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apps_photosEarlier this month, Apple announced a new Photos app for the Mac that will launch in 2015. What the company didn’t say at the time was that it’s also ending development on iPhoto and Aperture, its two existing photo apps.

Aperture users will be prompted to transfer their collections and files over to the new Photos app when it launches, according to a report from Jim Dalrymple at The Loop, citing a statement from Apple.

iPhoto getting the axe isn’t all that surprising, since the new Photos app is designed to offer its collection management and photo manipulation tools, but the death of Aperture means that there are serious questions about whether Apple plans to compete with Adobe for a slice of the pro photographer market.

Both Aperture and Adobe Lightroom offer a suite of powerful editing and organization tools for photographers who want to handle and categorize large photo libraries stocked with RAW format image files. Apple’s Aperture was first to market in 2005, but has been slipping behind Adobe Lightroom in recent years. Adobe forged ahead with new Lightroom Mobile apps for the iPad and iPhone, but Apple never published a mobile companion to Aperture.

It’s possible that Aperture’s feature set, including all of its advanced capabilities, will make its way into Apple’s new Photos app. Like usual, the company is staying quiet about all the features that it will bring to bear. If Apple does port all of Aperture’s features into Photos, it could be a reasonable alternative for photographers on the fence about whether to spend the money on Adobe’s software.

Meanwhile, Adobe is working to make its photography tools accessible to more people. The company recently announced a Creative Cloud for Photographers bundle that allows people to get a subscription to Lightroom and Photoshop for $9.99 a month.

The death of Aperture doesn’t mean the end of Apple’s other professional-grade creative apps. The company released updates to components of the Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro suites today, and says that it plans to continue development of those products.

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