In a market where Adobe rules the roost, Serif and its lineup of Affinity programs has made quite the statement. Serif’s suite isn’t as large as Adobe’s, nor as prominent in terms of market share, but it’s gaining a massive following thanks to its pay-once-have-forever methodology, a concept Adobe has strayed away from with its Creative Cloud.
On Thursday, Nov. 2, Serif further increased the capabilities of its programs with a version 1.6 release of its Adobe Photoshop CC competitor, Affinity Photo for desktop. The update brings along a slew of changes both visible and under the hood.
Behind the scenes, Serif has integrated new support for Apple’s Metal 2 technology, meaning Affinity Photo can use hardware acceleration to process images and edits faster and smoother. This particularly comes into play when working with multiple images or editing RAW photographs.
On the surface, Affinity Photo has gained a new light UI mode. When turned on, the Affinity Photo app will have a light gray frame and interface. This is in contrast to its traditional black-and-gray experience.
Panning and zooming should also be a great deal smoother in version 1.6, likely due in part to its more capable hardware acceleration. Live filters and grids also see a boost in performance, for more accurate previews and edits.
In the virtual reality department, Serif has added 360-degree image roll correction, a welcomed feature considering how easy it is to accidentally tilt a VR camera when taking photos.
Alongside the update, Serif is also including a collection of bonus content valued at more than $100. Included are 99 custom high-resolution textures, a pack of 50 cloud overlays, and a set of image styles, light leaks, and distortions you can use to add a little visual flair to your photos.
If you already own Affinity Photo, this update is entirely free, as Serif claims all updates will be. If you haven’t purchased Affinity Photo, you can do so now for $50 on Affinity’s online store or through Apple’s Mac App Store. It’s available for both MacOS and Windows.
There’a also a free trial available in the event you want to take Affinity Photo for a spin before you drop any dough on it.
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