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Affinity Designer and Photo for Mac updated to version 1.7 with multi-GPU and HDR display support

Today Serif, creator of Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo, has released version 1.7 of its popular illustration and photo editing apps on Mac. The updates are headlined by enhanced GPU compute acceleration, HDR monitor support, and a new memory management system. Both Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer 1.7 are available for download on the Mac App Store today.

The new performance-focused update allows users to take full advantage of the Mac’s discrete GPU, translating into performance gains for raster layer and brush operations. Serif says that the enhancements can result in up to 10 times faster performance than before.

Not only is your Mac’s internal discrete GPU supported, but version 1.7 includes support for multiple GPUs. This is perfect for Mac users wielding eGPUs who wish to take advantage of the extra desktop power provided by such a setup.

Additionally, Affinity Photo and Designer now come with full support for HDR / EDR displays. Using an HDR monitor allows photographers to see new levels of the detail captured in RAW files, and lets designers push color intensity in graphics projects. Of course, this means that the new updates will work nicely with Apple’s upcoming Pro Display XDR announced at WWDC 2019.

iPad updates

Although today’s update is Mac-centric, iPad users also receive a noteworthy update in the form of a refreshed, compact UI that provides more working real estate and a better experience on smaller iPad hardware. Serif specifically notes that the iPad mini, with its support for Apple Pencil, results in a great experience with the refreshed UI. In addition, the iPad apps receive further performance optimizations.

Affinity Photo 1.7

  • Much improved RAW processing engine offering significantly faster loading of files, a new demosaicing algorithm, more effective noise reduction, hot pixel removal and wide colour space development.
  • Rewritten brush engine adding all-new multi-brushes, a symmetry mode (up to 32-way) and on-the-fly nozzle rotation with shortcut keys.
  • Batch processing is improved, a new assets panel is available for quick drag and drop of commonly used elements, and the layers panel has had a complete overhaul.

Affinity Designer 1.7

  • New isometric controls allowing you to work directly on any isometric plane – or fit existing elements to a plane with a single click.
  • Vector shapes can now possess an unlimited number of strokes and fills, with complete freedom to interleave different attributes and control how they are blended together. Arrowheads have been added to the stroke panel too.
  • Improvements to almost all vector tools, including lasso selection of modes, the pencil tool adding a sculpt mode, a new point transform tool as well as huge improvements to guides, grids and snapping.

The 1.7 update is free for existing Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer customers. New customers can get the full versions for a 20% discount, making the desktop apps $39.99 and the iPad apps $15.99 for a limited time. You can download both Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer from the Mac App Store today.

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Jeff produces videos, walkthroughs, how-tos, written tutorials and reviews. He takes pride in being able to explain things in a simple, clear and concise manner.