Apple's Aperture: Smoke With No Fire?|
Mike Pasini, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, May 5, 2006 - 13:46 EDT)
Three recent developments shed a little more light on last week's Aperture rumor.
Last week, Mac rumor site Think Secret published an item headlined "Apple future in question as Apple axes bulk of team." The story claimed Apple had "asked the engineering team behind its Aperture photo editing and management software to leave." Three developments over the last two days shed a brighter light on the situation.
The first was Apple's release of an update to Aperture to address "performance, stability, color correction and display compatibility." The update makes iPhoto imports a little more flexible and eliminates a false error message about unsupported display hardware. More significantly, it also corrects the function of the white balance tool, suggesting someone is minding the store.
At the same time, Rob Galbraith, who has reported extensively on Aperture, addressed the product's status in an item quoting Apple's Kirk Paulsen, senior director of professional applications product marketing. According to the Paulsen, "Reports of Apple reducing its commitment to Aperture are totally false," Paulsen told Galbraith. "In fact, we've got more people working on Aperture right now than ever before."
And today, John Gruber at Daring Fireball has published under the headline 'More Aperture Dirt' his discussion with one of the developers from the original Aperture engineering team. Gruber's source claims no one from the original team was fired but most did leave the project, moving on to other projects within Apple or other companies.
The source also said the Aperture team grew "grew from about 20 to 150 in just a few weeks, comprising about 100 engineers, 40 QA people, and the rest manager types. And not surprisingly, this is precisely when things went from bad to worse with regard to the quality of the product."
But those additions were "borrowed talent from other 'Pro app' product teams" helping get Aperture 1.0 out the door. The current engineering team predates the departure of the original, so "the product's future was never in jeopardy," Gruber's source explained.