This week, Apple announced the release of the third instalment in their photo management application - Aperture. This quick tip will outline a few of the key new features, and offer a few words of caution to those thinking of upgrading!
This update to Aperture seems to focus on doing two things: (1) bringing the most recent features of iPhoto across to the pro application, and (2) improving how the app handles brushes. There are actually 200 new features in total, so we'll only be looking at the major changes in this Quick Tip.
This new feature brings face recognition technology to Aperture. After you've spent a few minutes training the software, it will attempt to recognise all the other photos in which a particular person appears. It's fairly accurate, and makes for an easy way to quickly locate particular people. You can also view any faces the software has found that you haven't tagged yet.
Aperture is now able to read GPS data from your camera (if it's a supported model), and pinpoint exactly where you took particular photos. Alternatively, you can import data from a GPS tracking application or gadget (or an iPhone app such as trails). All your photos are plotted on a map, and it's much easier to search by location.
You can now use non-desctructive editing techniques to make adjustments to your images. Brushes are "edge aware", and there are fifteen Quick Brushes for easy access to the most common editing tasks. You'll find yourself more comfortable with the editing functionality in Aperture, and less likely to be opening Photoshop on a regular basis.
Improved Full Screen & Slideshows
Where you may previously have found yourself regularly moving to-and-from full screen mode to switch between projects, this view now has a built-in navigator. It's far more useful, and makes your photos really stand out.
Slideshows have also been given a facelift, and are now packed with advanced features for displaying your photos. You can combine photos, audio, and video clips in one show, create layered soundtracks, and add design features such as titles and borders.
Words of Caution
It's worth noting that many users - particularly those with large libraries - have reported problems with upgrading. Some upgrades are taking an extraordinarily long time, others are failing completely. Apple have addressed this partially with a support document, though the problems still seems to be ongoing.
I'd reiterate the age-old advice of "always ensure you have a complete backup before starting the upgrade". If you have made the jump to Aperture 3, let us know how it went in the comments!
How to Upgrade
Aperture 3 costs $199, while existing Aperture users can upgrade for $99. You can read the full system requirements and access a downloadable 30-day trial version directly from the Aperture website.