Aperture future in question as Apple axes bulk of team
Apple recently asked the engineering team behind its Aperture photo editing and management software to leave, Think Secret has learned. The move, which resulted in the departure of several engineers while others were transferred to different projects inside Apple, raises questions about the future of Aperture, Apple’s most heavily criticized and bug-ridden pro software release in recent years.
Sources familiar with Apple’s professional software strategy said they were not surprised by the move, describing Aperture’s development as a mess and the worst they had witnessed at Apple.
Aperture’s problems stem not from any particular area that can be easily remedied but rather from the application’s entire underlying architecture. In the run-up to Aperture’s November release last year, for example, sources report that responsibility for the application’s image processing pipeline was taken away from the Aperture team and given to the Shake and Motion team to fix as best they can. Some of those enhancements emerged in the recently released Aperture 1.1 update, which saw its release delayed for about two weeks as a result of the extra work needed to bring it up to spec.
In tandem with the 1.1 update, Apple dropped Aperture’s price tag from $499 to $299 and offered owners of version 1.0 a $200 coupon for the Apple Store. Industry watchers and users alike have viewed the price cut as a maneuver to stave off competition from Adobe’s forthcoming LightRoom software, a beta of which is available for Mac OS X users, and see the Apple Store coupon as a concession for early adopters who collectively appear to have been expecting more from Apple.
Perhaps the greatest hope for Aperture’s future is that the application’s problems are said to be so extensive that any version 2.0 would require major portions of code to be entirely rewritten. With that in mind, the bell may not yet be tolling for Aperture; an entirely new engineering team could salvage the software and bring it up to Apple’s usual standards.
Apple slashes Aperture team
Apple Computer has slashed the development team for Aperture, its professional image software for RAW-format work flow, the insider news Web site Think Secret has reported.
The team’s engineers have been absorbed by other departments or completely let go, according to the Web site.
The move is not entirely a surprise, as the software has seen a host of problems. Software glitches, such as an initial incompatibility with Intel-based Macs, have plagued Aperture since its release.
Apple was unavailable for comment.
Aperture was also challenged by Adobe’s release of comparable RAW-image work-flow software.
RAW is one of the image formats available on some advanced digital cameras. RAW images are large, usually uncompressed files that, unlike JPEGs, are not processed by the camera and retain all their original data, ideal for those who plan on editing their pictures with image-editing software because they often require special software to turn them into a more common format like TIFF or JPEG.
In February, Adobe began offering a beta version of Adobe Lightroom, Aperture’s chief competitor, for free. Before the Aperture 1.1 upgrade, many online-forum posts had reported that the beta version of Lightroom performed better than Apple’s pricier software.
In early April, Apple released Aperture 1.1, an upgrade that is compatible with both PC and Intel Macs. The price of Aperture was lowered from $499 to $299. Owners of the earlier version were offered a $200 coupon to the Apple Store, in addition to the free upgrade.
Apple also addressed many of the glitches with its April upgrade, but by then the Adobe Lightroom beta had been freely available for months.
The reported team change for Aperture could be a reaction to last week’s announcement that Adobe will be releasing Photoshop and Creative Suite on Mactel (Intel-based Mac) systems next year.
Adobe Lightroom and Aperture are both work-flow complements to photo-editing software, such as Photoshop.
애플 애퍼처 개발 팀 대폭 축소
애플 컴퓨터가 RAW 포맷의 워크플로우를 위한 전문가용 영상 관리 소프트웨어인 ‘애퍼처(Aperture)’ 개발팀을 큰 폭으로 축소했다고 싱크 시크리트(Think Secret)가 전했다.
이 웹사이트에 의하면 애퍼처팀의 엔지니어는 해고됐거나 다른 부문으로 흡수됐다고 한다. 이 소프트웨어는 그동안 적잖은 문제점이 드러나 이번 움직임이 그다지 놀랍지는 않다. 애퍼처는 원래 인텔 기반의 맥과 호환되지 않는 등 발표 당시부터 다양한 문제를 떠안고 있었다.
또한 어도비가 RAW 영상 워크플로우 소프트웨어를 발표해 애퍼처에 도전장을 내밀었다.
어도비는 2월에 애퍼처 최대의 라이벌인 ‘어도비 라이트룸(Adobe Lightroom)’의 베타판을 무상 공개했다. 애퍼처가 1.1로 업그레이드할 때까지, 수많은 온라인 게시판에는 라이트룸 베타판이 값비싼 애플의 소프트웨어보다 성능이 뛰어나다는 평이 자자했다.
애플은 4월 초, PC와 인텔 맥과도 호환이 가능한 애퍼처 1.1을 릴리즈했으며, 가격도 499달러에서 299달러로 인하했다.뿐만 아니라 초기 버전 사용자에게는 무료 업그레이드의 제공과 200달러에 상당한 애플 스토어 쿠폰도 증정했다.
애플은 4월의 업그레이드로 많은 문제를 해결했지만, 그것은 이미 어도비 라이트룸 베타가 무상 배포되고 나서 수개월이 지난 후였다.
애퍼처팀에 대한 변경은, 어도비가 인텔 기반 맥용(Mactel) 포토샵과 크리에이티브 스위트를 2007년에 릴리즈한다는 지난주의 발표에 영향을 받은 것일 수도 있다.
이에 대해 애플로부터 코멘트를 얻을 수 없었다.