PhotosInfoPro

PhotosInfo Pro Logo

IPTC photo metadata editor for iPad with Adobe XMP® support

Version 1.0.1 submitted for review

2011-07-14 09:00:00

Today I submitted a new app version (1.0.1) to Apple. It fixes a couple of crashes and glitches:

  • a potential crash is fixed if the user goes into the metadata editing faster than the original metadata is read from the photo library and stored in the database;
  • fixed the crash in the library browser when having albums and events but no faces, or albums and faces but no events;
  • in the library browser Photo Library is shown just once independently whether the library contains albums imported over iTunes or not;
  • export progress indicator is shown correctly (you can see it goes to the very end);
  • Photo Library default square thumbnails are shown beforehand when generating original app thumbnails.

I'm very sorry for the issues. It is my commitment to provide you with the highest quality professional application that you can rely upon. I need to improve on that. As an indi-developer it is hard for me to reach the variety of the systems and configurations needed to cover all possible scenarios. For future updates I will contact those of you who have informed me of the bugs in the current version and ask if you like to make some beta-testing. Any other volunteers for beta testing are certainly also welcome.

Furthermore, I will continue improving the framework for bug notifications so that I can fix possible issues fast. As far as I know, the functionality to send detailed error reports to the developer is currently unique on the App Store, and it really does help to find the cause of a fault.

Unfortunately not everything is in my hands. Some of the API's provided by Apple have bugs too. At the moment after synchronizing images over iTunes the app sometimes need to be explicitly forced to exit and re-started again to get the changes in the Photo Library. I do support the corresponding notification but it never comes (I tried other photography apps and they behave it a similar way - so it is not just me). Changes made on the iPad itself, e.g. deleting a photo using Photos app, importing images using Camera Connection Kit or otherwise saving a photo to Photo Library, are recognized without any issues.

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The app is online: first bugs or about how I plan to provide support

2011-07-11 10:00:00

PhotosInfo Pro was approved and now is available on the App Store. One day after first bug reports starting to appear:

  • For some people the app crashes every time when pressing the Library button, limiting this way the usefulness of the app to just one folder. I will develop a special version of the app logging every operation when starting the library and distribute to the people who have reported the bug using the AdHoc distribution. After the bug is found and fixed, I will publish the update on the App Store.
  • One person has reported issues when exporting images (crashes, sometimes no crash but also no images exported). Well, I have seen similar issues in certain iOS versions, it seems the underlying ImageIO library doesn't work as expected in certain iOS versions. I will do my best to fix or circumvent it somehow.

In general, my position is that "Pro" apps distinguish from "Consumer" apps not in feature set, but in support. And this is what I will try to do: provide you the best support I can. However, if it happens that you don't receive the response immediately, please understand that I'm an indi-developer and sometimes need a vacation too. I will come back to you as soon as I can.

Bugs are inevitable, they will appear however well I test the app: they are caused by the variety of content (and sometimes iOS versions) that you can have on your iPads. In future I will provide beta-versions to those of you who would like to participate. Doing this for the 1.0 was not possible: without having any customers you can not really ask them to test something. This is a chicken and egg problem.

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PhotosInfo Pro submitted for review

2011-07-01 21:00:00

I have just submitted the PhotosInfo Pro for review to the App Store. I have thoroughly tested in the recent weeks, it should be stable 99.9% of the time. Of course, bugs are inevitable in a 1.0 software, however well I test it, if you notice one please write me an email.

The website is almost finished: I have just 1 demo video at the moment, the tutorial videos will come a little bit later. Furthermore, the styles on the blog page seem to not work properly, I hope to fix it before the app goes online.

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Why PhotosInfoPro?

2011-06-20 13:00:00

The original idea to write an iPad app to manage photos metadata has appeared sometime in October 2010. Well, actually I had an idea to write a Digital Asset Management application for digital images at least 3 years ago. However, that time, in 2008, there was no iPad and the existing software – Lightroom, Aperture, Photo Mechanic, iView,… was already very capable. It was extremely hard, near impossible for an indi-developer to come up with a new product that could compete against existing solutions. Though that original idea has never fulfilled, nevertheless, I learned a lot about photos metadata at that time.

Since the iPhone SDK has appeared I was developing other iPhone/iPad applications. But last fall I somehow returned to the idea to try to write a metadata managing app for digital photos. Interesting, the time point is almost the same as it was for the Photosmith developers. The idea must have been flying in the air.

Fast it was clear to me that a full-featured DAM application would just take too long, so I have decided to focus on adding metadata to images instead of trying to do everything in one shot – having metadata is a precondition for being able to manage it. Furthermore, for the first part I have chosen classical textual metadata: IPTC Core, rating and GPS. Having some experience with how existing solutions edit textual metadata – in many cases you just have a list of text fields where you can type you metadata in, letter by letter – it was clear to me that there is some room for improvement. By now improved are keywords editing and combined GPS / IPTC Core-location editing. Improved author and copyright editing sections will follow: I have cut the feature set for the 1.0 again, this time due to unveiling of the Photosmith app.

In contrast to the Photosmith app, PhotosInfoPro relies on XMP and does not provide direct sync with either Aperture or Lightroom. This was the original idea. Many people use neither of them. I didn’t want to artificially limit the customer base to get just a little bit of convenience. Very fragile convenience actually, since transmitting huge RAW files over WiFi takes very long time, much longer than over USB.

The app is fast and I hope fun to use. The thumbnail generation is the fastest on the App Store and scrolling is perfectly smooth even on the iPad 1. I’m also quite satisfied with keywords editing and GPS sections. I don’t have the full overview, but it seems the PhotosInfoPro is the only image geocoding app on the App Store that has both direct and reverse geocoding – you can both search for locations using a textual name and find textual descriptions for known locations.

Furthermore, I have added two color schemes for the app (switchable in the settings). I have originally started development from the dark color scheme – somehow I like dark background when looking at photos (this is the color scheme you see on the web site), it distracts me less from the images. However it appeared that the UI is barely visible in the bright sunlight. And instead of substituting the colors I simply added a second color scheme, which is the default now. In a dark room however, you may want to try the original dark color scheme and see which one you like the most.

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