If you blinked during Apple’s presentation yesterday, you could have missed it. There was a brief mention of an Aperture upgrade. Then there was nothing except the cries of many thousands of Aperture supporters.
A New Version of Aperture
Here’s the moment. The presentation isn’t about Aperture at all. It’s about the Mac Pro and some professionals in the movie, photography and music industry who use Apple’s pro applications on the new Mac Pro. The brief mention of a “new version of Aperture” happens around 35.38 minutes into the presentation as Lucas Gilman appears using the Mac Pro and Aperture. The only clue that Phil Schiller says about Aperture is that it was designed to take advantage of the incredible throughput of the Mac Pro.
Taken in context with the mention of Final Cut Pro, Aperture and Logic Pro, I get the impression that all of these apps were re-written. The screen in front of Gilman looks like Aperture in full screen view. The panels seem a bit thinner, but there are more bricks open than would be typical. They’re also on the right side instead of the left. Clues, or just a different setup for the photo? I’m guessing the latter. There’s no reason you couldn’t do the same thing with the current version of Aperture.
Aperture Upgrade to Version 3.5
Technically speaking, a new version of Aperture shipped yesterday. It was a point release instead of a major version. That sent a plethora of nay-sayers to cry that there is no major version of Aperture coming, that this is all we get.
I doubt it.
That’s because I don’t think a minor point release qualifies as a new version designed to take advantage of the incredible throughput of the Mac Pro. Here’s what Apple added in Aperture 3.5, though.
- Adds support for iCloud Photo Sharing, including the ability to post videos to shared photo streams and to have multiple subscribers contribute to a shared stream
- The Places feature now uses Apple maps to display photo locations
- New integration with SmugMug, with support for publishing and syncing galleries directly to a SmugMug account
- Adds support for iOS 7 camera filters applied to photos imported from iOS devices
- Fixes an issue that sometimes resulted in Retouch adjustments not being applied to exported images
- Addresses an issue that could cause the black and white points in Curves to shift incorrectly when using the eyedropper tools
- Fixes an issue that prevented caption data from being embedded correctly when exporting versions of some RAW file types
- Improves reliability when adding names to Faces
- Addresses an issue that could cause Aperture to stop responding after adjusting a very large panorama
- Fixes an issue that could prevent memory cards or hard disks from ejecting properly after import when clicking the Delete Items button
- Improves reliability of slideshows on a 15-inch Macbook Pro with Retina display
- Addresses an issue that could cause thumbnails to display incorrectly in the iLife Media Browser
- Videos up to three minutes long can now be shared to Flickr
- Captions instead of version names are now synced between Aperture and Facebook for newly-created albums
- Improves reliability when printing a light table
- Fixes an issue that could prevent adjusted images from being published to My Photo Stream
- Includes stability and performance improvements
Looking at the list, there are about four new features and the rest of the items are fixes or corrections to existing features. That doesn’t scream out as an Aperture upgrade designed to take advantage of the throughput of a new computer. That’s why I remain confident that a new Aperture upgrade is on the way – just not today.
That hasn’t stopped people from taking to various discussion boards whining that there is no new version of Aperture, though. I’m amazed that some folks are so easily upset over something as simple as an upgrade, though. They’re in agony because they think that Aperture 3.5 is all that Apple will deliver. Seriously?
Apple has delivered a great deal for Aperture users as free updates, rather than paid versions, since Aperture 3 was released. Free is good with me! I’ll take free over paid any day of the week. Considering that Mac OS X Mavericks and some other Mac apps are now free, I wouldn’t be totally surprised to see the pro apps turn up as free, either. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but Apple has more to gain by putting these apps out for free than it does for selling them for competitive pricing in their industry.
Think about it what Apple is really selling. You don’t pay for iOS with your iPhone or iPad. You pay for the experience. Updates to iOS are free. Updates to Apple iOS apps have been free, also. Apple is selling more than just hardware and software. Why not give users more potential reasons to embrace Apple by using software that is only available on its platform?
The past two major Aperture upgrades happened in February, but I think we may see Aperture 4 (or whatever Apple will call it) by the time the new Mac Pro ships in December.
The MacBook Pro Upgrade
As much as I’d like to have one of those new Mac Pro computers, my immediate needs are for a new laptop. My 2009 MacBook Pro is still chugging along with much greater performance than I expected of a 4+ year old computer, but it lacks some of the new features I want. More RAM, SSD drive, Thunderbolt, AirPlay, and the Retina display.
So that’s why I plopped down an order for a new 15″ MacBook Pro yesterday. The only thing that keeps it from being the very top of the line model is that I didn’t see a need to get a 1TB SSD instead of a 500GB SSD. Otherwise, it’s a nice little toy with more RAM than I can fit in my old system and some healthy internal channels to push my data around at much faster speeds than I’m getting now.
I’m still downloading the current Aperture upgrade, but I’ll let you know more once I’ve checked out the new features.