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OT: = Aperture X

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Robert Gilman
OT: = Aperture X
on Jun 28, 2014 at 4:59:57 pm

(Slightly OT but it is a topic with impacts for this forum)

I think a lot of the angst about the "death of Aperture" misses the bigger picture of how Apple is approaching its media-related apps.

When I look at video post (FCPX/iMovie) and audio creation (LPX/GarageBand), I see the following patterns:

1) The code-base and the UI share a lot in each pair. Indeed, it looks like the code-base is built for the pro version and then the consumer version is supplied with a simplified UI and feature set. LPX/GarageBand take this even further with the default UI/feature set in LPX being quite GarageBand-like. If you want the full features of LPX, you need to switch them on in the Advanced tab of preferences – but they are all there. None of the professional power was lost going to LPX.

2) The price of the pro version has dropped significantly in the past few years. This fits with a general trend of lower-priced software, and for Apple, increasingly free software.

When I apply these patterns to Apple's statement that it is "ceasing development of its Aperture and iPhoto apps and will replace them both with the previously-announced Photos for OS X app when it ships next year," what I see is:
1) On the price question, Apple decided that dropping the price of Aperture to, say, $29.99 to be in line with the kind of price drops elsewhere wasn't worth it from a revenue point of view and they were better off dropping it to zero. With a zero price there was no need to offer two distinct apps, so both iPhoto and Aperture are getting rolled into
2) will include all the pro capabilities under the hood that Aperture has (at least after a few updates – like the FCPX pattern) but it will ship with a simplified UI turned on by default.

Take a close look at and be sure to zoom in all the way. The 'Edit' panel on the right looks a lot like a UI revision of Aperture's Adjustment panel. Notice particularly the 'Add' button at the upper right. This suggest that the adjustments displayed in the photo are only a subset of what's available, just as in Aperture.

Likely nobody not under NDA knows for sure and there are many months to go before Photos for OSX ships, but as I see it, the data we do have supports the idea that will be as sophisticated as Aperture plus will provide a seamless photo-related experience across all of Apple's devices and a common photo library for many 3rd-party apps.

It could just be a real step forward – for video editors as well as others.


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John Davidson
Re: OT: = Aperture X
on Jun 28, 2014 at 6:06:58 pm

While I personally love Aperture, it certainly chugs on big databases and management of photos was and is clunky. Vaults and folders and albums and etc - then they brought in integration with iPhoto which made it even more confusing. I think ultimately this is a good thing. My needs are predominantly dodge tool, skin smoothing, blur, blemish removal, levels, raw fine tuning/sharpening, and publishing. Probably (hopefully) most of those will be included in Photos - but as you say, if not they'll come in updates later.

I'm very pleased with the whole upload everything to the cloud idea. I've been uploading everything to iCloud photo streams anyways, so I see the promise of how it can work well. Let's hope it's open for 3rd party plugin developers.

And if this new generation of Apple apps loses the 'i' in front everything, that's great.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.

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Gary Huff
Re: OT: = Aperture X
on Jun 29, 2014 at 2:00:36 am

[John Davidson] "And if this new generation of Apple apps loses the 'i' in front everything, that's great."


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Douglas K. Dempsey
Re: OT: = Aperture X
on Jun 30, 2014 at 7:25:10 pm


Doug D

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Mitch Ives
Re: OT: = Aperture X
on Jun 29, 2014 at 2:33:12 am

Not sure where you got the info that you're basing your theory on, but I certainly hope you're right on all accounts...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill

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Robert Gilman
Re: OT: = Aperture X
on Jun 29, 2014 at 3:06:43 am

[Mitch Ives] "Not sure where you got the info that you're basing your theory on, but I certainly hope you're right on all accounts..."

Thanks ... I hope so too :)

As for where I got the info:
Alex4D (see has done a lot to show the common code-base for FCPX/iMovie. For LPX/Garageband, the similarities between them are pretty apparent if you look at both of them.
Drop in software prices I take as common knowledge.

The rest just builds on those patterns and what Apple has said.

BTW, I'm not the only one saying this sort of thing. Take a look at

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Gary Huff
Re: OT: = Aperture X
on Jun 29, 2014 at 2:22:35 pm

[Robert Gilman] "the similarities between them are pretty apparent if you look at both of them."

Yeah, I never understood why certain people never wanted to admit that iMovie and FCPX share code. I recall some earlier posts that said they were entirely different beasts. And yet, FCPX can import iMovie projects, and now the differences between them are even more slight.

I would think Apple would eventually merge the two. Perhaps iMovie for iOS and FCPX for OSX. Makes sense, one team for one app. If you don't want the advanced features, you never have to use them.

Of course, they would require FCPX going free or dropping heavily in price, so perhaps there will always be two different apps.

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Marcus Moore
Re: OT: = Aperture X
on Jun 30, 2014 at 2:20:43 pm

Gary- the reason people didn't want to admit it was because it wasn't true. FCPX and iMovie were two entirely different codebases with no common code. Visually similar, yes. FCPX importing iMovie projects, yes. But I can import Photoshop files into Pixelmator, so I'm not sure that's a hard and fast indicator of anything.

So that was absolutely true up until the release of iMovie 10 last October. iMovie was rewritten, after which it contained hidden/walled-off versions of both FCPX and Motion.

We'll have to see how this new thing plays out after release- if it's actually able to walk the line between simple consumer functionality and deeper toolsets.

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Bill Davis
Re: OT: = Aperture X - Hints at the WWDC session videos
on Jun 30, 2014 at 6:04:05 pm

I think it's becoming apparent that Apple is doing the same thing with Aperture that it did with the FCP to FCP X conversion. Which is as they develop new CORE technology - they decide that if the old app can't leverage that properly or efficiently, they're willing to start over with a new approach that does.

There is a good bit of discussion on some of the Photo sites about the tech demos at the recent WWDC - particularly around Apples PhotoKit enhancements in areas such as new Apple RAW processing APIs that allow photo manipulation metadata to be generated, stored and called not just inside the app, but at the OS level as well.

It's Apple building a LOT of image processing goodness into Yosemite that developers can then leverage in their applications.

And perhaps, realizing that the old style app code isn't well suited to taking efficient advantage of the new stuff that's possible today.


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