AMITIAE - Wednesday 23 September 2015

Cassandra: Photos Extensions in El Capitan Coming from MacPhun

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By Graham K. Rogers


With the El Capitan update to OS X expected in a few days time on 30 September, users and developers are anticipating some of the new features that can be expected. Macphun will be ready with a number of extensions for some of their applications.

As a long-time user of Aperture, I am aware that sometime in the future, Apple will stop supporting this, although not just yet. I am also aware that for now Photos is pretty much an all-eggs-in-one-basket approach from Apple for users of OS X. Those of us who want more sophisticated workflow and editing software may have to look to third party solutions in the future. I did look at a number earlier in the year and sort of decided that Phase One's Capture One Pro 8 would probably be my choice, despite its cost.

In recent months however, it has become clear that a lot of the work I do can be effectively carried out in Photos, which is particularly attractive for the way it syncs photos between device and has several easy to use editing features. What is less attractive is the way it handles a mix of RAW and JPG images (I usually take both with the DSLR camera I have).


Photos is also limited to those in-app editing tools: Enhance, Rotate, Crop, Filters, Adjust and Retouch. Currently, unlike Aperture, it is not possible to use plugins, to extend the feature set. In that application, I have installed plugins for iWatermark Pro and Tonality Pro among others.

However, the update to El Capitan is likely to see additional features, something like the app extensions possible in Photos on iOS devices, with a new extensions feature. I expect these will be controlled by the user via System Preferences which already allows some extensibility to certain OS X and applications' functions.

As part confirmation of this, a note from Macphun earlier today, headed "It has been a long wait, Apple", tells us that Photos for Mac will feature support for editing extensions and that the four major editing applications from Macphun - Intensify, Snapheal, Tonality and Noiseless - will be able to extend the editing capabilities of Photos.

The four apps are available on the Mac App Store. As I already have it, I will first try out the way Tonality works with Photos (next week) and if this is as effective as Tonality Pro is with Aperture, I may well expand my collection (I already have ColorStrokes) to include Intensify: the richness of images possible with this app looks as if it will suit me.


Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.



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