Darkroom’s 2023 Product Roadmap
After the bonanza of releases late last year, we can imagine things may have seemed quiet in comparison since, but that's only because we've been so busy behind the scenes getting the next set of big updates baked for you. We'd like to rectify that by building more in the open, and sharing some insights into our 2023 plans to keep you in the loop and excited about what's next. We also really value your feedback and suggestions, which help us shape our roadmap and improve our product, so let us know what you think.
We've got three big efforts underway, and all are foundational projects that will set us up for the next 8 years of new features, faster development momentum, and more reliable, impressive and professional results. Let's dive into it.
Darkroom today treats each device it runs on separately. If you use it on multiple devices, your flags and rejects, edits, and presets don't sync at all across your devices, which breaks your flow as you edit on the go, then refine and export at home. Worse, if you lose your device, you also lose your edit history (unless you can restore from an iCloud Backup).
To address these issues, we're implementing backup & sync support for all your Darkroom data across all your devices using iCloud. You will be able to seamlessly review, manage and edit your photos, as well as share and install presets, wherever and whenever, on whichever device.
We have been making great progress and plan to introduce syncing in steps. First, we will enable flag and reject sync, followed by preset sync, and finally edit syncing. This approach will ensure that everything is thoroughly tested and vetted before we fully roll out syncing where it matters most. We are just as excited as you are about finally being able to sync everything between all our devices.
New Render Engine
We've undertaken a major engineering effort to rebuild our image processing engine from scratch. This is a major effort that we've been working on for a while now, and will take a few more months to mature.
This engine will drastically speed up reliability, memory usage, and performance. It will also give us more control over the entire rendering process, allowing us to refine and improve our editing algorithms, and build new tools that aren't possible today.
We launched Masks a year ago and the response has been incredible. Our initial launch included support for over 10 mask types, but one was heavily requested and conspicuously missing: Brushed masks.
That's why we are also working on bringing you the ability to paint your mask with a brush, giving you precise control over which parts of your image to adjust. Allowing for much more nuanced and creative editing, further helping you make your photos look amazing.
As you can imagine for an app of Darkroom's complexity (iPhone, iPad, macOS, Apple Pencil, Mouse, Finger, giant RAW files, syncing, high performance requirements, zooming, tiling etc etc), this is no small technical undertaking, but we're making really exciting progress.
We're taking advantage of new technologies like SwiftUI to update our interface layer, making Darkroom even better than before. This upgrade will provide improvements to many tools, faster load times, smoother interactions, and an even more enjoyable and reliable experience.
This will further improve our development and iteration speed, making us more nimble and agile as we continue to enrich the Darkroom editing experience.
This is an active and ongoing effort, so you'll see us making incremental and steady progress throughout the year here.
What about AI?
We know it’s all the rage :) Fortunately, last year we already started embracing it when we introduced masks. While we can’t share specific new plans yet, we're very excited about the possibilities AI provides for further enhancing masking, enabling retouching, as well as easing photo management. We're are actively investing more and more time in this domain, and feel confident that we'll be able to make the most of this exciting new technology!
So there you have it, Darkroom's high-level 2023 product roadmap! It's an ambitious plan, but we're confident that with our team's hard work, we can deliver. We don't have an exact timeline to share, as things will be done when they're ready. Along the way, we will ship smaller improvements and additions, but we also like to keep some surprises. We hope you're as excited as we are about what's coming up. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, or sign up for our newsletter to stay in the loop.
If you've not yet downloaded Darkroom, or if you've tried us in the past but haven't checked us out recently, we invite you to give Darkroom a try. With exciting new features like syncing, brushed masks, and a new render engine on the horizon, there's never been a better time to experience Darkroom. And with Darkroom+, you'll gain access to even more tools and features to take your editing to the next level.