New version of Aperture introduces plug-ins

Apple's latest release of Aperture adds functionality that allows third-parties to extend the photo editing suite's functionality.

The move could be seen as a warning to Adobe, whose Photoshop application has long supported third-party plug-ins. It also signals that Apple is serious about Aperture providing an alternative to the popular program.

Users of Aperture will be able to download the new version for free through Software Update. While no third-party plug-ins are available yet, Apple is shipping its own, called Dodge & Burn, along with the update.

Apple expects to have additional plug-ins available in the coming months, it said in a statement. Among those expected soon will allow for the adjustment of color and light, noise reduction, HDR tools, and fisheye lens distortion correction.

Effects from the plug-in are applied by clicking on the image and then choosing the desired effect from a menu. Apple hopes that the new technologies added through these plug-ins will negate the need to leave the application to edit images.

Such a move will also help push Aperture's market share higher as users will no longer need to have both Photoshop and Apple's application.

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