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Apple is definitely, finally, killing off Aperture for sure this time…

Apple Aperture

Development on Aperture officially ended in June 2014, but there had been signs long before then that Apple was growing tired of its professional photo organising and editing application. Lightroom was forging ahead with more and more advanced editing tools while Aperture’s updates were becoming more and more sporadic.

Now, in an announcement on Apple’s support site, the company says the next version of its operating system, the follow up to the current Mojave release, will not be compatible with Aperture. Until now, Aperture has been able to keep stumbling along with each new OS release, but we understand the last vestiges of 32-bit code will be removed in the new OS, leaving Aperture unable to run.

It’s a sad epitaph for a program many Mac fans felt was better than Adobe Lightroom, certainly from an organisational perspective, and one that would certainly have been on our list of the best photo editing software.

In the same technical bulletin, Apple does give help and advice on how to migrate Aperture libraries to its own more beginner-orientated Photos software or its one-time arch rival Lightroom. For Aperture fans, it's a bit like being advised on how to swap from a Ferrari to a Ford pickup.

Do you wish Lightroom could do this?

Lightroom is regarded by most as the bee’s knees for photo organisation, but there are still some clunky or missing features that may never be addressed:

  • Currently, photos grouped (stacked) in one Lightroom Collection are not grouped in another. Wouldn’t it be great if photos were grouped globally so that you could always find raw and JPEG image versions together, or all virtual copies and externally-edited versions?
  • Even if Lightroom could do this, it would also need a system for changing the top picture (or ‘pick’) in each group, and it doesn’t have this option.
  • And wouldn’t it be great if Folders and Collections were NOT two completely different organisational systems in two completely different panels? Why can’t you combine the two and have Projects, say, as containers for your photos and albums within those?

What’s sad about the final demise of Aperture is that it did all of these things. It’s not about Apple versus Lightroom, or about Apple versus the rest, it’s about great software design being lost for ever (boo!).

Read more:

The best Adobe Photography Plan deals for Photoshop CC and Lightroom
Crash course: Lightroom Classic CC for complete beginners

Rod Lawton

Rod is the Group Reviews editor for Digital Camera World and across Future's entire photography portfolio. Previously he has been Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar. He has been writing about digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. 

Rod's near-encyclopedic knowledge of cameras both old and new makes him an invaluable resource, whether we need to ask a question about transparencies or the latest X-Trans sensor. He owns all manner of cameras, from Nikon DSLRs through Olympus, Sony and Fujifilm bodies, and on any given day you'll see him using kit from just about every manufacturer.