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This is the worst UI of all time

I downloaded a free trial of Affinity Photo 2 today - it's a Photoshop clone with an iPad version, so I thought it might be a worthy replacement for my super legal Photoshop copy AND I'd be able to use it on my iPad! Which means photo editing.... on the couch!!

The UI on the desktop version is the normal window-based interface that photo editors and some painting software have had for eternity now, so I expected the iPad version to just be a port of that. But no! They designed a new and significantly worse UI just for the app!

I don't know who decided that iPad/tablet apps need to be obnoxiously minimal and full of unintuitive gesture controls just because they're made for touch computing. The folks at Affinity clearly decided to take some inspiration from Procreate when they developed this program; this is not a good thing, as I hate Procreate. But I actually kind of hate Affinity more because this is supposed to be a full-featured photo editor, whereas Procreate is at least open about being a looser and more "artistic" painting program.

Here's my gripe: whereas Affinity Photo desktop has the aforementioned windows that you can move around and configure as you wish, the iPad app has a toolbar on the right side with icons that you tap on to open those windows. Except all those windows are mutually exclusive.

WHICH MEANS: The layer and navigator windows are mutually exclusive. The color and brush picker windows are also part of this toolbar. There are a bunch of other windows that don't get as much action as those four, but still: everything that you need to have easily accessible at all times is locked behind icons you have to fumble with while you're working. And those icons are tiny with no words on them, so it's nearly guaranteed that you're going to miss if you're working quickly.

Also, a bunch of controls are locked behind poorly-labeled sliders because that's The Thing for touchscreen applications now, I guess.

The main reason I don't mind paying for a CSP subscription on my iPad (before they forced everyone to start paying for it, I mean) is because CSP is the only app on Earth that gives me a desktop-style interface. So they basically just own my soul now.

To be clear, I don't think tablet apps should have desktop-style interfaces by default; UIs that are designed around touch are good because touchscreens are an accessibility tool. The thing is that a lot of tablet apps like Affinity Photo claim to have touch-optimized UIs, but they do not.

Like, the icons in the Affinity Photo toolbars are so small and close together that there's still a targeting issue, and you can't even move those panels away from each other to space them out more. And sliders are a horrible way to adjust anything because there's no precision even if you don't have motor problems.

I really wanted to be able to do some more photo/graphic editing on my iPad - CSP sucks at that stuff, so I have to take it to Legal Photoshop on my computer. But alas. The dream is still dead.


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