updated 07:51 pm EDT, Fri June 27, 2014
Apple planning comprehensive replacement for iPhoto, may have some 'pro' features
In the wake of Friday's earlier announcement that it has ceased development of Aperture, Adobe has moved quickly to further reassure users of the pro photo management and editing program that it is working with Apple to offer a transition path, that it plans a "rich roadmap" for future Lightroom development and that it is "doubling down" on its existing and future products for OS X and for iOS. Lightroom 5, Adobe's Aperture alternative, is available as a standalone app or as part of a Creative Cloud subscription.
Currently, Adobe is offering both Lightroom and Photoshop together in a "photographer's bundle" for $120/year. Lightroom alone is still offered on a "perpetual" license for $100, but does not include upgrades, cloud storage space or any of the other extras included in the subscription version. Aperture was only ever offered as a standalone product, originally costing $500 in 2005 but eventually lowered to $80 once the Mac App Store opened. Its last major upgrade came in 2010.
"If you are an Aperture or iPhoto customer looking for change, check out our new Creative Cloud Photography plan announced last week, or our standalone Lightroom app for your desktop as alternatives," Adobe said in a statement. "Put simply we're doubling down on our investments in Lightroom and the new Creative Cloud Photography plan and you can expect to see a rich roadmap of rapid innovation for desktop, web and device workflows in the coming weeks, months and years."
"We also continue to invest actively on the iOS and OSX platforms, and are committed to helping interested iPhoto and Aperture customers migrate to our rich solution across desktop, device and web workflows," the statement went on to say. Adobe recently introduced a mobile version of Lightroom for iPad, alongside several touch-oriented apps to assist Photoshop and other CS software users who need some level of mobile functionality, or want to use devices like the iPad as part of the creative process. It has also been iterating Lightroom and its CS software in a continuous process since moving to a primarily subscription-based model for its pro software.
Apple, for its part, has only said that it plans to phase out its widely-used iPhoto software with a successor app known as Photos. While it has been mum on specific features, the forthcoming Photos is intended to work across both iOS and OS X, and is likely intended to offer a comprehensive management and editing solution for casual users.
However, Apple has also said that engineers formerly working on Aperture will be reallocated to the Photos project, offering some hope that Photos will have some "power user" features alongside the more consumer-level tools. Apple has a history of including some more advanced features in iPhoto for those who needed them, though it always stayed firmly within the bounds of casual or amateur photography use.
The company might also consider offering a "Photos Pro" version to cater to creative pros and Aperture users if enough demand is demonstrated. The company has also said that updates will keep Aperture compatible with current systems and OS X Yosemite when it comes out, allowing those who rely on its workflow a chance to transition to alternatives over time.