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Pixelmator banks on Mac App Store for exclusive distribution

post #1 of 79
Thread Starter 
Pixelmator, the developers of streamlined Mac image editor that compares to Adobe Photoshop at a much lower price, has announced exclusive commitment to Apple's new Mac App Store for its software sales and distribution.

In a blog post, the company stated, "we, the Pixelmator Team, believe that the Mac App Store is going to be an absolute hit and are very excited to be part of it.

"And, because it offers so many benefits to our customers, we are fully committed to supporting the Mac App Store by completely moving Pixelmator sales and distribution to the Mac App Store in the upcoming months."

The Pixelmator app was previously priced at $59.99, and sold through a variety of retail sources including Amazon and other online retailers, and Apple's own retail stores. The app is now priced at just $29.99, half off "for a limited time," and includes a free upgrade to the forthcoming Pixelmator 2.0 when it ships later this year.

Existing apps don't transition to the Mac App Store

Because the Mac App Store does not grandfather in existing users, anyone who has purchased an app that is now being sold in the Mac App Store will not be able to use Apple's new store to upgrade their app, or transfer their purchase into the new store.

Existing apps will continue to work, of course, but to be served through the Mac App Store, users will have to repurchase the title, just as CD owners were faced with the option of buying their music from iTunes again.

That has prompted Pixelmator to offer its special price and free 2.0 upgrade; other developers are wrestling with how they will make the transition, or if they will continue to maintain parallel sales and upgrades independent from the App Store.

Pixelmator noted a variety of reasons for moving exclusively to the new App Store, including easy installation for users, automatic update notifications that make it easy to stay up-to-date with the most recent version, the ability for users to download all the apps they buy to new computers or other Macs they own, freedom from having to deal with serial numbers and anti-piracy measures, and the fact that Pixelmator developers "are able to focus even more on what we are good atcreating the best image editor for the Mac. And that is, of course, good for you."

For existing users that chose not to buy the new version of Pixelmator from the App Store, the company will continue to deliver free 1.0 updates until the new 2.0 version ships later this year. That version will only be available through the Mac App Store. The company also offers a free 30 day trial from its website, something it won't be able to do through the Mac App Store itself.

Pixelmator's enthusiastic support for the Mac App Store, which just opened yesterday, flies in the face of criticism that developers would chafe at Apple's 30 percent retail cut and other App Store policies.

post #2 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Pixelmator, the developers of streamlined Mac image editor that compares to Adobe Photoshop at a much lower price,

Really. It compares to Photoshop CS5? Have you used them side-by-side?
post #3 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by bulk001 View Post

Really. It compares to Photoshop CS5? Have you used them side-by-side?

Well, to be fair, he didn't say it compares well...

I know nothing about this program. I don't really need photoshop level editing. Anyone know if it is significantly more capable/useful than iPhoto? For $30 it might be worth a shot...
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post #4 of 79
I was troubled by this, until it was mentioned at the end that a trial version will still be available at Pixelmator's website. This isn't an app that I would buy without trying it out first. If developers can still offer trial versions outside the App Store, then maybe it's not bad if they only actually sell the app through Apple. And if the App Store links directly to the developer's website, it's starting to sound actually pretty convenient.

Still, I like having the option of keeping the disk images, so I can go back to the older version of some apps, when the new version has problems. That's mainly been a problem with Apple apps - iMovie (went back to iMovie HD) and iTunes (the iTunes 10 display of artwork is terribly ugly and ruins the entire app for me).
post #5 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

Well, to be fair, he didn't say it compares well...

I know nothing about this program. I don't really need photoshop level editing. Anyone know if it is significantly more capable/useful than iPhoto? For $30 it might be worth a shot...

True
post #6 of 79
Not just Pixelmator - Drew McCormack's going Mac App Store Exclusive with Mental Case - his Flash Card app (that is on iPhone and Mac)
post #7 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

Well, to be fair, he didn't say it compares well...

I know nothing about this program. I don't really need photoshop level editing. Anyone know if it is significantly more capable/useful than iPhoto? For $30 it might be worth a shot...

MacWorld reviewed it, and liked it, though they slightly prefer Photoshop Elements. But Pixelmator is now a third the price, and if 2.0 plugs the holes it'll be a steal.
post #8 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by bulk001 View Post

Really. It compares to Photoshop CS5? Have you used them side-by-side?

For the things Pixelmator is good at (image editing), it compares well enough. Certainly for the price.

Photoshop tries very hard to be every kind of image editor/art studio/design program/paint program/etc. possible. I've used PS professionally for 15 years and there are parts of it I've barely ever touched, they're so specialized. And they charge for that whole range of capability, meaning that only professionals with wide-ranging requirements will ever get the full use of it.

I wouldn't trade in Photoshop for Pixelmator myself, but if I was just starting out or if I was only doing design work for myself, I'd definitely give it a shot. I've recommended it to people before.
post #9 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkcooke View Post

MacWorld reviewed it, and liked it, though they slightly prefer Photoshop Elements. But Pixelmator is now a third the price, and if 2.0 plugs the holes it'll be a steal.

It may compare to Photoshop Elements but if that is what the author meant, they should make that distinction.
post #10 of 79
I wonder how Apple will handle paid major updates. For example, if a developer release x.0 update and wanted to charge for it how is it going to be handled?! Do they have to release a new app and ammend the version number to the name? I think if Apple plays it right they can configure th Mac App Store to offer upgrade price If you own a previous version.
post #11 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scruffy View Post

For the things Pixelmator is good at (image editing), it compares well enough. Certainly for the price.

Photoshop tries very hard to be every kind of image editor/art studio/design program/paint program/etc. possible. I've used PS professionally for 15 years and there are parts of it I've barely ever touched, they're so specialized.

I think that the imagination of the artists who use Photoshop have pushed Adobe into developing what Photoshop is today - a robust, diverse tool (some updates have been more useful than others but by and large it is a fantastic piece of software) and if the writer's intent was that Pixelmator compares to a subset of PS tools, then they should have said that but to imply that it compares to Photoshop is misleading.
post #12 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by bulk001 View Post

I think that the imagination of the artists who use Photoshop have pushed Adobe into developing what Photoshop is today - a robust, diverse tool (some updates have been more useful than others but by and large it is a fantastic piece of software) and if the writer's intent was that Pixelmator compares to a subset of PS tools, then they should have said that but to imply that it compares to Photoshop is misleading.

Nonsense - it does compare to photoshop. Read the reviews elsewhere. It does exactly what 90% of PS users use it for. As other pros have said, they don't use many/most of PS features and functions. Do some research before you post such comments. It is time Adobe got some solid competition for their overpriced, overly complicated and bloated products. It is ridiculous the amount of money they charge.
post #13 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

Well, to be fair, he didn't say it compares well...

I know nothing about this program. I don't really need photoshop level editing. Anyone know if it is significantly more capable/useful than iPhoto? For $30 it might be worth a shot...

...but definitely worth $30.00. It dovetails nearly perfectly with iPhoto, and does pretty much everything one might need to do for touch up and other fun stuff.

Not a prepress tool, however. No path tool, no CMYK color space, other high end functions.

Pixelmator is a good tool for a lot of tasks; in some instances better than PhotoShop. You don't need a jackhammer to smash ants.
post #14 of 79
Here's one review, and its for an older version - http://themacfeed.com/2009/11/review-pixelmator/

Here's another review of the most recent version - http://digitalapplejuice.com/review-pixelmator-1-6/

Been using it in place of PS myself and find it to be an amazing program for the price and performance and does everything I need it to do.
post #15 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claude427 View Post

...but definitely worth $30.00. It dovetails nearly perfectly with iPhoto, and does pretty much everything one might need to do for touch up and other fun stuff.

Not a prepress tool, however. No path tool, no CMYK color space, other high end functions.

Pixelmator is a good tool for a lot of tasks; in some instances better than PhotoShop. You don't need a jackhammer to smash ants.

Great points - hopefully we'll see some or all of this in release 2.0 later this year.
post #16 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

Nonsense - it does compare to photoshop. Read the reviews elsewhere. It does exactly what 90% of PS users use it for. As other pros have said, they don't use many/most of PS features and functions. Do some research before you post such comments. It is time Adobe got some solid competition for their overpriced, overly complicated and bloated products. It is ridiculous the amount of money they charge.

I don't have to do 'some research' - I have actually USED both products (v1.6 of Pixelmator and will get around to testing v2 when they post a demo). I run a company of design, 3D, Flash, programming and video pros (while I have used PS since version 3 I don't consider myself a pro) and we constantly test new products as they come out. Pixelmator may do everything you want but for a professional shop it is does not compare to the feature set of Photoshop. As for Photoshop being overly complicated and bloated, I think that is more a limit of the user's ability and imagination than a problem with the software. I do agree with your idea that competition can create better products (I think that Lightroom is a better program for the competition that Apple brought with Aperture and we have used both BTW along with Capture One Pro). With regards to price, you should make be able to make up the expense of a suite of Photoshop in a days' work (depending on where you live, skill level etc.)

This does not take away from PM (I just took issue with the author seeming to indicate that it was a cheap comparable replacement for Photoshop). This discussion had me going back to play with it and it is clean and simple (in a good way), launches quickly and has a nice toolset and for a lot of people I am sure that they will need nothing more than PM.
post #17 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

Here's one review, and its for an older version - http://themacfeed.com/2009/11/review-pixelmator/

Here's another review of the most recent version - http://digitalapplejuice.com/review-pixelmator-1-6/

Been using it in place of PS myself and find it to be an amazing program for the price and performance and does everything I need it to do.

To quote from one of your reviews:

"Our Verdict:

We are speechless about this application! It is something that we were not expecting out of such a small team. The price of Pixelmator is $59 and that is a price no one can pass up. Do not get Photoshop Elements. Get Pixelmator! "

They compare it to Photoshop ELEMENTS!

The other review concludes with:

"This overview of the new features in the PIXELMATOR 1.6 update just reinforce my conclusions that this is a good alternative program for the budget conscious designer or student who can use PIXELMATOR on an Apple computer. A free trial is downloadable, and the $59,00 price tag is a real deal. I recommend it to the student or the designer on a budget."

Photoshop CS5 is a professional tool and neither review would seem to indicate that they would recommend PM over PS (at least for diverse professional design work).
post #18 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

Great points - hopefully we'll see some or all of this in release 2.0 later this year.

Path tool, yes. But I think Pixelmator does not need to compete with Photoshop for prepress (CMYK). They need to keep it lean and mean instead of the Swiss Army Knife that Photoshop has become.
post #19 of 79
One thing they didn't mention was that they are shafting their existing customers. They have pulled Pixelmator from their web site [the version that accepts their old licenses], and their App Store/Trial version seems more than just version bumped from their last update.

Unless something changes, it's unlikely I'll be sending them any more dollars.
post #20 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

One thing they didn't mention was that they are shafting their existing customers. They have pulled Pixelmator from their web site [the version that accepts their old licenses], and their App Store/Trial version seems more than just version bumped from their last update.

Unless something changes, it's unlikely I'll be sending them any more dollars.

For that $30, you get the current version plus the 2.0 version when it ships - kinda like a prepaid upgrade for 2.0.
post #21 of 79
Um, I've been buying CDs for 25 years and not once have I ever had to repurchase my music in the iTunes Store. Who writes this stuff?
post #22 of 79
So what will I have to do if my app gets corrupted and needs to be reinstalled, say if an update damages my working app or produces a bug? How would I "roll back" to my old good version? Will the app store save older versions I can go re-download?

Right now many developers have older versions on the download area of their websites. With my serial number in hand, i can download and reinstall the older working version. If devs go "App store only", will there be a safeguard in place to accommodate this legitimate need?

I got burned on the iOS app store when Apple released iOS 4. I used an app that broke when that happened. The developer released a fix then a later update that again broke. The dev later vaporized before releasing a fix. I was not aware of a way to roll back the app and the store does not make older versions available. So I now own a paid non-working app.

Just a scenario to consider.
post #23 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

For that $30, you get the current version plus the 2.0 version when it ships - kinda like a prepaid upgrade for 2.0.

Are you sure? There are a lot of shenanigans going on all the sudden, and from developers you wouldn't expect. The developers of CoverSutra just pulled a number on the people who bought the current version and were promised a free upgrade to 2.5, which they can't get for free anymore because they've gone App Store-only and that's the only place you can get 2.5.

At least in the indie developer days you could count on good support and a fair shake for your money. Now I guess those days are done and the Mac App Store-only devs are basically saying "Fuck you" to their old customers because they don't have to care about their reputations anymore, only their MAS ranking and the visibility that generates.

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post #24 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by sportytoes View Post

So what will I have to do if my app gets corrupted and needs to be reinstalled, say if an update damages my working app or produces a bug? How would I "roll back" to my old good version? Will the app store save older versions I can go re-download?

If you are running TimeMachine, you could pull the old version from your TM backup.
post #25 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by sportytoes View Post

So what will I have to do if my app gets corrupted and needs to be reinstalled, say if an update damages my working app or produces a bug? How would I "roll back" to my old good version? Will the app store save older versions I can go re-download?

I went through this with 1Password Pro on my iPhone. The version on my iPhone works, but the sync'ed version on my Mac has gone missing (I get the dreaded gray exclamation point in iTunes) and there is no way to get it to sync from my iPhone back to iTunes on my Mac.

If you don't have access to the original .ipa, you're basically screwed. Is that scenario any different with the Mac App Store?

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post #26 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

For that $30, you get the current version plus the 2.0 version when it ships - kinda like a prepaid upgrade for 2.0.

In addition, it at least appear that the developers of this product claim they are allowing 1.x customers to receive free upgrades without having to buy the App Store version until the release of 2.0 (sources: last paragraph of this article and their website). I don't know how this works if they took down the download link, but that seems reasonable if true.

I'm considering giving this a whirl just because of the price with the free upgrade promise. It certainly can't be the worst $30 I've ever spent on software.
post #27 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

If you don't have access to the original .ipa, you're basically screwed. Is that scenario any different with the Mac App Store?

I'm pretty sure that's not true. Just delete the app in iTunes, then search for it on the iTunes Store and buy it again. When you click "buy" it will tell you you have already purchased it and ask if you want to download it again for free. It's only songs and movies you can't redownload (probably due to studio restrictions), apps you can.
post #28 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I'm pretty sure that's not true. Just delete the app in iTunes, then search for it on the iTunes Store and buy it again. When you click "buy" it will tell you you have already purchased it and ask if you want to download it again for free. It's only songs and movies you can't redownload (probably due to studio restrictions), apps you can.

I'll try that. Thanks. (What do I have to lose?)

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post #29 of 79
Pretty ballsy move there. Considering Mac App store is in its infancy and there are already reports of tricking the system into thinking you have purchased a paid version, even though you got the free trial. I would have waited a couple of months at least before announcing exclusive distribution.
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post #30 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

Pretty ballsy move there. Considering Mac App store is in its infancy and there are already reports of tricking the system into thinking you have purchased a paid version, even though you got the free trial. I would have waited a couple of months at least before announcing exclusive distribution.

One of the things I like about the Pixelmator guys is that they are "all in" with Apple. I think they were the first third-party image editor to rely exclusively on Apple's corelibs for image processing. They like spending time on UI (for better or worse).
post #31 of 79
I am not able to have this luxury. No cable, no DSL, no cell service. Only an overpriced satellite connection with daily limits and high latency. Once again American companies forges about rural areas of the country, looking for quick money and poor service. What no contract!
I use Pixelmator and like it. Now I am locked out. Good bye Pixelmator and enjoy.
Looking at the bright side, I see the real America outside my windows everyday, not some cement jail.
post #32 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by freshh20 View Post

I am not able to have this luxury. No cable, no DSL, no cell service. Only an overpriced satellite connection with daily limits and high latency. Once again American companies forges about rural areas of the country, looking for quick money and poor service. What no contract!
I use Pixelmator and like it. Now I am locked out. Good bye Pixelmator and enjoy.
Looking at the bright side, I see the real America outside my windows everyday, not some cement jail.

How do you get updates now?
post #33 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Are you sure? There are a lot of shenanigans going on all the sudden, and from developers you wouldn't expect. The developers of CoverSutra just pulled a number on the people who bought the current version and were promised a free upgrade to 2.5, which they can't get for free anymore because they've gone App Store-only and that's the only place you can get 2.5.

At least in the indie developer days you could count on good support and a fair shake for your money. Now I guess those days are done and the Mac App Store-only devs are basically saying "Fuck you" to their old customers because they don't have to care about their reputations anymore, only their MAS ranking and the visibility that generates.

Read their blog post. That's EXACTLY what they're going to do.
post #34 of 79
Based on the million downloads in 1 day I would bet they're being rewarded for this decision. C'mon all you devs who are hanging back. 70% of 50,000 sales in better than 100% of 10,000. And it's still relatively easy to get to the top of the charts at the moment.
post #35 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Based on the million downloads in 1 day I would bet they're being rewarded for this decision. C'mon all you devs who are hanging back. 70% of 50,000 sales in better than 100% of 10,000. And it's still relatively easy to get to the top of the charts at the moment.

While I basically agree, I wonder what the volume will be in a week or two. I wonder how many of those million downloads were just curiosity.
post #36 of 79
Not sure why they would be exclusive on the App store? Why not both App store and their website so it covers people running 10.5 too?
post #37 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by freshh20 View Post

I am not able to have this luxury. No cable, no DSL, no cell service. Only an overpriced satellite connection with daily limits and high latency. Once again American companies forges about rural areas of the country, looking for quick money and poor service. What no contract!
I use Pixelmator and like it. Now I am locked out. Good bye Pixelmator and enjoy.
Looking at the bright side, I see the real America outside my windows everyday, not some cement jail.

Digital-ownly downloads I'm afraid to say will be more the norm than the exception. If developers can save money (packaging, distribution costs, etc.) then they will do it. This is a natural progression of technology.

If you're expecting a company to hold off a product launch until they have 100% customer access, then you're in for a rude awakening. Your segment probably represents a very, very small market for the folks at Pixelmator. It's unfortunate to be in your position in terms of access to technology. You were vague with your location but it seems to me that you want to live in a very remote location, away from technology yet you want the same services as those in developed cities. Not going to happen for a while. You chose to live there.

However, in regards to Pixelator, perhaps if it's something you really want you can try contacting the company and determine if they would provide a packaged option. Just be expected to pay a higher price for it.

Either way, it is a very, very interesting and exciting time for Apple.
post #38 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by bulk001 View Post

Really. It compares to Photoshop CS5? Have you used them side-by-side?

From your reaction I assume you never tried Pixelmator
post #39 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Are you sure? There are a lot of shenanigans going on all the sudden, and from developers you wouldn't expect. The developers of CoverSutra just pulled a number on the people who bought the current version and were promised a free upgrade to 2.5, which they can't get for free anymore because they've gone App Store-only and that's the only place you can get 2.5.

At least in the indie developer days you could count on good support and a fair shake for your money. Now I guess those days are done and the Mac App Store-only devs are basically saying "Fuck you" to their old customers because they don't have to care about their reputations anymore, only their MAS ranking and the visibility that generates.

Here's the email they sent me:-

Quote:
"Dear Pixelmator User,

We have some great news for you today!

The recently launched Mac App Store makes it easy to explore, purchase, and download apps directly on our Macs. We, the Pixelmator Team, believe that the Mac App Store is going to be an absolute hit and are very excited to be part of it.

Moreover, because it offers so many benefits to our customers, we are fully committed to supporting the Mac App Store by completely moving Pixelmator sales and distribution to the Mac App Store in the upcoming months.

To ease the transition to the Mac App Store for our users, we came up with an exciting solution that we think everyone will love taking advantage of. We call it the Pixelmator transition to the Mac App Store and it means the following:

You can download Pixelmator on the Mac App Store for just $29, for a limited time.
By transitioning to the Mac App Store, you will get the totally awesome Pixelmator 2.0 (and, of course, still lots of 1.X updates) for free once it is out in the Mac App Store later this year.
Yup, you read that right.

In case you are not yet convinced that moving Pixelmator to the Mac App Store is a good thing to do, click here for a few more reasons to transition to the Mac App Store.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for your kind support and look forward to further improving Pixelmator in future updates.

Therefore, now is the perfect time for you to click this button:



P.S. Even if you decide not to move to the Mac App Store, we will continue to provide free Pixelmator 1.X updates until version 2.0."

Although in the Australian Mac App store it's closer to $37
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post #40 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by freshh20 View Post

Looking at the bright side, I see the real America outside my windows everyday, not some cement jail.

You can't have both. You have the real america outside your window and I got the App Mac Store on the window that I use to look at the world.
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