Some time ago, I wrote a post about the demise of Aperture being premature when the interwebs responded to the Aperture update to version 3.3. Now, it seems Apple has finally put future Aperture development aside in favor of a new photo paradigm that potentially promises to be a re-think in how we, as photographers, deal with our images and workflow. By re-think, I mean the very way we set up the structure of our files, libraries, projects, etc. is ripe for a newer way of accessing and finding the images we need in any given moment. How and where they are stored (and found), be it the Cloud via iCloud, or on local storage media, it is clear Apple is designing a total OS based ecosystem for images that simplifies and makes unnecessary much of what we worry about today.
I think Apple is a company focused on integration rather than segregation. Having two photo apps on one system, one for "pros", and the other for the rest of the photographing world was not part of the far looking company. Apple is looking farther down the road in terms of photography (and probably most things we do in computing) than most people can. Convergence, the blurring of lines between "pro" and "amateur" photography is already here. In many cases, those lines don't matter any more. As I said in my post previous to this one, Apple is building a platform for photographers of different skill levels to make the most of their work in a simpler, usually more elegant way.
Will this new Photos app have all the power and features that pro users have come to love and know via Aperture? Time will tell, but while Aperture was a total re-think in how photographers dealt with their images (it was the first non-destructive workflow for photographers on the market) when it came out in 2005, this new paradigm may, just may, be as equally revolutionary. One really compelling piece of news coming from Apple on the new app, for me, is the extensibility they are building into the new app for third party apps. This means that potentially any developer, be they OnOne, VSCO (VSCO Cam), Google/Nik, AlienSkin, or any smaller developer can create, via Apple's PhotoKit, a filtering or perhaps more elaborately featured program to offer incredible new possibilities for image creation, all while staying inside the Photos app.
This is big! Just like the explosion on the App Store of photography apps for iPhone and iPad, I think a similar explosion for working on the desktop in Photos for OSX will happen. Far better than the current plug-in architecture via Aperture, this looks to be the way photography is headed. It will be interesting to see how this new path develops, but as I said, Apple is looking far down the road, and re-thinking how we will work with images. They've done it before, and we got Aperture. Be patient, they're doing it again and you might be surprised what a new way of thinking brings...