“Ever since Steve passed, the company has seemed to be off course – not financially – but in regards to vision. Even before Steve passed, we saw the Final Cut Pro debacle – turning one of the most successful professional video editing applications into a glorified version of iMovie.”
Apple’s mojo in the second Steve Jobs era was always to make some bold steps and then refine. Sometimes the refining got stuck and the product was either abandoned or another bold step was made. Final Cut Pro X fits 100% into this pattern. Calling it a glorified iMovie is a dismissive polemic (ie, lying by exaggerating for the personal satisfaction an attack on something yields). The current version of FCPX is much closer in features to the last pre-X version than to iMovie.
In regard to Aperture, nothing much is new. It is just the same trend that has been there all along with LR receiving more frequent major updates and having an edge regarding image adjustments and Aperture an edge regarding organisation. It is just that the gap that has been growing slowly but steadily (in regard to image quality but also to some extent speed and reliability) has become now big enough to being noticed more easily. Aperture had a head start but not one that was long enough to become really entrenched and its effect has all but disappeared.
Apple’s secrecy has also hardly changed over the last decade but when it brings great products and surprises, we like it and when there is a longer period without new products, we hate it.
All that does not mean that LR might now not be noticeably ahead of Aperture in a lot of areas. But we don’t need to spice up that conclusion with how things were better under Steve and anyway everything was better in the past. Because they generally weren’t.
P.S.: Raw support in Aperture for new cameras has noticeably speeded up this year and has beaten LR for a number of cameras if we don’t count pre-release versions.