Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Aperture 2 released - $199 in both Canada and US

Apple finally released Aperture 2 yesterday with a long list of new features, not the least of which is a new plug-in architecture for third party image editing plug-ins.
Apple has added the ability to create editing plug-ins for Aperture, which will, over time, revolutionize the program. Having an edit plug-in interface means that Aperture users will be able to do just about anything to their images. It’ll be possible to create plug-ins that replicate film effects, add borders, allow for selective edits like dodging and burning—the possibilities are pretty endless. For the purist who only wants to focus on Aperture’s image editing tools, there’s no need to ever add a plug-in, but for those who have been hankering to extend the program’s capabilities—your wish has been granted.
This is a huge addition to the program, and one that will likely make it much more popular with professionals. The support of third party developers will go a very long way to help solidify Aperture's place in the market.

Other important additions and improvements include things like tethered camera support, background exporting, improved speed, and a whole host of others.

Also big news is Apple's new pricing structure. It's only $199 now for the full application, and $99 for the upgrade. Just as importantly, the Canadian dollar is treated at par, and the pricing is the same in Canada, reflecting the fact that the Canadian dollar is essentially now worth the same as the US dollar. This is even better than the comparative pricing on the new 32 GB iPod touch, released last week. It's $499 in the US, and $519 in Canada, a 4% difference. That's not quite at par, but close enough, especially considering the Canadian dollar was worth a few cents less a couple of weeks before the 32 GB iPod touch was released. It appears that the US's low dollar isn't raising prices much for Americans, but is helping to lower prices on Apple's products elsewhere in the world.

The educational pricing in the US isn't particularly impressive in comparison however. Aperture 2 is $179 for education individuals, just $20 less than the full retail price. The educational pricing in Canada has not yet been posted.