Pixelmator Photo for the iPad has been released with a trio of new features that greatly increase the power of the app. This update makes it possible to non-destructively edit images from your iCloud Photo Library, without having duplicates. The update also includes new batch-processing options and improved export options. These updates are interesting, and I think they will appeal to most people. However, there are some iPadOS functions I wish to see implemented in the future.
Pixelmator Photo’s launch was a great example of Files’ Document Browser being used in photo editors. It is an excellent feature, which I praised in my review. It can edit images stored in Keep It, Works Copy, Western Digital’s My Cloud, Western Digital’s My Passport Wireless SSD, etc. However, iCloud Photo Library doesn’t function as a data provider. To edit Pixelmator Photo photos, you would need to import the images first and create duplicates.
Pixelmator Photo latest update adds a direct view to your iCloud Photo Library. A single click allows you to switch between your iCloud Photo Library as well as file providers. There’s an icon at the top Pixelmator Photo’s picture picker user interface. This button either states ‘Show Photo’ or “Show Files”, depending on which view you’re viewing. Click the button to switch the view. It is a simple modal toggle that is required because iCloud Photo Library has no file providers. The app handles this in a straightforward way with the added benefit of not having to import iCloud Photo Library files.
The Photos and Files views allow you to make edits that are not destructive, just like in past versions. All adjustments made are stored in separate files so that you can either make changes to later versions or restore the original. You may also choose to disable destructive editing by using the Settings option in Pixelmator Photo. This removes any associated files and helps you save some storage space.
Pixelmator Photo has made a second significant change: a reliable batch processing platform. You can select multiple images from the same image by tapping the Select button. Tap the button in the top-right corner of the image picker view to select the photos that you would like to edit. The tiled interface is very similar the Home app’s.
Pixelmator offers four set of pre-built batch workflows for processing: Presets/Machine Learning, Rotate, Export, and a fifth to help you organize custom workflows. Pixelmator Photo offers a variety of machine-learning-enhanced editing options. Presets can apply various filters to photos. Rotate is responsible for image rotation and straightening. Finally, Export will convert images to different file types.
One of my favorite features about the existing workflows, is that you can edit them. It gives users a heads start to creating their own. The Reset button allows users to reset the workflow and start again from scratch if they don’t like what you have done. Or, you may start completely from scratch using a custom workflow.
Pixelmator Photo lets you see the current status of all images in a set of workflows. If you have the Export toggle turned off, edits to your workflow are saved to either Photos or Files. Pixelmator Photo can display the Share Sheet at the End of the Process if the Export toggle has been turned on. This allows you to email the images to other apps.
Pixelmator Photo’s batch processing will be a great tool for quick editing of a number of images and then sending it to friends. I also use the Batch Processing to convert MacStories Weekly images into a precise pixel width, to conform to MailChimp’s size restrictions. For broad edits of multiple images, the new workflows work well. Pixelmator Photo has other editing tools which can be used to edit individual images.
Pixelmator Photo’s most recent update doesn’t change the editing tools. I’m not going to cover these again. For a complete rundown of what you can do with Pixelmator Photo’s editing tools, check out my review of version 1.0.
Shortcuts integration is one thing that I miss in Pixelmator Photo Batch Processing. To be able to mix and match workflows from other utilities, I would love an “Add Siri” button. Split View support and multiwindows would also be useful. Pixelmator Photo looks best on full-screen. But, being able to view it in other apps as well or to compare two images side by sides would make the iPad a great device.
Pixelmator Photo updates now has new export options. You could choose only file type and other quality options to export an image. The ability to scale images can be done with several presets as well as a custom width and height. While this isn’t as important as the others, it can still be useful if you have to scale an image to post it online.
Pixelmator Photo offers excellent new features such as direct access my iCloud Photo Library to edit without having to create duplicates. Batch processing is also available. This is the biggest update to Pixelmator Photos since launch. It’s an exceptional choice as the primary editor for many users. Though I want to see iPadOS features like Split View, Multiple Windows, and Shortcuts action more widely adopted, what the app does not have in these areas it makes up with its robust collection of tools and workflows. That is why it still remains my favourite photo editor and I keep it near my Home screen.
Pixelmator Photo is available on the App Store for $4.99.