A Chinese proverb states "One foot cannot stand on two boats." Apple tried this for some time with Aperture, their professional photography workflow app, and with iPhoto, their simple viewer and editor. In my opinion, they did neither very well. I never understood why you have to bloat your hard drive with duplicates of photos (iPhoto). And Aperture never really was able to compare with Adobe's Lightroom - an amazing app that began as a kind of "let's see what we can do" project conjured by the company's in-house photographers that sat in Adobe's think tank until the day Apple announced Aperture. Today, Apple announced the end of Aperture, as we know it. Both Aperture and iPhoto will be replaced with one app aimed at the middle ground. This may indeed be an admission of failure but it may just as well represent an astute awareness of the direction that photography has taken in the past several years: technologies that were formerly available only to professionals willing to wield medium format cameras on fixed tripods (scene shift to Ansel Adams in Yosemite) who were willing to spend hours in the darkroom dodging and burning, are now miniaturized into pocketable consumer cameras highlighted by the surge of the new mirror-less camera format. Many of these features can even be found on common smart phones.
Is Apple making the right decision?
"I'm a bit surprised that this announcement is taking ANYONE by surprise. My surprise is that it took Apple this long to kill Aperture. Making some of Aperture's functionality more accessible (as Photos) will serve more consumers and in the long run, make Apple more money."
Maybe. In the meantime, the rest of us have Lightroom. And Adobe does not appear to be standing still. They recently launched an iPad version that manages to dumb down an incredibly complex workflow program into a simple photo viewer and editor, while keeping the advanced features that pro's would expect - all synchronized seamlessly from their Lightroom catalogs on their computers, directly to the iPad.
Pretty nifty stuff. I like where this is all headed.*
* But so do others. Currently, over 5 million new photos are posted to the internet each day, more than any individual could view in an entire lifetime. Better hone up on the basics of composition!