Apple WWDC, Photography, and Aperture

Apple WWDC 2014: Photos and iCloud

Apple WWDC 2014: Photos and iCloud

Photos had a prominent role in Apple's WWDC keynote today (jump to the 73 minute mark for the Photos discussion). Apple certainly has a focus on photography for iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. They are clearly thinking about consolidation and leveraging iCloud even more so all your Apple devices stay in sync.

So what about Aperture? No mention. Nothing. Nada. No mention about iPhoto either. It was all about a Photos app for Mac early next year. As with many things Apple, a lot of questions remain unanswered. What does this mean for Aperture? For iPhoto? Will Photos encompass them all? Will it use the same backend database that Aperture and iPhoto use today? Time will tell.

A question I get asked a lot is "Are you leaving Aperture?". Short answer, no. Aperture suits my needs and I can get my work done just fine in Aperture. Unless Apple says Aperture is end-of-life, I have no motivation to move. I am well-invested into Aperture's workflow and cataloging of images. I'm not going to switch just because Aperture is overdue for an update.*

The common comparison is Lightroom. Most of the time when I hear people talk about Lightroom – it can do ABC or XYZ – it's about post-processing. Aperture is a fine post-processor. So is Lightroom. So are other tools. They'll all get you to your final photo. 

However, post-processing is a portion of the equation when considering a switch of an asset manager. Metadata associated with my photos is very important to me. Transforming that to another asset manager is a major undertaking. And unless and until Aperture stops suiting my needs – or Apple flat out announces and end-of-life – I'm not going to switch. Especially not because of what Apple didn't say.

I'd rather spend that time and energy taking and making photos. 


* And yes, for the record, I think an Aperture update is overdue. The v3.4 and v3.5 releases brought under-the-covers changes more than anything else. I can only hope it's part of a longer play – you don't rebuild the engine if you're planning on dumping the car.