A while ago

Pixelmator Development Update: Entering the Frontlines

Howdy, my dear readers – Pixelmator lovers and haters, users and those still doubting. I think it is the perfect time for our traditional development update article about one of the best image editors in the Mac world.

First of all, I must tell you that Pixelmator is doing great, perfect, in fact – tens of thousands of Pixelmator licenses have been shipped (over 50,000, as of today), and that number is rapidly nearing the hundred thousand range. The download number is exceeding 500,000. These are definitely huge numbers for such a young and tiny software company with just one product in store.

While the numbers are great, that is not the main passion and motivation engine for us. Actually, much more exciting thing for us is that your feedback and reviews are becoming better and better with every single update of Pixelmator. I know that because, even though I am still very busy working on Pixelmator stuff, I read your e-mail, blogs, comments, and other websites that talk about Pixelmator every single evening before going to sleep.

And, while everything is so nice with the current version (1.2.3) of Pixelmator, I can only imagine what it will be like once Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo is released. Speaking of the 1.3, we at the Pixelmator Team agree that it is the best major update we have ever done. Let me tell you why.

From the beginning, the purpose of version 1.3 Tempo was to focus on performance improvements. And, boy, we did focus! Aidas had to rewrite some very important portions of Pixelmator foundation that speak directly to Core Image itself. It took him three long summer months to accomplish that. And it was really worth it – Pixelmator performance improvements can easily be seen when working with large images, opening and saving, using filters or adjustments, and more. The performance changes/improvements are very important since they: 1) solve the problem that crops up when working with large images with Pixelmator; 2) make it much easier for us to optimize every single aspect of the app and 3) allow us to bring in some very powerful features.

And, by the way, from now on, Pixelmator is faster (and I really mean faster) than Big Brother in many cases. For example, opening that quite big JPEG file which is 4000x 4000 in size took Big Brother something like 2 sec., while, in Pixelmator, exactly the same image on the same Mac took 1 sec. to open. That’s very good, right? But there is even more about the speed of the app, which I am sure you will find out for yourself once 1.3 is out.

The other reason why version 1.3 is so great is the new features, which I am about to tell you more about in my next article in this weblog. Anyway, if you can’t wait – read what TUAW, ArsTechnica, and Smoking Apples had to say.

The beta for Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo is doing well enough – we finally know the list of things we have to fix before the update can be released. Be sure that our Macs HDs, GPUs, CPUs, and RAMs spin like crazy as we work hard squashing bugs and making sure Tempo is available to you as soon as possible. Though, unfortunately, I can’t give you any specific release date – it’s software, you know.

It is also worth mentioning that the Pixelmator Team is working on a huge Pixelmator User’s Guide that should reach your hands in November and a new Learn Web site, which will feature lots of resources for learning about image editing and Pixelmator.

To sum up everything I have scribbled – the Pixelmator Team crew (incl. me) is working very hard to introduce the best major update of Pixelmator. With its new amazing features and, especially its performance improvements, I think it is OK to say that Pixelmator, step by step, is moving up to the frontlines against Big Brother…

I also want to give a massive Thank You to Mac and Pixelmator users around the world for your amazing feedback, outstanding support, and heartwarming smiles (I am sure you bring those up) when using Pixelmator. That’s the reason we are so passionate about our work.

Thank You.

P.S. The next major update of Pixelmator is 1.4 Sprinkle (Sprinkle is a codename), which will focus on painting tools.


  • Marcus

    And we love you too. Keep up the awesome work!

  • J.D.

    Looking forward to 1.3 and beyond. Keep up the excellent work.

  • Guillermo

    Hi, I was thinking about purchasing Pixelmator but surfing the forum I’ve seen the absolute lack of information about the buying process (I’m talking about VAT) provided by the Pixelmator team. I’ve never paid VAT buying software online so you’re not going to see my money until that’s clarified.

    Good app, by the way.

  • Dave

    I’ll wait for 1.4 to buy. The paint tools are pretty poor. as is now I’ll keep using Photomop 7

  • Lucky

    You’ve been talking about the 1.3 update for so long it’s like it’s been here forever. Now it’s all about the 1.4 update! Kidding guys, great job I can’t wait to see what you’ve done.

  • Wimpus

    Hi there,
    You guys do a wonderful job! Tempo is gonna be so great, really 🙂
    Go guys, go!

  • mikes_corner

    Hi guys

    Sounds awesome…cant wait for 1.3 to come out.

  • Will Woodgate

    Pixelmator just gets better and better! The effort you guys have put in really is tremendous. I feel privileged to see and be part of the evolution of this great application.

    It’s also nice to see developers listening to what customers want for once and being transparent about the whole development cycle. Unfortunately most software companies tend to shut themselves away behind closed doors and loose contact with what customers want from an application.

    Keep up the great work!

  • Michael Roten

    Sounds like the text tools, slicing tools, and the JPG/GIF optimization tools (Save For Web) are still not going to allow most of the web users to replace “Big Brother” as you called it. Any ideas if that could be part of Sparkle (even though it says “painting” is the focus)? We love Pixelmator, but still find it difficult to rely on it’s toolset for basic, everyday web development.

  • Chris

    Great! Can’t wait to see Tempo, but I REALLY can’t wait until Sprinkle! Paint, beautiful paint!

  • Cristian

    Good day:

    I use Pixelmator. Love it.

    But . . . there’s no Smudge tool. Pretty surprising, actually.

    Can we get one, PLEASE?

    Warmest regards,


  • Riccardo Pareschi

    I’m proud to be a Pixelmator customer. I use it on daily basis for my web developer job.


  • Per L

    I have been testing it for 30days after buying a wacom tablet. The thing is that now that it has expired… I just don’t want to buy it due to the missing Smudge tool, it’s a must have before I will buy it. Which I will should you add it. Otherwise it looks really good.

    Keep it up and add smudge…. pretty please with sugar on top. 🙂


  • dropbot

    With each new release I find myself launching Pixelmator more and more instead of Big Brother. It will be a happy day when I no longer have a use for Big Brother. 🙂

    Thanks Pixelmator Team!

  • Thomas

    I’m pleased to heard that you will focus on performance for the next release. I’m currently working on a 3Mo image and Pixelmator is very slow and keep crashing again and again.

  • luke

    Will it be a free update? If not How much will it be to upgrade?

  • Wooster

    You don’t pay until Pixelmator Reaches Version 2.

  • Gernot

    When, when, when? 😀

  • Ryan

    I am working with some 2000X2000 pixel images in pixelmator and it is a little trying. If the next release is not coming out soon, could I still get in on the beta? I could really use the extra speed.

  • andi

    i just started using pixelmator. i love it. great application and certainly on it’s way to kick photoshop elements out.

    on my wish list are two things: a smudge tool and a speed increase for files over 3 MB.

    kepp up the good work!

  • Vasily

    I’ve gone from being skeptical that Pixelmator would ever amount to much, to using it once in a while, to Pixelmator being the first app I think of when I need to do something with an image. You’re doing a great job … and I’m looking forward to see what you guys come up with in the future!

  • ecovox

    Waiting for 1.3 🙂

  • Michel

    Where can i get that great circles-wallpaper shown in the pic?

    Thank you!

  • linux hater

    You need to change a few things in your marketing language. I recommend:

    “the word open source is cool and like about freedom n’shit, so like we like that cause it’s freedom. click here to buy our software”

    and possibly

    “Pixelmator Loves Open Source…but the Gimp’s source is a pile of crap so we made our own with Xcode”

  • Krizzz

    tomorrow would be a nice date to release, don’t you think?


  • Wyvernspirit

    I second the question on the circle desktop picture, I would like to know where to get it or even better, maybe a tutorial on how to make one in pixelmator.

  • Joeri

    I’ve pretty much replaced photoshop with pixelmator, but then admittedly I haven’t used photoshop to its full potential in years. For quick retouchings, removing a few stray birds from a photograph, assembling an image from various layers, and so on, pixelmator’s just as capable.

    I think the main handicap of photoshop is that their userbase won’t allow them to introduce radical improvements to how the image editor works, even though many of the basic tools aren’t all that great from a usability perspective. You can introduce those changes. Don’t be afraid to go further, and to take risks.

  • denis

    guys, really, but where do you take those amazing shots?

    I am talking about the ones in the home page or in this screenshot…

  • E

    “Pixelmator Loves Open Source” – the sentence means it loves open source as a whore. Use it, but not contribute to it. That’s low.