Affinity Photo or Pixelmator? Pick the iPad Image Editor For You

Ever since the introduction of iOS 11, I’ve been using my iPad Pro as my main computer. Unfortunately I can’t exclusively use an iPad since the Adobe Creative Cloud apps aren’t yet available on iOS. I try to do as much work as I can from my iPad alone and since I do quite a bit of design work that involves photo editing. Unlike vector designs, photo editing is much easier to work with on iPad. Two excellent Photoshop alternatives have made it to the iPad, one a few years ago and one more recently. These are Affinity Photo and Pixelmator. I use both of them for different tasks and they are both great apps. But users with different needs or skill sets should certainly see which one is better for them. Let’s start with ease of use.

Pixelmator is much easier to use since it is developed much like an iWork app. It’s very organized and its layout is easy to understand. Tasks like selections and retouches are much quicker and easier to do in Pixelmator. The layer system in Pixelmator is much more straight forward than in Affinity Photo too. Novice editors and those who just want to make small and quick edits should definitely start with Pixelmator. It’s also less of a risk at just $4.99.

Affinity Photo is an entirely different beast. It’s basically a full port of their Mac app running on the iPad. It’s designed to look exactly like a Mac app. In fact, if you didn’t know about it you might mistake it for a Photoshop app running on an iPad. It has an extensive list of tools and abilities that rival Photoshop on the Mac. It has advanced editing features too. If you are an advanced photo editor who has either used Affinity Photo on the Mac or uses Photoshop on the Mac, Affinity Photo for iPad is definitely the choice for you. It is however a bit pricey at $19.99. However, if you are a photographer, a designer, or an iPad productivity pro Affinity Photo is a must have.

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