Evidence Mounting Apple’s Photos Will be Revolutionary

Posted Sep. 6th, 2014 by Daniel J. Cox

Evidence Mounting Apple’s Photos Will be Revolutionary. Why? Because of the coming software  technology known as Extensions. On July 3rd, I wrote about how I was feeling much more optimistic about Apple’s new program simply called Photos. A week or so earlier I was depressed over the fact Apple had announced they would be discontinuing my favorite DAM (Digital Asset Management) program known as Aperture and also iPhoto. Who can blame them? I can only imagine the resources they were spending developing and supporting two programs that for all practical purposes did virtually the same thing. I know, I know, you’re ranting that iPhoto is for the novice and Aperture is for the pro, but in reality, there wasn’t all that much difference between the two programs. I used both and their overlap was obvious. Photos with Extensions will replace both programs and I’m betting the farm we’ll be blown away with the new and improved tools Photos will provide.

The new face of Apple's Photo program.

The new face of Apple’s Photo program.


In my July 3rd post I wrote about PhotoKit and the App Extensions Architecture. I’m not going to rewrite what I’ve already posted but suffice it to say, the ability to make Photos anything we want it to be will be endless. Extensions will allow limitless creativity and functionality due to the monetary incentive to third party developers. If a small developer in Barrow, Alaska comes up with a better way to reduce noise in a photo, that developer could write an extension, sell it via the App store and become wealthy if it’s a worthwhile tool. Apple’s Photos will be a basic foundation, and the rest of the world will build integrated tools known as Extensions AND profit from their efforts. It’s a slam-dunk win-win for photographers, software developers, and Apple. Apple benefits by freeing up their software engineers to concentrate on the basics and Extensions give the little guy software developer a new opportunity to become rich.

The huge benefit to extensions is the ability to allow a photographer to work on the RAW image without going outside of Photos. Turning a RAW image into a Tiff, by opening it in a plugin such as Google’s Nik Plugins was the old way of working with an outside developer. Using this old method, your changes were forever “baked” in to the final image. That being the case, that image no longer has the benefits of being in its RAW format. Not good if you want to undo those changes. Extensions will eliminate that huge problem. Keep in mind, as of this writing, Photos will be THE only program with this new and revolutionary way of making changes to your images. Adobe’s Lightroom and Aperture does it the old way. Photos will be the only program doing it the new and better way. In typical Apple fashion they are throwing out the old and building something new – something much, much better. I can’t wait to get my hands on Photos.

P.S. Since Apple announced they would eventually discontinue Aperture I started using Lightoom again. Keep in mind that I switched from PC to Mac specifically due to Aperture back in 2003 0r 2004. In the beginning I wasn’t happy with Aperture and moved all my editing and DAM to Lightroom. Once Aperture 3.0 rolled on to the scene I went back and gave Aperture another try and I’ve been thrilled with 85% of what Aperture’s been able to do ever since. Then the announcement of the demise of Aperture forced me to revisit Lightroom and I’ve been using it extensively for the past two months. What I’ve learned is that I miss Aperture way more than I thought I would. Lightroom just can’t chew through the 500,000+ photo library I require on a daily basis. I thought I would be moving back to Lightroom full tim, but the more I hear about the soon to be released Photos, the more positive I am that I’ll be alble to stay within the Apple ecosystem. Just this week I had to move back over to Aperture to finalize presentations I’m producing for upcoming speaking engagements. Lightroom was simply choking on all the images I need to go through quickly. Thankfully, the promise of Photos has me much more encouraged than I was when Apple announced Aperture’s impending death. Stay tuned. I think this new program is going to be phenomenal.


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There are 2 comments on this post…
  1. John GunterOn Sep. 8th, 2014

    For years at the office what we’ve been looking for is image management software that allows a few of our staff to share one library. With Photos being built to work with iCloud, I’m hoping that will finally be a reality. Then I imagine all the images will be backed-up and accessible to anyone signed-in to that iCoud account. I wonder if the extensions information (which admittedly is less of a priority for us) is stored locally or elsewhere?

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Sep. 8th, 2014

      Hi John, Great to hear from our friends in the far north. I’ve thought exactly as you have that the cloud based idea may even lead to amazing tools for photographers to not only share, but sell their work and distribute it much more easily. We too have a huge issue in our studio with really only one Catalog/Library available at a time. Jill and Tanya as well as others can’t get to my images without physically getting on my compute that houses our nearly 1 million image library. That’s a pain and super inefficient. I can actually see a cloud based system possibly changing that. We shall see but the way the new PhotoKit has virtually unlimited possibilities. You guys may benefit as well. Hope you’re getting ready for a great season. See you in early November when I come up for PBI.

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