[UPDATED!] One name dominates digital photo editing, and that’s Adobe. Its flagship Photoshop software is the industry standard — it’s used to help make this very website — but unfortunately now requires a cumbersome monthly or annual subscription to "own." Happily, there are alternative applications that won’t break the bank and that can do everything the photography enthusiast could ever need. The following is an overview of your top options for Mac and iOS, including a few that won't cost you a dime.
With SmartMask’s powerful photo-editing tools, you can make perfect selections and intricate masks without damaging your original image. Whether you're using “Auto” mode (which lets you pick areas to keep or remove by marking them out with colored brushes) or “Manual” mode (which features two main tools: Quick Selection and Magic Brush), the program's versatile selection tools can get great results.
As always, we've got your games covered in the week's best price drops but we also like to help out those who want to be productive or those who want to do a little photo editing. So this week, we hit all three of those and set you up with some great deals on some great apps. We even have a little something to get you in the holiday spirit.
A little of something for nearly everyone this week, as app price drops were broadly spread across the board. Want to game? We've got a bit of that? Care to take photos and tweak 'em? Oh yeah, we can manage that. Build, create, enjoy, or blow a robot to pieces, we've got the gamut in this week's Price Drop.
Well, if you were looking for a week where productivity apps were blowing up, this is your week. Whether you want an awesome calendar, some inbox management, task lists, or more, the App Store is where you need to be with a few tips from us. But, since all work and no play makes MacLifers dull kids, we've also got a little gaming action to hook you and reward you with some fun times to go with all your hard work.
Apple's announcement last week that it would discontinue its beloved Aperture photo editing software came as a shock to many; it seemed as though the company was partially turning its back on the creative crowd that's been faithful to it for so long. But an updated article at Ars Technica today suggests we may not need to worry; the bulk of Aperture's editing tools may be making their way into the enhanced Photos app that was announced at this year's WWDC.
Pixite continues its string of clever iOS image tweaking tools—following Tangent and Fragment—with Union, a compositing app that moves away from shape-based blending and instead approaches the process in a more conventional manner. Union is designed to combine images by knocking out specific colors as transparent, while borrowing some mojo from the company’s previous apps, and it’s a pretty slick affair—but still lacking some key features for optimum image blending.
Cloud sync with mobile devices is rapidly becoming mandatory for Mac and PC software as consumers increasingly prefer to free themselves from the desktop. Adobe is receiving this message loud and clear, countering with a new app that delivers the core functionality of Lightroom 5 for iPad. This isn’t just a tablet version of Adobe’s popular photo software—it’s a robust companion app allowing Creative Cloud subscribers to sync image collections and edit them using gesture-based tools specifically designed for touchscreen devices (an iPhone version is planned for later this year).
Adobe's had a hard time convincing customers to use its could-based Creative Suite with subscriptions, but it shows no signs to doing away with that approach. The latest salvo comes from its apparent efforts to get its Lightroom photo editing program on the iPad, and if the accidentally posted listing uncovered by 9to5Mac is correct, it'll come with a $99 subscription fee.
Next week, families will come together to celebrate the holiday spirit and take a whole lot of photos, many of which will be shot on an iPhone -- so the latest major Camera+ update will probably be a real gift to them.