Aperture Replacement 'Photos' to Offer Image Search, Editing, Effects and Plugins

Last week, Apple announced that the company would be discontinuing their Aperture photo management software to focus development on the new Photos app that was introduced at WWDC. Details on Apple's new Photos app, however, remains scarce, leaving Aperture users with a lot of uncertainty.

Ars Technica was able to get additional information from an Apple representative, who indicated that certain professional-grade features would be coming to the new Photos app:

When asked about what Aperture-like features users can expect from the new Photos app, an Apple representative mentioned plans for professional-grade features such as image search, editing, effects, and most notably, third-party extensibility.

Some of these editing features are already depicted in the screenshot that Apple released of Photos at the time of the announcement:


The screenshot shows an adjustments panel with settings for Light (Exposure, Highlights, Shadows, Brightness, Contrast, Blacks), Color (Saturation, Contrast, Cast), Black & White (Hue Strength, Neutral Boost, Photo Tone, Grain), Definition, Vignette, White Balance, and Levels.

Apple has promised that existing Aperture users will be able to import their libraries into the new OS X Photos app. Photos is expected to be released early next year.

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Top Rated Comments

Small White Car Avatar
129 months ago
Ok, the 3rd party thing could be HUGE.

Imagine a whole section of the Mac App store that does nothing but sells things that work inside "Photos."

If that takes off (IF) you could potentially make the program into whatever the hell you want it to be.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rhett7660 Avatar
129 months ago
Sounds like they are merging the products, not so much doing away with them per se.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mark Booth Avatar
129 months ago
If you really need an image editing software, do yourself a favor and just buy Lightroom.

Adobe could have the last image editing software on the planet and I still wouldn't give another dime to Adobe. I despise that company.

Mark
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zioxide Avatar
129 months ago
Sounds like they are merging the products, not so much doing away with them per say.

Yup, seems like you're right.

80% of the features between iPhoto and Aperture were redundant anyways. Might as well combine them and pool all the resources together. There may be growing pains but in the long run it will be a better solution for 99% of their market. The real hardcore pros will stick to Lightroom like they have been using for the past few years anyways.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MentalFloss Avatar
129 months ago
I would imagine that with the upset last week's 'announcement' caused, that by the time this is in the wild any meaningful Aperture migration will be irrelevant to most users who will have already moved everything to Capture One Pro or Lightroom.

I mean, who's (out of Current Aperture users) really going to wait until next year to see if photos might just be OK?
Who isn't? Why this kind of panic move now?

If you like Aperture right now, then there's no reason to switch, because it's going to be updated for at least one more OS X version, which means it has at least 1 1/2 years of life left, and it's not going to be a worse application in a week than it was a week ago. If it turns out later that Photos sucks and that Aperture will not be updated for another OS X version, then it's still possible to switch. But if you don't like Aperture right now, then don't act like you're switching because Apple is discontinuing the support. Then you're simply overdue for a switch.

Either way, I don't see any reason why anyone needs to panic now and move out of Aperture as if Apple is going to remotely delete it from their hard drive the day Photos is released.
Even after this meaningful back peddling which though inevitable in the wake of the bluntness of announcing Aperture's death, is still a pathetic excuse for crucial information to people who rely on Aperture.
I don't see any back-peddling here. Apple is giving out more information on Photos now. They are not adding anything that was previously not intended to be there.

And if you want crucial information for people who rely on Aperture, here it is: Aperture will still work in a year from now. If you buy a new camera in the meantime, Aperture will still benefit from the RAW updates in OS X. Whatever work you are doing with Aperture now, you can still do with Aperture in a year.
Personally I switched to C1Pro and suggest you do the same, especially if you don't like Lightroom.
Really, I hope people are not silly enough to panic like this and throw quite a large amount of money into an application on the assumption that Photos is going to suck, when Apple will end up releasing a free application that may actually do what they need just as well.

Even if I were going to switch, now is the worst of moments, because Adobe has already announced that they are going to make Lightroom more likeable for current Aperture users. Who knows what they will add to Lightroom within the next 12 months. Does Capture One Pro even offer an Aperture library import option by now? Last time I checked it didn't. Perhaps it will do so in a year, which would make a switch to CP1Pro much easier. Even if I were 100% sure that I will not continue using Apple solutions, I would wait and see what the market looks like in a year. Panic is rarely a good advisor when it comes to purchasing something.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CausticPuppy Avatar
129 months ago
I really hope this program lives up to Apple's hype. And I'm sure it will improve over time, but it won't have anywhere near the capability that aperture had. For those that need it. At least not at this time.
I don't think the program has to live up to the hype. If you want to see where Apple is going with photos, don't get hung up on the Photos app but look at what they are making available to developers.


Yosemite has an all-new RAW processing engine, with vastly improved noise reduction, support for multiple GPU's, and the ability to allow 3rd party plugins to apply filters during RAW processing. They certainly are NOT giving up on photography, rather they are giving 3rd party developers a lot more power by developing an extremely capable photography platform.

In LR, the noise reduction takes a second or two after you move the slider; with Yosemite, Apple demonstrated NR working in real-time at 60 fps!! That's probably on a Mac Pro using dual GPU's, but still significantly faster than anything else out there.

The Photos app itself might have some editing capability but probably not everything Aperture had (though it certainly WILL preserve edits done in Aperture, just like iPhoto currently does even though it's not as capable). But, Photos will be extensible and there will be professional-level 3rd party plugins, which will all be able to work non-destructively.

Hopefully, Lightroom will make use of Apple's new API but then they'd give up on their proprietary RAW engine. Apple's API allows direct access to the RAW pipeline, with GPU acceleration, direct access to Apple's DAM, while Adobe's is closed off and requires 3rd party developers to either work with huge TIFF files, or stay limited to creating presets with Adobe's built-in editing tools.

A year from now it'll be "your move, Adobe."
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)