PhotosInfoPro, Quo Vadis?
As you know there was no updates for PhotosInfoPro since 2013, that is, already for 3 years. I talked to many of you saying that I'm re-writing the app from scratch because of… well, a lot of things actually. There is a great blog post from Photosmith developers explaining what have caused them to stop the development: All good things. Similar app, similar troubles.
How it all started
It is said the ideas are in the air. I suppose I have started developing PhotosInfoPro at approximately the same time as Photosmith has been started. However I was doing it alone, so for me it took a bit longer. However it was, the first PhotosInfoPro version has been published on July 8th, 2011 - 3 month after Photosmith. Basically that meant that the immediate demand has been already covered and Photosmith visibility was much higher than mine - I never earned that much as they did. In fact, in all 5 years I earned less that they did in their first month.
Similar to Photosmith, at the beginning I had to struggle with all kinds of different crashes, primarily caused by ALAssets iOS framework. So two immediate updates and one a bit later are followed. Back in 2011 there were no those modern crash tracking services like Crashlytics and others that show you were the bug has happened exactly. Reproducing and fixing bugs has involved a little bit of magic.
After that I used to publish updates approximately twice a year. Similar to Photosmith people it is a night-and-weekend job for me. I never come close to the point where PhotosInfoPro would pay my bills.
iOS 7 has brought in a completely new user interface, and it was a breaking change. Just recompiling the app didn't work, the UI was completely brocken. Since I used a lot of custom UI classes to get a dark theme back at iOS6 days that meant that all UI had to be re-written from scratch. So I started doing it.
Then the iOS8 has deprecated the ALAssets and introduced a new framework called Photos. Though, in general, it was a right thing to do, however, by doing that they have killed all metadata APIs altogether. All what have been left is creation date, modification date, GPS location and "favorite". No Exif, no IPTC, nothing. Also no direct access to the different versions of the image was possible, e.g. if a had a RAW+JPEG couple there was no way to find it out in iOS8.
This was the time I started thinking of giving up on Apple's photos frameworks and doing something completely different. Basically I dreamed of a cataloguing app that would import and export photos and managed a metadata catalogue internally. And I started doing this. However doing all by myself without relying on any frameworks appeared a mammoth task, practically not manageable if you work alone. However I developed a metadata handling framework that I do reuse now.
iOS9 has added fine-grained access to single files including their original filenames. That was the change that made re-implementation of original PhotosInfoPro feasible (since I had a metadata handling framework already). Also Apple has introduced Swift which axed certain types of errors and in general made development faster and simpler. So I again started from scratch, already for the third time.
… long live the King
Despite starting from scratch so many times, I still didn't give up. The development slowly progresses. And in May I have started testing a very first Beta of what should become PhotosInfoPro replacement. It does not have much functionality yet. This is a minimal app that, from my point of view, has some usefulness by its own and demonstrates the technology. If you are interested in beta testing please drop me an email.
What about iOS10?
iOS10 despite being a huge update in things Photos for consumers is a minimal update for developers. (That is, if we forget support for editing RAW files on the device for a moment, which is indeed a huge step forward.) The only change in the Photos framework is a support for Live Photos editing. And this is actually good news: that means no starting from scratch this time. Yay!Go to top
PhotosInfoPro is featured in a book
I'm really excited to announce that a first book featuring PhotosInfoPro is got published: iPad for Photographers, The: Master the Newest Tool in your Camera Bag, 2nd Edition.
I'm very grateful to the author @jeffcarlson. And a special thanks to Peachpit - they have provided a 35% c discount code for all PhotosInfoPro customers who will purchase the book at peachpit.com. To qualify simply enter the code IPADPHOTO at checkout.Go to top
Today Apple has approved PhotosInfoPro 1.4. The new version implements many features requested by users like removal of GPS position from images as well as highly anticipated presets for creator and copyright information.
- Metadata presets for Creator and Copyright metadata
- Possibility to remove GPS position from an image. Please note that removing GPS position will only work when exporting to JPEG. Since when exporting using Master+XMP option the original image is not changed in any way also the original GPS position is preserved in the file.
- Last used export tab is preserved
- Creation time can be shown when other overlays are visible (can be enabled in settings, default is off)
- External and undocked keyboards fully supported
- Meaningful error messages & recovery suggestions for all frameworks used in the app (no "Global Denied Access" any more)
- When exporting to Dropbox or FTP master image is uploaded first followed by XMP to ensure that Lightroom doesn't ignore XMP's that have creation time earlier than that of the original image
- 'Add metadata to multiple' button icon changed to avoid confusion with edit metadata button icon
- IPTC location metadata can be assigned when no internet connection is available
- Many other small fixes and improvements
Today Apple has aproved PhotosInfoPro version 1.3.1. This version is fixing minor but annoying bugs as well as improves the UI of the application settings. The main visible change, however, is the new app icon. I hope you will like it.
- New app icon
- Re-worked settings to match style with the rest of the app
- Overlays (star rating, presence of GPS and keywords) can be switched on also in normal state (usually they are visible only in select for export or select to add metadata states)
- Export JPEG resolution 1920, 2048 and 2560 settings added
- Export JPEG quality setting added
- Dropbox can be authorized and de-authorized from the settings
- Added rate / review button to settings
- Suppressed incorrect 'Frame load interrupted' error message when authenticating Dropbox
- Added support for HTTP Bad Gateway error code
- LensInfo and FocusDistance ExifAux values properly decoded
- ColorSpace value 1 now written as sRGB instead of RGB, added Adobe RGB color space recognition if original file name is available
- ShutterSpeedValue and ApertureValue are clarified to be in APEX format as specified in EXIF standard for these attributes; the expected values for shutter speed and aperture are provided by ExposureTime and FNumber attributes, again as specified in EXIF standard
- Cancel / Done buttons are enabled / disabled when appropriate during FTP export to prevent illegal app states
- Fixed GPS pin displacement after moving the pin manually and zooming in/out
Thanks a lot to all people who send me bug reports. And huge thank you to the people who helped me testing the beta version.Go to top
PhotosInfo Pro 1.3
With the version 1.3 PhotosInfo Pro continues to add ways to get metadata from an iPad to a computer. Due to several requests I added export to FTP, also new is the export to Twitter (which I use myself from time to time). However the biggest feature of the new version probably is the possibility to show complete metadata for an image. It includes file name, creation date, full Exif metadata, basically everything I can get from an image. The complete list of changes is below:
- Export to FTP
- Export to twitter (only single JPEG images - the option isn't shown in batch mode)
- Full metadata (EXIF / filename / resolution / everything) view in single-image and full-screen modes. Please notice the "<<" button in the lower-right corner of the single image view.
- iOS 6 support
Lots of smaller bugfixes and improvements, e.g.:
- The last used tab in metadata editing is preserved - i.e. if you only use keywords you will never need to change tabs again
- Moving a pin in location editing updates the underlying metadata as expected
- Event names are sorted by date/event name instead of the order they were imported on iPad
- And many others...
Apple has aproved the update today, it shall appear at the App Store soon. Once again many thanks to the beta testers and all people who send me bug reports and feature requests. Without you help it would be much more difficult for me to continue the development.Go to top