As many of you may have heard over the last week or so a book appeared on Amazon that had Aperture X in the title. It was available for pre-order with availability in the Spring of 2010. This has led to a lot of chatter about an imminent release of the next major version of Aperture. The word on the street is the release will be rebranded as Aperture X to align it with OS X or something like that.
While I have no specific knowledge of Apple's release plans or naming strategy I have heard from a lot of sources that I consider reliable that we will be getting a major Aperture update very very soon. This wouldn't surprise me at all and I hope soon means this year. Just so we can all see what it does, make our decisions on what software we use. and get on with our work. I thought that I would share a couple of my own thoughts on Aperture versus Lightroom and my own plans, considering I answer that question either in person or via email about 100 times a day.
To make a long story short - I plan to stick with Aperture for the foreseeable future for my own use. The only way that I would switch to Lightroom is if there were such significant features and improvements released by Adobe that it would actually make my life better, save me a lot of time, and cause me to enjoy spending time in Lightroom. You heard that right - I know Lightroom very well, I think it is a great piece of software, but I do not enjoy it at all. I actually enjoy organizing in Aperture. For what I do and what I care about Aperture still leaves Lightroom in the dust. When working with my photos in Lightroom I feel boxed in or something. I really do not like the separate library, develop, etc modes in Lightroom. I do not think that a lot of the organizational tools are all that flexible or thought out, stacks are virtually useless, etc.
This may surprise you considering how much I complain about default NEF processing in Aperture among other things but those things are minor compared to how slow working in Lightroom is for me. I am glad that Adobe released the Lightroom 3 beta - there is nothing that I want or better said Â - nothing revolutionary that causes me to want to switch. My commitment to Aperture (for my personal photography and my personal library) is solid and if any of you were wondering - as soon as Aperture 3 or Aperture X hits the streets I will have it and will continue trying to explain the best way to use it to all of the loyal readers out there.
Here is a promise - when it comes out I will dedicate 100% of my focus to update and expand my Aperture guides to be better, stronger, and include all of the Aperture X/Aperture 3 goodness as soon as it is humanly possible to produce with a degree of quality and accuracy that I am comfortable with.
Ps. Obviously the only other reason I would switch is if Apple themselves made it very clear there was no Aperture future - as in the product is cancelled.