Aperture, Apple's pro software for cataloging and editing photos, is being put out to pasture. The move is indicative of what many see as the company's continuing drift away from robust, capable software. But there probably won't be many tears shed for good ol' Aperture, which always seemed to be running an uphill battle.
While Aperture was a wonderful professional resource for many years, it's never been something the majority of iPhone owners need. That became more true than ever with the announcement of Apple's Photos app in OS X Yosemite, a far more feature-filled replacement for the consumer-facing iPhoto, which as of today is also effectively dead.
Photos will no doubt integrate some of Aperture's main attractions, like more adjustment options, slathered with a heavy smear of Apple's trademark simplification and automation. It's also a chance to offer one completely modernized, seamlessly iCloud-integrated app. In other words, casual photographers won't even notice that it's gone. And frankly, neither will most pros.
For professionals and dedicated hobbyists, Aperture was never a bad piece of software. It was, though, in direct competition with Adobe, the digital photo editing mainstay, and its Lightroom app. Both options had their strengths, and for years it mostly came down to personal preference.
But as Apple shifted heavily toward its mass-market devices and software, pro apps like Final Cut Pro and Aperture gathered dust (while Aperture has received a steady trickle of bug fixes and tweaks over the last few years, its last truly significant update came in 2010). While Final Cut Pro, a revolutionary product in its own right, had enough of a dedicated user base to merit a complete re-build in Final Cut Pro X, Aperture just never garnered the same enthusiasm.
Meanwhile, Adobe has consistently, aggressively refined Lightroom and its entire Creative Suite. Not only did the company have integration going for them—Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop harmonized in a way Aperture just couldn't compete with—Adobe's launch of Creative Cloud subscriptions, which bundles all of its software together, made it harder than ever to justify purchasing Aperture if you are already paying for Photoshop, et al. Especially knowing that Adobe is committed to regular updates and new tie-ins such as mobile apps. It's hard to see why anyone would have started using Aperture at this point, and understandable why so many people had abandoned it in recent years.In the end, sad though it may be to lose an option, it's best to think of Aperture's farewell as a mercy kill. It had a good run, but better to give it an honorable death then leave it to languish in software purgatory any longer.