Pixelmator for iOS 9 adds multitasking and 8K image support

The iPad and iPhone versions of Pixelmator has been updated for Apple's latest OS, including adding tools ready for the iPad Pro.


Pixelmator for iOS 9 is an upgrade to the digital-painting and photo-editing app for iPhone and iPad.

Apart for just working fully in iOS 9, there are also new features. The one feature available to all is support for images up to 8K in size (7,680 × 4,320, or 50mp in digital camera terms).

Pixelmator for iOS 9 (aka version 2.1 of Pixelmator for iOS) supports iOS 9's multi-tasking features – assuming your iPad does too.

SlideOver (shown here) lets you see another app in a column that pops out the side of thee screen – and work son any iPad Air or the iPad mini 2, 3, 4, or the forthcoming iPad Pro.

Full Split Screen multitasking is supported only by the iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4 and iPad Pro.


Other new features include opening and saving images in the same place, saving to your Photos app and support for Spotlight.

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Pixelmator for iOS 9 follows March's release of Pixelmator 1.1, codenamed Aquarelle, and May's Pixelmator for iPhone.

Pixelmator 1.1 features innovative watercolour painting technology, a collection of artist-designed watercolour brushes, a new Color Picker and twice as fast painting performance, claimed the developer.


Designed for the iPad, the watercolour painting technology in Pixelmator 1.1 includes artist-designed brushes that can apply colours with watery strokes, just like applying paint on paper with a wet brush.

When brush strokes overlap, their colours blend with each other, creating an entirely new colour with a soft gradient between them.

The developer said users would be able to create beautiful, soft and vibrant watercolour paintings or simply use watercolours to add an artistic touch to photos.


To enhance the painting experience, Pixelmator 1.1 for iPad introduces a new Color Picker.

With a completely redesigned user interface and a beautiful Colour Grid, the developer said users can choose colours with much greater precision and ease.

Users can also quickly access recently used colours or create their own colour swatches for later use.

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Engineered using OpenGL ES and taking full advantage of the A8X iPad processor, the upgraded Pixelmator Paint Engine has been optimised even further.

Painting in Pixelmator 1.1 for iPad is now two times faster, claimed the developer, suggesting users can paint even more smoothly and in real time.


Pixelmator 1.1 Aquarelle features also include an ability to insert a photo as a new layer from iCloud Drive, lock image transparency with Lock Alpha and open RAW image preview

In addition there's a refreshed Eyedropper tool, live brush preview, and better stylus support, including support for Adonit styluses.


Aiming for increased Photoshop compatibility, Pixelmator 1.1 can open 16 bit, RGB, CMYK and Greyscale Photoshop images, as well as Photoshop images containing layer masks.

Version 1.1 also comes with major overall stability and performance improvements.

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“It took an extremely close collaboration between watercolour artists and our engineering team to develop a unique watercolour painting technology that makes it easy to create fascinating, real-life looking watercolour paintings,” said Saulius Dailide, one of the founders of the Pixelmator Team.

“We think that the new Pixelmator watercolour technology will inspire painters as well as creative photographers to find new ways of expression on their iPad.”

Pixelmator for iPad is available from the App Store for £7.99 ($9.99).

For existing Pixelmator users who purchased the app from the App Store, the new version is available as a free upgrade.