Don’t weep for Aperture: Apple’s Photos is a bright new beginning

“When I first saw the small demo of the Photos app at the Worldwide Developers Conference, that’s when I knew iPhoto was going to die—and I suspected Aperture would too,” David Sparks writes for Macworld. “Last week, Apple made it official: Both iPhoto and Aperture will be retired in favor of the new Photos app.”

“There are (unsurprisingly) a lot of people upset with this news, and a few years ago, I too would have led the charge on Cupertino,” Sparks writes. “But to be honest, I’ve been feeling for a while that local-storage-based photo management needs to be overhauled; now, it appears that Apple is ready to take on that task.”

Sparks writes, “Our current state of photo management is, quite frankly, unmanageable. Every person in my family has run into this, and I spend more time nursing iPhoto and Aperture libraries on our computers and iOS devices than I do all my other computer maintenance combined. Apple, it appears, is now stepping up to deliver.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
The Cloud Kit-savvy Photos future of Apple’s iPhoto and Aperture – July 3, 2014
Apple’s new Photos app looks to be a lot more powerful than iPhoto – July 2, 2014
How iCloud killed iPhoto and Aperture – July 1, 2014
Apple merges iPhoto, Aperture into a single new, free Photos app – June 30, 2014
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

22 Comments

  1. Never really used iPhoto or Aperture though I’ve had them for years. I’m looking forward to Photos and a more manageable system. Looking forward to Yosemite as I haven’t in an OS X upgrade since Snow Leopard.

  2. I’ve not seen this clarified anywhere but this new photos app is powered by icloud drive.

    From what I can see, you have to store your photos in the cloud.

    I’m sure it will be great, but without even trying (about 5-10 years) , I’ve accumulated 22gb of photos.

    Only the 1st 5gb is free, so how much is that going to cost?

    Also, what happens when we upgrade to Yosemite?

    Apple will have to handle this correctly, if I’m not willing to pay, what happens to my photos when I upgrade?

    1. No, you won’t have to store your Photos in the cloud. Apple never said that, and anyone who spoke to Apple at WWDC about Photos and iCloud got the same answer. Columnists are writing articles based on misunderstandings about reports and statements.

      Think iTunes. It works local and the cloud doesn’t need to exist. However, you can use iTunes Match if you have a small enough library and everything can be synced across devices automagically.

      That’s how Photos will work. With an iCloud account, any photo you import or take with an iOS device will automagically be synced with iCloud. It syncs everything, organization, tags, edits. Just like iTunes syncs files, metadata, playlists…

      What’s not clear yet is whether Photos will have some sort of manual over-ride with what is synced. In other words, can you have some albums that are just kept local and others that are uploaded to iCloud. It’s also not clear yet as to whether Photos will continue in the multiple-library tradition so some of us can do what we do with iTunes and have a local version (big library) and a cloud version.

      Also unclear is what features and functionality from Aperture will be brought into Photos. Apple is really poorly communicating here on what pros should expect, and whether they need to start migration of projects to Lightroom or if Photos will meet their needs.

      1. I think you’re a little confused.

        The entire photo library will be maintained in iCloud. An anLogy would be the way IMAP works.

        The library is accessible from all of your devices through the Photos app as well as online through iCloud.com (IIRC).

        If you want to keep individual photos on your local device you can “favorite” them by clicking a heart icon on each picture.

        In addition, and edits you make are stored on iCloud in the photo library, and the edits show up alongside the photos on every device.

        Hope that helps. And yes, I’m running the beta sod iOS 8 and Yosemite, although not all of the features are live right now.

        1. For clarity, you don’t have to let your devices save your photos to iCloud, the photos will just take up space on your device. If you do elect to have your photos on icloud, then they won’t take up space on your device unless you favorite them on your device (or very minimal space).

          I am tired of spending so much time trying to tame my iPhoto/Aperture library, and am looking forward to having my 50GB library on icloud.

          1. You’re running the beta of iOS 8 and Yosemite, but not the beta of Photos.

            You said I was confused, but then went to describe exactly what I said in regards to how Photos will work in terms of cloud/local.

            Like iTunes or IMAP, items can be stored local; like iTunes, but unlike IMAP, you can have items and functionality without ever having an account. Apple made it clear that Photos is iCloud enabled, but not iCloud dependent. It’s the one thing they were clear about, but unfortunately hasn’t been reported on clearly.

  3. I think people are skating to where the puck has been on this issue. I really think Apple expects to eliminate much of the need for manual photo editing with new computerized camera technology, and new automated photo management software. There will still be a need for professional level editing software, but it will be a much smaller niche than it is now, a niche better served by a third party. In other words, I think Apple plans to eliminate the need for much of what is out there right now in the way of “professional” photo editing software.

    1. Nope. Note even close. Nobody, not Adobe or anyone else has ever come remotely close to offering auto-editing functionality that anybody could use professionally, or even as as a serious user. Instagram filter crap may be fun/fashionable, but if anything these people are graduating into higher levels of editing more so than the tools are becoming more advanced.

        1. The problem is that it’s not even remotely close. Apple has never violated that rule anywhere close to this, and this isn’t an area of core expertise like it is with many other companies. Furthermore, if Apple was anywhere even a level below remotely close we would see something already in the filters and such for iOS 8.

          1. Are you aware of the camera software in present iPhone and iPads? I’m not talking about eliminating the need for professional, artistic photo editing, which is a very small niche market. I’m talking about the larger portion of the market for photo editing software that addresses correcting mistakes. Fixing exposure levels, fixing saturation and hues, regulating sharpness, eliminating red-eye type artifacts. If a human being can recognize these things as errors to be fixed then sufficiently developed camera software can too, and without human intervention or even awareness. This “pro-sumer” area is where I think Apple has been making huge strides, and I believe it is the vast majority of the current market for apps like Aperture.

            There will still be a market for artistic editing, like applying filters and styles, masking, cropping, and artistically modifying exposure, sharpness, hue, and saturation, but that will be a much smaller market, and frankly, the return on investment probably isn’t there. Those are very complex apps. How much Apple software engineering resource should be expended to serve a half million users? Apple is not a niche-oriented company anymore.

            1. “I’m not talking about eliminating the need for professional, artistic photo editing, which is a very small niche market.”
              I am part of the “very small inch market”, although the size of that is not defined. I suspect it is bigger than you think.

              I will say this: automated editing, for the lack of a better term is a time waster. If you need any editing that is going to take more than 3 minutes, you go to Photoshop or in my case Pixelmator.

              You will dink around longer with the preset filters than they are worth. If you have any knowledge of photo editing at all, you won’t likely even bother to investigate.

              I could be wrong, but ….

            2. “Apple is not a niche-oriented company anymore.” And if there is a long term danger to the company, that is it.
              Good content whether it is print, web, video, whatever comes from the niche market creators, not from the Facebook kiddies who fancy themselves as great artists because they discovered a filter that 146 million people already knew about. They believe all history began the second they are born.

            3. “Are you aware of the camera software in present iPhone and iPads? “

              Yes, and I’ve worked in this field for many years including working for a developer that specialized in this.

              Crap filters are fashionable today, but actual auto-improving photos is a long way away.

              Digital photography (and film before that) has gone through cycles of evolution that remain constant. That is to say that consumers graduate. They learn and they want to do better. The number of people using what was considered pro-tools for niche use is increasing and has been for a long time. The tools themselves are getting more sophisticated, but people are learning them.

              ” If a human being can recognize these things as errors to be fixed then sufficiently developed camera software can too, and without human intervention or even awareness.”

              I have a photo with my two brothers, Tim and Tom. Remove Tim. You can’t, because you don’t know which one is Tim, and neither can a one-click button. Worse than that though, a one-click button can’t clearly define where Tim begins and ends, nor exactly what color Tom should be or whether those specks are dust or stars that you want in the photo. I could go on and on here…

              The gap between one-click crap filters and prosumer-level tools is much greater than you realize and the number of people wanting to improve their photos beyond one-click crap filtering is growing and will always grow as people graduate from the experience of simple one-clicking.

              Don’t believe me… fine, but there’s a reason why RAW exists and why Apple itself believes its existence is so vital that of what little information they’ve provided about Photos.app, one thing they’ve been clear about is that it will support RAW.

              RAW is the exact opposite of one-click filtering.

  4. I will be happy as long as never again have to physically plug my iPhone into my Mac to move photos to it. That is rapidly becoming dinosaur and I don’t want to deal with the hassle. I just want to open the Photos app on my Mac and be able to access every photo I’ve taken, archive the ones that I want to keep, and delete any ones that I don’t need to have on my phone or iPad any more.

    ——RM

    1. And I am different in that I want them primarily on my Mac. If you have any significant number of pictures and have them catalogued in any way that makes sense, then its too many for an iOS device.

      I am a control freak and proud of it. I want a “master” machine that controls the content of all the others, and that will always be the Mac.

      The problem that I have now with any cloud app is that you spend more time stopping the damn thing from resynchng everything to all devices. That’s my huge irritation with iCloud. Love Apple, but they and their systems always operate as if they “know better” Wrong. I am the user and I want an easy way to control where my content is and when its done. Period (although I guess thats a meaningless word these days)

  5. I really REALLY hate the whole cloud concept being pushed on us.
    I selectively use the cloud (Evernote, Dropbox), but I do NOT want my photos up there. Sheesh – when you can buy a 3TB external drive for a couple hundred bucks now, I fail to see the problem with local storage.
    But my main concerns are that accessing photos from the cloud is SLOW, and uploading is wayyy slower. Not everyone has cheap, fast internet access, and virtually all of us here in Australia have data caps.
    So I go on a shoot with my 15 MPixel DSLR and pop off say 200 shots (a very lean shoot, that). But at approx 25MB per shot, that is 5GB right there. So apart from taking forever to upload (hours) I’ve also blown my monthly data cap od 2GB on my 3G connection. If I do it at home, where I have 100GB per month counting both up and downloads, once I start doing any half serious post-production editing, waiting for every upload and download, I’ve blown my cap again.
    No thanks – no photos in the cloud for this little black duck!

    1. Exactly! And the same goes for anything that involves streaming, like music. I have neither the data allowance, nor anything like a fast, ubiquitous data network available anywhere that would allow me to access music or photos at any time I wanted.
      For example, if I was in my local pub, and wanted to show someone a photo I’d recently taken, it would be impossible if I relied on the cloud, as there is no network available, not even for phone calls.
      When I can connect to a high-speed data network anywhere in the UK, with unlimited data allowance, then this sort of technology might be worth having.

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