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Integration of the new collaboration api of WWDC 2022


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Hello,

WWDC 2022 has a section on a live collaboration api and how to integrate this in an app.

I was wondering is Affinity has any plans to use this?

Live collaboration in any of the Affinity tools would be amazing and very useful in the age of working from home.

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Hi @Remy Konings, can I ask how you envision using 'live collaboration' within the Affinity suite? 

I imagine any collaborative features would need to be cross-platform, as I'm unsure if the Apple 'live collaboration' API has any Windows support available or planned.

I can completely see it being useful for async collaborative tasks such as comments, reviews, edits, approvals, sync/share (assets, fonts, etc). but I struggle to see how having multiple people working on the same document at the same time would be useful. While Figma, Miro, Google Docs, etc all have real-time collaborative editing features, they tend to largely be utilized in meetings, often either through their own meeting facilities (ie: Google Meet) or via providing embedding (via an extension) to other environments (ie. Figma -> Google Meet). This works best with web/electron-based software as the rendering via web-tech is already built. In order for Serif to embed their documents into existing web-based workflows they would likely have to recreate much of their native rendering engine in web tech—a not insignificant task I imagine (also see Sketch).

Of course, they could add their own screen sharing, video/audio conferencing, messaging, etc into their native apps, but most orgs have already established their collaboration workflows around existing tools (Google Docs/Meet, Office/Teams, Slack, Canva, Creative Cloud, etc) so creating yet another collaboration platform seems like a risky proposition. 

To me, finding ways to tie into what is folks are already using seems like a smarter/easier way forward in terms of collaboration.

 

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Hi Bryan,

Thanks for discussing this with me. Regarding the technical details on how to achieve this real-time collaboration, I don't know, perhaps you know more about that. Having it work cross-platform is ideal of course. All though Affinity already supports iCloud which is an apple only feature too so depending on how hard it is to integrate, it could be a platform only feature to I image.

When it comes to live collaboration vs. async collaboration, I believe live collaboration simulates the actual real world more. Working together physically is actual "real-time" and not async. So to that end I believe that how faster you can get feedback on the work that you do, the better the collaboration will be.

I can image that you don't see the advantage in a feature like this, but I think Google Docs showed that real-time collaboration actually made a lot of sense to people after it was introduced, before that feature people would say; why would I want anyone else to type through my sentence. Users will find a way to make use of the real-time capabilities and will like it because it shows an up-to date version of the document/model/file that they are working on. As lots of tech companies would say; "it keeps everybody in sync".

I can imagine that in Affinity Publisher, it would be great to see in real-time that others are working on different slides. Really feeling that together with colleagues you are working towards a certain goal. Perhaps Photo and Designer are a bit different but I believe that it reflects the real world way better than async does. I myself work in a big design office in The Netherlands and always work async. I would love to work more collaborative with my colleagues.

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