The software was announced yesterday, and I immediately registered for a 30-day trial copy. During the first few minutes after the AppleStore went down and back up, the registration was not working (a glitch in a domain name...); but then I could sign up, and got my email with the download link and a trial serial number. You can get it here too.
After playing with it for about 60 minutes, I'm DEFINITIVELY BUYING this upgrade.
Now here's how I did my test :
- smooth install (500+ MB to download, 800+ MB install on your disk); I renamed my Aperture 2 program to Aperture2 in my Applications folder, and installed Aperture3 with no glitch.
- the UI looks very much like Aperture 2, although with a more "childish" / iPhoto UI look, hence you won't be lost. It looks less pro than the black version, but it definitively is the same program. You won't be lost. Apple might consider allowing people to skin their programs like their browsers ;)
- as I had no pix to play with, I went straight to an import of a previous iPhoto'09 library (I have a few, managed with iPhoto Buddy). Easy import (although a bit slow: it my MacBook Pro aging, or is it converting the pix ?). I checked the box to leave the pix where they were originally. I imported 3 libraries, no problem.
- I started playing with Faces : it actually recognized all the faces I had already tagged with iPhoto'09, and then offered a few more to add. I don't need to redo that part. Good job. Nevertheless I noticed I had to click 2 times instead of 1 in iPhoto : one to move the default view to faces instead of pictures, another to click on the faces. It should have been by default on faces view.
- I started playing with Places : very similar to iPhoto. Again, I was a bit surprised to have to click on a button to start moving a pin, it should be done immediately ? also a bit weird, I couldn't move a map around, only zoom in / out. It works fine. Although I didn't test it, I'm sure it imports previous locations nicely too.
- Next up, playing with Adjustments and Presets. Great stuff, I believe this is something that Lightroom 2 has had for a while; I look forward to be playing with my own presets from now on.
- Of course, you can't help wanting to try out the export for Facebook and Flickr (no need for me to export to MobileMe). I miss an export for Picasa (that would be nice), and an export to Twitter (a link would have been great). AND THIS IS WERE THE GOOD STUFF ARRIVES : it works great. You can set up a folder to automatically synchronize your pix between Aperture and Facebook and Flickr (well one folder each). Add a picture, delete a picture in the folder, and the web is synchronized ;) (this is what Picasa online and offline used to do well). CHANGE A SETTING on your picture, and AUTOMATICALLY the picture online will be modified TOO ! (no more need for Picnik now on Flickr). I wonder however whether the sync is automatic or whether I have to ask for a new sync regularly (couldn't find it in the preferences). I noticed captions and tags were already sync-ed. nice ! My only wish is for Aperture to manage DIFFERENT ALBUMS / SETS online : create a new album from within Aperture, upload to one or several albums / sets, and SYNC WITH EXISTING ALBUMS that already exist from pre-Aperture 3 times. (this is something Photobook does for Facebook for example). It would be almost nothing to do, since the sync part works already really great. I could then manage my 23K+ pix from within Aperture, sync with Flickr and Facebook for different things... Aperture would then become *the* program to manage all my pictures in a central place.
- as all Apple programs, I already customized the toolbar, maybe I'll need to dig into automated tasks (AppleScript?) and and need icons for scripts.
- the Metadata tag is much much nicer in this version : graphical instead of the DB form we had earlier. great work.
I'll update this post with some more testing of Aperture 3 in the next 29 days left. But I'm loving it already. And to be fair, I downloaded Lightroom 3 beta (never used Lightroom), let's see how that program works. One thing is sure : I have no more use for iPhoto '09 :)