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Affinity Publisher 'delay' might be a bad idea (?)


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Howdy,

 

I was disappointed to read a while back that Publisher has taken a back seat to allow for iOS development on the iPad Pro. (Correct me if I'm wrong on that I did read it a while back.)

 

With Photo and Designer coming along nicely I was hoping to be able to completely leave Adobe behind when Publisher launched as I believe are many other people.

 

Looking from the outside of the development of the Affinity Suite I think the delay might be a bad idea and focus should return to getting Publisher out the door first.

 

Many designers are stuck at a point of transition. Some have embraced the subscription model from Adobe, others have reluctantly accepted it and many flat out refuse to be held to ransom.

 

With CS6 being the last supported version of Adobes software on Apples latest operating system and Apple's change in release pattern to annual releases there is a strong possibility come October when the next OS is potentially released that it will break what compatibility CS6 still has with OSX. Indeed El Capitan itself caused us to have to download legacy Java software to keep running Illustrator CS6. I fear the next OS will break it entirely.

 

For those people that refuse to switch to Adobes subscription model and are waiting for Publisher to be able to completely leave Adobe, or those that are on the fence, and I believe there are quite a few, this will cause a problem if they wish to upgrade to Apple's latest OS when the time comes. If the new OS does indeed break compatibility and support is stopped for CS6, users will then be forced to either hold off upgrading their OS or reluctantly sign up to Adobes subscription model to bridge the gap. Thereby losing Affinity potential customers as by the time Publisher is launched they may indeed come round to being ok with using Adobe CC via subscription and not purchase Affinity Publisher at all.

 

If Publisher is launched before (probably not possible) or at least around the time of the new OS then this decision won't be so much of a headache and Serif/Affinity should make themselves available to many new customers. By delaying I think they're practically pushing potential customers back to Adobe.

 

I know developing is a very dynamic process and things move quickly at times but I think it bears thinking about somewhat. This is just my opinion obviously, what do you guys think?

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I'm one of the designers you refer to. I reluctantly pay Adobe a fee every month to use InDesign. I'm not opposed to subscription pricing, but I do think Adobe's pricing is extortionate; so I've long been looking for an alternative.

 

I agree, that Affinity can be that replacement for a lot of people. Small design houses, freelance designers, students - these are the people and businesses that Affinity should target. Move on to much larger companies and agencies, and you will be hard pressed to move any of them away from tools and workflows that they have heavily invested in. It has to happen eventually... just look at Quark, but releasing three Mac apps isn't going to make it happen. Half of Adobe's dominance isn't how capable their tools are, but how ubiquitous their tools are.

 

I was looking forward to a speedy release of Publisher as much as anybody, but it's hard to fault a company for focusing development on an emerging technology where (if done well) they could arguably own customers mindshare.

 

A 30 year old interaction model (desktop PC's) won't dominate in the future, it can't, technology moves too fast. I won't claim that the likes of an iPad is ready to take over and power businesses worldwide right now, but I do believe that thinner, lighter, faster, and more natural (like pen on paper) devices like it are the future in an industry such as design.

 

So while Adobe faff about making gimmick apps designed to tie you further into their world, and require their desktop tools for any meaningful output; someone like Serif can concentrate on making apps that can actually be used for professional output. The next generation of designers will flock to a great app on a device they love, and happily wave goodbye to the desktop. Companies like Adobe will show themselves to be the dinosaurs they are, and continue extorting larger businesses until they're forced to die or change (there's definitely a little hyperbole there).

 

TLDR; There's definitely money to be made by releasing desktop apps, and still years where the desktop will dominate; but there's more money to be made by owning the mindshare of a generation raised on touch devices.

 

Can't say I blame them for focusing a little more on something like the iPad Pro. If released quickly, Affinity Designer could see them on stage at the release keynote for the next iPad Pro.

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While I agree on many of your points I don't think only having 3 apps will hold back Serif or the Affinity brand. As long as the three are capable of creating vector (Designer) and bitmap (Photo) images and producing layouts and press ready PDFs (Publisher) then the suite is essentially complete and will allow many to jump into the Affinity world without much trouble.

 

At the moment we can create graphics and edit photos with Affinity but we are unable to create anything to put them to use. i.e. a multipage document/brochure or webpage. We still require Adobe for that.

 

Creating Designer/Photo for iPad will still bring us to the point where we are unable to do anything with the files we create until Publisher is released. We might make a poster, or stationery set and fire off a PDF to the printer but without a real publishing platform from Affinity we will still have to rely on Adobe for those kind of things. 90% of my work is done in InDesign. I create in Photo and Designer but have to use InDesign to bring those elements together. It will be the same on any platform until Publisher is released.

 

This is not a criticism of Serif or the Affinity team by any means, they are doing an absolutely fantastic job and I'm with them all the way but I just feel that getting the publishing app out there to close the circle first, so to speak, and then focus on expanding that circle.

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I'm in the same boat. Still using CS6, only Indesign. Photoshop and Illustrator have been thrashed. I was looking forward to the Publisher beta, but alas.

 

About the focus to iOS, I hope they can prove me wrong, I really do, but I can't think of using any kind of iPad for serious work. Even if it has "Pro" printed on the back.

How do I connect a Thunderbolt Raid to an iPad ?

I have 32 TB of data split between 4 Raid systems. How would I ever access that data and use it with an iPad ?

Even if Serif can pull off a kick-ass application on iOS, they would still be severely crippled by the consumer oriented filesystem.

 

If it's purely a marketing effort, to get themselves in the spotlight, I agree, this makes sense.

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A 30 year old interaction model (desktop PC's) won't dominate in the future, it can't, technology moves too fast. I won't claim that the likes of an iPad is ready to take over and power businesses worldwide right now, but I do believe that thinner, lighter, faster, and more natural (like pen on paper) devices like it are the future in an industry such as design.

 

I don't really see desktop PCs being replaced any time soon (at least for professional users). No interaction device I have seen comes even close to the operating speed I have employing keyboard and mouse. At the moment I could not even imagine how such a device would look like, but is certainly not a tablet with a pen. I believe most design software is too complex (interaction wise, lacking input devices and screen estate) to use on such devices anyway (think about anything here that's not "casual use" like professional video editing, 3d applications, CAD, etc).

 

Maybe most design tools will be used more casually in the future and that's where the money will be, I am not disputing that — but for pro users, I don't see the desktop PC era ending soon (though my back would definitely hope for it).

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I agree with these comments. I too feel that as much as iOS apps have a great market, it is still difficult to manage photos in a professional capacity (you first have to import the photo into the iPad for starters, which is not the same as a connected drive). iOS is great for people uploading camera shots to Pinterest or Facebook, but I can't imagine sending a client job to a print house from my iPad, let alone trusting it for color accuracy or even zipping the file. So I still see the need to offload it to desktop to complete it.

 

That said though, it's not a criticism of Serif or their reasonings. I respect that, and I can imagine so much to do that they would want to target both but have to choose priority. iOS is a big market. I feel Publisher is the app that will let us truly move from Adobe as long as we can rely on its output (and that it covers the needs of a professional designer...trapping, color, etc).

 

I think what Serif has accomplished is amazing at the very least, and I applaud their successful efforts. I know I am anxious for Publisher, and I think I probably share that with everyone else, hence this topic.

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I´ve followed this interesting discussion and first of I have to say that it really is remarkable how respectful you´re to each other, giving real reasons for your statements! It´s super interesting to question the decisions Affinity/ Serif has made and try to understand their priorities.

 

Now I´d like to add just two things

 

file system

- it´s true that iOS has no real file system but at least you´ve got iCloud (you can add it as an icon to your home screen and browse the folders) which got just a lot more affordable (I´ve got like 50Gb for 2€/ Month which I find acceptable) 

- you could use a NAS and browse the files using an FTP client and AP/ AD for iOS will probably be able to open those files and save them back to a NAS

 

usability for complex tasks

- I´ve had two iPads (a mini and later on an Air), sold both because I had no real use for them but I´d probably get an iPad Air again just to trace outlines of objects for photo manipulation/ composing. I think this could be super convenient with a thin stylus where you can easily follow the contours of an object. it´s like a cheap Cintiq. And I guess Affinity will implement "handoff" so you can continue on your Mac when you finished the special tasks on the iPad.

 

An iPad alone will probably never replace a Mac, iOS is not meant for managing stuff. Steve Jobs said back then that the Mac should be the center/ the hub of all your digital stuff and that is still the way the Apple ecosystem is organized. 

 

And last: Publisher will truly bring the designs to live. But the Designers are lucky cause the Photo guys have to wait for a DAM even longer.

 

 

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Sven--I think that Adobe would like you to think it is "too complex". However, having seen software (eg Procreate) built from the ground up with maximizing iOS and processor performance, I can see that it is possible to have powerful apps on the iPad Pro. My sense with Affinity is that they also have this mindset, and I really look forward to seeing what they do with the apps on iOS.

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Thanks for your response Sven. Let me add--one reason Adobe appears to be "complex" in terms of input is because of the way inputs developed for the desktop (mouse, keyboard, pen/tablet), where touch was a kind of afterthought on some Wacom tablets and shortcuts were relegated to keyboard commands, etc. After using a paint program like Procreate on the iPad, going back to PS on the desktop seems like a step backwards. I think that effective software design is a big factor that can't be discounted.

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"Affinity Publisher 'delay' might be a bad idea?”

Of course. But Serif earns money, which is the only important thing. The fact is that the launching of Affinity Publisher was announced for 2015. Perhaps an advertising trick. Anyway, Serif needs much more time or man power to even complete the first two apps “with all the features professionals expect” as announced. Perhaps Serif did not have a perfect app concept and wastes to much energy with simple questions in this forum because the help system is/was not perfect. Well, time is running, but we think it does not matter. We users have many alternatives. In 2017 we will see if Affinity Publisher/the trio has the tools we needed in 2015.

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"let alone trusting it for color accuracy"

Colour. Fonts. Compression. Distribution. Collation. Output. Calibration. Printer Drivers.

 

There's a lot of things to be overcome with the iPad. Not being a developer I can't really imagine the possibilities; It will be interesting for sure.

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I was disappointed to read a while back that Publisher has taken a back seat to allow for iOS development on the iPad Pro. (Correct me if I'm wrong on that I did read it a while back.)

FYI:

 

In FAQs Serif tells us: "We are going to focus on completing the full suite (including Affinity Publisher) on the Mac over the next 12 months. After that we will look into other platforms.“ and “We are definitely going to launch some products on iPad, we are researching and testing this right now.“

 

MEB: “There will be an Affinity Designer app for iPad/iPad Pro. It's currently under development but it may still take a little until it's ready.“ (14 December 2015) and "Affinity is also developing an iPad version of Affinity Designer, however it will only come after the Mac line have been developed/established“ (06 January 2015)

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I'd been really hoping to replace CS too but I've come to accept it won't be possible for the foreseeable. Neither Affinity Photo or Designer are anywhere close to the Adobe options so the prospects of Publisher competing with Indesign when its eventually released seems hopeful at best.

 

So for now I'm enjoying having the odd tinker with Affinity apps in the hope that one day I will be able to use them fully, but realistically I don't see any prospect of that for at least a couple of years and that's not taking into account the understandable distraction of the iPad.

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  • 1 month later...

You know what I see nearly every graphic designer in the damn country using?

InDesign on a desktop/laptop computer.

 

You know what I don't see a single graphic designer using, anywhere, ever?

An iPad Pro.

 

Very disappointing news to hear of the Publisher delay. My company (and me personally) are waiting to switch to all the affinity apps and dump Adobe CC. But we can't do it until there is an app to replace InDesign

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My company (and me personally) are waiting to switch to all the affinity apps and dump Adobe CC. But we can't do it until there is an app to replace InDesign

Of course you can. If you feel Designer and Photo are already capable of replacing Ai and Ps, then just use those and get a single app subscription to InDesign while you wait for Publisher. It'll even be cheaper.

 

They'll play just fine with InDesign, Adobe didn't design their apps to work together, they just bought them from other companies. InDesign can handle embedded PDF, EPS, PSD, whatever you need it to.

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...Adobe didn't design their apps to work together, they just bought them from other companies. InDesign can handle embedded PDF, EPS, PSD, whatever you need it to.

I have no idea where you got the idea that Adobe bought InDesign or Illustrator. Both those apps were written from the ground up by Adobe. Photoshop was purchased before it was even a 1.0 product back in the 80s, so you can basically say that it's an Adobe original.

 

I'm aware that we can subscribe to only InDesign, but the cost is nearly half of the entire CC suite. Saving $20 per month isn't worth the effort of switching. Saving the entire $50 per month is.

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InDesign exists because they bought Pagemaker from Aldus. Illustrator is what is today because they got Freehand in the Macromedia deal and customers preferred it to Illustrator.

 

Single app is $20. You save $30 per month. Unless you need something else like After Effects, then that's a decent saving over the course of a year.

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