Mea Culpa: Apple Releases Aperture 1.1

by Devanshu Mehta Apr 20, 2006

In a smart move to win back support for Aperture and a chance at wooing hobbyist photographers, Apple has reduced its price and issued what can be interpreted as a mea culpa to their early adopters. Last week Apple released the latest version of Aperture, its professional tool for post-production of photographs. Version 1.0 had been released with a high price point of $499 and an even higher set of expectations, but according to some vocal members of the user community, had failed to live up to them. Now Apple has a chance to regain that respect.

Apple developed Aperture from the ground up with professional photographers in mind, with a complete RAW workflow that, coming from Apple, meant an application that had the potential for being a killer application. An application that would become a reason for professionals to buy a Mac. While many people were impressed with it, Apple had failed to truly capture the imagination of its target community.

Now, less than 6 months after the original release, Apple has rolled out Aperture 1.1. This release is available for only $299—a forty percent price cut—and is the first Universal binary version of the application, allowing it to run natively on both the PowerPC-based and the new Intel-based Macintosh computers. The upgrade is free for current owners of Aperture 1.0 and in a tremendously gracious move, Apple has in addition offered a $200 e-coupon to current owners of the software.

The new price point coupled with the offer of a coupon suggests two advantages to Apple. First, this can be considered a peace offering to professional photographers who were burned by the first release- either by bugs or by incomplete features—so that they may give it a second chance. Also, the lower price could prove to be enough to reel in hobbyist photographers who want to make the most of their newly acquired top-notch digital cameras and printers.

The other thing to consider is that Adobe has a competitor to Aperture in the works called Lightroom. Lightroom is already available as a beta for Mac OS X, with a Windows version expected in the future. Adobe’s package does not have such high hardware requirements and is decoupled from Apple’s core image, which may keep it immune to quirks in future modifications to that platform.

The new version of Aperture is said to offer improvements to the RAW workflow, which was one of the sticking points of critics of the original release. Also, a new color meter, RAW fine tuning, better export controls and improved compatibility with some of the top digital cameras have been included in Aperture 1.1. Aperture already features some very attractive features for a product of its type such as a native RAW workflow, project management features, and impressive tools for publishing and printing. While Apple only had one chance to make a first impression, it is clearly trying its best for the second one.


  • This is a solid move on Apple’s part.  It seems a much more appropriate price for Aperture, given what it does.

    I question, however, it’s ability to lure photographers.  Most pro photogs I know already use Macs, and Photoshop’s Bridge does much of what Aperture does, minus some bells and whistles.

    So lowering the price and offering a quick release of fixes is definitely moving the right direction.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Apr 21, 2006 Posts: 2220
  • An interesting follow up to this story, Thinksecret is reporting that a good portion of the Aperture development team has been axed! This may mean we can expect huge changes in v2.0.

    Devanshu Mehta had this to say on Apr 27, 2006 Posts: 108
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