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iOS 7 Photos… the Reason for Aperture 4 Delay?

PhotoJoseph's picture
June 10, 2013 - 7:06pm

I just finished watching the WWDC 2013 keynote presentation, and I gotta say that iOS 7 looks pretty sweet. One of the big things that caught my eye of course was the new Photos app, and its showing of “Collections” and “Moments”. This is notably similar to the service, where your photos are automatically collected into, well, collections and moments, making it easy to find and a pleasure to browse your photos.

What we saw today was just photos from the iPhone. But what if this came to Aperture (and iPhoto, of course)? What if we had complete view of our entire Aperture library through iCloud (uploading optimized preview JPEGs of course, not the RAW files; let’s not get carried away), and the ability to browse as far back in time as we wanted, and to look at any photo we wanted, right from our iOS devices?

Again this is largely what Everpix does now, but integrated at the OS level of course it’d be much cleaner and faster.

What do you guys think? If I’m right, does that make the long delay worth waiting for?

If you want to see some animations of the interface, head to and scroll down to the Photos mini demo.

At some point later today the entire keynote video will be available to stream on right here.

Apple Aperture

Well….two thoughts that are polar opposites:

1. The complete lack of mention of any update to Aperture (or iPhoto/iLife) is concerning.
2. The announcement of the forthcoming Mac Pro (the design totally rocks) shows that Apple hasn’t forgotten the video and photo pro’s.

Adobe has played their hand by releasing LR5 final. ‘course, Adobe’s decision to move Photoshop (and everything else) to subscription only has irked (can I say pissed off?) lots of hobbyists and semi-pro’s.

Apple has software engineers that are working on iLife and Aperture. We know that. It just would have been nice to hear a little of “what’s to come” like they did with iWork.

I hope Aperture gets updated, but not for the reasons you stated. I feel that the features and functionality of the competition (namely LR5) are starting to create quite a gap, which Aperture needs to close. Features such as Radial Gradient, Advanced Healing brush, Upright, and the LR noise reduction capability are all superior to what Aperture has.
Finding and organizing things in Aperture has never been my problem, so a feature that allows me to group collections and moments does nothing for me.
Aperture is what I use, but after playing in LR, I am seriously considering making the switch. I hope Aperture comes out with an update which makes me not want to change - but I’m not holding my breath.

Right with you, @Mark - I have a Creative Cloud subscription, so I’ve been playing with LR more and more. LR5 came out today, and boom - I was able to upgrade immediately. They’ve definitely reached (and in some cases, exceeded) feature parity, so it’s becoming harder and harder to justify not switching. Incidentally, @Charles, LR is still available as a standalone license, not only via Creative Cloud.

Re. the topic of this post, Apple is known to pull resources from everywhere to get products out the door, so I’m sure it’s likely that Aperture got put on the back burner in favor of OS X Mavericks (weird!) and iOS7. Hopefully, we don’t have to wait for those products to ship before we hear anything new about Aperture.

Double dittos on what you said Mark. Aperture needs lens correction, better noise reduction, and better highlight/shadow/black/white adjustments.

Really disappointed in Apple. It is getting so I use Aperture primarily as a database to organize my pictures. Most of my major adjustments are done in Nik and Topaz. I prefer to keep my pictures managed rather than referenced. That and the “clunky” interface in LR keeps it out of the picture.


The LEAST of our worries! You may be right, but I keep asking me: so what? On the day that Adobe releases Lightroom 5 and doesn’t catch its breath as it continues to outrun Apple, we shouldn’t be worried too much about Apple throwing us some crumbs that really do not go to the heart of what Aperture really needs at this point to remain competitive. I’m hoping that we are all pleasantly surprised and that sometime before we see Lightroom 6 we actually get to see Aperture 4, or whatever they intend to call it.

Sure, we still love the “idea” of Aperture and I’m hanging in there while gradually shifting my workflow to Lightroom in order to take advantage of the neat lens correction tools they have integrated into the product. We photographers need cutting-edge tools much more than photo-search engines. Sure, it’s nice to be able to synch your photos and find them anywhere, but this is a very poor substitute for great export sharpening capability, a lens profile database to correct natural distortion, and better video editing capabilities. Bottom line: we need meat, not soup.


I think there are bits of truth to all the possible scenarios mentioned … I think Apple is (and has been) hard at work to integrating iOS/OS X capabilities for both iPhoto and Aperture … hence, the unifying of the library structure. Thus allowing a sync of work performed on various devices back to the master library.

While I was disappointed that we didn’t hear something more definitive about Aperture in the keynote today, there were hints of development in iOS 7, OS X 10.9 and hardware improvements that a new iteration of Aperture would benefit greatly from. I really don’t think the driving force behind the development of the new Mac Pro was for users to run Lightroom more efficiently …

Perhaps, we will hear more after the Mac Pro demonstration tomorrow with the folks from Pixar …

I’m feeling like Mr. Negative lately. I liked the photos thing in iOS7 for certain. I saw a lot of uses for that and something that would get me to maybe purchase iPad’s for my parents so they can experience things for our family since we live a distance away.

On the MacPro side it looks like a sweet machine. I don’t think it’s for me though. Thunderbolt devices are costly and I have 3 internal drives inside of my MacPro that would need enclosures. Thunderbolt 2 doesn’t even have a device yet. If I were to go that route and unless it is less costly than the current model I don’t see it.

It looks damn cool though. :)

I was disappointed that Aperture wasn’t updated today.

In hindsight, this was not the place or time. The OS and the iOS were the stars. Afterall, it is an OS/iOS developer conference. This keynote was all about the big picture stuff that EVERYONE cares about. As is, that was a lot of stuff. I love photography. That’s still a smaller subset of the Apple universe.

But I think Joseph is on to something. And after months and months of supposedly smart people insisting that the Mac Pro was dead, look what popped up today? So to all those fixated on the Aperture version number, I think it’s obvious that Apple has more surprises coming this summer and fall. They are not done with the pro markets. Great machines look their best with great software. Apple is not going to cede that to Adobe or the other creative app publishers.

I’ve owned several versions of LR. I’ll likely pick up LR 5 at some point when its on sale. I just can’t get excited about it. Adobe has a talent for making powerful tools overly complicated. LR has always shown that “Adobe-fication.” I always come back to Aperture. I’ve covered those “must-haves” with plug-ins. I don’t use them near enough and they really don’t justify getting all worked up over it. After looking at the new features in the latest LR, I actually find the list a little anemic. They have Aperture “on the ropes” and that’s the best they can come up with? Really? Some of these latest updates look familiar to the initial release of Aperture 3. I didn’t realize they were just catching up.

No, Apple is building an integrated thing that is going to be tough for anyone to match. Adobe is trying. But for those of us firmly in the Apple hardware universe (Mac, iPhone, iPad, AppleTV, iCloud, etc), it would be stupid not to use the software tools that merge all that. For the rest, it’s a great reason to buy in.

I’m bummed for now but I can wait longer. Three years later (and with a very healthy dose of new features and updates this past year alone) Aperture 3 still rocks. I’m excited for this summer and fall.


Of course Apple is working on system integration for Aperture, iPhoto, and all their apps. That’s the Apple way. A closed but integrated ecosystem. But is that the first thing on my wishlist for Aperture? Hell no. A few of the missing items are mentioned above. Those seem pretty easy to implement & no doubt will be in any new version.

But what I am hoping for is better integration of outside plugins. First a consistent naming & versioning system. Next a way to rework images edited in plugins (reopen the plugin & make adjustments to the settings). Also it would be helpful if there was some sort of API for the plugin makers to reuse the created TIFF so each iteration doesn’t spawn more. Like Aperture. Finally as has been shown Apple is actually creating masks when we use the brushes. Let us have access to those so we can make multiple changes with different brushes on the same image. Hey why not actually have layers?

Come on let’s not look at LR & wish for parity. Let’s hope for more. 8^)

Really like Tim Kennedy’s reference to “Adobe-ification”. Reminds me of Robert Boyer’s blog post about the “Adobe Borg”. Gotta agree with both Tom and Joseph’s assessment that Apple is working on even better OS X/iOS integration with their next updates.

I have to admit (confess?) that I took the plunge and bought LR5, but…I’m having buyers remorse. The splash screen references their Creative Cloud, and the Publish module links to Behance SLR Lounge did an article asking if LR5 was Adobe’s “Gateway Drug” to get people into the Creative Cloud. I think they’re on to something.

Rereading Joseph’s post, and the comments, I think you’re on to something. The iWork for iCloud is a good indication of where Apple is headed. They’re taking on Microsmurf’s Office 365 directly.

I like the results I get from LR’s Develop module, but the rest of LR’s setup frustrates me to no end. The more I think about it, I can achieve the same result in Aperture that I could get in LR 90% of the time. That 10% gap…I think I could live with.

While WWDC isn’t done yet, so I’ll refrain from the Aperture observations, but that iOS 7 demo. Are the camera companies watching that keynote? That will cannibalise a lot of low end P&S sales, and the photos are integrated into their data stream for the ubiquitous user for sharing, posting, et cetera. If I was Nikon, Canon or the others, I’d be seeing how I could copy these ideas as innovation seems to be beyond them.

If I have only one problem with Apple is what seem to be the lack of dedicated engineers for the professional applications. I am sure they have a small core group for each application but the core obviously need to be increased and less dedicated to other application.

Gary Reed Photomedia

Don’t have an iOS device, could not possibly care less about Aperture automatically organising things for me. Don’t need face recognition or any of that rubbish, either. I want better touch-up tools, better sharpening, an Adobe-like Undo/Redo stack, layers, and an API that allows plug-ins to insert their changes into the versions, not to mention cleanup of the numerous UI glitches that still remain. And I want it to run reasonably fast on my 2+GHz MacBook Pro, thank you very much, which means not burdening the app with unnecessary drivel.

As with their OS in general, Apple spend far too much time on eye-candy and whizzy trivia and not enough time tightening up the underlying foundations.

Charles mentioned the highlight/shadow/black/white of LR to be better than Aperture. From my point of view ….on the contrary !

Mike speaks about face recognition as rubbish, i just wanna say that it is a shame you haven´t discovered the real business possibilities within this tech combined with locations and smart albums.

Yes, right, we havent had a major update to Aperture for a long time.

On the other hand, i would love the LR´s gradient tool, the lens correction and noise reduction …..and…..eehhh…..what else ?

I certainly don´t miss the closed, boxed workflow of LR, nor the Adobe way of user interfaces, nor the insane import-module.

And i certaily don´t miss the Adobe pricing structure and overpricing in many areas of the world, especially in Europe.
In my daily usage of my mac ….do you know what ? That Adobe makes my everyday use of my fine mac´s a crappy experience due to almost daily updates of flash and Adobe reader, many times failing to perform the install…..crap !
And that Adobe makes my life on my PC a crappy experience due to frequent confirmation on licenses for PS Creative suite and Adobe Acrobat and weekly/monthly messages about “your computer seems to have changed, confirm your license” or the last and worst, their website dont even support those messages and actions anymore.

But i like my mac´s and the osx/Iwork/ilife/aperture/final cut/iphone/ipad/mac integration.

Said by a happy Aperture user :-)

Well said Kenny!

I agree with Kenny up to a certain point. I have to say in all honesty, Aperture 3 does almost everything I need it to do. Personally, I don’t care for the lens correction profiles, but I do wish we had that awesome H&S performance, and that noise reduction tool in Lightroom. It’s unforgivable that Apple placed a mush multiplier and called it “noise reduction”. Outside of that, I find Aperture 3 a much more enjoyable experience than Lightroom, but I think Lightroom 5’s tone control is just impressive. It’s not an impossible thing for Apple to top, if they cared, but I think they’re just trying to get it right before promising or releasing anything to the market.

My beef with Aperture is that I don’t want to have to buy plugins to make the software usable.

My beef with Adobe is that their module approach is just too way of the dinosaur. But it’s performance when it comes to image control has won me over. I use both, unapologetically.

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