Pixelmator for iOS 9 with 8K Image Support

Tuesday, 29 September 2015.

A few days ago, we released a very cool update to Pixelmator for iOS with some amazing new features. And here is an in-depth overview of the key enhancements you get with the new Pixelmator version and a glimpse into why exactly we made all of these changes.

  • iOS 9Pixelmator now works great on the new iOS 9.

  • MultitaskingMultitasking on iPad via Split View and Slide Over.

  • 8K SupportOpen and edit images in stunning 8K resolution.

iOS 9 Support

Simply put, Pixelmator now works great on iOS 9. For those of you who enjoy digging deeper, we’ve put together some more details on the main new features. Read on.

Open in Place

With the Open in Place feature, you can now open a Pixelmator image from anywhere you want to (for example, from iCloud Drive), edit your image in Pixelmator, and save the changes you’ve made back onto the same document. This means you can have all of your most recent edits in the same document.

This might not seem like such a big deal, but it is. Previously, when you opened an image from iCloud Drive, Pixelmator had to duplicate this document and save its copy in the Pixelmator image gallery, which you would then edit (Pixelmator just didn’t have another choice). This meant that once you edited and saved your image, the original document in your iCloud Drive was not changed.

And what if you really needed to have the edited image in your iCloud Drive? In this case, you would have to “Save a Copy” of your edited document back to your iCloud Drive. The worst part was that you had to repeat the same process every single time you wanted to edit an image and wanted to be able to find your most recent edits in the same place. Every time.

The new iOS 9 Open in Place feature allowed us to simplify this process. Now, when you open a document from another location (again, let’s take iCloud Drive as an example), instead of making a copy, Pixelmator gallery creates an alias for the exact same document. Therefore, you can open an image from another location, edit it in Pixelmator, and then save your changes right onto the same document in the exact place you opened it from. How much simpler is that?

Save to Photos

The Save to Photos feature is quite similar. It helps you to get rid of all of the duplicating inconvenience when editing images from your Photos app. You can now open an image from Photos, edit it in Pixelmator, and save it back onto the same image. Just a much more clever way to edit your photos.

Copy Image

We’ve also added a feature that improves the ease of sharing your images—the ability to quickly copy the entire image composition to Clipboard.

Previously, you could copy any single layer of your image with just a few taps. You still have that capability. Yet if you wanted to share your entire image composition—for example, a photo with text and shapes—there was no really easy way to do this. You could either merge all of your image layers and then make a copy, or you could export your image into a different file format (for example, PNG) and share it afterward. Not the most efficient workflow.

What we did in Pixelmator 2.1 for iOS is we’ve added a simple feature that allows you to copy your entire image composition, so now it’s way easier to copy and paste the whole image into a text message, an email, or a social channel.

San Francisco

Most of you already know that we focus a lot of attention on making Pixelmator as native to iOS users as possible, and we definitely couldn’t have missed the new iOS 9 default font. So once you upgrade your app, take a few moments to appreciate how much more beautiful yet perfectly native Pixelmator looks with the new and totally modern San Francisco user interface font.

Multitasking on iPad

We also added Multitasking on iPad with the Split View, Slide Over, and Picture in Picture features, which allow you to use Pixelmator for iPad and any other app at the same time.

Slide Over

For example, you’re editing your image in Pixelmator and receive a text message from your friend. Without closing Pixelmator, you open your Messages app with literally a single swipe, quickly respond, and then slide the app away to get back to editing your image. It’s a really fast way to do side tasks without interrupting your workflow.

Split View

You can also use Split View and work with Pixelmator and any other app side by side, both at the same time. For example, you can work on an image you’re going to use in your presentation and have your Keynote slides open at the same time. So you can make just the right adjustments and quickly paste your image into Keynote (the new Copy Image feature makes this really easy to do).

One of the most obvious and most useful ways you can use Split View together with Pixelmator is to search for images in Safari, which makes it even easier to add new elements to your composition.

Picture in Picture

What’s more, with Picture in Picture, you can edit your image while watching a video (for example, an image-editing tutorial or something that inspires you) or while video chatting.

Here’s a short video we’ve made to brag about Multitasking with Pixelmator.

Watch Multitasking on iPad video

Adding Multitasking support can be quite a burden. If an app is not fluid (that is, not able to automatically adapt to different environments), you have to rethink the way it looks on every Multitasking layout individually. That’s almost the same as adapting every menu item, every button, and every popover for six new devices.


Yet in some cases, it might not be that hard.

The Pixelmator user interface is based on Apple’s Auto Layout technology, so it looked good on all Multitasking layouts almost automatically. All we needed to do was to make some minor design adjustments in the most unusual, tall “second app” layouts.

By the way, we have a few more layouts ready for the near future (any ideas for which new device?)

Slide Over and Picture in Picture features are available on iPad Air and later, as well as on iPad mini 2 and later. Split View is available on iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 4.

8K Image Support

This one is our favorite. Just a while back, Pixelmator allowed you to open and edit images of up to 4K resolution. That’s not too bad, yet we always craved to let you open really large, professional-quality images. It’s just what we thought was the right thing to do. In fact, we’ve been trying to find a way to do this for more than six months!

We’ve spent most of our time experimenting with the so-called Tiles support. We tried to divide a large image into many smaller images (something like stitching separate patches) so your iOS would understand them as separate images and would not apply the size constraint.

Unfortunately, that did not work quite so well for us. After many months, we still could not use this approach with many of our image editing features (for example, Effects). But then we got our hands on iOS 9.

A while back, one of our developers was digging really deep into the new iOS, exploring everything we could use to enhance Pixelmator. He also tried to run some tasks with large textures (translation for humans: large images). And it worked! After six months of hard work and hundreds of attempts to create a unique solution, what worked was our persistence and, well, opening a large image.

It appears that the optimizations we had implemented by that time were more than enough to support the new resolution limit that comes with iOS 9 on all 64-bit devices.

It’s hard to imagine the atmosphere that was here in our office once we ran some more tests and were absolutely sure that Pixelmator can now let you open and edit really—truly—large images! Right in Pixelmator, on your iPad, iPhone, or even on your iPod, if you wish.

This means you can now use a professional SLR camera to take photos of up to 50 megapixels, instantly upload them onto your iOS device, and use pro-grade Pixelmator tools to instantly edit and share them.

Watch the video

We really wanted to try out the enhanced Pixelmator, so this summer, we worked with a passionate mountaineer-photographer, Saulius Damulevicius. Saulius had just come back from an amazing expedition to Chan Tengri (7439 m.), his personal highest peak. He was documenting his entire journey with a professional mirrorless system camera and used Pixelmator on his iPhone to process and share his photos every time he went back to the base camp. He gave us some amazing feedback and some stunning images, too.

And that’s what 8K image support ultimately is—the possibility of editing your professional images right when and where you need to, no matter whether you use your iPhone or a professional camera. You can.

8K images are supported on iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4, and iPod touch 6th generation.

All of these features make us think of how far mobile image editing has already gone and how much there’s yet to be done. Following along these lines, we’re super excited about the new iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, and the next-generation technologies that come with them.

It all obliges our team to constantly innovate and focus on creating next-generation, professional, powerful image editing tools. This provides a clear focus for the future of both Pixelmator for iOS and Pixelmator for Mac.

Many huge plans ahead. So stay tuned.


Pixelmator for iOS Gets an Update

Tuesday, 14 July 2015.

We’re back with more great news.

But before jumping in, we want to thank all of you for your feedback about Pixelmator for iPhone and for sharing your stunning artwork with us. It is absolutely amazing to be able to create something that you enjoy, and it’s just as awesome to see how creative people get when they have the right tools.

So, thanks for sharing!

Today, we’re bringing some great new enhancements to Pixelmator for iOS.

Dynamic Touch

First off, we’ve enhanced all Retouch tools with a cool new feature, which we call Dynamic Touch.

When you touch the screen with your finger, Dynamic Touch detects the finger surface area in contact with the screen and automatically adjusts the brush size when the surface area changes.

It’s really simple to use—touch the screen with the tip of your finger to create thin strokes and use a larger finger surface area for thicker lines. This makes retouching images way faster and more precise.

Repair Tool

Next, do you remember the jaw-dropping, advanced repairing algorithm we recently introduced to Pixelmator for Mac? Well, we’re bringing the same repairing magic to Pixelmator for iOS. This means that now you can use your iPad and iPhone to remove objects from your photos, unbelievably fast and with exactly the same quality you get on your Mac. How good is that?

Pixelmator for iOS 2.0.2 also includes other great enhancements, improvements and bug fixes. You can learn about them here.

Learning resources

But that’s not all! We’re also introducing two great new ways to learn about Pixelmator for iOS features and how to use them.

Learn everything there is to know with the new, complete User Guide or go ahead and watch short, inspiring Pixelmator for iPhone tutorials.

Watch the Color Adjustments tutorial

We’ll be constantly sharing new tutorials, so make sure to check back once in a while.


Pixelmator for iPhone Is Now Available

Thursday, 28 May 2015.

We’re extremely excited to let you know that the hot, new super-powerful Pixelmator for iPhone is out now in the App Store.

And it’s great — it’s a complete photo editing, painting and layer-based graphic design app for your iPhone.

Watch the overview video

Pixelmator is a universal app that is every bit as powerful as Pixelmator for iPad. It even comes with exactly the same magical Repair tool that we demonstrated at the Apple Special Event last October — and it works just as amazingly on the iPhone.

Pixelmator for iPhone brings not only all the powerful Pixelmator for iPad features to your iPhone, but also some cool new stuff such as Metal-powered Distort Tools and a new Clone tool (long anticipated by our iPad users).

Pixelmator for iPhone is available on the App Store for $4.99 and it is a free download for those of you who already have an iPad version.

Go ahead and download the world’s most powerful mobile image editing app — we are eager to see what you guys create using the new Pixelmator for iPhone.

P.S. As for the near future, an in-depth Pixelmator for iPhone ibook and a bunch of awesome video tutorials are in the works. Stay tuned.


One more thing (Pixelmator for iPhone)

Wednesday, 6 May 2015.

Pixelmator for iPhone is coming. And it’s awesome.

It sports all of the incredible features and power of Pixelmator for iPad, right on your iPhone.

It adds some amazing new features, too, such as the new Distort Tools, powered by Apple’s Metal technology (translation: incredibly fast graphics processing tech, mainly used for creating graphics-intense games).

Here’s a short video we made to show the new Distort Tools in Pixelmator for iPhone:

If you don’t own Pixelmator for iPad yet, now is the best time to get it — not only because Pixelmator for iPad is on sale now (50% off), but also because all Pixelmator for iPad owners will automatically get Pixelmator for iPhone as soon as it is out. Just like that.

Yup, Pixelmator is a universal app and works seamlessly on iPhone and iPad alike.

How good is that!

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Pixelmator 3.3.2 Update

Wednesday, 29 April 2015.

Pixelmator 3.3.2 is out, featuring lots of new stuff — Photos app support, Force Touch trackpad support, jaw-dropping Repair Tool enhancements, and much more.

We simply love the new Photos app for Mac. That’s why we are excited to let you know that you can now access your Photos library right from the Photo Browser in Pixelmator. It looks good and works great.

The new Force Touch trackpad support is also here for you to play with. You can now paint with pressure sensitivity using a Force Touch trackpad on the new MacBook and MacBook Pro. The force sensors detect how much pressure you’re applying, and Pixelmator changes the size of your brush. It feels just like painting with a stylus.

Finally, we are very proud of the unique, incredibly powerful Repair Tool in Pixelmator for Mac, which is now up to 5 times faster. Since we’ve spent so much time perfecting the tech behind this tool, we had to make a video on how it works:

Stunning, isn’t it? If you don’t believe what you just saw (which wouldn’t be much of a surprise), go ahead and update Pixelmator to 3.3.2. Then, download the photo you just saw in the video and try it for yourself. You can download it here.

The Repair Tool is one of our many fun and interesting secret scientific projects. We even used the new Mac Pro (because it’s extremely fast and powerful) to automatically improve our Repair technology algorithms.

Since there are numerous ways to repair any area of an image, our Mac Pro worked incredibly hard for months to find the best algorithm. It analyzed millions of possible ways to repair areas of various complexity, and then it compared the speed and quality ratio of each final result. Lastly, our Mac Pro—this is awesome—derived a repairing strategy that gives the optimal result every single time. How smart is that?

In other words, the new Mac Pro did a great job. And because it did so well, you can now wipe away unwanted objects in Pixelmator for Mac extremely quickly and with superb quality.

Enjoy the new Pixelmator update and please remember that we feel great when you let us know what you think about our work.

We’ll talk to you very soon about some awesome new stuff. Thanks.


Pixelmator for iPad 1.1 Is Now Available

Thursday, 19 March 2015.

We’re super excited to finally let you know that the new and awesome Pixelmator for iPad update is out now.

Just to remind you — Pixelmator for iPad is the best image editor on the iPad and it is one of the most innovative and technologically advanced iOS apps ever built. And oh, if you are a Mac user and not that interested in iOS, just listen for a sec: All the cool things we now make for the iPad are coming to the Mac. But more on that later.

In the meantime, read on to find out what we’ve packed for you in Pixelmator for iPad 1.1 Aquarelle.

Watercolor painting technology
This thing is unique for the iPad, extremely innovative and super advanced. The secret behind it is that while you paint with the new watercolor brushes, the Pixelmator painting engine simulates applying wet paint onto paper. And just like in real life, when strokes overlap, their colors blend with each other and create an entirely new color with a soft gradient in-between.

Watch the Watercolor Video

Watercolor is great for painting, experimenting or for adding an artistic touch to your photos, since hey, even not-so-great paintings look awesome when painted in watercolor.

The new Color Picker
It’s not just simply a Color Picker. It is the most beautiful Color Picker ever. In addition to all the standard color choosing options and elegance, it also features an ability to quickly access your recently used colors and the new Color Grid. Color Grid lets you pinch into a chosen color to get a grid of its shades, so you can choose colors with much greater precision, and most importantly, have fun while doing it. You’ve just got to watch this Color Picker video.

2x Faster Painting Performance
Since its very first day, Pixelmator for iPad Paint Engine has had the best-in-class performance. With the new watercolor technology and major performance improvements, it just got even better. Yup — up to two times faster! We did that not because we needed to, but because we could.

Best-in-class Photoshop support
16-bit, CMYK, Grayscale Photoshop images as well as Photoshop images with masks are now also supported. In other words, you won’t find a better app for working with the Adobe Photoshop file format on iPad or any other tablet. Even Adobe Photoshop Touch is eating our dust.

And many more amazing details
We have also added many other smaller but very handy features, such as an ability to insert a photo as a new layer from iCloud Drive, lock image transparency with Lock Alpha, open RAW image preview, use a refreshed Eyedropper tool, see a live brush preview, enjoy much better overall stylus support, and have full support for Adonit styluses.

If that weren’t enough, we also added many other subtle tweaks that you can read about in our Pixelmator for iPad 1.1 release notes.

Pixelmator for iPad is awesome. We hope you’ll love the new updates as much as we enjoyed creating them. Please check it out ASAP and let us know what you think.

Learn more about the new Pixelmator for iPad or view in the App Store.


Pixelmator for iPad 1.1 Sneak Peek

Thursday, 15 January 2015.

The first awesome major update of Pixelmator for iPad 1.1, codenamed Aquarelle, is coming.

Codename Aquarelle pretty much says it all about the release – it is beautiful, colorful and, well, you guessed it: in addition to many awesome new features and improvements, it also includes a fantastic watercolor painting technology.

We prepared a short sneak peek video of watercolor in Pixelmator 1.1 Aquarelle.

Watercolor painting is magic. It takes advantage of our new super advanced blending techniques to paint watercolor on your iPad as realistically as in real life. The new watercolor brushes that come with 1.1 Aquarelle are also simply amazing. Even if you are not that much into painting, just by simply playing with the new brushes, you will most definitely create some awesome artwork. And, if you are good at painting, you will create magic – that’s for sure.

Watercolor brushes alone make this update super awesome, but we have some more goodies packed in Pixelmator for iPad 1.1 Aquarelle. Stay tuned for more, or subscribe to the Pixelmator Newsletter to be the first to know about this awesome new update.

Oh, and by the way, Pixelmator 1.1 Aquarelle is going to be a free update for all existing Pixelmator users.


Pixelmator Newsletter

Thursday, 8 January 2015.

We have a very sweet announcement today! Pixelmator Newsletter is on its way. You can subscribe now to be the first to learn all the ins and outs of Pixelmator and image editing.

You’ll get fresh and up-to-date tutorials with clear and easy-to-follow instructions right in your inbox. Also, you’ll learn just how easy and fun it is to do things like remove image background, change colors, erase parts of an image, combine several images into one, and so much more. There’s an infinite number of cool things you can do with Pixelmator as well as an infinite number of ways to do the same thing. So, in addition, we’ll tell you quick and very useful tips and tricks for easier workflow.

And of course, you’ll be the first to know about Pixelmator news and announcements.

The very first issue will be released later this month. Don’t miss it!


New Pixelmator for Mac and iPad Updates

Tuesday, 16 December 2014.

It’s an exciting day today. We have two (!) Pixelmator updates ready for you to download: Pixelmator for Mac 3.3.1 and Pixelmator for iPad 1.0.2. Things like this only happen before the Holiday Season.

Pixelmator for Mac 3.3.1

Pixelmator for Mac comes wrapped in some new and pretty neat features. You’ve been asking about them for some time, so we’re quite excited to announce that with Pixelmator for Mac 3.3.1, you now can:

  • Pinch to zoom within a document window.
  • Scroll your shapes, gradients, and styles collections within Shapes, Gradients, and Styles palettes.

In addition to the new features, we’ve squashed some bugs and improved the Pixelmator performance. You can now properly see the document window bottom side, the Info bar now correctly displays X and Y coordinates, the Pixelmator folder now always appears in iCloud Drive, and much more.

Pixelmator for iPad 1.0.2

Pixelmator for iPad has got some love, too. We’ve made some great improvements with rotation, so it’s now so much easier to rotate objects, the brushes have been remastered to work better with styluses, and a whole lot more:

  • We’ve made it way easier to rotate objects on the canvas.
  • You can rotate even more precisely with the new Rotate slider in Format > Arrange.
  • A new Opacity slider to adjust brush tip opacity.
  • A new Brush Size slider to adjust the Retouch tool tip size.
  • Remastered brushes to work better with styluses.
  • A slew of fixes to preserve EXIF metadata:
    • Image metadata is preserved when using Pixelmator Photo Editing Extension;
    • Image metadata is preserved when opening and exporting images to Photo Library;
    • Image metadata is preserved if image is opened from iCloud Drive.
  • A bunch of fixes to improve Photo Editing Extension:
    • Remastered Blur effect to work better;
    • Minimized the extension app executable file size to lower memory footprint;
    • Removed all unnecessary resources so the extension package is even smaller.
  • The selection drawing performance is way better now.
  • Sharpen effect performance is greatly improved.
  • Sharpen/Soften retouching tools’ intensity is improved.
  • Selection animation now restores correctly when switching between apps.
  • Removed irrelevant warning about color profiles when exporting PNG or JPG files to Pixelmator iCloud Drive.
  • Fixed several minor memory leaks.
  • Improved app launch stability. Please upgrade to iOS 8.1.2, too. If you are still experiencing any issues, please email us at bugs@pixelmator.com.
  • Improved compatibility with Pixelmator for Mac shapes.
  • Improved the Paint Selection tool performance.
  • Fixed possible crashing issue related to the Paint Selection tool.
  • Added Traditional Chinese localization.

Enjoy the updates and have a wonderful Holiday Season.

P.S. Some more exciting news! An awesomely delicious newsletter is getting ready for show. If you want to join the news list, subscribe here.


App of the Year

Monday, 8 December 2014.

It turns out Pixelmator for iPad is the app of the year for 2014!


There are no words to describe how happy we are. Believe me, no one could be any more excited than we are.

We worked really hard on Pixelmator for almost two years: staying late at night and working weekends researching, adding, perfecting, polishing, then repeating the same process again and again to build or improve the features and core foundation of the app to impossibility – all that for you to later notice or simply feel the awesomeness of Pixelmator for iPad.

We honestly want you to enjoy Pixelmator on your iPad to its utmost.

And, from the looks of your emails, App Store reviews, magazine and blog reviews, and now the App Store App of the Year 2014 award, we think our wish is turning into reality, which specifically inspires us to create even more exciting things – just wait till you see our major update of Pixelmator for iPad 1.1 or the new version of Pixelmator for Mac. Those are jaw-dropping…

We would like to say a big thank you to you – our Pixelmator users and fans. For everything – your fantastic help, awesome inspiration and hardcore support. Thanks to you, we are able to continue to do what we love: create the world’s best image editor for Mac and iPad.

And, of course, thank you, Apple, for always being there for us to not only notice, but also let everyone know, how awesome both Pixelmator for Mac and Pixelmator for iPad are.