APPLE APERTURE 3Aperture 3 is similar in many respects to Adobe's Photoshop Lightroom. Originally released before Lightroom, it was offered as a much heftier image browser and editor than the more consumer-oriented iPhoto.
What's more, Aperture is all-inclusive when it comes to the different aspects of image editing and image browsing. In Photoshop, for instance, Adobe Bridge is your image browser, and you have to launch two different programs to achieve what you can do in Aperture in two tabs.
Aperture includes all of the family-friendly applications of iPhoto, including Faces, an auto face-detection and -recognition mode for tagging friends and family in your images. The third generation also adds robustness to the image-editing tools and selective retouching for localizing adjustments. There are adjustment presets for previewing and making changes to images in black-and-white, color and in between, like sepia. Adjustments can be applied to any other image, even multiple ones, and users can save their own presets and publish them to the web for other photographers to use. Sure, Photoshop has similar "Actions," but what Photoshop doesn't have is Apple's celebrated ease of use.
There are other nice features, as well, like advanced slideshow templates, a full-screen Projects view and the Vanishing HUD, which reduces distracting contextual windows from the interface so you can see the image in full on your screen. List Price: $79 (Mac only).
THE MAC APP STORE
Downloading and installing software and photography applications for Apple computers just got even easier. Building on the model of the iTunes App Store for Apple's line of mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad, Apple recently made the decision to offer applications and programs to Mac users in an online storefront that makes software as easy to find and use as browsing and purchasing music through iTunes.
Keeping applications up to date is as simple as updating through the App Store application, and in the event of a computer crash, you also can reinstall purchased apps from the store. There are already close to 200 available photography apps, including favorites such as Pixelmator, iSplash for adding a "splash" of color to black-and-white images and Dynamic Light for creating HDR effects from single images.