. I guess more HNers just use the default Apple programs than I thought. I didn't realize anyone would even miss Aperture.

I didn't know that they had finally gotten an OSX native (meaning not requiring X11) version out.

Now I will try Darktable on OSX.

I wonder how I would have felt had I bought Aperture a couple of weeks ago. Sure, 69€ isn't much, but knowing that those were basically thrown away would have been bad nonetheless.

Thankfully, I resisted the urge.

People who are about to have the rug pulled out from under them might want to check out Digikam. Version 4 was released in May.

Apple needs to allow iPhoto (Photo.app now) to import Aperture libraries then-I have a huge collection of photos in an Aperture library (I no longer have access to Aperture so I can't export the library).

My understanding is that iPhoto and Aperture now share the same library format in the latest versions, so you should be able to open your Aperture library in iPhoto right now.

In one of their public statements, they've indicated that the new app will be able to import/open Aperture/iPhoto libraries.

Hopefully the implementation is fairly seamless.


Capture One Pro Various ACDSee apps DxO Paint Shop Pro

I guess I'm installing Lightroom now

I don't use Aperture, but I think it's really unfortunate that the standard practice for companies like Apple is to simply drop a product entirely rather than open-sourcing it.

It probably uses a lot of proprietary Apple libraries anyway, so even if you had the code for this app you probably couldn't build it.

I do use Aperture every day, and I'm happy Apple isn't open sourcing it. I want all energy/attention/testing/use to go against their next platform, and not be fractured.

And what if their next platform is insufficient for your needs? Then perhaps you'll wish you still had Aperture as an option, but it'll be an obsolete application with no chance of revival.

Why are people downvoting your comments? Is there a pro-Apple, anti-FOSS element here?

The more time I spend on web sites with voting, the more I think upvoting should be the only option.

Honestly, I have no idea. Once you've spent a bit of time on HN, you realize it's no better than reddit when it comes to voting.

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