Hey Pixelmator Team!
Firstly love your work. A lot of professionals and prosumers in my network are extremely excited by the work you're doing. We are so very keen to kick Lightroom to the trash. And Pixelmator Photo seems like it might actually be able to do that. (we've all tried almost every other editing app on the market and this one has the most potential)
Our Biggest Issues
The latest update had us all excited, but after testing it all out, we have found it's almost worse than before.
It's all todo with the Files workflow. Seems like Photo Library workflow works well. But for the Pro's that's useless to us.
The current problem is that when you go to edit a RAW file from Files, PX creates it's own file (no problem, of course it needs to)
But now you have TWO files sitting in the same location, with the same name, and no way to tell them apart easily! And if you click the wrong file, guess what, you get ANOTHER .photo file. It's an absolute nightmare.
using column view helps this as you can see the extension before you open the file, but it still means stuffing around in to do simple navigation tasks.
Additionally your Files browser is painfully slow compared to the native Files app. I don't know if this is because of you having to use their APIs to access it or you're app is struggling to preview RAW files, but native Files has no issue with this, it's basically instant, while I'm stuck looking at loading symbols in PX.
In my mind the solution is so simple and fixes everything that is a problem with PX at the moment:
Implement a proper "Import" process. Let me us select the RAWs we want to import, do your little .Photo generation, store it wherever you want because we don't have to look at it anymore, and give me a Library view that is in your App, not some disastrous hybrid of the Files app. That way we can clearly see what files have been imported, we don't duplicate them constantly, we get better performance of not having to navigate around Files.
This would give you so many UX benefits, you can add tagging, favourites, all that fun stuff. And wouldn't have to change the way you currently do file management back in the Files app, but at least we don't have to see it. You can go store all the .photo files in a central location, leave our RAWs organised in Files however we want.
Finally this would also make for a nicer Import process directly from the Files app, bulk select the files you want, choose Import from Share Sheet and off it goes. Then when you open PX, they are all there, or all getting processed at least.
Why this workflow
Whilst others may suggest using Photo Library as the primary experience, but here is why this is not preferable for many photographers:
1. RAWs are massive
2. if you are using iCloud Photos you won't want you iPad trying to upload your 60GB of RAWs the moment you import them.
3. You want to be able to store RAWs locally, batch import the ones you want to edit and export out the finals to Photo Library or back to Files
4. Apple Photos doesn't handle RAWs that nicely especially with iCloud so it's preferable to keep them out of the workflow until you are sure you want them there
5. Files is the perfect area to do all that organising sorting, archiving, deleting.
Discuss Pixelmator Photo and photo editing on iPad.
Hi Joshua, thanks so much for taking the time to share such detailed and thoughtful feedback! There isn't too much I can really say about this just now because I can't promise that we'll overhaul the Files-based workflow (like we've done with Photos) in the near future but we'll definitely discuss these ideas and keep them in mind!
Hi again Joshua, just had quick thought regarding importing in Pixelmator Photo. If you're OK with using the Files app, you could probably replicate much of your workflow using batch editing to import. If you simply create a workflow with an "Export to Pixelmator Photo" action (we've added one by default in the latest update called PHOTO) you can select a number of RAW files, run the workflow, and put those files in a location of your choice. Using Files you can tag them too. Does that sound like it might work for you?