Why it matters to you
A tablet’s smaller hardware means most apps are downsized from the desktop version, but with Affinity Photo’s iPad launch, that’s no longer the case.
Mobile software tends to seriously draw back the features in order to run on a smaller device, but one photo editor is launching an iPad version that can do everything its desktop counterpart can. On Monday, Serif announced Affinity Photo for iPad as the first full-blown photo editor to come to the mobile platform without downgrading tools for the smaller system.
The iPad version is designed with all the same features and the same back-end code, but refined to work with the touch interface and iPad hardware, compatible with the iPad Air 2, iPad 2017, and the iPad Pro (9.7-, 10.5-, and 12.9-inch models). Developer Serif says that the program is “developed without compromise,” and that all of the tools from the desktop version are now available in the tablet app.
The photo editor uses multitouch gestures to speed up the editing process, the developer says. The iPad app is also designed to work with Apple Pencil, using the pressure, tilt and angle of the stylus inside digital brushes and selection tools. The company claims the stylus editing offers accuracy for edits like dodge, burn, clone, blemish, patch, and red-eye tools, as well as more advanced tasks like frequency separation and selecting around hair. With all the tools of the desktop software migrated to the iPad app, Affinity Photo still includes nondestructive adjustments, layers, masking, and a liquefy platform.
While the interface has been updated to migrate the tools over to a touch interface, the app is also optimized to run on a tablet’s smaller processor. This hardware acceleration allows the program to run efficiently, including rendering effects like filters in real time, Serif says.
Affinity Photo is a relative newcomer to the photo editing scene, but the cross-platform program has been well-received, earning the Best Mac App from Apple in 2015. While the desktop version lists for $40, the iPad version is slated for a $30 list price, launching with a $10 discount for the first tablet users.