How iCloud killed iPhoto and Aperture

“This is a death we should have seen coming,” Bambi Brannan writes for Mac360. “It’s a sign of the cloud-based times in which we live that Apple pulled the plug on iPhoto and Aperture.”

“Apple hinted at what was to come during June’s WWDC keynote presentation with a brief mention of a new app coming in early 2015. It’s called simply Photos, which ties all your Apple devices together,” Brannan writes. “Aperture was the near-professional level photo management app. iPhoto was for the Mac masses to manage photos, yet iPhoto for iPhone and iPad were scarcely used by the iMasses. What did we use instead? Photos on the iPhone, occasionally synchronized to the Mac, while PhotoStream came along for the ride.”

“With iOS 8, OS X Yosemite and iCloud Drive, Apple needed to remove the past to make way for the future. Out with the old. In with the new,” Brannan writes. “Why is Apple making these changes? iCloud. Or, rather, iCloud Drive. What Mac, iPhone, and iPad users want more than management and enhancement tools is simple. Access to every photo and video on every device. That lofty goal is accomplished with lower pricing and more storage with iCloud Drive.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple’s new iCloud storage plans: Cheap for consumers, even cheaper for developers – June 8, 2014
Apple unveils new versions of OS X and iOS, major iCloud update with iCloud Drive – June 2, 2014

26 Comments

    1. My question, with all that content all stored in one location, why not create your own streaming video service, too? It’s easy to monetize and all they have to do is share any iAd revenue.

      People are creating content on iDevices then giving it to Google. Why not have it so that you can continue to tweak that content from your iDevice quickly and easily?

      Add HEVC compression options to the mix and they’ll also be driving adoption of the standard as well.

      1. Great. Now Apple will have to kill you for spilling the beans. I’m sure they are working on some kind of iTube and iSearch, probably just called Tube and Search.

  1. The improved enhancement algorithms shown in action at WWDC will make this product a joy to use. But I will miss the brushes for enhancements in Aperture. (I know I can still use Aperture, but I expect Photos will be so convenient that I won’t want to.)

  2. I like the idea of this merger. Shouldn’t need two different applications to do the same thing. Photo management should be fast, straightforward, easy, and have powerful features, period.

      1. Great software doesn’t die, it keeps going until the hardware needs to be replaced or your requirements change. I still use FrameMaker 6 on an older machine for manuals, books, formatted text and MIF to interface with OMNIS7 databases. Can I upgrade, sure. But why should I lay out hundreds when it still works, and works great. You determine when software is EOL, not the company that created it. They just determine whether they’ll support it.

    1. The “you can still use it…derp” comment is so tired. Of course you could still use it. However, at some point, probably soon after Yosemite, you won’t be able to fully use it for functionality pros may be requiring. Certainly without support, it will stop syncing the next time any 3rd party APIs are altered (Facebook, Flickr, etc…) as well as breaking with RAW camera profile updates, and eventually iTunes.

      Aperture isn’t a candied version of a pro app like Bento. Aperture is was used by professionals for work projects often spanning long time periods.

      For those who do not know what Aperture is, one feature of Aperture is that it allows you to do non-destructive editing of your photos. Another is very detailed and extensive meta data for your photos. These things don’t translate into other applications as the formatting of which is proprietary.

      You can’t just take your project and export it like you can a Bento database.

      So pros using Aperture are currently stuck right now looking at upcoming projects as well as existing ones, and the only realistic/practical option for many is to see Aperture as dead today and begin migrating to Lightroom as Apple has provided no guidance on whether Aperture projects and metadata can ever be exported or supported by Photos.

    2. They’re not lies.

      Yes, you can run Aperture today. You’ll very likely be able to run it under all updates of Yosemite. You might even be able to run it in the OS X version after that (but no guarantee).

      What is guaranteed is that eventually, if you keep updating your hardware and software (OS) you will NOT be able to run Aperture.

      Apple’s past is littered with applications that won’t run on today’s machines. Apple has widely promoted certain apps and even suites of apps (the OpenDoc suite as just one prominent example) that Apple abandoned and it then stopped working a couple OS iterations later.

      So if you’re willing to stick with current hardware and software, then you’ll be able to use Aperture until that hardware dies. Otherwise there is no guarantee that it will work after 2015.

  3. This is a really lame article that offers no more than “Apple killed iPhoto and Aperture because iCloud!”

    There was nothing about either iPhoto or Aperture that prevented them from being easily updated to support a fully baked cloud architecture (iCloud or other). In fact, both apps already do this brilliantly with Facebook and Flickr.

    It seems to me like Apple didn’t want to spend the resources on Aperture to compete with Adobe. Giving up on that fight, instead of evolving Aperture as a prosumer app that managed photos better than Lightroom while lacking processing features that some pros need, Apple decided to merge Aperture and iPhoto and re-imagine what the app should be.

    I know, wait and see, right? But Photos can’t be all things to all people, and it seems as clear as can be at this time that not only are consumers the focus, but iPhone snappers with fad filters will be the core focus.

    This app should be great for them, but comes at the cost of the impact of pro-abandonware.

    Apple already has not handled this well for their prosumer users and it’s a shame they aren’t even getting engaged on some level to make their prosumer customers at least not feel totally discarded and ignored.

    1. Seeing as you’re not privileged to Apple’s internal sales numbers on Aperture, or any data on consumer usage of iPhoto/Aperture on iOS and OS X, your assumptions are ridiculous.

      Apple either didn’t want to put resources into products that people weren’t using, or Apple all along planned this merger/change to push more to the cloud. Frankly my wife will be ecstatic that we no longer have all of our photos on my iMac and she can access them all through iCloud Drive.

      And pro-abandonware is only important if there are either no replacement options or a significant group is being abandoned. I suspect neither is the case here.

      1. You claim that my assumptions are ridiculous, but then go on to make the very same assumption, “Apple either didn’t want to put resources into products that people weren’t using”

        Ya, Apple gave Aperture a go, and it didn’t compete well with Adobe’s Lightroom. They’re giving up on it. That’s what I said.

        “Apple all along planned this merger/change to push more to the cloud.”

        As I mentioned, there’s nothing cloud specific about killing iPhoto or Aperture. It’s not as if those apps weren’t cloud compatible some how. In fact, they already were cloud-enabled and have the architecture to support other cloud systems with minimal updates to the software.

        If Apple was “planning the merger all along” to Photos, then they really screwed prosumer customers by putting them in this position.

        “Frankly my wife will be ecstatic that we no longer have all of our photos on my iMac and she can access them all through iCloud Drive. “

        That’s great. I would suspect that anyone who wasn’t a professional and didn’t use Aperture for work related projects would think the same. That’s not the issue. The issue is what Apple is doing to those that it convinced to use Aperture as an investment for their work.

        “And pro-abandonware is only important if there are either no replacement options or a significant group is being abandoned. I suspect neither is the case here.”

        You’re making an assumption that there is no significant group. What I’m saying is that the significance of the group only indicates how big of a screw up this is for Apple. Assuming I’m the only person who used Aperture for work related projects, then Apple is still handling this really poorly. Two users and that’s X2, X3, X4…

        Whatever the case is Apple is handling this poorly. If there’s a significant number of users than Apple should have a migration path and Photos should support Aperture features, projects and metadata.

        Anything less than justifying that, and Apple should be engaged with Aperture users and providing them guidance on what they should be doing.

        The moment that Apple decided they were going to EOL Aperture, they should’ve developed a strategy for those users and communicated this.

        Because they haven’t, the impact of this carries over beyond just the Aperture user base. Anyone considering investing in Apple hardware and software now looks at a history where Apple could pull the plug at a moments notice and say F-You to the customers it has decided to cut off.

        As far as there being no replacement… There is no replacement. Projects, non-destructive edits, and metadata don’t export/import into any other software. While Photos may support this, Apple isn’t saying that it will, which means professionals who need to make work-related decisions can’t rely on that (and really shouldn’t).

        Really, Apple needs to be engaged with its customers here and tell them what to expect, whether that’s going to Lightroom now or whether some of us may find Photos a viable option.

        1. As I have been saying, the lack of communication is the problem here. If Photos is going to preserve not only the original images, but also all the organization, edits, and other metadata from Aperture, for gosh sakes, Apple, SAY SO and make your customers happy. If the information is going to be lost, say so now so your customers can make a transition and won’t continue to drop their data into a bit bucket.

          This isn’t like Bento where all the data can be exported; it is more like Pages 4, where all the text box links will sooner or later be gone forever with no hope of salvation except by running an old OS on an old computer until it breaks. Any iWork user who believed the fan assurances that all the old features were coming back has an extra year of orphaned files. Photo pros can’t gamble their family income on vague hopes that the metadata they are creating will be salvageable.

          If you don’t know what will survive yet, Apple, even that information would be helpful. As somebody living in a major metro area with a broadband uplink that takes about 12 seconds per megabyte, I can only imagine how long it would take a pro photographer on location to upload hundreds of DSLR images a day to iCloud in RAW format, plus all their associated metadata. If cloud use is going to be essential, or nearly so, Photos is going to be a nonstarter for pros. That won’t make it a bad program for other users, but the pros will need to bail out, and they need to be planning their exit now… not when they have additional terabytes of obsolete data.

          1. TxUser, everything you wrote is spot on.

            I’m a sports photographer, specializing in high school sports. In a week of basketball and volleyball, I will shoot an average of maybe 10,000 images every seven days. I have a website for selling my finished photos, so I already have a large upload batch every few days. No way in hell am I going to upload everything to the cloud, then access my files in the cloud, edit them and upload all over again.

        2. Apple is not the company it once was. Today its all about the pop culture of slam bang – that’s good enough. Pro users, who have been faithful to Aperture have been simply tossed aside as unnecessary to Apple’s future. Go on over to Adobe or whatever other pro app you want – Apple doesn’t care. And, any notion that Photos will have anything even close to the editing capability of even iPhoto, much less Aperture or it’s better, Lightroom, is irrational. Apple doesn’t think the consumer they are going after cares. So, neither do they.

  4. There are a lot of good, small apps that do great things with photos. When the App Store first came out I could see a revolution. Instead of paying a lot of money for something like Photoshop, and not use most of it. I could buy a cheep app that did the thing I wanted to do. The big problem has been managing the photos. Having to download and upload to Photos so you could share with other apps and devices is a pain. The more Apple would add to iPhoto the more they would piss off their developers. With focusing on creating a great database to use on any device and letting apps share photos this will push the revolution forward. I do use Aperture, and was mad when I first read the news of its demise. However I use my iPad to do most of my photo work. In a lot of ways it’s easer to work with photos than the Mac.

  5. Sorry if it’s just me, but I see this as Apple’s cash grab a la Adobe, Microsoft and the rest. They seem to be trying to get us on a subscription model for storage in the cloud, as we head to the day of browser-based apps and cloud-stored data – the end of the PC era, in the minds of some. Sure, maybe Apple can keep it relatively inexpensive, but I’m getting annoyed at how many subscription services our modern economy is trying to foist on us – our product purchases are decreasing (due in part to the long life of Apple’s current machines – getting harder to justify upgrading every 3 years, isn’t it? – and when we do, the product continues to be used by someone else – a lost sale to the manufacturer). And fewer and fewer of us are buying physical media – the Blu-Ray and DVD sales will start to suffer as well.

    But what happens to that information when you want to change ecosystems? Or cancel or postpone a subscription or make a payment late? Does everything in the cloud go away? How long will they hold it? Will we go to the NSA for a copy? Okay, kidding on that last, but who knows what happens when something is kept off-site? And what about those people who don’t have access to broadband?

    Remember also that when support for an application ends, its clock starts ticking, and sooner or later it will no longer be supported in an operating system upgrade.

    I don’t mean to fear-monger. These are just things that have popped into my head as I contemplate what these transformations will mean to my future.

  6. “What Mac, iPhone, and iPad users want more than management and enhancement tools is simple. Access to every photo and video on every device.”
    Bullshit. No we don’t.
    There is plenty of stuff on my Mac Pro that I have no need of on any other device and I damn sure do not want it “in the cloud” for fun or profit.

  7. I love Apple for consumer stuff bit I’m to tge point where I dont think I’d bother in investing in their high end applications for work purposes.

    I realize everything has a lifespan but Apple has pretty much made a habit out of leaving pros high and dry at this point.

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