July 1, 2014

Bye Aperture, Hello Photos

OS X Yosemite

Apple has announced that it is discontinuing Aperture and iPhoto development in favor of the Photos app with integrated iCloud Photo Library. We know that many of you are using those apps in combination with Pixelmator. While we might not be able to offer you a replacement app (at least right away), we want to do everything we can to help smooth the transition.

First, we are going to fully embrace the new Photos app. In fact, we can’t wait to see it. When I first saw Apple announce Photos during the Keynote, I thought, finally there’s a secure place to store photos and easily access them on all devices. iCloud Photo Library sounds super great. On top of that, Photos offers extensions, which means that developers like us can integrate some cool editing features and filters right into it. We already have some ideas for it.

Next, if you have any suggestions for tools or features that you’re going to miss since Aperture and iPhotos are gone, write them down in the comments, or shoot us an email at info@pixelmator.com. We’ll be very happy to hear your thoughts.


  • Willduo

    I’ve come back to photography with a Fuji X100s camera and I have been waiting for a decision on Aperture because I want to shoot raw but I didn’t want to go the Lightroom route. Currently I just shoot in Jpeg upload to iPhoto and then edit images in Pixelmator and I am getting some nice results. Ultimately I’d like to shoot raw and it would be great if Pixelmator could take on where Aperture left off. I know the ability to read raw files is already built into OSX so Pixelmator can too but it can’t get to the heart of a raw file at the moment.

    So what I’d like is the ability to edit raw files properly with Pixelmator. So eventually I’d have the new photos app plus Pixelmator without the need for a third application.

  • Dams

    Start to support the basics first: pinch to zoom…

    2014 still not there. The only App.

  • Michel

    Great to hear your ideas! I am just hoping for a well plugin extended Photos app so I can replace it with the super slow Adobe Lightroom! For my case I would just need a nice organisation browser that is well integrated with the finder and – of course – your beautiful editing features 🙂 I just hope that I can test a beta of Photos any time soon.

  • Dom

    i will miss my Definition slider, hope thats in the new app

  • fred

    excuse for my poor english.
    My pixelmator can open nikon’s nef it’s ok. Perhaps you can integrate a raw module (like camera raw) directly or a plugin. And see with nikon and canon because they are a free app for that (nikon capture nxd – and the same with canon)…

  • Bo

    Never will I store my property in icloud which means ownership might transfer. Living in china with crappy Internet no way photos will work. Pixel you create a storage tool you have my business, by the way make windows version as well I might buy a nice PC instead of mac next time. Tim you disapoints us your creativity in making money will bite back.

  • Mateo

    @ Bo

    iCloud is not mandatory with the “Photos” app, so no need to complain.

  • Coen

    One thing iphoto aperture and pixelmator lack is Lens Correction. I guess that’s still a gap to fill in photos.

  • Matthias

    I love Aperture 3 and I’m gonna miss it 🙁

  • CorkyO

    Unless the new Photos app has multiple adjustment brick capabilities like Aperture currently does, then the need for quick adjustment layers will be a must for any serious work.

    Assuming the Photos app has an external editor preference setting, then seamless send / update / save will be crucial.

    I am looking forward to the new Photos app and would love to see Pixelmator become a solid companion app to create good quality art from the images.

    Good luck on the development and hopefully this will result in a great future at a reasonable price. 😉

  • James

    It would be great if there would be a raw processing and photo organization solution from Pixelmator. I don’t want to move to Lightroom.

  • Fabio

    Non-destructive editing of original image?

  • Adam W

    The ability to make an edit to one photo and apply it to a series of photos. I take a lot of tripod shots and the ability to apply the change across all the photos taken at the same place is nice.

  • Charilaos

    I’m glad to see Apple finally mirroring the last important iOS app on the Mac, creating a far more seamless experience for one of the most important file types (photos). I believe iPhoto on iOS still has a future, with more advanced editing tools for the newer hardware and extensions in the Photos app.

    What I don’t get is what Pixelmator has to do with extensions. Extensions is an iOS feature. The Mac app will feature plugins according to Apple, but I’m not sure if those plugins will function the same way as the extensions we saw being previewed in iOS 8. In any case, I’m excited about the future of Pixelmator and its role in the Photos app!

  • Max

    I would like to see you Pixelmator guys make plugins (aka Extension) for Photo. How cool would it be if I were able to use a good portion of Pixelmator’s tools non-destructively directly in Photo. Leave the organization of the photos to Photo, but give us access to sophisticated editing tools.

  • Thierry Lévèque

    Please start right now the development of your own replacement for Aperture! Photomator!
    Take all the best features from Aperture and Lightroom and make it even better! And why not integrate Pixelmator directly inside of it.
    I a dreaming of that….
    Until then, I will continue the use Aperture because the current version still work well and will work also under Yosemite.
    That means, you still have, at least, 1 year and a half to develop Photomator 😉

  • Lazebnik

    What about High Pass Filter?

  • Mark

    I use Aperture and Pixelmator extensively. I am sad to see Aperture discontinued. However, if Pixelmator had a few key features I would not need Aperture. I don’t want to convert to Adobe Lightroom because of their expensive subscription-pricing. Please strongly consider adding the following to Pixelmator:

    * RAW support
    * Non-destructive editing
    * Keyword meta data editing
    * A way to batch convert Aperture-native non-destructive edits to Pixelmator non-destructive edits for an image.

    The image library management features of Aperture are not necessary. Finder, Spotlight, Photos OS X, Filemaker Pro, or a third party app can work for library management.

  • PsykX

    I think people are getting a little too excited about the announcement of Apple killing Aperture.
    We cannot yet justify an Aperture replacement by any other 3rd-party without actually knowing what their replacement app, Photos, will be able to do.

    Which means I’m all for the idea that the Pixelmator Team concentrates on extensions. Without any further details, this is the most clever move to make guys. Plus I’d rather see the Pixelmator Team concentrating all their efforts on a single product rather than splitting it, unless they hire for a larger team.

  • Dan

    1. Mobile

    2. Raw

  • DC

    I’ve always avoided iPhoto and Aperture because I don’t live in the Apple ecosystem for the most part. Although I use Mac day in and day out at home and at work, my tablet and phone are exclusively Android. It’d be nice to see Pixelmator keep an eye out for integration opportunities for those of us who play in but live outside of the Apple world too, like tighter dropbox integration and the like.

  • Rob

    RAW support independent of Apple. They are soooo slow. And what they produce isn’t as good as non-Apple products, even Lightroom.

    And how ’bout an “Add to Lightroom” or other DAM menu item? Adding to Aperture is kind of silly right now.

  • Chris Taylor

    I think it is very cool the direction that Apple has been going in. Personally, I don’t even see what the fuss is about around Aperture dying. Apple is just making everything they make a seamless experience for everyone no matter what his or her skill level. I also know that Apple is a company that doesn’t just ditch it’s user base for the sake of marketing revenue (like Adobe). They simply snowball their products into better solutions for the customer.

    Please forgive me for being excessively blunt, but frankly, I think all the Aperture purists should just shut up and wait to see what Photos can do. Only then will we know if it’s a good decision.

  • Willduo

    I had another thought – how about an HDR plugin?

  • AZGuy

    Adjustment brushes – iPhoto for iPad has better adjustments than iPhoto for mac.

    Lens correction – if you don’t want to support specific lens, add correction features similar to Corel Paint Shop Pro.

    Clone tool where you can change brush space and size.

    Definition slider.


    Noise Removal

  • AZGuy


    Clone tool where you can change brush size and SHAPE.

  • MYP

    First of all, I’m not a professional, I’m taking pictures just for fun and in RAW only. The idea of non-destructive editing is simply great in my case since I save only a couple of my RAW and the information about their processing. I use the only Aperture for all the purposes. I.e., the organization of the library, simple editing, which helps me to eliminate some rare shooting mistakes, and sharing the photos with my friends. I feel this strategy becomes obsolete since Apple decided to kill the Aperture itself. Therefore they have to provide another strategy of processing of photos for non-professionals. Hope it will be cool.

  • Adam Nelson

    Put all of your effort into library management. Even the pros are often using Lightroom (and therefore Photoshop) because it’s the only good management tool left. If you focus just on photo management for the next 6 months and how that can integrate with Photos, you will win!

  • Rob Nienburg

    The major feature, and in fact the only Aperture feature that can’t be replaced is the thoroughness of the DAM. Lightroom is the only contender and even it doesn’t come close to the DAM tools Aperture affords. Focus on that. Even if you just mimicked Aperture’s UI and organization, you’d pull 5% of Lightroom’s customers away.

    Hopefully Photos will offer more solutions than problems for pros. The roundtrip destructive editing of Pixelmator, Photoshop and plugins was the biggest weakness of Aperture. If App Extensions can remedy that, and Pixelmator is first through the gate, we’ll all be better off.

  • Mite

    Support for gesture.
    Pinch to zoom and rotate.

    Also support for Text Stroke, inner shadow… In photoshop I always use this on text and I don’t need to convert in pixel. and when I import psd from photoshop to pixelmator I had some problems.

  • Carl Parker

    Could you consider integrating support for the NIK plugins like Aperture and Photoshop already do, or include something like their control point technology.

    Obviously Non destructive editing of the photos would be fantastic but that will depend on what API apple exposes.

  • Guillaume Laurent

    Something similar to the NIK plugins for film/paper simulation, bw fine tuning, etc… We don’t know yet what editing tools Photos.app will have, but it’s a safe bet this won’t be among them, yet it’s really cool to have.

  • Chris

    I would like to see more apps from your company, mainly a lightroom competitor. As your company has taken full advantage of the Mac platform I feel you would be best suited to do so. I know growing can be hard at times but it would be nice to see you take on Adobe with more than just pixelmator. So here’s my encouragement! Go get em guys!

    I really would like to see some more RAW features, just like many others. Maybe not take on lightroom on their own turf entirely, maybe some new creative ideas that would utilize both localized photo storage and give photographers the ability to use iCloud with their clients. I’m not entirely sure how it could look, but it would be nice to have fewer baskets and easier ways of controlling how the photos are shared. Please hit me up for some more detailed ideas if you like.

  • Phil

    Please include the following features:

    preset creator tool- a must- users create custom effects for specific photo shots such as infrared ones and Black and white

    RAW features?

    Noise reduction tool?

    HDR tool?

    Hover on one of the tabs in the “effect browser” especially for colour adjustments, sharping, and perhaps noise reduction and the settings would show. Allowing for faster tweaks back and forth instead of drag and drop or double click..

    Perhaps a ability to create more favourites to group different effects and presets together

  • David

    Adam Nelson hit the nail on the head. While I love Pixelmator, there are several apps pulling to satisfy the need to edit photos. But Photo Management is key, and Apple just left Adobe to be one of the only Big competitors left.

    For Pros and anyone else who take thousands of photos beyond family vacations, we need to be able to manage those huge libraries of photos in their RAW, non-destructive state, while being able to also edit them for delivery/export.

    From the screenshot, Apple’s new Photos will be based on the “Moments, Collections, Events” iOS simplified organization, which is very limited, and certainly not for any professional.

    Keywording & EXIF metadata, Ratings/flags/labels, albums/folders & smart folders, the ability to split libraries and import other libraries to a main library, managed libraries, GPS locations, etc… These are some the things people loved about Aperture.

    Add this to Pixelmator and you will have something huge.

  • Sandeep

    Photo management should really be handled outside of Pixelmator – don’t make this a management + editing app, I’d just like to see Pixelmator come up with more advanced tools which are still user friendly. Hopefully Photos will be good at managing photos 🙂 maybe it will be able to auto reject bad photos in a stack (based on over/under exposure, smile detection / blink detection, motion blur detection etc). At least casual photo management could benefit with a lot of automated sorting of photos — so this seems a bit big to roll into Pixelmator.

    I wish for Pixelmator to become a powerful yet easy to use image editor:
    * More tools for fixing images – like superb noise reduction (although you would get this for free from PhotoKit), improved healing etc.
    * Add in a robust image-alignment engine and use it for HDR, panorama, stack averaging based noise reduction, super resolution etc. Where Pixelmator could shine is in how user-friendly / intelligent it can make these tools. Pixelmator should automatically suggest HDR, panorama / super-resolution pictures by scanning through the Photos library or optionally a specified directory.
    * Some sort of batch editing support ( again, Pixelmator could auto suggest the photos in the batch based on photo similarity.)

    Some of the above features could go into plugins instead of the core app – but the idea here is to build in more intelligent tools which allow users to get more out of their photos – effortlessly.

  • David

    “The major feature, and in fact the only Aperture feature that can’t be replaced is the thoroughness of the DAM. Lightroom is the only contender and even it doesn’t come close to the DAM tools Aperture affords. Focus on that. Even if you just mimicked Aperture’s UI and organization, you’d pull 5% of Lightroom’s customers away.”

    Completely agree. I guess it could be a separate app instead of adding it to pixelmator though.

  • Alan Washington

    ‘Nearest Neighbour’ image resize is something I desperately want too see in Pixelmator!

  • Antonio B

    Please add lens correction similar to Lightroom.

  • Lilith

    Some things I really love about Aperture, and hope they find their way into Photos.app right away or by extension:
    -use a gpx file to align a thousand photos within a second
    -exporting to different formats and presets
    -see a map with hundreds of pins (not those ugly photo stacks, as with iOS) around the world at places
    -great ability to work with metadata
    -those great filters

    Well, I paid about 200€ for Aperture 2 and later again for the Upgrade to Aperture 3 (don’t know the amount anymore). So I would even spend some money on great extensions for Photos.app.
    But still, Apple should be ashamed to turn down it’s pro users! Especially in a time where photos get more and more important to everybody. But hey, keep working on FinalCut and Logic, I’m sure millions of people would rather edit a video or their music and not focus on their photos!
    I’m sorry, you see I am kind of annoyed with this decision.

  • KC

    I would love to see pixelmator acquire the aperture app from apple. Update aperture and take on adobe with a pixelmator/aperture one two punch 🙂

  • Stephen

    My biggest worry is that I’ll loose Aperture’s ability to keep my images organized – and only on my hard drives. I need to be able to sort and organize the raw files and the edited versions. I need to be able to do this within one app, or where exporting to an editor app is necessary, being able to return the edited versions to the image management app without changing the original or other previously edited versions. I am also concerned about the archiving and continuing use of the images – original unedited and edited – that are housed within my Aperture libraries. I fret that I’ll not be able to move or integrate them into a new image management/editing system without loosing the editing or data that I have done to date. I don’t want to have to run an old OS and computer just to have access to my old Aperture files. I need a new app that can take my Aperture libraries and files – without tampering with them – and house them seamlessly with new files in the new app. Integration with editing, at least up to that Aperture offers, would be great, but integration with a sister app would be fine, too. So, a Pixelmator/Organizator combination or partnership would suit me. Thanks for asking.

  • Stuke

    Now way to slice it, my Aperture workflow will never be recreated in any other offering…unless Photos is a success. Like Camera Roll, and a clear ABSENCE of any mention of Photos being available in the now released Yosemite OS X, I’m hoping Apple is listening to the pro/amateur photographers who expressed disappointment and sadness over the Aperture death announcement and reverse course! I can always hope! Pixelmator could become that app, the next Aperture. Just PLEASE MAKE SURE my Aperture plugins work, such as Nik Collection, Photomatix, etc. and, DONT REQUIRE A cloud account or subscription pay software model…I dont want my livelihood in raw or finished format stored on anyone’s cloud, which I have to continue to pay for access to it!

  • Bubba Jones

    Often I am asked “what does RAW stand for”, Many folks see it as an acronym, so I inform them it is only a word, similar to using the word raw as in, raw emotion, raw meat, raw courage, and the like. When we use it as such we do not spell it as RAW we spell it as a regular lowercase word; raw. The word raw is not an acronym as is JPG, JPEG, TIFF, and the like, thus should not be spelled as an acronym, RAW, rather it should be spelled raw.

    Some are asking Pixelmator to come out with their own raw converter, similar to ACR. Do remember, Apple builds their raw converter into their OS. This is important as many other programs can have access to it, whereas ACR is used in Adobe products. Also, being as a raw file is not any type of standard, raw files change with vendor and camera model, companies must reverse engineer the camera vendor raw file; this takes time. Then when a new camera arrives it brings with it a new raw file format; again the reverse engineering begins. Even worse is the dropping support for older raw files; ten years from now good luck opening todays raw file.

    Thus I do not see any reason Pixelmator should reverse engineer raw files. As we see by the feature requested above Pixelmator has much more important things to do for their program. As a pro photographer when I shoot digital 100% of my images are JPG, and printed. When viewed at a distance appropriate for its size, not blowup on a monitor 100% with ones nose against the screen, the JPG is amazing.

  • Florian

    Can’t wait to see Photokit mature. I deeply hope, that apple sees iCloud only as an option to sync. Don’t want to upload all my files to their insecure cloud. But I see a lot potential in this approach. Especially the interoperability between different programs.

  • Grey

    Photos for OS X has been released. Could the Pixelmator team update us on what’s in store? As many people here have suggested, Photos is a great place to organize images (videos) in one place, upload the entire library to iCloud, and sync it across multiple devices (both OS X and iOS devices). As the Pixelmator team’s blog mentioned, Photos for OS X was announced by Apple to support extensions. It would be great if Pixelmator could integrate into Photos for OS X via extensions, which would allow to load the original image into Pixelmator for edits. Once the edits are made, the edits would be stored in the Photos library (hopefully using the native Photos method of storing the deltas of the original image instead of creating a modified copy of the image). Not only would this help OS X users dramatically to gain photo editing functionality missing in Photos, but it would also propel Pixelmator to the new highs because, as far as I know, no one is doing this yet. People would eat the up.

  • Fausto

    I concur 100% with Grey.

  • USAntigoon

    I decided to start using Pixelmator as a replacement for Aperture. I also have a deep rooted bias against any Adobe products. I like the features and flexibility Pixelmator has to offer. With the demise of Aperture and the further Photos “improvements”we might expect, a big opportunity develops itself for Pixelmator. I hope they start working with Apple to absorb some of the features from Aperture and ultimately create plug-ins for Photos to make a very smooth handshake with Pixelmator. In fact all Aperture users should ultimately become Pixelmator users, if right the strategy is put in place. Keep up the good work…

  • Lief

    As for me, I’ve seen that you can copy effects that are applied to a photo, paste these effects, but only one photo at a time.
    In Aperture you can “Lift Adjustments”, and you can glue them on all selected photos, the whole batch.

  • Timon

    Hey Pixelmator!
    Photos for Mac is a fantastic App! It is extreme fast to organise thousands of photos. Also your App work fantastic and its beautiful designed! Evereybody with a Mac will buy it, if you offer a symbiosis with photos! Photos with Pixelmatortools. 2 in 1-App. Thats it!

  • Daniel

    I like the idea of extensions in Photos for Mac. Here are 2 that I could really use.

    A high end de-noise extension. The only app that I found is from Topaz but I do not believe that it integrates with the Photos library.

    An EXIF editor extension given that manually geotagging pictures is not available in Photos.

    Some also mentioned lens correction which would also be cool.

  • Jake

    I’ll second and third the extensions ideas. More than anything I want to be able to easily “edit in Pixelmator” from photos and then have any updates, etc, show up in the Photos library as a copy of the original.

  • hea

    I agree wholeheartedly with Grey, USAntigoon, Lief and Jake. As for Photos-extension edits, I would prefer the option to save non-destructive changes in place, save as a copy, and/or save as a PXM in the Pixelmator library. The two key features I wish were available in Pixelmator are batch processing and lens correction.

  • José Andrés

    Please work on Aperture Brushes. Skin Smoothing, Dodge (Lighten-Darken), a better noise reduction, etc. That’s what I miss of Aperture!

  • Matt

    Please take everything about file management from Aperture! Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, beats Aperture. Lightroom with DNG, Adobe Bridge, blah…is just junk. (Please don’t go DNG; it will become Adobe’s next ‘Flash’ poison!) Just grab the file management capabilities, and make my existing Aperture plug-ins work too (Nik, Portrait Professional Studio, Photomatix Pro, etc.). Mucho thanks!

  • Robert Brazeau

    Dear Pixelmator team,
    Please ask Apple for all Aperture code and permission to make it a Pixelmator workflow thang. Apertumator? I’m not sure about the name but I think you guys would be really good for Aperture and all the Apple power users who completely bought into Aperture. I believe Apple owes us users something because that’s what they promised. I mean, I wasn’t hard to fall in love with Aperture. And still no one has been able to come close the workflow provided by Aperture. Lightroom is a classic sh1t storm of an a-la-adobe mess! Please, Pixelmator team, save us… you’re our only hope!

  • daniel Theriault

    does Pixelmator pro geotag picture?