Apple recently announced its best apps of the year, and the winner for best iPad app is Pixelmator, a powerful new image editor.
Pixelmator got a lot of buzz after its team was invited to demo the app onstage at Apple’s big iPad event in October, and after watching a photo get touched up and transformed in real-time, it’s easy to see why.
Pixelmator is both incredibly powerful and user-friendly, a rare combination that will appeal to veteran photo editors, digital artists, and even the casual person who takes some pictures on her iPhone and wants to make them look special.
While Pixelmator also exists for Mac, the app feels truly at home on the iPad’s interface. The touch controls feel intuitive rather than tacked on, which is nice for those looking to sink some serious time into image editing.
If you’re looking to work with photos, Pixelmator offers a full suite of photo-editing tools that will let you choose a template, adjust colors, add effects, retouch, resize and crop, and insert text and shapes.
You can even remove undesirable objects from a photo quickly with Pixelmator’s Repair tool.
For those looking to give their photos an artistic look, Pixelmator offers some gorgeous filters such as Light Leak, Vintage, Black and White, and even a fun Miniaturize effect that makes your photo look like a toy model.
And that’s just what Pixelmator can do for photo editing.
Pixelmator is also a fully featured painting app for digital artists or those simply looking to add some paint to their photos.
You can start a painting from scratch, choosing one of Pixelmator’s 70 realistic or stylized brushes, or paint over an existing image. There are tools for adjusting the style and size of the brush stroke, and there’s even full stylus support, allowing you to paint with a Wacom stylus if you prefer.
For those that work closely with Adobe Photoshop, you’ll be pleased to know that Pixelmator calls itself “Photoshop friendly,” meaning you can save your work as a Photoshop file, and many of the most popular Photoshop features are supported as well.
Pixelmator is exactly what you want from an iPad image editor. It’s easy to use for the novice, contains enough tools to keep the expert interested, and is both flexible and powerful enough to make a compelling case as a primary editing application for photographers in the field.
You can download Pixelmator for $9.99 over at the App Store, or you can see a video of the app in action below.
See also: The Future of Apple