As someone who is a major proponent for self learning, the first thing I taught myself to use was InDesign/Illustrator for making a Real Estate Magazine back in 2014.
Since then I have experimented with the Creative Cloud suite, mostly with Photoshop and Lightroom.
Eventually the Affinity Suite caught my eye and I dove into Affinity Designer, and now I am learning Affinity Photo & apart of the Publisher Beta program.
Why all of this software? At this stage, Serif stands to be one of the major competitors towards Adobe and their suite of apps, they are relatively easy to learn and some of the core functionality is the same across the board.
I have written before about the attraction of solid Windows/Mac Store apps before; and with the rise of smaller & more powerful Windows tablets and very versatile MacBooks, having an .exe or .dmg AND a Windows/Mac Store varient of your apps is a massive competitive advantage.
Why? And arent these stores baron of decent apps and developers are fleeing away from these stores?
Well… yes that was true, however not in the late 2017 and 2018 environment.
Read articles from The Verge, videos from Windows Central on Youtube and varying tech Podcasts from Relay FM (Upgrade and Connected in Particular); and over the last 12 months you can read/listen/watch into a slow and steady rise in the return of these respective app stores and having decent content on them.
Microsoft is primarily benefitting from this after the garbage fire of the app store on Windows 8 and transitioning the store to Windows 10; and still after a couple years failing to fully entice developers to the Store.
The Mac Store has seen a rise and fall and rise in interest with smaller productivity apps, to games and to handy software (like Affinity Designer) all be available on the store.
If you use the Serif apps as an example, their spec requirements aren’t took aggressive on hardware and can be used on even the lightest of the Windows 2 in 1s like the Surface Go which runs a current Generation Intel Pentium CPU to the 12 Inch MacBooks running Intel Core M CPUs.
Those two Spec sheets above are from the Windows Store and yes you can use a high performing Laptop or custom PC to run these apps for even better performance, but being able to run these apps on weaker CPUs means your app can run on a large variety of hardware and appeal to buyers from smaller machines and then as they upgrade, they continue using your Products.
Adobe have capitalised on the market early with high quality products for varying needs of creatives over the years. Now apps like Sketch for UI design and then the Serif’s apps are like I said, standing to be major competitors and a solid alternative to the traditional software available in 2018. (I should also comment, Serif’s apps are one off purchases and all their software come with a full indepth guide to learn from start to finish how to use each piece of software – they vary from $75AUD to $99AUD for the books). But it all comes down to personal opinion and whether you can shake of the shackles of AAA software vendors, and look towards some offerings from smaller vendors!
What do you think? Do you think that giving smaller companies like Serif’s products a good go is a compelling option in 2018? Or should you stay with the bigger companies “if it aint broke, dont fix it” policy – albeit an expensive policy?
Send me any feedback to @samthenerdguy on Twitter and Instagram!