Around 18 months ago I wrote a short imaginary letter to Adobe Lightroom after I found that we had irreconcilable differences. I was surprised to discover just how quickly we made-up and have been back in domestic harmony for well over a year now.
Where I once found Lightroom awkward to use it all feels much more intuitive now. I do still prefer the more elegant interface of Aperture but only actually miss a few features - backup vaults and system-wide previews. Most of my original gripes about Lightroom have been addressed; either though software updates or experience. Now, I can’t imagine switching back to Aperture — not just because of the application features but I’m unsure about Aperture’s long-term future.
When I wrote that blog post, Aperture was sitting at version 3.2 and Lightroom had a beta version of 4.0 available and it was the release of 4.0 that switched me back to Lightroom. But look at how the two applications have developed since then (the text in red below). Aperture has had two minor revisions while Lightroom has gone though a complete revision cycle which has introduced significant improvements and new features. In Apple’s defence, it is worth highlighting that while Adobe have to support new camera models through updates to Lightroom, Apple addd this as part of updates to the operating system, so there is some justification for less frequent updates to Aperture. It does appear to justify my earlier concerns that the pace of Aperture’s development has slowed to a point where that alone was justification to jump ship. It's important for me as a keen photographer that I am in charge of my photo management tools. I want to be secure in the knowledge that the applications I use are actively supported and likely to be available for some time in the future. At the moment I don't have this feeling of security about Aperture.