Apple’s new macOS Catalina operating system added plenty of new features, functionality and performance improvements, but in streamlining the experience, Apple also killed off a number of apps. While plenty more apps (including all 32-bit apps) were killed off, two photo-specific apps macOS Catalina can no longer run include Aperture and iPhoto.
Thankfully, there are determined developers and programmers who are always looking for the next problem to solve. Tyshawn Cormier is one of those programmers who has created an app called Retroactive that modifies both Aperture and iPhoto so the apps are usable on Apple computers running macOS Catalina.
Aperture was effectively neutered back in 2014 when Apple announced it was ceasing development of the pro-oriented photo management and editing application. Despite this, many clung on to the last update, which worked until macOS Catalina. If you’re one of those photographers who has loyally clung to Aperture, Retroactive should ensure you can continue to use the app without having to avoid the latest macOS update.
Likewise, Apple’s iPhoto app can also be modified to run in macOS Catalina with Retroactive. The app has since been replaced with Apple’s Photos app, but whether for nostalgia purposes or something else, you can now run iPhoto.
In order to use Retroactive, you’ll need to make sure you still have a copy of Aperture or iPhoto still on your computer. If you do, it’s simply a matter of downloading Retroactive from GitHub, giving it the required permissions to alter the apps and letting it do its thing.
Not all functionality is salvaged, but by and large the apps still run without much issue. Specifically, neither Aperture nor iPhoto are able to play videos or export slideshows, but aside from that all former functionality remains.
You can download Retroactive from GitHub and read through a wonderfully detailed guide on how to install and run Retroactive on macOS Catalina.