Jul 18 Update:

Apple has approved the latest release, and it will be available again world wide later this evening.

Jul 17 Update:

Apple has approved our request for an expedited review, so we hope to see the app available again tonight or tomorrow. The new app version is 2.1.1 and there will be an updated plugin to match (also 2.1.1).


July 14 Update:

We have submitted the update to the App Store for approval and requested an expedited review (which may or may not be granted). We’ll let you know something as soon as Apple tells us.

A big thanks to all of our users who have left comments below! We waffle sometimes on how much information people really care about, so it’s good to get feedback!


 July 13 Update:

After piecing together situations, reports, and some arcane error codes, we were finally able to track down the problem.

If we were a regular company, we’d tell you that it’s due to “technical difficulties”, but we do try to be a little more open than that: In short, we screwed up the release by missing an updated version number in one of the files. The file in question was the database definition file. Each database has a version associated with it. If iOS detects a new version, then it will automatically update the database in question.

In the case of 2.1, we had modified the database structure to support some new things coming down the pipe, but didn’t update the version of the definition. So when existing 2.0/2.0.1 users tried to update, the app freaked out because the database and the database model didn’t match, and thus the crash happened almost immediately on startup (the first time we accessed the database).

How did we miss this?

Good question – that was part of what sent us down wrong path for a while. We have a couple branches in the code for internal testing vs a live build (so, for example, we get a lot more debug information while testing). As part of this branched code, if the testing versions detected the situation above, it’d simply delete the database and start over from scratch without an alert (hey- it’s meant for testing!). The test versions are supposed to mimic the final build, but didn’t in this case.

In short, we missed it because the code we were looking at was working ok for testing but not the final release. Apple missed it because (presumably) they installed fresh. It wasn’t until that final code made it into the hands of users that we saw the error. It’s unfortunate that we can’t test the final Apple released app before it goes live, but it’s currently not an option.

We’ve since changed both that conditional code and the build process so it won’t happen again.

So what now?

We’ve fixed the problem and are submitting to Apple shortly. It’ll come as a 2.1.1 update. We can’t say when – the review process is of course up to Apple. There are a couple scenarios for users:

  • If you start fresh with the 2.1.1 version (or delete and reinstall), you’ll of course be starting with a new database and be fine
  • If you are currently running 2.0 or 2.0.1, then just install the update and things should run as normal
  • For the approximately 300 users that upgraded in the ~30 mins that the update was available:
    Due to the nature of the problem of the error, we are not able to automatically upgrade your database.  We recommend that you sync all your changes and then delete the app before installing 2.1.1.  If you happen to have a backup on iTunes from a week or so ago, you could restore that and then update to 2.1.1. We sincerely apologize for the problem. We’ve screwed up, and we’ve done everything we can to try to fix the problem, but there’s just not much we can do at this point.



Posted in: Current Progress | 25 Comments

25 Responses to “2.1 issue found and update pending”

  1. Liz says:

    Big thumbs up to you guys for the transparency you’re showing – it takes a lot of guts and I commend you for it. Problems happen when you’re developing anything new, and I appreciate how quickly you took down the problem app, figured out what’s wrong and then actually posted the explanation.

    • Chris Saunders says:

      I couldn’t agree more with what Liz said. It’s gutsy and it is a trait that I respect in a person and even more in a company. Keep up the great work!

  2. Claude says:

    I was looking at various possibilities for managing my photos from my iPad. I saw Photosmith on the store but did not buy it because of the price higher than average (especially when added to the cost of switching to lightroom). When no solution really worked for me, and after spending on these cheaper products more than the cost of photosmith, I decided to go try it… Then I could not find the app anymore… gone.

    Now that I see how you are reacting to problems, I can’t wait to see your app reappear on the appStore and hoe it will do the job for me.

    • Dave says:

      I am a software developer, so I feel your pain, and appreciate the detailed explanation. Kudos for your openness! Looking forward to 2.1 going live.

  3. As a techie, I love that you’re telling us exactly what’s wrong. I read that and nodded, “oh yeah I see that.” Can’t wait for the update, and love the straightforwardness.

  4. Nick Coton says:

    Since I downloaded the first version of the app last year, I have been truly blown away by the time and effort you put in just to keep the end consumer fully in the loop.

    Ok so I couldn’t really get to grips with the first version because of my large sync demands…. but I knew it had potential and importantly – you had already explained that v2 was already being worked on.

    I have found myself checking the blog several times a week, not just for release information but because it is so good to hear how the development is really going, what obstacles have come up and how you’re tackling them. This transparent approach has hooked me as an end user.

    So v2 came out and I was very impressed with the changes that had been made. I still had trouble with large syncs and my rotation info, but I knew you would have it covered in the next release (although I should have given your support desk feedback so apologies for being lazy).

    The point for me is that I’m enjoying the journey as much as the prize at the end. You guys are leading the way in terms of consumer led development, even taking the time to make sure something simple but effective like ‘screen dimming’ during the sync is covered……maybe only a few people asked for this, but I bet a lot more of us will really appreciate that you have acted on this level of feedback.

    I remember reading in one post a while back about plans to take a holiday after the v2 release, and I’m curious – did you ever get the vacation? The pace of development and continual efforts to improve functionality suggest that you took your laptop with you if you did :-)

    Keep up the good work and I am sure you will build yourself a very loyal customer base.

    • Chris Horne says:

      This project is a labor of love for us – it’s certainly not something we’re doing for the money. Any money we make pays for the project’s costs, and not much else. We believe in the product and the end goal (is there ever a “finish line”?), and so we do our best to listen to users and apply the feedback in the way that makes the most sense. Some ideas are great, but are technically infeasible; some ideas (such as dimming) are simple, and can be added with minimal effort -it’s all about balancing time, resources, and demand.

      It took Adobe a team of 20-30 people six to seven years to create Lightroom; many are expecting two guys working night and weekends to recreate it 18 months for a tablet – many people have unreasonable expectations, and so there’s a constant queue of emails to reply to. Also, there will be bugs and problems like this; all we ask is that the community works with us to make a product that we can all benefit from. For better or worse, it’s just the nature of the beast!

      No, we never really got that holiday we were looking for. Unfortunately, not all users are as helpful or understanding as the people who have posted here, so we’ve been scrambling to try to stay on top of things. 2.1(.1) is a big improvement in stability and speed, so hopefully things will start to calm down a little. Our families miss us, so at some point soon, we’ll need to let things just run on their own. :)

  5. David says:

    The concept of photosmith was the key driver for me to purchase an iPad and tour app.

    Seeing how you were so reactive to this issue and the way you communicate on your investigation and fix, make me think I did the right choice.

    Big thumbs up !

  6. How long does it approximately take for apple to review at this time? I am one of the unlucky folks who had to delete Photosmith from the iPad without having a backup/copy of it in iTunes. :/

    • Chris Horne says:

      It typically takes a week to review, but we’ve requested (and were granted) an expedited review as of last night. This means that the review process is shortened to 1-2 days, so hopefully it’ll be available this evening or tomorrow morning, but only Apple knows…

      Sorry for the inconvenience…

  7. Tim says:

    What a bummer, to find Photosmith exactly the moment it is unavailable. I was looking for app like this for a long time. Can’t wait to check it out. Actually if it is working as smooth as described, it may be a driver to replace my iPad 2 with 3.

  8. Massimiliano Micelli says:

    Why is Photosmith only available in the US Store?

  9. Joanne says:

    I hope this is available soon. I just found it and think it is just what I am looking for.

  10. Doug Maffett says:

    I just came back from vacation and have about 2000 photos to sync, and seem to have gotten the crashing version just before I left. Does this new version mean I will need to remove the program and re install? If i do this, will all the key wording and tagging I have done on all those pictures be lost and have to be redone? Is there any way that can be avoided?

    Thanks, cant wait for the new version.

    • Chris Horne says:


      Yes, you’ll need to remove and reinstall the app from this point.

      However, you can save your keywording and tagging by first syncing everything to Lightroom. This will transfer all your keywording and tagging over. Once that’s done, then you can delete and re-install the app, wait for Photosmith to re-load your existing photos. Then sync again, and everything should come back over

      I would recommend a backup (both of the iPad to iTunes and of your Lightroom catalog) throughout these steps, just in case.

      Also- I would highly recommend using the latest version of the plugin (2.1 or 2.1.6, out later tonight), which fixes some other bugs. Since it requires v2.1 of the app, we rolled back to the previous version for now.

      • Doug Maffett says:

        Thanks for the info. I tried just updating to the new version and plugin, and everything started working perfectly, and transferring all the images to my laptop. Great fix. Thanks for keeping us informed throughout the process.

  11. Not Found says:

    [...] 2.1 issue found and update pending [...]

  12. Chris Morse says:

    Just a quick update to let all the commenters here know that v2.1.1 is now going live worldwide as Apple refreshes their servers and all signs so far are pointing to a smooth update.

    The known exception being those unlucky few who did get 2.1. For those folks please see: /index.php/2012/07/2-1-issue-found-and-update-pending/#comment-1682

  13. Claude says:

    I purchased it last night.
    As a first impression on your app, I must say that I am impressed by how professional it feels.
    Now that I am switching to LR because your app allows me to do some work on my iPad, I can only hope that you will have enough customers to make your app evolve on the long run (i.e. make enough money with to sustain its developement). Thanks for developing it.

    • Mike Wren says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Claude. Re: evolving the app and future development – this is where you can help. If you find the app useful, please leave a review in the App store and tell your photo friends. Word-of-mouth is very powerful, especially for an app like ours which is kind of a niche market.

  14. Gøran says:

    Hi, I just updated to 2.1.1 and have ended up with a non-usable app. I’m on vacation and have about 900 images in the library. I primarily wanted the pick-functionality but ended up with syrup. The app starts and seems to scan and show the library correct but whenever I try to do anything it takes tenths of seconds before anything happens. When I try to rate and move on to the next image it seems to be stuck and shows the next image and the previous image in a constantly changing pixelated mix between the two.
    I use the “new iPad” with the camera connection kit together with an EOS 30D and 7D.
    Any tips I can use to get back on track to get images rated and keyworded before I return home in a couple of weeks and quite a few hundred images heavier?

    • Mike Wren says:

      Sorry to hear v2.1.1 isn’t quite cutting the mustard for you… I have a couple of ideas about what might be happening in your case.

      In v2.1.1, the default behavior is to automatically scan the Camera Roll for photos when the app is launched. We’ve received a few reports via http://support.photosmithapp.com about this scan causing performance issues.

      In Photosmith, go to Services > iPad Photos and uncheck “Automatically scan on startup.”

      Something else that might be going on is thumbnail cacheing that happens, also on startup. It’s supposed to be invisible and not cause any interface lag, but we’ve heard from a few folks that it’s making some actions like scrolling in Grid View, less fluid than we’d like.

      Please let me know via mwren@photosmithapp.com or http://support.photosmithapp.com if disabling automatic scan helps to make Photosmith more usable for you.

    • Chris Morse says:

      I know this sounds like a “hail mary” pass but rebooting the iPad often fixes hangs like this. We depend on the Apple Photos library to give us the photo details and sometimes it gets into a state where it hangs often.

      To reboot hold the top lock button down until you get a red slide to power off. Slide it to power off and then hold the button again to start it back up.

      If that doesn’t work please contact us at support. The responsiveness you describe is not expected or acceptable.