Apple is ceasing development of its professional photo editing and management app, Aperture, according to The Loop. The plan is to migrate all Aperture and iPhoto users to the company’s upcoming universal ‘Photos‘ app for iOS and OS X. Although Apple has yet to make any official announcements regarding Aperture’s future, The Loop reports that the company provided the following statement:
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].
While the Photos app for OS X was only mentioned briefly during Apple’s WWDC keynote earlier this month, many users expect the software to provide a slick, but simple experience, with limited capabilities compared to those currently offered by Aperture. The news of Aperture’s retirement is therefore concerning to professional and high-end hobbyist photographers who have based years of work on the Aperture platform.
Apple will reportedly push one final update to Aperture to ensure compatibility with OS X Yosemite, due out this fall, but support for subsequent operating systems is unknown.
Makers of competing professional photography software jumped at the news today in an effort to lure existing Aperture customers. Adobe, maker of the popular Lightroom software, released a statement informing photographers that the company is “doubling down” on its photo editing solutions, and that it will work to ease the transition for users of iPhoto and Aperture to its own software and services.
Put simply we’re doubling down on our investments in Lightroom and the new Creative Cloud Photography plan 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. We also continue to invest actively on the iOS and OSX platforms, and are committed to helping interested iPhoto and Aperture customers migrate to our rich solution across desktop, device and web workflows.
Lightroom remains one of the few Adobe applications that is still available as a standalone, perpetually licensed product, with a list price of $149 (the company moved the majority of its Creative Suite apps to a subscription-only ‘Creative Cloud’ platform last year). Adobe also offers a special Photography Plan for Creative Cloud that gives users access to the latest versions of Lightroom and Photoshop for $9.99 per month.
Corel also released a statement promoting its AfterShot Pro 2 software, which launched in May. The company is offering AfterShot Pro 2 licenses to Aperture users for $59, down from the software’s regular price of $79.
Launched last month, the new AfterShot Pro 2 offers competitive upgrade pricing ($59) to Aperture users. We’re getting ready for Yosemite now and unlike Lightroom, AfterShot Pro already supports use of a more Aperture-like file system to manage your photos. In the coming weeks, we’ll be looking for more ways we can make the transition easy for Aperture users and you can expect to see more from us with AfterShot on the Mac in the near future.
While today’s news about Aperture may be disappointing to many users, it shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. Apple has let Aperture languish in recent years, with major updates few and far between. As a result, although the software still maintains several unique features, it has fallen far behind competing apps like Lightroom.
Many Aperture users concluded that Apple was either preparing a major overhaul to take advantage of new hardware like the 2013 Mac Pro, or about to quietly let the app slip into retirement. It appears now that the company chose the latter option.
Apple first launched Aperture in 2005, but hasn’t offered a major update to the software’s functionality since the launch of version 3.0 in February 2010. The company has, however, released several minor feature and stability updates since then, with the most recent update, version 3.5.1, arriving last November. Aperture is currently still available via the Mac App Store for $80.