Sometimes Apple creates solutions, sometimes it creates problems
In this penultimate installment of The Feature Thief, where we've been dissecting the corpses of several of Apple's self-created and then self-killed or revamped software apps, we thought we'd take a look at the latest victims. Aperture and iPhoto are the apps that have suffered most recently at Apple's sometimes-brilliant but generally ruthless tendency to kill off popular apps in favor of a bigger overall idea. Both programs are still alive and kicking, but they are like the old man greeting the baby New Year: suddenly graced with the realization of its own mortality.
Apple's new photography app is superb
Ditch iPhoto, ditch Aperture, ditch Light -- okay, no, let's not go crazy here. You should probably keep Lightroom if you have it and definitely also Photoshop or Pixelmator. Hold on to those because Apple's new Photos app does not replace them -- but it is so very good that you'll find yourself using them less. You may also find yourself taking more photos. You just won't realize that the first time you open up Photos. This free app, included in the new OS X 10.10.3, is a very bald, white, minimalist application that initially takes some time to get going.
Early 2015 MacBooks, MacBook Pros get separate version
Apple on Thursday has updated OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 (only) with a new security update. While details are not available, the update could possibly be the first to address an https vulnerability known as FREAK, which can compromise secure web browsing on a variety of systems and applications. In addition, the company has issued an update for iPhoto to further help with the eventual transition to Photos, as well as clear up a few bugs.
First public release of Photos does not replace iPhoto, Aperture
A little over a week after the second developer beta of OS X 10.10.3, which includes the first public peek at the forthcoming Photos app, Apple has made a new version public for pre-registered beta testers. Build 14D87p is the first public beta of 10.10.3, and includes the Photos app for public testing for the first time (developers had been able to to use the application in the previous two betas). The public version appears to be identical to the second developer beta, numbered 14D87h.
New program promises delight for iPhoto users, falls short on pro features
After only the vaguest of descriptions and a single preview image, the first beta of OS X 10.10.3 has arrived, and with it comes a brand-new application from Apple. Photos is intended to be the successor to iPhoto and Aperture, but in its initial (and not yet released) first form, it can be said that it mostly borrows Aperture's looks and speed with large libraries, but not a lot else from Apple's former high-end photo manager. Fans of iPhoto, however, are likely to like this -- and there might even be a little gift for developers in Photos as well.
Skills that will likely be needed in replacement Photos program
As you may or may not know, iPhoto is being phased out and eventually replaced with an all-new program from Apple called Photos (related to, but distinct from, the Photos app already on your iOS device). Some people love iPhoto (like me), some people hate it (irrationally), but the polarizing effect (not the last of the camera puns you'll be reading today) of the software is mostly down to Apple's poor ability to help people understand it. We'll fix that with a few general and specific tips.
Joined by Camera Raw 8.7
Adobe has released the final incarnation of Lightroom 5.7, an update to its photography workflow software. The most important addition is a promised migration tool for people switching from Aperture or iPhoto, though it does not bring in all data. Apple is slowly discontinuing Aperture and iPhoto in favor of a new Photos app for OS X Yosemite and iOS in 2015, and while Photos will be able to import Aperture libraries more fully, the program may not provide the professional-level features of something like Lightroom.
Forthcoming Photos may not meet pro needs, at least at first
Following Apple's decision to cease development on its own pro photo organizer and editor Aperture in favor of a forthcoming hybrid photo manager called Photos, Adobe has published a new guide intended to help current Aperture users switch and migrate their images and projects to Lightroom, its own pro-level image manager. While Photos, with its support of third-party plug-ins, may grow into a program that both pros and amateurs can use, its mission is aimed more at "prosumer" users.
Software has struggled in competition with Lightroom
Development of Aperture has halted, and is instead shifting to the editing tools in OS X Yosemite's Photos app, Apple has announced. Photos -- which will actually miss the launch of Yosemite, and ship in early 2015 -- will include an option to import Aperture libraries. Compatibility updates should let Aperture run in Yosemite, but no further support is planned. Apple and Adobe are cooperating to help some users migrate to Lightroom.
Will consolidate management, editing and cloud storage in cross-platform app
At today's WWDC keynote, Apple announced a significant consolidation of its Photos management app for iOS, and talked briefly about how it will eventually replace iPhoto with a new Photos app for Mac sometime next year. Photos, which is now primarily a management app with very limited editing capability, appears to be taking on iPhoto's features in an overhauled UI format on both platforms.
Apple updates Digital Camera Raw Compatibility plug-in for iPhoto, Aperture
On Thursday, Apple updated its Digital Camera RAW plug-in for Aperture 3 and iPhoto '11 that adds compatibility with supported and new RAW camera output formats. The latest version, 5.04, adds six new cameras to its support list for users running OS X 10.8.5 or later and recent versions of Aperture (3.4.5 or higher) and iPhoto (v9.4.3 or higher). The update adds support for the Fujifilm X-E2 and X-T1, the Nikon D3300 and Nikon 1 AW1, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 and the Pentax K-3. The update is now available through the Mac App Store's Software Update.
Domain names mostly connected to Aperture, FaceTime, other apps
Apple has acquired another batch domains from ICANN, reports note. The latter this week opened up access to more generic top-level domains; Apple secured 16 .camera and .photography addresses, specifically one of each for names including "aperture," "apple," "facetime," "imovie," "iphoto," "isight," "photobooth," and "retina." Apple is presumably holding the domains to prevent squatters from exploiting them.
Apps share similar functions
The new iOS 7 version of iPhoto appears to have stolen icon art from a third-party app, Pic Stitch, users note. The icon for iPhoto's "Web Journal" option (located under the Share menu) appears to be virtually identical to the Pic Stitch app icon except that it's rotated and the colors are swapped. The developer of Pic Stitch, Big Blue Clip, has yet to respond to inquiries.
RAW update makes minor tweaks
In the wake of OS X Mavericks' release, Apple has already posted three related software updates. The first is Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 4.09. The code adds iPhoto '11 and Aperture 3 support for Olympus' PEN E-P5 camera, and brings back lens correction for Sony RX100 photos. It also solves bad white balance for Nikon images edited by third-party apps.
Apps have yet to get iOS makeover
Updated icons for iPhoto and GarageBand within iOS' iCloud Storage Management settings hint that Apple is on the verge of updating the apps, notes AppleInsider. The icons have to be downloaded from Apple servers whenever someone enters the Storage Management panel, suggesting that Apple is laying the groundwork for the updated software. Visually the icons have been changed to adopt the flat, colorful design of iOS 7.
Adds one new camera, corrects lens and white balance issues, more
Alongside other OS X and security updates on Thursday, Apple also released updated drivers for Epson scanner and fax models, as well as a small update to its Digital RAW Compatibility file for iPhoto and Aperture. The RAW Compatibility update follows on the heels of the recently-released version 4.08, and adds support for only one camera, the Olympus PEN E-P5, but also restores lens correction to images shot by the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100, and addresses a white balance issue with some Nikon images modified by third-party apps.
On-screen prompt for downloads will appear on devices
As hinted at previously, Apple will be providing five best-selling creativity and productivity apps free to customers buying new iOS devices. The iWork suite, consisting of Keynote, Pages, and Numbers, along with iPhoto and iMovie will be available to download at no charge to anyone purchasing a new iPad, new iPhone, or 5th-gen iPod touch in the future.
Supports eight new models for Lion, Mountain Lion users
Apple on Thursday updated its compatibility file for cameras able to use the RAW format, lending support for new models to both iPhoto '11 and Aperture 3.x. The new version, 4.08, is the first update since late June and includes support for new or revised Canon, Fuji, Leica, Nikon, Pentax and Sony cameras. The update is only applicable to Lion (10.7) and Mountain Lion (10.8) users, and weighs in at 6.58MB.
Downtime in progress for several hours
Several of Apple's online services continue to be non-functional for some users after they went down at 12:30AM Eastern, according to Apple's system status tracker. Perhaps the most critical ones are iMessage and iCloud backup, but several other iCloud functions are also out. These include Photo Stream, Documents in the Cloud, and iPhoto Journals.
Several paid Apple apps included in first-time recommendations
An oddity in the latest iOS 7 beta suggests that Apple could make the iOS edition of iWork and/or several other of its apps free. The App Store's first-time recommendation window, which suggests Apple apps to download, is currently including the iWork apps -- Pages, Keynote, Numbers -- as well as several other paid titles, like iMovie, iPhoto, and GarageBand. The window normally only mentions free apps, such as iBooks and Find My iPhone.
Photo Stream, Facebook, Nikon P7700 Raw issues addressed
On Tuesday amidst a slew of small updates, Apple has posted new versions of its photo-management and editing software programs iPhoto (now at version 9.4.3) and Aperture (now at v3.4.4). Both are designed to address an handful of specific issues in each program, along with the usual stability and performance improvements. Both also require OS X 10.7.5 (for Lion users) or 10.8.2 (for Mountain Lion users) as a minimum. Apart from that, the two updates address entirely different areas to resolve known issues.
Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Sony cameras added or improved
Apple has released a Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update, version 4.02, for Aperture 3.x and iPhoto '11. The new version improves the compatibility of the two applications with a number of new camera models that take pictures in RAW format. Models from Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, and Sony are among those included in the update, which is just 5.04MB in size. The update works with the now-combined iPhoto and Aperture libraries, meaning only one update needs to be issued for users of both -- or either -- programs.
Safari update is for ML only, includes security fixes
[Update: details on Safari update added] Late on Thursday, Apple updated its two photo-oriented programs iPhoto and Aperture, to versions 9.4.2 and 3.4.2 respectively. Both share some commonalities in the updates, but Aperture in particular has addressed a number of issues and enhancements with the new version. In addition, the company issued a small, security-oriented update of Safari 6, which now at v6.0.2 (and currently only available from the Mac App Store) exclusively -- thus far -- for users of Mountain Lion 10.8.2 and higher.
Amazon finishes bringing service to major European markets
Amazon has expanded its Cloud Drive online storage service to two more countries in Europe, Spain and Italy, according to an announcement. As elsewhere, the service includes a free 5GB of storage; in the new regions, adding 20GB costs 8 euros per year. The expansion completes Amazon's coverage of the major European markets, following the UK, France, and Germany.
Bug fixes include Facebook, iOS syncing issues
Having issued a similar update for Aperture over the weekend, Apple on Monday updated iPhoto to version 9.4.1, which likewise acts as a general bug-fix update that improves the reliability of syncing with iOS devices through iTunes and also addresses issues with downloading and viewing photos synced with a Facebook album. In a related development, MacNN has learned that Apple is surveying customers on their use (or lack of use) of various features in iPhoto, including the ability to buy printed products.
Aperture, iPhoto get Mountain Lion compatibility
On top of today's other software updates, Apple has also pushed updates for Aperture, iMovie, and iPhoto. The Aperture and iPhoto updates notably add support for OS X Mountain Lion, which was launched earlier today. In the case of iPhoto, this means that sharing options now include Messages and Twitter.
Adds support for just two cameras
Apple has released a minor Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update for OS X, v3.14. The patch is smaller than most in fact, adding support for just two more cameras: the Canon Rebel T4i -- also known as the EOS 650D or the Kiss X6i -- and the Sony Alpha SLT-A37. Installing the software allows the cameras' RAW formats to be read in Aperture 3 and iPhoto '11.
Company violated OSM rules in original iPhoto release
Apple rectified missing credit to the OpenStreetMap Foundation with its most recent update of iPhoto for iOS, reports say. When the app was originally released in March, Apple left out attribution, despite it being a necessary condition of using OSM mapping data. The Foundation highlighted the problem in same blog post it used to point out Apple's adoption of OSM data.
iCloud, iOS links may be core elements
iPhoto '12 will be released for the Mac this summer, and carry heavy influence from the recently-launched iOS app, according to sources for a Dutch-language website, Apple Weetjes. This includes retouching functions, and the ability to quickly transfer photos from iOS devices running iPhoto. Users will also allegedly be able to publish an album to iCloud, replacing the current Mac software's option to publish a MobileMe gallery.
Google 'spring cleaning' targets mobile
Google on Friday detailed another round of sweeping consolidation that would drop even more of the servers it no longer considers vital. One Pass, its digital publication payment system, has been shuttered and its users transitioned to "other platforms." The implementation was intended to compete with Apple's own App Store publication rules and gave publishers as much as a 90 percent cut as well as access to subscriber details.
Makes rare backtrack on earlier code
Apple is pushing out two new patches to Mac users via Software Update. Of these the most critical is Java for OS X 2012-002, which actually replaces 2012-001, released earlier this week. Apple rarely outright removes an earlier update; 001 may have had a critical bug or security flaw that was somehow missed in a rush put out the code, which was meant to combat the Flashback Trojan.
Both minor updates, offer stability enhancements
Apple and Adobe both chose Thursday to offer minor updates to each company's most well-known photo-management programs. Apple has boosted iPhoto to v9.2.3, addressing a specific multiple-user bug and overall stability, while Adobe has issued the first Release Candidate of Lightroom 4.1, which fixes a number of issues including possible lost book layouts, performance in certain situations, and properly opening external apps for further editing.
RAW update adds Nikon D800 only
Apple has issued a rare minor update to its Digital Camera RAW Compatibility support for iPhoto '11 and Aperture 3, adding only a single camera model: the Nikon D800, announced in early February but only now finding its way to store shelves. The update, now at v3.1.1, will be available automatically through Software Update or users can download it directly from Apple's support site.
Pure downloads unmentioned
The $5 iOS version of iPhoto has hit 1 million users, Apple tells The Loop. The app has only been on sale since March 7th. Apple is also distinguishing between users and downloads; through iCloud, a single user can download an app multiple times.
Adds support for eight new cameras
Apple has posted an update for iPhoto '11 and Aperture 3 to add new camera compatibility. Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update v3.10 adds support for models from Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony and a total of eight new cameras. Notably missing from the list of compatible cameras is the Fujifilm X10, a well-reviewed mid-range camera we tested earlier this week. The update requires Snow Leopard 10.6.8 or OS X Lion 10.7.1 or later.
OpenStreetMap known to be used in iPhoto for iOS
Discoveries late Wednesday that Apple had dropped Google Maps data in iPhoto for iOS were reinforced Thursday after OpenStreetMap confirmed that its data was being used for the app. Information for at least non-US areas was being derived from the crowd-sourced mapping. While not said, any cosmetic changes were Apple's work, something it's allowed to do as long as it doesn't alter data.
iOS 5.1 posted quickly
As promised, Apple has posted iOS 5.1. The update adds both the promised Japanese support for Siri and the new iPad's voice dictation as well as features that had previously been leaked, such as the new lock screen that provides an always-available shortcut to the camera. Users now just have to swipe upwards from the home screen to launch the camera instead of double-tapping the home button and pressing once more.
Updates introduced alongside new iPad
Apple has finally brought iPhoto to the iPad, while introducing updates to the existing iMovie, iWork and GarageBand apps. The apps, introduced alongside the new iPad, have been reworked to take advantage of the third-generation tablet's 2048x1536 'Retina Display', which quadruples the pixel density from the 1024x768 display of the original iPad and iPad 2.
Supports new cameras from Nikon, Sony, Olympus
Apple has posted a new Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update, v3.9. The patch extends support for different RAW formats within Aperture 3 and iPhoto '11. Newly supported camera lines include Nikon's 1 J1, 1 V1, and CoolPix P7100, as well as Sony's NEX-5N, Alpha SLT-A65, and Alpha SLT-A77, and Olympus' PEN E-PL1s, PEN E-PL3, and PEN E-PM1.
Video codec caused crashes in Lion
Apple today updated iPhoto '11 to v9.2.1, a bugfix update the corrects a crashing and importing issue that appeared whenever there was an old 3ivx codec present when users upgraded iPhoto to v9.2. The update, which is only available via Software Update at present, fixes the issue without requiring users to remove the 3ivx codec, which resolved the issue for users prior to the update. The codec was most commonly installed on Mac systems via the Flip digital video recorder.
Also makes interface changes, bugfixes
Continuing a barrage of software updates, Apple has released a new version of iPhoto, 9.2. The software implements compatibility with iCloud, especially Photo Stream, which syncs and shares photos with iOS 5. Apple has also made some interface upgrades however, for instance adding swipe gestures to photos in the Magnify (1-up) view, and breaking off previously imported photos into a separate part of the Import window.
Adds Sony, Samsung, Panasonic cameras
Apple has posted Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 3.8, a new add-on for OS X Lion and Snow Leopard. The download expands the number of native RAW formats supported by iPhoto '11 and Aperture 3. RAW files represent unprocessed photo data, unlike the JPEGs many cameras default to.
iPhone 5 icon hints larger screen
Hints of the iPhone 5's real design may have come through an unusual source as a sighting in Apple's latest Photo Stream beta has shown an unusual icon. Rather than match the usual iPhone layout, it shows a device with a wide home button and considerably reduced blank spaces above and below the display, alluding to a bigger screen. The 9to5 capture nearly recalls the design of the Galaxy S II.
iCloud makes way toward fall launch
Apple has released new developer seeds for three upcoming Mac updates. The first is OS X 10.7.2, now in build 11C43. The iCloud Lion client has now been advanced to beta 9, while iPhoto 9.2 is in its third beta. Apple warns that installing the latter will replace any existing installation of iPhoto, and that beta 3 will not open libraries created by beta 1. The only way to revert iPhoto to an earlier version is to do a clean install of OS X and then install iPhoto again separately.
New versions incorporate iCloud syncing
On the heels of today's iCloud.com beta, Apple has released a new beta for iWork for iOS and a refreshed iPhoto for Mac that includes iCloud compatibility. The iWork updates will allow developers to sync documents begun on one iOS device onto another automatically (if desired), or onto the iCloud website -- where users can also edit documents, with the results automatically synced back to iOS devices.
Solves myriad glitches
Using the Mac App Store, Apple has released updates to the three apps in iLife '11: GarageBand, iMovie and iPhoto. In each circumstance the updates address underlying bugs instead of adding new features. GarageBand 6.0.4 for instance fixes problems with the Lesson Store not finishing downloads, and tempo-based effects slipping out of sync with the main tempo. Magic GarageBand project files should open properly in the tracks view.
Adds new cameras, quashes bugs
Apple today updated both their digital camera RAW compatibility for Leopard and Snow Leopard, as well as ProKit, the general updater for the company's "pro-class" software. ProKit has now been updated to version 7.0 for Snow Leopard 10.6.6 or later, and makes improvements along with fixing leaks and issues, including a bug in AppKit itself. The Digital RAW Compatibility Update is numbered as v3.7, and adds support for five new digital cameras to Aperture 3 and iPhoto '11.
Merged events now stay merged after sync
Apple today released a minor update to iPhoto, now at version 9.1.3, to correct an issue where merged events would spontaneously be split back into separate events when synched with an iOS device. The update is 106.29MB in size and is recommended for all iPhoto and iLife '11 users. It is now available either directly from Apple's Support Downloads area or through Software Update. It requires Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later.
iPhoto gets tweaks, bugfixes, new card themes
Apple has released a pair of software updates, most notably iPhoto 9.1.2. The patch adds new card themes, but primarily makes a number of bugfixes as well as some interface improvements. Some of the eliminated glitches include ones with the Zoom slider in Magnify view, toolbar auto-hiding in fullscreen mode, and the formatting of book, card and calendar themes.
Windows Phone 7 Connector adds Apple Lossless sync
Microsoft gave Mac users more parity with their Windows peers late Friday with the 1.1 update to Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac (free, App Store). The new version now lets Apple Lossless (ALAC) tracks sync to Windows Phone 7 or, likely, Zune HD devices. Those using the desktop Zune app on Windows already had Windows Media Audio support and thus an edge if they wanted higher quality sound.