Rumor: Apple axes bulk of Aperture team, app’s future in doubt

“Apple recently asked the engineering team behind its Aperture photo editing and management software to leave, Think Secret has learned. The move, which resulted in the departure of several engineers while others were transferred to different projects inside Apple, raises questions about the future of Aperture, Apple’s most heavily criticized and bug-ridden software release in recent years,” Ryan Katz reports for Think Secret. “Sources familiar with Apple’s professional software strategy said they were not surprised by the move, describing Aperture’s development as a ‘mess’ and the worst they had witnessed at Apple.”

Katz reports, “The application’s problems are said to be so extensive that any version 2.0 would require major portions of code to be entirely rewritten. With that in mind, the bell may not yet be tolling for Aperture; an entirely new engineering team could salvage the software and bring it up to Apple’s usual standards.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple has very high standards. Aperture is in many ways a remarkable application. Hopefully, whatever’s going on with the application can be ironed out. Obviously, something’s going on if Apple felt the need with Aperture 1.1 Update to drop the price by $200 and give early adopters a $200 coupon. Any comments from photogs using Aperture 1.1 would be greatly appreciated.

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Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple releases Aperture 1.1 for $299; free update for early adopters of Aperture plus $200 coupon – April 13, 2006
Apple calls on pro photogs to provide RAW photos for Aperture improvements testing – February 02, 2006
Ars Technica: Apple’s Aperture ‘a big, expensive misfire’ – December 05, 2005
Apple’s revolutionary Aperture: will all Mac applications work like this someday? – October 21, 2005
Apple’s Aperture more revolutionary than you might think – October 21, 2005
Apple’s new Aperture signals that Photoshop is no longer invulnerable – October 20, 2005
Pro photographers see Apple’s Aperture as complement to Adobe Photoshop – October 20, 2005
Does Apple’s Aperture threaten Adobe’s Photoshop? – October 20, 2005
Apple’s revolutionary new Aperture software a must have for every professional photographer – October 19, 2005
Apple introduces Aperture, first all-in-one post production tool for photographers – October 19, 2005

39 Comments

  1. I am a pro photographer, usr RAW daily, and early adopted Aperture, while it can do some things well, the final output is not as good as the other app I use, Capture One. Apple really disappointed me with this app, BUT I am glad they are not ignoring the early adopters, for know back to Capture One, and I will use my coupon.

    There is a lot of potential in Aperture, I just don’t see it yet.

  2. I don’t see them axing it. A pro equivelant (and more) of iPhoto is a great idea and apple have proven with Final Cut Studio (as well as all their other apps) that they can create the best software on the planet. From what I’ve read, Aperture 1 wasn’t loathed, it just wasn’t great and was expensive. With 1.1 they seem to have fixed a lot and it’s now way cheaper. If they apply the Final Cut touch to it for 2.0 then they should be fine.

    Not that I have a real need for it, but I installed lightroom and was distinctly unimpressed.

  3. I think Aperture is a great idea, and I hope it is part of a plan to give us a less bloated, Apple designed, replacement for Aperture. While Photoshop is wonderful in many, many ways, I think it needs some serious competition to make it competitive again.

    Here’s the possibilities of what is going on:

    1. Apple is killing Aperture due to poor sales

    2. The development team sucked. Apple is firing them and bringing in a new team

    3. #2, but Apple is folding Aperture development into another team

    4. Apple developed Aperture just to keep Adobe in line. With Lightroom and their support for the Intel move–albeit dragging their ass–they have succeeded.

    5. Apple has seen the new Photoshop which is a major re-write (not due to Intel chips) but due to the fact that Adobe knew Photoshop had become vulnerable in the market and was worried about Microsoft and Apple dropping Photoshop killers on them, and Apple thought it was really good.

    I suspect that the fact that Apple is keeping some engineers but putting them on different teams rules out #2 & #3.

    Knowing Jobs, it wouldn’t surprise me if they did Aperture for #4 only

  4. I bought my MacBook Pro in the Bullring Applestore a week ago and asked if they had a copy of the new Aperture. They had received supplies of ARD but none of Aperture. Had they had it I might have been tempted.

    Now this ‘news’ breaks and you wonder if anyone will be tempted before version 2.

    In the meantime I have been using iLife 6’s iPhoto and it is very good indeed. In fact, it will do me fine alongside Photoshop and I now don’t bother with Adobe Bridge which was slow and cumbersome by contrast.

    Role on Aperture, the next generation…

  5. I think Aperture, along with iView, fills an important gap between PS and iPhoto for professional quality photo management. I tried iPhoto early on in the iLife history and was so turned off by its real-world performance, and more than that, by the fact that it used a propriotary file management system, that I dropped it early on and migrated to iView.

    I hope aperture fish-tails back into place because I prefer the interface and picture management utilites over iView.

  6. I’ve been using Aperture since its release, and even in its current 1.1 state, I think it feels like a very unfinished product. I love its fantastic RAW processing (easily the best) and its retouching tools, but the performance is less than satisfactory and a lot of the options are confusing and very hard to find. Its quite simply a very unintuitive program despite the fact that its main draw is supposedly its ease of use. Pro photographers need more.

    Aperture has tremendous potential to be a fantastic program, so I certainly hope that this report is false and the program continues to be built upon. Apple certainly has a lot of work to do, but I think they’ll nail it eventually.

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