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The Photoshop competitor that earned Apple’s App of the Year is on Windows

The advanced image editor that took Apple’s App of the Year in 2015 is now making its way onto PCs. On Wednesday, Serif announced the public beta testing of Affinity Photo for Windows.

Considered by many to be a worthwhile Photoshop competitor, the public beta version brings all of the non-destructive image edits to the Windows platform. Serif, a company based in the U.K., is offering a free download of the beta version during the software’s public testing.

The Windows version includes both the tried-and-true options on the iOS version but also adds several tools that won’t be available on iOS until the release of Affinity Photo 1.5. An editing mode allows for all the tools to be used on 360-degree images, going through the same steps to apply those changes but allowing users to scroll around the complete 360-degree perspective within the workspace.

The beta version also brings a new advanced HDR edit that churns out full 32-bit color images as well as a new merge option for using the focus stacking technique for a sharper image. The pre-release also adds batch processing to speed up edits on groups of photos, a feature not yet available in the iOS version.

Serif says that, along with the new features that are also coming to the future Mac version, the Windows version matches the company’s iOS award winner.

“When we started developing our Affinity apps nearly seven years ago, one of the key aims was to be cross-platform, so this is a huge milestone for us,” said Ashley Hewson, Affinity’s managing director. “Because we did plan for this from the beginning, we made nearly all of our back-end code — the core engine of Affinity, if you like — completely operating system independent. That not only means that file compatibility between the two platforms is 100 percent perfect, but all the power, performance, tools and accuracy which have really set us apart on Mac are there for Windows users to enjoy now too.”

During the beta period, users will be able to test the software for free and have the chance to offer their feedback. After the beta period, Serif says the Windows version will match the iOS version’s $50 one-time price.

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