>I have never considered Apple to be a solid software company.
What does that even mean? That they make bad software? For one, they make the most popular certified UNIX OS in the world, and one of the two most popular mobile OSs. Their professional offerings are great too: Logic Pro, Aperture, Final Cut Pro, etc. In fact, FCPX aside, they are professional staples, with few competitors.
And huge number of desktop and the majority of mobile users use a browser they developed to the best game in town starting from humble open source origins (khtml -> webkit).
And that Clang thing, that FreeBSD recently adopted? Their work too, along with other LLVM infrastructure.
>Their software, however, often leaves much to be desired. I say this both as a developer and a user.
Care to mention any substantially better mobile OS than iOS?
(One might argue that Android is better. But substantially better, no way in hell).
>Popularity means good software? Windows must be the best OS by very far then!
Yes, windows too, has had historically delivered the things its users cared about.
"Good software" is not some mystical status of code perfection, it's doing the things its users want it to do. So, yes, popularity equals good software.
Software, as any engineering effort, is measured by its utility and use. It's not like art where popular is not necessarily good. Unless you are some kind of dreadful "code poet", whose programs nobody uses.
But notice how I didn't just say that Apple's software is good because it's popular. For example, I challenged anyone to mention a "substantially better mobile OS than iOS".
>Regarding mobile OS, we all know this now depends on the number of "apps" available.
No, even without apps, the basic OS is just as important. iPhone, at it's introduction, had by far the best OS of every other smartphone out there, even without third party apps at all.
>Many may have made a superior OS, but adoption has been too low because of the lack of apps.
Really? Disregarding apps at all from the comparison, do you care to mention one "superior mobile OS", let alone "many"?
No, it doesn't. I think what you really meant popularity of a mobile OS depends on the number of apps available. In reality, a good OS really depends on the quality of its API. Code you can rely on to build great apps.
And, what do you mean by many have made superior OS? You meant Blackberry OS 10? Nah, it's vaporware. Or what you really meant WebOS? Nah, it's fartware. Nokiat attempts with weird funny names? Windows Mobile 8? Have you heard of DLL hell or whatever flavor of bad API Redmond throws out the windows these days?
We really have two mobile OS, Android and iOS. They both have good APIs, and also some dirty little bugs inherent of any new code base. And we have to deal with it.
>Aperture a professional staple? This is funny because I can see Adobe Lightroom installed everywhere but no aperture in sight. I'd say, the vast majority of pro photographers favor Lightroom.
I use Lightroom myself (part-time professional photograph). Lightroom just got better, faster, plus is cross-platform.
So, yes, Aperture plays second fiddle to Lightroom, but still Aperture remains the major competitor to Lightroom, and is used by many pros. Plus, it came out before Lightroom, and paved the way for this kind of photography workflow app as opposed to mere editing.
>They bought Logic and most Logic fans will tell you that they've mostly just dumbed it down and dropped the price since then, turning it into "GarageBand Pro"
I'm a Logic Pro user (and my brother is a Logic Pro, err, pro). Logic today has nothing at all to do with Logic at the time Apple bought Emagic. It's extremely more polished and powerful, with far more capabilities (from amp modeling, to flex audio manipulation, to several new builtin plugins instruments, to 64 bit operation, to multicore enhancements, to OSC support). It's not even close.
And it's not like Emagic is out of the loop. Apple uses the same engineering team, based in Germany.
Anybody who says anything about "dumbed down" is more likely a dilettante relying too much on bloggers and pundits. Apple has only _added_ features to Logic and streamlined the interface. Nothing has been taken out (unlike, say, FCPX, where some features were cut due to the rewrite from scratch).
Logic Pro always comes with top scores when reviewed in trade mags (Keyboard, Electronic Musician, Future Music, Mix, etc), and if you read those, you'll notice the vast majority of professional musicians uses either that or Pro Tools. Cubase, Sonar etc doesn't even register, and Live is mainly used by electronica/live acts for it's particular strengths.
So, the "dumbing down" is just the BS meme that spreads around based on misunderstanding the FCPX situation, and from reaction to whenever Apple makes the changes to their pro UI look to match their latest UI schemes.
>Not really much of a feather in their cap, particularly if you compare it to what the competition has been able to accomplish in the time timeframe.
What exactly have they "been able to accomplish in the timeframe"? Logic Pro 9, 3+ years old, is still on the top DAWs around. Pro Tools is not even 64-bit yet, and just recently got support for native operation. And Cubase, is, well hardly touching Logic in plug-in power and workflow.
You're in the minority opinion here. I've been making music on computers for over ten years and actually code my own VST plugins so I'm pretty familiar with this market and Ableton, Cubase, ProTools, StudioOne etc have all left Logic in the dust with the possible exception of midi editing which was a core strength of Logic since the Emagic days. The engineering team in Germany seems to have mostly been assigned to GarageBand.
I know far, far more people that have dumped Logic for something else since the acquisition than the other way around. None of them can be dismissed as dilettantes. And I don't know anybody that uses it for serious audio work. ProTools continues to utterly dominate that market.