Apple made some significant improvements in Aperture 1.5, but perhaps one of the most important decisions the company made was to allow third-party developers to extend the application through a new plug-in architecture. While only available for about a month Apple said the response by developers has exceeded their expectations.
“We knew that there would be a lot of interest, but we received 150 emails from individuals, companies and organizations that all want to develop plug-ins for Aperture,” Richard Kerris, Apple’s Director of Professional Photography Partnerships, told Macworld. “We are all pleasantly surprised with the companies that want to develop plug-ins. It really makes this a powerful application for whatever type of photographer you are.”
Apple launched its Aperture API with several big name partners including Getty Images, iStockphoto, Pictage, Flickr, PhotoShelter, DigitalFusion, Soundslides and Connected Flow. The new plug-in announcements haven’t stopped — this week at PhotoPlus Expo in New York another company, ExpressDigital, released its plug-in for Aperture.
ExpressDigital’s Aperture plug-in allows photographers to directly upload photos to PhotoReflect.com, a virtual storefront for professional photographers. Through PhotoReflect.com, photographers are able to provide their customers with a fully functional and professional Internet store to order finished, high-quality professional photo products.
“The addition of this professional connection makes it even easier for photographers using Aperture to benefit from the power of PhotoReflect.com,” said Graham McFarland, president and CEO of ExpressDigital.
DigitalFusion is also offering a new Aperture plug-in. DF Studio Link allows direct upload of images from Aperture to a DF Studio account.
“In the professional workflow arena, no app is an island — it depends how it can be extended,” said Apple’s Kerris. “We are seeing the new technology out there for digital photographers becoming part of our workflow. It ties Aperture into the center of the universe for digital photographers.”
By allowing developers to offer plug-ins to extend Aperture, Kerris said that it allows the photographer to focus on what’s really important to them — their craft. Apple is not leaving all of the development to third-parties — the company will also continue to make plug-ins, according to Kerris. For example, a new plug-in from Apple ties Aperture more closely with Final Cut Studio, Apple’s professional suite of video applications.