Apple merges iPhoto, Aperture into a single new, free Photos app

“Apple’s decision to end-of-life its Aperture photo management app is causing some photo pros heartburn,” Robin Harris reports for ZDNet. “But it is not surprising.”

“Apple is doing is nothing new: the original 128k Macintosh debuted with MacWrite, MacDraw and MacPaint, with some radical, for the day, functionality. Of course, those were some of the only apps then available for the Mac,” Harris reports. “But over the last 15 years Apple has adopted a consistent strategy of reducing software prices: OS X $129 to free; iWork (Pages, Keynote, Numbers): $79 to free; iLife apps: free; Aperture: $199 to $79 to free; Logic Pro: $499 to $199; Final Cut Studio: $1,300 to $400; [and] Shake: $4950 to $499.”

“Replacing Aperture with a free app is nothing new for Apple and it is good for consumers. No, Apple’s new Photos app won’t beat Photoshop or Lightroom for pros, but it doesn’t have to,” Harris reports. “It just needs to make photo management easy enough so most Mac buyers don’t spend money on Adobe’s products.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple axes Aperture and iPhoto, says new Photos app for OS X is the future – June 28, 2014
Apple pulls plug on Aperture – June 27, 2014
Apple may have finally solved photo storage hell – June 23, 2014
Apple unveils new versions of OS X and iOS, major iCloud update with iCloud Drive – June 2, 2014


  1. This was my first thought when I heard Aperture was discontinued. Wasn’t sure what all the crying was about. Buying an app that gets discontinued and replace by a superior app that’s free does suck but that’s the world we live in. It will suck if Photos is full of IAP to add missing features from Aperture, in that case outrage will applicable.
    The funniest part was adobe thinking they will get a bunch of people stupid enough to pay them monthly rent

    1. People keep forgetting that if you already have the software, it will keep on working!!!! Apple software does not die when they some out with something better.

      Just saying

    2. How do current Aperture users know that the new Photos will be superior? The point of the transition is to have a Photos app that uses the same tools to process the same files on both OSX and iOS. The result of that strategy with iWork was to substantially boost the features of the iOS and iCloud versions while dropping the page-layout features of the OSX version. Some things came back, but many never did.

      It is not a reach for current Aperture users to fear the same thing will happen here. There will unquestionably be a huge advance for current iOS Photos and iPhoto users and for OSX iPhoto users, including nearly perfect interoperability between platforms via Continuity. Some Aperture users, like some iWork 4 users, will easily adapt to the new program. Others will discover features missing that are vital to their workflow.

      Which features? Nobody knows, and that is the problem. There isn’t enough information about what will survive the transition for users to make rational business decisions. Nobody wants to jump to Adobe or whatever, only to find that Photos would have worked for them. Equally, nobody wants to pump tens of thousands of adof images into their Aperture database

      1. Sorry… Additional images into their Aperture databases if having to migrate is inevitable. Apple needs to provide the info to resolve that dilemma.

  2. Once again, Apple proves that they are quite willing to leave professional users high and dry in order to serve the masses. In terms of making the most money, their strategy is obviously the right one. But Apple’s willingness to desert the very users who made them great will forever be a big blot on their otherwise sterling reputation.

    1. I would say wait to see what Photos is like before complaining but if their track history of dumbing down pro apps to a consumer level is anything to go by you might be right. Then again, Aperture is more enthusiast than pro.

      1. Aperture absolutely is a professional tool. As a professional photographer, I’ve relied on it since 1.0 to run my business. For quickly culling, adjusting and delivering work, I found Aperture to be most efficient. I wonder if Photos is going to be like FCPX and the latest iWork: stripped down, and then built up again over time.

        1. Bet on it. Photos is a clean-sheet rewrite, based on the new CoreImage frameworks.

          The first year or so will likely be rough for transitioning from Aperture, but as the third-party developers get up to speed, we should see capabilities well beyond what Aperture can do now, at least in terms of image manipulation. Hope that digital media management keeps up.

    2. This may not necessarily be true. A simpler interface (iPhoto) but with stronger algorithms to process images would provide the power that pros need. And, there may be levels created for photographers at all levels. Also, what if this is extensible? If, for example, someone were to come up with a better sharpening tool that reduces artifacts and produces consistently better images, most people would be happy. We’ll just have to see.

    3. O-man, “Once again, Apple proves that they are quite willing to leave professional users high and dry in order to serve the masses.” Did your copy of the App suddenly die??? Are you being forced to change software???
      Are you still using a Mac Classic, cause, you know how Apple keeps making you buy better and better systems… and not letting you buy another Mac Classic…… Right???

      Just saying there dude!

      1. Pro users desire stability in their workflows, elder one. And, in the absence of stability, pro users settle for being able to plan for changes. While it is true that pro users still have Aperture on their Macs, they are bemoaning the uncertainty facing them in the future.

        Apple can and should handle these transitions more gracefully, dude!

  3. What about your pro users?

    Final Cut X = UNUSED
    Aperature = Discontinued for Pros
    Shake = Gone a long time ago

    Going mainstream is a slippery slope…

    1. I’ma pro user. Final Cut Pro X- used
      Logic Pro X- used
      Aperture- Unloved and unused.

      Shake- too specialized, even for pros. Much of the compositing mechanism exists in other Apple video products.

      BTW- if you are not using Final Cut Pro X, you’re working too hard.

  4. iTunes and Safari cut into MS Windows. However, Swift in XCode will cut off the easy C programing porting to all other OS platforms. This is the death nail to Android apps!

        1. Ok, perhaps it suits the issue. Speaking of death by a thousand cuts, spend some time researching that. It was a particularly nasty punishment used in China. Quite horrific, along with a lot of other forms of punishment from that area, and era. They were very medieval in nature, except that they were being done to people well into the 20th century. Many still are.

      1. I assumed everyone had a history with a very old phrase.

        “Another nail in the coffin” also “the final nail in the coffin” is referencing an event which causes the failure of something that had already started to fail. Most people that have lived as long as I have in the USA understand when someone says, “I think that was the final nail in the coffin.” In the old days, the lids were nailed down.

        I am ancient in the IT world, I got my first Mac 5 weeks after they started shipping them. You all must be new to this. Have a great 4th. (Note: that is referencing a National Holiday coming up in a few days.)

  5. I am sure Apple will provide nearly all of the options and may just sweeten the app to make it better than Aperture – a solid kick in the pants for Adobe and Google.

    That could be the reason Adobe is reacting so fast.

        1. They didn’t, though they have mentioned easing the transition from Aperture to Photos.

          *Adobe* made the Aperture to Lightroom support noises.

          Some tech review site got it wrong, and later corrected themselves. Too late…

      1. Last I read in earlier posts to earlier articles, Apple assisting Adobe was never actually stated by Apple nor Adobe. Adobe DID state it would put effort into improving Lightroom for Mac users.

  6. It has finally dawned on me the justaposition of Apple vs Microsoft and Adobe more clearly with this article.

    MS & Adobe want people to pay for software monthly forever to get little software pieces with the “Cloud.”

    Steve Jobs realized the above and said to himself, ‘We’ll sell Macs and other hardware and provide the software for free and have a safe cohesive SYSTEM.’

    Software costs are paid by the consumer, each time he upgrades to a new device, and the longer he keeps his machine, the less the software cost the user.

  7. Extensions . . . It’s all about the extensions. Apple briefly demonstrated the extensions in the Photos App at the June Keynote. But I think that will be an essential part of the program . . . Anyone who has used Final Cut Pro X, gets considerable more functionality from adds such as mObject from MotionVFX, which integrates 3D into FCPX. Extensibility allows 3rd parties to create extra features, without tying up Apple’s engineers . . . I see the Photos App as a central cloud-based database, that connects your photos to all of your Apples devices; you can then manipulate those photos with a variety of Extensions (3rd party add-ons) . . . in the end, I see it as Apple and 1000 extension developers vs Adobe Lightroom.

  8. Aperture keeps my pro hobbyist pics separate from my iPhoto happy snaps. I do not want to download 600+ pics from a photoshoot and have them mixed in with the iPhoto iPhone snaps that I like to take, around the house.

    Prefer not to mix my pro hobbyist stuff with pleasure everyday pics.

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