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Don't weep for Aperture: Photos is a bright new beginning

David Sparks | July 4, 2014
When I first saw the small demo of the Photos app at the Worldwide Developers Conference, that's when I knew iPhoto was going to die--and I suspected Aperture would too. Last week, Apple made it official: Both iPhoto and Aperture will be retired in favor of the new Photos app. There are (unsurprisingly) a lot of people upset with this news, and a few years ago, I too would have led the charge on Cupertino. But to be honest, I've been feeling for a while that local-storage-based photo management needs to be overhauled; now, it appears that Apple is ready to take on that task.

Problems to solve

The Photos app, even in its early demonstrations, offers a lot of promise. However, I can think of two problems that must be solved in order for this transition to work.

The move to Photos must be dead simple: For most people, their photos are the most important data on their computers. Also, most users don't backup their files. Moving iPhoto and Aperture libraries into the new Photos app needs to be absolutely risk-free for our photo libraries and easy enough that anyone can do it.

The cloud storage needs to be great: While our libraries may be overstuffed and ready to move to the cloud for photo storage, none of us have seen the larger iCloud storage solution at work. iCloud has improved over the years, but in order for us to have faith in Apple's services, the company needs to deliver usable, reliable cloud photos storage for millions of users on day one. This isn't easy, but it needs to happen.

In the cloud at last

I believe Apple understands how important our photos are to us and appreciates what a monumental task they've taken on with this transition. In some ways, retiring iPhoto and Aperture serves the purpose of waking users up — alerting them to the fact that their photo management is about to change — and new paradigms require new software. If Apple can deliver on this, the company is going to make photo management a lot easier for its users.


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