Pixelmator for iPad doesn’t disappoint

Pixelmator for iPad showing one of the menus.
Updated: 11th February 2015

The first major update of Pixelmator for Mac (version 1.1, code named 'Aquarelle') is due to be released any time now! It contains "awesome new features" and improvements, as well as watercolour painting technology. Can't wait!

If you’ve got an iPad and you’re into creating and enhancing images, you might want to think about getting your hands on Pixelmator. This beautiful app, developed from the ground up for iPad and iOS 8 (as opposed to just being ported from the Mac version), is simply (we think) the best image-editing app for iPad currently available. It has very quickly become a Master Your Mac must-have. And we’re not the only ones; it was App Store Best App 2014.

Adjusting a photo's colours in Piixelmator iPad.
Select colour effects from those provided or manually adjust your own colours.

With Pixelmator iPad you can create images from scratch using the intuitive sketching and painting tools, or import images to enhance and edit using artistic effects like Bokeh, Vintage or Vignette. There is an excellent selection of templates and photo effects for you to use to help you create fabulous, original work or perfect your precious photos’ lighting, exposure and saturation. Exporting and sharing your work is easy, and you can open and save Photoshop files, making it easy to work on projects with those who use Adobe’s ‘monster’ app.

Pixelmator iPad showing use of layers and text effects.
Swipe right from the left of the screen to add and edit layers. Tap text to change its colour and style.

Because iCloud is built-into Pixelmator, and the same file format is used for both Mac and iPad versions, you can work seamlessly between your Mac and your iPad – if you have Pixelmator for Mac (read about the Mac app here). That means you can start sketching or photo editing on your iPad, and finish off on your Mac – your work will look exactly the same on both screens. You can store images in iCloud Drive so that you can access them from anywhere, anytime on whatever device you wish.

Getting rid of unwanted elements in a photo with Pixelmator iPad.
Select unwanted elements in your photo and wait for Pixelmator for iPad to magic them away.

My favourite Pixelmator iPad feature by far, though, is the Repair tool. This allows you to ‘magically’ eliminate unwanted elements in a photo, by simply selecting them with a finger or stylus. What never fails to make me smile is that the background is recreated perfectly as if there had never anything there. Sand dunes are particularly fascinating when unwanted camels are removed!

The photo without the unwanted element.
Et voilà! The branch is gone! And you’d never know that it was ever there.

As with most apps, the most gratifying way to get to know Pixelmator is to jump in and ‘explore’. The interface is very intuitive but, should you get stuck, there’s comprehensive help if you click the ‘?’ at the top right of the toolbar and then tap ‘Learn more about using Pixelmator’ at the bottom left of the screen.

Pixelmator iPad works great as a stand-alone app. Paired with Pixelmator for Mac you have a winning image creation and editing combination.

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