Apple has announced they are retiring their photo editing tool Aperture along with iPhoto, impacting millions of both professional and amateur photographers that work on the Mac platform. Professional users will likely be moving to Photoshop or Photoshop Lightroom as a result. While the Apple products will still continue to run, there will not be future versions of the applications, and new development work on them is stopping.

Apple has announced a new tool, Photos for OS X, releasing the following statement about their strategy: “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. When Photos for OS X ships next year, users will be able to migrate their existing Aperture libraries to Photos for OS X.” This creates many questions, as Apple is trying to serve both consumers, who currently use iPhoto, and professionals, who use Aperture, with a single application. This would be like Adobe consolidating their consumer product Photoshop Elements, Photoshop Lightroom, and the core Photoshop application all into one.

The new Photos for OS X is heavily integrated into i Cloud, and will allow users to more easily share files among devices. While some editing capabilities are included, they have not yet been fully announced.

While Apple had originally grown its company by providing integrated tools and a platform loved by designers, digital artists, photographers and other creative professionals, the company is now focused heavily on iPhone, iPad, and iPods. The Mac products and applications are appearing to be a lesser focus for the company. For the time being, Apple has indicated that they are continuing to develop video and motion graphics products Final Cut pro and Logic Pro. Yet Apple is showing that it is focused on opportunities that scale to the largest possible audience, and the niche of providing tools for creative professionals is being left to companies like Adobe.

Professionals may also need to endure higher prices, as Adobe will have a near-monopoly on high-end digital imaging with their Photoshop products. Apple’s competition had previously caused Photoshop Lightroom prices to be dropped, and without this competitive pressure, Adobe will be free to raise their prices, as professionals will lack other digital alternatives.

Aperture users being left behind can benefit from the many Photoshop courses offered at American Graphics Institute, including regularly scheduled and private Photoshop retouching training classes and Lightroom courses.


Apple discontinues Aperture, users migrate to Photoshop