‘Apple Might as Well Get Rid of Aperture While They’re at It’

Yours truly, in my WWDC prelude piece:

To that end, here’s what I’d like to see: a ground up rewrite of iPhoto, designed as a client for an iCloud-centric photo library. You can keep all your photos on your Mac, but they can all be on iCloud too, and thus accessible from your iOS devices anywhere with a network connection. The goal should be to make it such that an iCloud-using iPhone or iPad user will never lose a photo because they’re lost or broken their device, nor should they ever feel the need to permanently delete photos just because they’ve run out of storage space on the device.

Apple might as well get rid of Aperture while they’re at it, and focus on making iPhoto good enough for everyone short of true professional photographers — most of whom, I think, have settled on Adobe Lightroom. The writing has been on the wall for a while. If Apple still sees the need to separate truly expert features from the basic features most people need, they could do something like make the new iPhoto free for all users, and sell “iPhoto Pro” as an in-app purchase.

One of the things I heard at WWDC is that the new Photos app for Mac was started under the name “iPhoto X”. I think they abandoned that name because it carried too much baggage. The whole situation had gotten too complicated. iPhoto for iOS was ambitious but ultimately a failure — too complicated, too fiddly.

Post-WWDC, the way I hope Photos for Mac plays out is not that Apple offers a “pro” upgrade, but rather that extensions allow for third-party developers to improve image editing in Photos for Mac in a similar way to how they will for Photos on iOS. Photos for Mac will likely never be a true professional tool like Aperture was or Lightroom is, but it could be much, much more than a simple library. It could — and should — be something that works well for serious enthusiasts (a.k.a. “prosumers”) in a way that iPhoto never did.

Friday, 27 June 2014