There is no shortage of inexpensive Mac image editing applications but let’s be honest and say upfront that most of them are pretty lame. In fact, there are only two that can be considered even remotely as Photoshop challengers: the recently-released Affinity Photo and Pixelmator. As with Affinity Photo, Pixelmator has been built from scratch as a Mac application and has progressed steadily since its debut. Version 3.3, released in November of last year, continued this emphasis, with a new interface and full feature and technology support for OS X Yosemite. Support for new Continuity features, such as Handoff, coupled with iCloud Drive support, made it possible to store and access images using either the OS X or iPad version of Pixelmator, which had been released a month earlier.
Pixelmator for iPad takes advantage of 64-bit architecture, ARC, Grand Central Dispatch, OpenGL ES, Core Image, Core Animation, and so on. Users can either start with a blank page or use one of the many supplied templates, employing a full range of functionality, such as paint and erase tools (with 80 brushes), sophisticated retouching tools, color adjustment tools, 14 effects, a range of selection tools, crop/straighten, robust text support, layer-based editing with layer styles, rulers and snapping, shapes, full Wacom support, photo retouching, and enhancement features… the list goes on, making this a worthy new addition to the field of iPad image editors.
In fact, according to the developers, “Pixelmator for iPad is the best image editor for the iPad and one of the most innovative and technologically advanced iOS apps ever built.” No less than that! New in version 1.1 are watercolor brushes that can be used on their own or applied to existing imagery. A new color picker is simply “the most beautiful Color Picker ever” that allows users to pinch into a color to display a grid of shades, which is said to make it easier to pick colors. There’s a clip of it in action below, so you can decide for yourself. Also new is faster painting performance and enhanced Photoshop support (“Even Adobe Photoshop Touch is eating our dust.”).
March 14, 2021