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Apple to end support for Aperture

apps Updated: Jun 30, 2014 16:20 IST

In a brief statement, the company said that it will stop updating and developing the affordable professional photo-editing software when the next version of OSX -- Apple's desktop operating system -- and its supporting apps are launched.

"With the introduction of the new Photos app and iCloud Photo Library, enabling you to safely store all of your photos in iCloud and access them from anywhere, there will be no new development of Aperture," Apple said. "When Photos for OS X ships next year, users will be able to migrate their existing Aperture libraries to Photos for OS X."

During its World Wide Developers Conference earlier this month, Apple focused heavily on photography and the need to offer consumers a new way of saving, sharing, sorting and editing images, and the statement suggests that what it's got up its sleeve will offer some of the functionality that was built into Aperture.

For those that don't know, Aperture allows users to edit images, adjusting exposure, color balance, skin tones, etc. It also has a host of manipulation tools and was a great application for sorting through large batches of images and helping to keep track of numerous albums, projects or types of images. And at $79.99 was affordable for enthusiasts and professionals alike.

Apple isn't axing Aperture completely. When the next version of OSX (Yosemite) becomes available to download, so will a compatibility patch so that existing Aperture users will be able to launch the app, but that will be the final update. And while the next version of OSX might have one or two more image-editing and classification tools that should fill an Aperture-shaped void for hobbyists, that might not be the case for pro users.

Indeed, following its initial statement, Apple also confirmed that it would help Aperture users simply migrate their files to Adobe Lightroom -- Aperture's closest direct rival. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, Adobe used the announcement to underline its own support to Mac-using photographers.

And while Lightroom is also a very good pro-level application, unlike Aperture, it's not accessible as a one-off payment. Instead, users must sign up to Adobe's creative cloud platform and its monthly subscription model. However for $9.99 (€12.29) a month, those that sign up also get access to Photoshop and the ability to use both applications as iPhone and iPad apps.