I was kinda doubtful when I read this Think Secret post about Apple axing the entire Aperture team. I don’t think this program is a failure by any means – on the contrary, it’s a very innovative app with a attractive interface, a surprising workflow and a lot of potential. Of course, it has its shortcomings, the main one being its general slowness – but this is not a showstopper as it can always be fixed (just look at the evolution of Mac OS X).
Through John Gruber’s post echoing the same concerns, I discovered Blake Seely‘s web site. I’ve never heard of him, but he apparently has a deep mastery of Cocoa that has secured him a job at Apple, in the Aperture team. Reading through his blog, I discovered his Mugshot application.
Despite a somewhat alienish look on the Mac platform (with its strong colors and flat interface it feels more like Lightroom than Aperture) and its obvious “beta” status, this is an app that fulfills an actual need – it’s basically iPhoto for flickr. You can browse your pictures by albums, your contacts’ or the groups you belong to. The interface is minimalist, but the thing it does, it does well – you can explore thousands of flickr pictures nicely organized in lists, with no need to refresh pages or whatever, and the thing is pretty fast, too 🙂 As little bonuses, you can explore tags, download and send pictures directly to iPhoto.
Anyway, this is good news for Aperture – help from someone with fresh ideas and deep insights into the OS X architecture can’t possibly hurt…