iPhoto '09: Wither Aperture?

Apple's announcement of iPhoto '09 has most people attending Macworld Expo in a lather over its stunning new features. But there's a segment of the Mac population that isn't exactly thrilled with iPhoto's ever expanding feature set – Aperture owners.

iPhotos ‘09: Wither Aperture?

Apple's announcement of iPhoto '09 has most people attending Macworld Expo in a lather over its stunning new features. But there's a segment of the Mac population that isn't exactly thrilled with iPhoto's ever expanding feature set – Aperture owners.

You see, Aperture ($199) is marketed as Apple's professional image management software and its puny little brother iPhoto (free with any Mac) is getting all the attention. In fact, since migrating to Aperture over two years ago, iPhoto has received two major updates ('08 and '09) while Aperture has had one and a half smaller updates.

Aperture owners are now lusting after cool features like faces and places which are only available in iPhoto '09. Several Aperture pros that I spoke to here at Expo are seriously considering switching from Aperture to iPhoto '09 for its new facial recognition and geotagging features.

There is some good news though. Sources I spoke with here in San Francisco told me to "cool my jets." Apparently the Aperture team is diligently working on a major update to Aperture (tentatively called version 3) that will ship well before the summer. Word is that Aperture 3 will inherit most of the new features of iPhoto '09 and then some. In fact, sources tell me that it's so close to iPhoto '09 that it may be called Aperture '09.

While that all sounds great, I can't really afford to wait until the summer, I'll be switching to iPhoto '09 as soon as it starts shipping at the end of the month. Apple would be well served to ensure that the faces and places metadata is portable between Aperture and iPhoto, so that users bouncing between the two don't lose their investment in time.

Apple needs to stop treating its "professional" applications as second class citizens. Update them first, then let the features trickle down to the consumer titles. Pros shouldn't have to wait for features to "trickle up." Mac OS X sorely needs true system-wide support for Aperture, Mail's "add to iPhoto" is the only option for photos and using Aperture photos and albums for desktop pictures and screen savers is a kludge at best.

Fear not Aperture owners, help is on the way.

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