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Option for disabling Internet connection (serifservices.com)


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Each time I start up Affinity Photo (1.10.4 Mac), Little Snitch (a firewall which blocks outgoing connections) tells me that it's attempting to "phone home". I'm concerned about privacy issues.
It appears to make no difference to Photo's functionality if I deny the connection, so for whatever reason Affinity Photo is doing this I'd like to see a preference setting where the user can decide if this should be accepted or not.

"Check for updates" is already disabled here, so this is obviously something else.
PS: the same sort of behaviour I've described here also applies to Affinity Designer (1.10.4 Mac). I don't own Affinity Publisher, so I can't speak for that one.

959565210_ScreenShot2022-01-11at22_00_20.png.5f66074eb3d9f234f5117bc280868e42.png


 

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I believe you're right!
I logged out of the user account, quit and then opened up Affinity Photo again. This time Little Snitch didn't alert me.
Are there any downsides to being logged out when using the app (once the free content etc. has been download and installed)?

I'm going to see if the behaviour is consistent, but this looks promising! Thanks for your suggestion 😀

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20 hours ago, Chroma said:

Are there any downsides to being logged out when using the app

If you purchase new content from Serif's online store, it will not be installed automatically.

Serif has hinted that additional functionality will be added to that interface in the future, but we don't know what that might be yet.

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  • 11 months later...
On 1/13/2022 at 4:55 PM, Chroma said:

I believe you're right!
I logged out of the user account, quit and then opened up Affinity Photo again. This time Little Snitch didn't alert me.
Are there any downsides to being logged out when using the app (once the free content etc. has been download and installed)?

I'm going to see if the behaviour is consistent, but this looks promising! Thanks for your suggestion 😀

To quote my own posting..... no, the behaviour isn't consistent. It keeps on asking to go online despite being logged out and update checking turned off. Any ideas why it's doing this and how to turn it off?
(yes, I can always tell Little Snitch to block it "forever", but that'll also block any attempts of mine to manually check for updates which I occasionaly do).

 

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On 1/14/2022 at 7:50 AM, fde101 said:

If you purchase new content from Serif's online store, it will not be installed automatically.

Or if Serif adds new free content to your account, you won't know, and it won't be downloaded automatically (assuming you've configured that option).

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.5, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.5

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49 minutes ago, Chroma said:

To quote my own posting..... no, the behaviour isn't consistent. It keeps on asking to go online despite being logged out and update checking turned off. Any ideas why it's doing this and how to turn it off?
(yes, I can always tell Little Snitch to block it "forever", but that'll also block any attempts of mine to manually check for updates which I occasionaly do).

 

What version of the app are you running now, and (if V2) have you Activated a license or is it in Trial mode?

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.5, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.5

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51 minutes ago, Chroma said:

(yes, I can always tell Little Snitch to block it "forever", but that'll also block any attempts of mine to manually check for updates which I occasionaly do).

Or, alternatively, you could have some trust that Serif has programmed it to connect for legitimate reasons, and tell Little Snitch to always allow it.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.5, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.5

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35 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

you could have some trust that Serif has programmed it to connect for legitimate reasons

I definitely am "paranoid" and I don't go online without my Little Snitch and Windscribe VPN gumboots on.
But seriously, in the past 8 years with Affinity I haven't seen a reason to distrust Serif, thinking they've been collecting data for some shady actions.

Currently working with APu 1, and its recent connections were:

  • s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com
  • go.seriflabs.com
  • cdn.pixabay.com
  • pixabay.com

Nothing to get paranoid about, as far as I'm concerned. Last activity was in fact 24 hours ago, probably when I launched the app yesterday.

MacBookAir 15": MacOS Ventura > Affinity v1, v2, v2 beta // MacBookPro 15" mid-2012: MacOS El Capitan > Affinity v1 / MacOS Catalina > Affinity v1, v2, v2 beta // iPad 8th: iPadOS 16 > Affinity v2

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1 hour ago, Chroma said:

Version 1.10.6, and I have an activated license for it.

At 1.10.6 it would be connecting during application startup to check for updates, or to display offers on the welcome screen, or to check for new content in the Affinity Store if you're signed in to your account via My Account. And it might connect later if you use the Stock panel. 

And it might also need a network connection if you had a file open on the network when you last closed the app, if you've configured the option to reopen files when you start the app.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.5, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.5

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On 12/27/2022 at 5:04 PM, walt.farrell said:

At 1.10.6 it would be connecting during application startup to check for updates, or to display offers on the welcome screen, or to check for new content in the Affinity Store if you're signed in to your account via My Account. And it might connect later if you use the Stock panel. 

And it might also need a network connection if you had a file open on the network when you last closed the app, if you've configured the option to reopen files when you start the app.

a) update checking is turned off (set to "never")
b) there's no welcome screen upon startup (and I don't know how to enable it -is it the one I get when I go to "Affinity Photo"-"My account" when I'm logged out?). I suppose I may have told it never to show again the first time it appeared.
c) I've tried starting up with either being logged into my account and when having previously logged out of it
d) I've had "Reopen document(s) on startup" enabled and disabled. Makes no difference

So it seems Affinity Photo insists on going online no matter what. Little Snitch tells me it first wants to connect to "serifservices.com", then to "s3.amazonaws.com".

 

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I have a fully licensed version, so the reason can't be because it's a trial.
Thanks for the link to that "Why Are V2 Apps Constantly Connecting to the Internet?" thread. Lots of useful info although none of the suggestions there helped.
Also there's apparently no "Help improve the product by automatically uploading crash reports" in my version 1, so I can't disable that. Maybe it's hard-coded into version 1 and the reason why it goes online every time.

I noticed that for some reason Affinity Photo no longer starts up with the image I was previously working on, despite "Reopen document(s) upon startup" being turned on. I've created a test document, pressed CMD-S (to save it), quit Affinity Photo, started Affinity Photo again (which again tries to connect online as it always does), but the previous document isn't opened (it is however shown in the "File"-"Open recent" menu.
Perhaps my settings have somehow become corrupted. I'd like to remove and reinstall everything, but I've put a lot of effort into organizing the tool icons in a manner closer to Photoshop's, and I've also created some strokes which I have available at any time which I don't want to lose. Suggestions?

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3 hours ago, Chroma said:

I noticed that for some reason Affinity Photo no longer starts up with the image I was previously working on, despite "Reopen document(s) upon startup" being turned on. I've created a test document, pressed CMD-S (to save it), quit Affinity Photo, started Affinity Photo again (which again tries to connect online as it always does), but the previous document isn't opened

That is partially controlled by your Affinity Preferences, and partially by your Mac System Settings.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.5, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.5

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Yes, you're right! I've done that mistake before but forgotten about it 😬

On the Mac's menu-bar (top left: the Apple menu), go to "System preferences"-"General" where you have to disable (untick) "Close windows when quitting an app".
And with Affinity Photo's "Preferences"-"General" with "Reopen document(s) upon startup" enabled I once again had my previous photo opened. So at least the preferences seem to be OK then and not the cause for my constant going online frustrations.
1452225519_ScreenShot2022-12-29at13_19_43.png.186e05297a84b4dedb2c83fb6cef683b.png

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