Pixelmator for OS X updated with Photos app extension, Split View support and San Francisco UI

3. Pixelmator Photos Extension Retouching

Following the corresponding update to Pixelmator for iOS 9, the company has released the latest version of Pixelmator for the Mac ($29.99) with full support for El Capitan. This includes compatibility with changes to the OS as well as an overhaul in the Pixelmator user interface to feature San Fransisco, Apple’s new system font. The update, version 3.4, also includes official full-screen Split View support on El Capitan, so users can dock Pixelmator next to any other app on the system filling the display.

Perhaps most interestingly, the app now includes a Photos.app editing extension …

The extension does not add all of the Pixelmator feature set inside the Photos app, instead focusing on the Distort tools. Backed by a Metal rendering engine, users can swirl, twist, pinch and warp their images without leaving the Photos editing UI. After installing the update, the extension just appears alongside the other edit panels in Photos for quick access. There’s even a Reduce tool to selectively undo any warping edits.

Unfortunately, there’s still no easy way to open an image from within Photos into a fully-fledged Pixelmator edit window but the onus to implement this is heavily on the side of Apple, not third-party developers.

2. Pixelmator and Split View

To top it off, the update also includes enhanced integration with the pressure-sensitive Force Touch APIs on OS X   to make painting even smoother on supported Macs, including desktop Macs using the new Magic Trackpad 2. The update should also address many of the crashes users experienced with the app when updating to OS X El Capitan.

As always, the update is free for existing users. New Mac users interested in advanced photo-editing can buy Pixelmator from the Mac App Store for $29.99. You can also buy Pixelmator for iPhone and iPad ($4.99) and have all your projects sync through iCloud across all your devices.

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  1. checker92 - 7 years ago

    To sad that I still can’t download this update or any other.

  2. SKR Imaging - 7 years ago

    The fact that I can’t use the most useful editing tools as extension is a deal breaker… I hope Pixelmator follow Macphun’s example and allow users to run all their tools as an extension.. I don’t believe that it is Apple that is limiting anything here.. Maybe Pixelmator team will add this to version 4.0 and want that to be the marquee feature of that release.

  3. Justin - 7 years ago

    Thats it? Very underwhelming. What about the features that users have been requesting for years like non destructive adjustment layers, text tools, and layout options!

  4. telecastle - 7 years ago

    On what grounds are you claiming that the limitations are due to the restrictions in the Apple’s APIs?

    Does anyone know if it’s possible to open a photo in Pixelmator from the Photos library, make edits to the photo, and then save these edits non-destructively to the same photo in the Photos library? I can’t find this feature in Pixelmator for OS X, but I believe it exists in Pixelmator for iOS (iPad).

    Not being able to use most of the features of Pixelmator for OS X through iPhotos Extensions is half of the problem. The other half is that even when opening photos stores in the Photos library from within Pixelmator, it’s not possible to save edits back to the Photos library, which requires maintenance of two image libraries: the native Photos library and a Pixelmator library.

  5. AeronPeryton - 7 years ago

    Praise be, this is the update I was waiting for. Using the fill tool should not reliably crash the app. :3

  6. Steven (@leftofjuniper) - 7 years ago

    Maybe one day…one day…they’ll get rid of all those floating menus. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.


Avatar for Benjamin Mayo Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.