pixelmator, photoshop, iphoneography, iphone, photo editor

The Pixelmator 2.2 update was released Thursday, adding more iPad Pro compatibility, full support for the new Apple Pencil, adding 3D Touch support, and more.

Adobe’s lack of a cohesive iOS strategy for Photoshop has many iPhoneographers and photographers who use their iOS device to process in the field looking for alternatives. Pixelmator ($4.99), with its more-unified desktop and iOS strategy has become one of the most popular choices. We’ve covered Pixelmator on iPad and iPhone for a while. In a recent review of Pixelmator for iPhone, Mel Martin said, “Pixelmator has all the tools a serious photo editor is going to want, including a stack of desktop class tools like multiple layer support, histogram adjustments, color sampling, text tools, excellent effects and filters.”

The new update adds features which enhance the workflow on a number of mobile devices. Retouchers and artists who’ve used a tablet will appreciate the new Apple Pencil support, featuring specially tailored brushes, featuring pressure, tilt, and acceleration sensitivity on the iPad Pro.

Crop and straighten tools on all platforms have been updated as well. The new Auto-straighten tool straightens images with a single tap. If the tool thinks the image needs straightening, one tap automatically straightens the horizon of the photo. If it can’t find anything to grab, the Auto-straighten option isn’t even shown. Sounds great in theory, But I found the tool to be unreliable in practice. The tool seems to be pretty conservative in determining which line to level the image to and was only available to less than half of the photos I tried it with. When it was available, Auto-straighten did a very good job of finding the horizon and properly leveling the image.

Pixelmator now has snap-to cropping lines which snap to objects in your composition as you crop. That’s a feature that Photoshop for desktop users should recognize and appreciate. Again, the new tool needs improvement as it didn’t always work for me. Sometimes it snapped to objects which were barely visible while ignoring others that were much more clearly delineated.

I have quickly become a fan of 3D Touch in the new iPhone 6S devices. This update adds 3D Touch support on iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, including:

  • Paint with 3D Touch-sensitivity.
  • Press firmly on the Pixelmator icon on the home screen to instantly open your Pixelmator gallery, create a new image, or open an image from Photos.
  • Press firmly on an image in your Pixelmator gallery to quickly preview it, duplicate it, share it, copy it to Photos, or to delete it.

The 3D Touch functions all worked very well on my 6S Plus. Having one-tap access to key functions, both in the Home Screen and in the app’s gallery is a great convenience.

Overall, the new update introduces several new features although some could use improvement and tweaking.

Here are the rest of the new features in Pixelmator 2.2:

Pixelmator now works great on the new iPad Pro

• Create and edit images with Pixelmator on the iPad Pro.
• Sketch and paint even more naturally with full Apple Pencil and palm-rejection support, as well as specially tailored brushes, featuring pressure, tilt, and acceleration sensitivity.
• Open and edit images up to 100 megapixels.

More great improvements and fixes

• A collection of artist-designed Basic brushes, including the new Pixel brush.
• Enhanced crop and straighten performance.
• Auto-straighten to straighten images with a single tap.
• Cropping-lines now snap to objects in your composition.
• Ability to increase font size up to 1000 pixels.
• Pixelmator is no longer the default app for opening PDF documents from iCloud Drive.
• Text with a shadow is now exported correctly.
• Performance improvements and bug fixes.

Download Pixelmator for iPhone and iPad:

iphoneography, iphone photo, mobile photo, photo app, Pixelmator

App Store link: Pixelmator – Pixelmator Team