Competition is good and the Mac image editor space is highly competitive with Acorn, Photoshop and now Pixelmator making headlines, but for very different reasons. While the small developers have added pro features in search of new customers, piczilla seems intent on separating the pro wheat from the freelancer chaff.
A prime example of the former is Pixelmator, which has shipped a major upgrade in the from of a point update — new and improved pro grade tools in a highly affordable package:
• Pixelmator 2.2 (MAS, $14.99)
— Smart Shape Tools: Quickly adjust shapes’ outlines with easy-to-use controls to get just the look you’re after
— Custom Shapes palette: Packed with dozens of readily available shapes that are as easy to add as dragging and dropping
— Shape Style palette: Effortlessly create more polished, advanced shapes with the new Fill, Stroke Style, Shadow and Inner Shadow features
— Smart Move Tool: Knows when you are working with image or shape layers and gives you the options you need at that time
— New Paint Selection Tool: The simplest and fastest way to make even challenging selections in your images with just a few brush strokes
— New Light Leak Effect: Makes it easy and fun to create stunning, retro-artistically illuminated images from any of your photos
— Revamped tutorials page
Also in the hunt for pro and prosumer customers is Acorn 4, which now includes shape tools (curves, arrows, and stars), layer styles, greatly improved performance (i.e. filters) and has a “new” early Photoshop UI.
And, for what it’s worth, customers are responding — both Acorn and Pixelmator have taken up residence in the Mac App Store Top 10 Paid and Top Grossing lists.
With their announcement that the subscription-based Creative Cloud will replace the perpetually licensed Creative Suite, Adobe has essentially jettisoned all of their customers unwilling to go along with pay forever software. That said, many observers have praised Adobe’s new model and pricing — there is value there if you’re among those that always need the newest tools.
For the rest of us, Acorn and Pixelmator offer the features and pricing, as well as freedom, we need…
What’s your take?