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Apple releases Aperture plug-in programming kit

Third-party programmers now can get started creating plug-ins for the company's Aperture software for editing and cataloging photos.

Tiffen's color-filter plug-in for Aperture in action.
Tiffen's color-filter plug-in for Aperture in action. Apple

Apple on Monday released its software developer kit to let programmers write plug-ins for Aperture, the company's high-end image editing and cataloging software.

OK, I recognize it's not the world-changing, paradigm-shifting, heart-stopping iPhone SDK, but it's still important for the "creative professional" market to which Apple has catered for years.

This tool is designed to let others extend the abilities of Aperture, a move that adds some spice to its competition with Adobe Systems' Photoshop Lightroom. Adobe has scads of third-party companies that create plug-ins for regular Photoshop, but Lightroom still lacks the equivalent for important editing functions. However, many have extended Lightroom's abilities with export functions, image-processing presets, and even a geotagging tool.

Among those creating plug-ins for Aperture are Tiffen, Digital Film Tools, Nik Software, Image Trends, and PictureCode, Apple said.

Programmers can download the SDK from the Apple Developer Connection Web site. Some plug-ins are available for download. Find more information at the Aperture Plugged-In Community site.