Affinity Publisher Beta

Following on from the recent Pages discussion

Affinity have launched their public beta for Affinity Publisher.

Mentioning Pages in the open was appropriate. Affinity Publisher appears to be a really, really awesome app. But people calling it a potential InDesign killer are way off base. This thing is more of a Pages killer than anything else at this point.

Really nice app, but has way too many shortcomings for professional use at this stage of the game. That being said, I can’t wait to see it mature over time. Perhaps in 2 or 3 years it will be ready for primetime use by pro designers.

Yes, I think it’s on target for a prosumer level use. Quite a big market with few competitors doing anything really serious. I’ve been using it, quite impressed but I’m not dropping ID anytime soon.

I would love to leave Adobe behind. I don’t use Illustrator enough to say that I couldn’t EASILY replace Illustrator with Affinity Designer. And while I use the heck out of Photoshop, I’m fairly confident that I could adapt to Affinity Photo for my needs.

But InDesign is a whole different beast. I spend 85% of my time in ID. Affinity Publisher needs to not only DO what InDesign does, but it needs to do it as efficiently (or more) as InDesign does. Currently it doesn’t do either.

Still, I’m going to play with Publisher as much as I can to get to know it as much as possible. I think eventually it will be an app that I can say “I’m fairly confident that I could adapt to Affinity Publisher for my needs.”

Yeah, I don’t think Affinity Publisher is going to replace InDesign for someone who lives in InDesign currently, but I doubt that’s really their goal. It strikes me that there’s a lot of room between the likes of Pages and BeLight’s Printworks and InDesign, and Affinity Publisher fits pretty well into that.

I used it to create a two-page brochure and while it wasn’t as smooth as it would have been in InDesign (I’m pretty familiar with InDesign too), it was pretty good. Things like styles and swatches worked in ways I expected or was able to figure out quickly. And yes, it’s a beta, so it’s rough around the edges still, but hey, that’s what you get with a beta.

I wonder how Affinity Publisher compares to Swift Publisher.

On first run through it is more advanced and professional. Though I confess I checked out Swift only for 20 minutes or so when hunting for alternates to ID.

I think, especially given their other applications and the level they have achieved with them on the Mac/PC and iOS I would take Affinity Publisher much more seriously. If it’s hovering between ID and Pages/Swift/etc it is certainly closer to the ID level than the lower one. I predict a strong future for it.