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dogcow

Slow Development Progress of Mac Apps

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I bought Affinity Designer (and then Photo) fairly early on. The apps were early days in terms of features and stability, but I was excited by the potential they had to be true Photoshop and Illustrator competitors. Updates were big and arrived often.

 

But then an iPad version was announced being in development and I noticed that progress on the Mac apps was noticeably slowing. Now a Publisher app has been announced, yet we don't even have a bugfix update for Designer 1.6 which came out almost 4 months ago. I know that work is being done on the Mac apps, but it feels like it must be a skeleton crew at this point. From a customer perspective it feels like Serif may have bitten off too much, and the original apps are suffering.

 

If this is a question of needing more revenue coming in, I'd be happy to pay more often for updates because I still believe in the potential of the products. But right now Designer and Photo for the Mac feel more like they're playing 2nd or even 3rd fiddle to the iPad and other Affinity projects. I use Designer mainly for UI design and it feels like there are less and less reasons to stick with it given the competition in that space. And I don't want to have to make that choice.

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Inevitable question, I suppose.  Are you also downloading and running the beta updates to see precisely the direction of development of the Affinity apps?

 

I'm not a Mac user so can't comment on the specifics of your question but, IMO, the latest Windows betas most definitely show various "developments" when compared with the latest retail version.

 

Jeff


Win 10 Pro, i7 6700K, 32Gb RAM, AMD Radeon R7 360 and Intel HD530 Graphics

 

Long-time user of Serif products, chiefly PagePlus and PhotoPlus, but also WebPlus, CraftArtistProfessional and DrawPlus.  Delighted to be using Affinity Designer, Photo, and now Publisher.

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I was thinking the same the other day. Just thinking about Designer there's still extremely basic functionality missing four years in for example, select same.... and offset paths (+ve you can get around, a -ve one don't think you can). I know someone will say it's on the roadmap but it doesn't help if it's a very, very long road. Guess that's the problem when you're releasing multiple apps on multiple platforms, good for bringing in customers but nothing gets finished. 

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Hi Cinelli,

Welcome to Affinity Forums :)

Part of the appealing of the suite is to be available on multiple platforms/be cross-compatible. For someone just using just one platform this may not look that important but for the users/companies using multiple platforms this is a huge advantage. It also helps strengthen the presence of the suite on the market which will end up be beneficial for everyone and for its development in the long term. Besides being cross-platform all apps share a common file format/base which helps switching/editing documents between them. For all this to work they must be developed in sync whenever possible. Saying that nothing gets finished is a little unfair. New features are simply being added as development permits - which is what selecting by attributes is (to pick your example). None of the apps on the market started with all possible features available from start and although that particular feature wasn't added yet there were others that got implemented during this time. Serif does the best to improve the apps as fast as possible but there's no point in rushing features just to get them outside quicker if their quality suffers as a consequence. Version 1.7 will add quite a few more improvements to the suite. Bear with us while we get there.

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4 hours ago, Cinelli said:

there's still extremely basic functionality missing ... for example, select same

 

Hello @Cinelli,

 

I do not consider 'select same' as something extremely basic. I agree that this is a very usefull feature and I miss it, too. But this is certainly an advanced feature that takes time to implement.

 

Cheers,

d.


Affinity Designer 1.7.1.404 (beta 1.7.2.464)   |   Affinity Photo 1.7.1.404 (beta 1.7.2.464)   |   Affinity Publisher 1.7.1.404 (beta 1.7.2.458)
Affinity Designer for iPad 1.7.0.7   |   Affinity Photo for iPad 1.6.8.77

Windows 10 (1809) 64-bit - Core i7 - 16GB - Intel HD Graphics 4600 & NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
iPad pro 9.7" + Apple Pencil

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Like heck it's an advanced feature. Advanced things are things like distort or gradient meshes not select same, that's basic functionality for a vector app.

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7 hours ago, emmrecs01 said:

Inevitable question, I suppose.  Are you also downloading and running the beta updates to see precisely the direction of development of the Affinity apps?

 

I'm not a Mac user so can't comment on the specifics of your question but, IMO, the latest Windows betas most definitely show various "developments" when compared with the latest retail version.

 

Jeff

 

I don't use betas to get work done. I agree that work is progressing, but that work is not reaching customers in a final, released state at the same pace it used to. (Unless you're using an iPad)

 

3 hours ago, MEB said:

Serif does the best to improve the apps as fast as possible but there's no point in rushing features just to get them outside quicker if their quality suffers as a consequence. Version 1.7 will add quite a few more improvements to the suite. Bear with us while we get there.

 

It's a bit odd that you replied to a different user instead of addressing my concerns, but I'll quote this bit. I'm sure you are improving the apps as fast as possible with the people you have, but the problem is you now have 4 things on the stove. Talking about quality is distracting from that main issue: Serif has 4 major products now (6 if you count the Windows versions as separate products). Y'all started other product initiatives like Publisher before your existing products people actually paid for were at a mature state. To me, this is the opposite of quality. Serif, in a macro sense, has chosen quantity instead.

 

As I said, if this is a matter of lack of revenue to hire more people, I think many of us would be willing to pay for updates more often if it means that updates would come at a more reasonable and reliable pace. As it stands now, it's hard to trust Serif in their dedication to and focus on the desktop versions of Photo and Designer.

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48 minutes ago, dogcow said:

 

I don't use betas to get work done. I agree that work is progressing, but that work is not reaching customers in a final, released state at the same pace it used to.

Nor do I use Betas "to get work done" but I do use them as a clear indication of the developments being introduced to the Affinity range. 

 

Perhaps you would like some of those developments to be released in "full" versions without them first being in beta?  Can you imagine the howls of protest when "new" features/developments actually don't work "as intended", simply because no or very little testing was done on them?  What would that say about Serif as a software company taking responsibility both for their products and for the success of their clients' projects?


Win 10 Pro, i7 6700K, 32Gb RAM, AMD Radeon R7 360 and Intel HD530 Graphics

 

Long-time user of Serif products, chiefly PagePlus and PhotoPlus, but also WebPlus, CraftArtistProfessional and DrawPlus.  Delighted to be using Affinity Designer, Photo, and now Publisher.

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4 minutes ago, emmrecs01 said:

Nor do I use Betas "to get work done" but I do use them as a clear indication of the developments being introduced to the Affinity range. 

 

Perhaps you would like some of those developments to be released in "full" versions without them first being in beta?  Can you imagine the howls of protest when "new" features/developments actually don't work "as intended", simply because no or very little testing was done on them?  What would that say about Serif as a software company taking responsibility both for their products and for the success of their clients' projects?

 

I really don't think you've fully read my topic if you think I just want them to ship untested software. My post is a SOS to Serif that they are taking on too much and their release timelines for some products are falling behind what is reasonable to expect based on their history and other apps in the market. Only they know the answer to why this is, but I'm here to express my frustration at it.

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