End of an Era – Aperture to be Discontinued

The news today from Apple that their pro photo application Aperture is to be discontinued will be a huge disappointment for many pro photographers who rely on this robust library management and post-processing application for their workflows. …… me included.

Apple have decided to discontinue both Aperture and iPhoto and replace this with the new application Photos which will be realised as part of the iOS 8 release in the fall 2014 and OSX Yosemite release early next year. The new Photos application will be geared to link with iCloud and be integrate with iOS applications. Aperture has not had a major update since 2010 when Ver 3.0 was realised and iPhoto has also not been upgraded since 2011.

The new Photos application was first previewed at the recent WWDC 2014 and will be realise as part of the iOS8 realise this fall and the OSX Yosemite release in early 2015. It is very much geared up for cloud-based storage of photographs thereby giving access to images by all OSX and iOS devices for managing and editing. However the focus seems very much on camera photos …… not much mention of serious pro photograph needs.

An Apple spokesperson stated:

“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.”

Current Aperture users don’t need to worry, the program will get updates to work under OS X Yosemite. Still, active development of the app will end.

Apple has also stated that while they have decided to discontinue Aperture they have no intention of abandoning pros and will continue to develop both Final Cut Pro and Logic. I find this statement rather contradictory …… “no intention of abandoning pros” and yet they are abandoning pro photographers!!
Included with the reports was a new picture of the OS X Photos application, as seen above. From the picture, it would appear that the application has a “prosumer” layout. The app is also shown with a darker user interface, which is different from the predominantly white app shown off at the Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, as shown below.

However what does this mean going forward to the many pro photographers who have committed workflows and numerous Aperture plug-ins?

Questions To Ponder

  1. For pro photographers using Aperture to manage, catalogue and post-process multi-terabyte photo libraries how can an iCloud based system be practical? 
  2. Can the replacement Photos application come anywhere close to the power of the current Aperture application for image management and post-processing?
  3. Will the Photos application have the capability to use the current plug-ins which were an integral and 
  4. important part of the Aperture workflow?
  5. The Aperture application had a powerful book publication facility  – will Photos have this facility?
  6. Will Photos have the ability to retain the non-destructive virtual adjustments of the Aperture files?


The obvious replacement application for many photographers would be Adobe Lightroom …. but there are others which may be worth a serious consideration once you have chosen to totally abandon Aperture and don’t want to be drawn into the Adobe Creative Cloud environment:

Phase One Capture One Pro 7
ACDC Systems
DxO Optics Pro 8
Corel AfterShot pro

For me I am not going to rush into any transition from Aperture. It is being supported through to OSX Yosemite and my workflow on the current Ver 3.5.1 is stable and meets all my requirements right now, so unless I get a new camera that is not supported by Aperture then it should be ok to continue to use on the Apple platform for some time.

However I will be starting to review alternatives and the Phase One Capture One Pro 7 is looking like a favourite at the moment …… more on this later as I sort through these apps, test them them and weigh up advantages/disadvantages.

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