Most people look at Photosmith and think it’s a simple app. That’s by design, and believe me, nailing that is very hard work. But once you get into the guts of it you realize that Photosmith 2 is quite complex. Everyone on our internal team (and especially the poor guy who has to document it) wasI  quite surprised!

With all that complexity comes a lot of testing.  I haven’t totaled it up yet, but I’m pretty sure we’ve collectively spent more hours just testing Photosmith 2 than I spent on the entire development of my last app… by a factor of two or three.

The great news is that things are going very well, we’ve sent out the build to the widest audience we can (within Apple’s rules) and we’ve already fixed everything that has been reported.  We expect to issue a second and final release candidate to the pool within the next few days and then it will be off to Apple for the golden seal of approval (hopefully!) and into your hot little hands.

The less great news is that we’ve been lobbying for a fix from Eye-Fi to make card setup much easier but it looks like that’s not going to be possible.  In it’s place we have a very workable solution but it’s one you definitely have to follow the instructions carefully.  We’re documenting it very well and hope to have a walk-through video ready by launch.

The bad news is that we’ve had to temporarily pull GoFlex support from this release.  Our stuff is ready to go (and we believe 100% solid) but we discovered a critical data consistency bug within the drive. When we brought it to Seagate’s attention they confirmed they are aware of it and are working on a fix.  We don’t have any information of the timing of that fix yet.  Since we’re positioning the GoFlex as a mobile backup solution and this bug has the potential to cause dataloss in certain scenarios we feel it’s better to protect users from unsuspected problems.  We hope this is something we can reenable very very soon.

In other news launch activities are now in full swing.  Nico is polishing the final version of the press kit and has done such an amazing job on the launch video that chills ran down our spines. Chills! Chills I tell you! Horne is keeping the bug queue as close to zero as possible and Morse is bothering every press, blogger, and photographer personality he can reach.  Additionally, we are preparing a series of short “walk-through” videos so that you can see the various features of app in action.

If you have a regular blog or podcast and you’d like to feature Photosmith please contact us at pr@photosmithapp.com.  We will be offering pre-release access for review purposes and free app give-aways at launch.

Posted in: Current Progress, Marketing | 24 Comments

24 Responses to “And the survey says…”

  1. Murray Dillon says:

    Good news on the test front it seems. I think dropping GoFlex was the only option. The drive has some inherent issues that are well flagged on the net. Once they sort them out it will be a must have product and a great companion to photosmith.

    Eye-Fi do seem to have some setup issues reported as well. Pleased you have managed to work out a resolution even if convoluted. If only they would produce a CF card !

    Sure we will get the app soon and to show my support I am buying V1 today.

  2. Roberto A. Penne says:

    It was very sad and disappointing to hear that you are pulling the GoFlex support out of 2.0. When I read iPad for Photographers’s chapter on Photosmith I found a great solution for my photography workflow in which I could send my files into the GoFlex hard drive from Photosmith while out in the field. Only for that reason I went and bought the GoFlex Satellite and I got Photosmith because of the expected capability to support the GoFlex. Now that you are taking it out and after all the waiting for 2.0, I am stuck. I really have no use for Photosmith now. The functions of Photosmith can be done with other apps. Photosmith now will be one of many same apps, all with the same capabilities. The GoFlex capability would have made it stand and be unique since there is no other that can do that. Now Photosmith is going to be one of many out there. The integration with Lightroom is not unique, and actually Adobe is coming with CS6 table apps that are even better. Very disappointed about this. Jeff Carlson’s book will have to be edited again. Hope you re-consider and work hard to get GoFlex capability soon or you will loose a lot of market.

    • Chris Morse says:

      Roberto,

      I understand your disappointment. After spending months and months working on features such as GoFlex it tore us up to have to pull it too. The minute Seagate fixes the bug in the drive we’ll turn it back on.

      P.S. I can’t agree with you that GoFlex is the only thing that makes Photosmith unique… I wholeheartedly believe we offer so much more!

  3. Carol Parker says:

    As a possibly better solution than the now stalled GoFlex Satellite solution – have you looked at the new CloudFTP device? It creates a network so that ipad can access any attached USB drive. I wonder if it might even work now without any effort on your part? I am not affiliated with CloudFTP – just wanting the technology to work as there is currently no way I can make much use of the iPad photographically due to the limited storage which is also full of other stuff!

    http://www.hypershop.com/CloudFTP-p/cftp-black.htm

  4. Lee says:

    Cant wait to try out the jpeg proxy using eye-fi, just culling during the wedding breakfast on the iPad is cracking! Am I right in thinking, at present, there is no way to rate the jpegs on the iPad and sync with the plugin so the raw file accepts the tagging but this will be in v2?

  5. Lee says:

    One more thing is there any way that Photo Mechanic can read photosmith tagging?

  6. Marc P says:

    Great news. I can imagine that it was a difficult decision to temporarely remove seagate drive support but hopefully their bug will be fix for reintegration soon.
    Thanks for the good work.
    Will the performance with New ipad be equal or better than ipad 2 ?

    Thanks

  7. EyeFi is such a pain. I’m still getting used to the work flow but it has caused me nothing but trouble. If they can’t get that system stable and easy to use, they will fall by the wayside as camera manufactures start adding wifi to their cameras. You are already starting to see this happening now and it will only become more common in the next 5 years.

  8. Kevin Schenk says:

    Great to hear that version 2 is almost out!

    To be honest, I got the first version for a trip and expected to start my workflow on the way back in the passenger seat of a car. But I realized that using Photosmith 1 would have actually made more work for me when I got home due to the lack of templates and such. It looks like Photosmith 2 fixes this, so I look forward to using it!

  9. Tom Buchan says:

    Have to agree with Roberto

    I was intent on buying the app when 2.0 came out because of the Go Flex drive backup support.

    From what I’ve seen, this app is great if you use Lightroom but not all photographers do. I’ve used CS5 to date and will probably migrate to CS6 and creative cloud as and when.

    This apps USP to all photographers was the intended ability to make the iPad a photographers travel companion with high GB backup.

    I think its important feedback for Photosmith that I won’t buy the app until the Segate backup is offered .

    Why not follow the Amazon example and offer it as an experiential feature and acknowledge that it’s not fool proof?

  10. Tom Buchan says:

    I have to agree with Roberto A. Penne

    I was intent on buying the app when 2.0 came out because of the Go Flex drive backup support.

    From what I’ve seen, this app is great if you use Lightroom but not all photographers do. I’ve used CS5 to date and will probably migrate to CS6 and creative cloud as and when.

    This apps USP to all photographers was the intended ability to make the iPad a photographers travel companion with high GB backup.

    I think its important feedback for Photosmith that I won’t buy the app until the Segate backup is offered .

    Why not follow the Amazon example and offer it as an experiential feature and acknowledge that it’s not fool proof?

  11. Murray says:

    GoFlex support USP to all photographers? Not sure about that. Surely the integration with Lightroom is. The addition of Eye-Fi and GoFlex support are additional features.

    If drive storage is all you need there has been a number of solutions avail for years. I use one my self to backup photos in the field – no PC or iPad required.

    Then again this app will never be a total solution for everyone.

  12. Bob says:

    I am glad you are up front about the problems with GoFlex and are willing to delay it a bit until Seagate gets their act together and not have it hold up the rest of the program release. I second Murray that it is a neat addon feature but not fundamental the the basic purpose of Photosmith. I can’t imagine having a backup feature being released as “experimental”. A couple of data loss problems and you would get slammed in the reviews. Keep up the good work.

  13. Scott Toll says:

    I understand why you took it out the go flex , but I was wanting to use that feature on vacation in two weeks. I of course would rather see a solid product than one that is buggy. I will just have to drag the laptop one last time on a trip. good luck on working it out.

    • Dean Ayres says:

      I came here with a plea to restore seagate satellite functionality as soon as seagate sort their fix out. I bought a satellite drive to use with Photosmith 2. Given that apple delays updates to apps, is there any way you can keep the functionality in but disabled, and enable it over the air (in-app purchase)? I’d be quite happy to pay extra for the feature.

      I know you’ll do your best to sort it out ASAP, and I know that if you say it must be pulled, it must be pulled. But the vacation season is coming up…

  14. Joel says:

    I was about to order a goflex drive too. Maybe this is not the right place to ask, but do you guys know if the problem is with the hardware or firmware of the hard drive? Should I wait for a fix before I get one, or can it be fixed with an update later?  Thanks again!

  15. Glori says:

    Sorry to hear about the Goflex. I bought one just to use with Photosmith but I guess I will have to patiently wait until you are sure it works as well as your app, which by the way I love. Thanks for all the updates on your progress.

  16. Hamish niven says:

    I also bought the seagate drive, but I’d much rather have a 500gb drive storing music whilst I work shooting time lapses rather than know that I may lose a critical photo.
    I am having great issues with the eyefi card in my 5D2, and was hoping that I could write to the drive using its own wifi, but I think it will always need a “computer” of some kind.

    Desperately waiting for photosmith 2, I’ve been playing with photosmith 1 and getting photos into it via the camera connector is ugly, and often messy and often takes many imports to get a batch of photos into the iPad. Anyway, here’s hoping that I can use shoot raw and jpeg, and metatag all the Jpegs, and transcribe this to the RAWS on my laptop in Lightroom. We will see

    Anyway, kudos for the communication, if only adobe had the same approach for talking to their customers….

  17. Joel says:

    For goflex users.. It seems these guys have made the drive a lot better.. Ability to stay connected to a wi-fi network while using the drive! Performance improvements and much more. Only available for some firmwares of the drive, but maybe you can install the needed fw? Definately worth checking out. To me this seems the way seagate should have made the drive in the first place!

    Check it out here:

    Just wondering if the mod would work with photosmith after the feature comes available..? :)

    • falko says:

      According to the (private) forum, the the mod will not work with Photosmith.

      They mentions that the mod disables the GoFlex iOS App, which Photosmith is using for accessing the drive….is this the way Photosmith uses the drive?

      if that is the case…. the mod firmware or Photosmith able to access the GoFlex.

      I was thinking to buy the mod….but without Photosmith, I’ll pass and wait for now.

      • Joel says:

        Thank you for the info, falko!

        I don’t even have the drive yet, but if this is the case, I’ll probably wait myself too.
        The guys at hackseagatesatellite.com seem to be interested in making the drive as useable as possible. If it’s up to them, then maybe they would add the support for photosmith if someone just asked them to..?

        • Falko says:

          Someone did ;)

          as far as i understand it..
          the part of the originalfirmware providing the access (for Photosmith) ist very CPU consuming.
          it might be possible to activated with less cpu, but they have to investigat that.
          WebDAV would work, but i am not sure if Photosmith can use WebDAV.

  18. Chris Morse says:

    Thanks for all the comments and feedback. The GoFlex decision was really tough to make. However, we’ve been in contact with Seagate and they’ve handled the issue with great professionalism. Some of what we experienced is expected behavior and some of it may have been related to our testing with drives that we also used for development. We’re trying a slight modification to our approach for uploading and will be embedding some user education in the app for proper usage. Once that’s done, we’ll turn GoFlex back on.

    The comments about making it an experimental feature we considered that. However, the primary purpose of the drive (nay, nearly the only purpose in the context of Photosmith) is as a backup drive. If you can’t trust that your files are safely stored it’s not a backup. The specific bug we experienced is that files were being written to the drive and reported successful and reading back the contents of the drive showed them to be present but when you plugged the drive into a computer they weren’t really there. That’s just not something we’re willing to ship no matter how many app sales we might lose.

    As soon as we get through the launch madness we’ll reformat our drives and rerun all of our tests using Seagate’s advice and see if we can get it past all of our testing.

  19. Toni Jimenez says:

    As a photo hobbyist, my husband I love to travel and many times when out of the country, accessing the internet is not always easy or cheap so using Photosmith and GoFlex were a wonderful find. i anxiously await the resolution and this feature back on in your app.