Should Apple buy Pixelmator?

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
http://www.pixelmator.com/



A beautiful, 100% native (Cocoa) image manipulation tool similar to Photoshop.



Imagine if Apple bought this, put both Apple developers and the original developers together! They could really slam Photoshop in about a year or two.



I know Pixelmator is not there yet but it's getting there!

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,195moderator
    I don't think they should have it as a competitor to Photoshop but maybe if it was part of ilife. Preview got some useful tools for image cropping and resizing but nothing that works like Microsoft Paint that is bundled with Windows.



    Apple could equally bundle Photoshop Elements though and it would probably do more for the Apple-Adobe relationship.
  • Reply 2 of 15
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,129member
    Pixelmator is based on ImageMagick



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ImageMagick



    So I don't think Apple would need to buy any graphics application per se. They'd rather

    roll their own based off of Aperture or start with an Open Source base and build on top. I

    hope Pixelmator (which I have) continues to flourish.
  • Reply 3 of 15
    What would Apple gain by this? Relatively few of their customers need (or understand) image editing that is not already provided by iPhoto (cropping, red-eye removal). Most people never even crop their photos. So all they would be doing is hurting the third-party developers. And while I do like (and also own) Pixelmater, it is by no means sure that they will wind up being the best of the current crop of image editing programs that are out there (Acorn, Adobe Photoshop Elements, etc).



    And Pixelmater likes to compare themselves to Photoshop, but they are lacking most of the pro features that makes Photoshop what it is: CMYK color space, color separations, clipping paths, etc... They are nice for occasional users like myself but fall flat on their face for actual professionals.
  • Reply 4 of 15
    feynmanfeynman Posts: 1,087member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Karl Kuehn View Post


    And Pixelmater likes to compare themselves to Photoshop, but they are lacking most of the pro features that makes Photoshop what it is: CMYK color space, color separations, clipping paths, etc... They are nice for occasional users like myself but fall flat on their face for actual professionals.



    If you read what I wrote, I said, with both Apple developers and the two developers behind Pixelmator, it could be a real Photoshop killer.



    My point is, if Adobe continues to push Apple aside and focus more on catering their development for the dark side, (no 64 bit/100 % Cocoa native app till when?) why should Apple and more importantly, Mac users, have to put up with this?



    As I mentioned, Pixelmator is not there yet but if several dozen more developers had the chance to tackle this thing, Photoshop could be in trouble.



    Do any of you remember Watson? I remember I was the one who came up with a thread (on this forum!) many years ago explaining how Watson was the next killer app. People embraced it and it became pretty big, then what happens? Apple come out with an updated version of Sherlock and what do you know? It mimics Watson!



    I am not saying Apple should purchase Pixelmator and merge it into iPhoto, I am suggesting they come out with a Photoshop killer. For those of you who are bringing up iPhoto, cropping pictures, etc etc., Pixelmator is not part of that demographic. You guys are comparing Pixelmator to iPhoto when it should be compared to Photoshop.
  • Reply 5 of 15
    yamayama Posts: 427member
    I disagree, Pixelmator should be compared to Photoshop Elements.



    Even then, Photoshop Elements has more functionality than Pixelmator. Pixelmator is more fun to actually *use*, but there you go.



    Here the thing though - 90% of the people who use Photoshop only use about 10% of the functionality and could easily get away with using something like Pixelmator or Photoshop Elements. Hell, your average home user could get away with using just Preview and iPhoto for cropping and adjusting colour balance & levels.



    However, for the pro users that need the extra functionality in Photoshop like CMYK, colour management, complex layer and masking effects, clipping paths, non-square pixels, text and paragraph formatting, etc, etc, etc... That group of people could not use something like Pixelmator unless it was seriously enhanced. Photoshop is an absolute monster of an app that is almost drowning in sheer functionality.



    Pixelmator occupies that awkward "prosumer" space that is just somewhere above iPhoto, but it doesn't have the extreme high-end features of Photoshop.



    I do think that Photoshop has been getting severely crusty around the edges ever since the move to Mac OS X, but there just isn't anything else out there that can match the full feature set of the app. Which is a shame.



    The problem with the Photoshop UI is getting users to find and use all of the functionality offered. They've tried to do that with CS4 by bringing stuff like layer adjustments and the like to be more prominent, but I think it's an uphill struggle to change something that really hasn't had a radical UI overhaul since about version 5 or 6.
  • Reply 6 of 15
    No. Apple already has the creators of TIFFany working for them. If they want they can buy that IP and release a new version for OS X 10.6 when it's released.
  • Reply 7 of 15
    irelandireland Posts: 17,491member
    Quote:

    Should Apple buy Pixelmator?



    More importantly; should Apple buy Adobe?
  • Reply 8 of 15
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    More importantly; should Apple buy Adobe?



    With Adobe's poor reputation on staying with the times and subpar disposition towards OS X? Are you mad? That'd bring Apple's quality bar down 4 notches.
  • Reply 9 of 15
    No, they should leave Pixelmator alone. I think Apple intends to make Aperture their "Photoshop", but they will not market it as a Photoshop "killer", nor even try to go after the "serious" professionals. Using the 80/20 rule (80% of the people use 20% of the features) Apple can take their time focusing on the "base" system while letting 3rd party developers provide "advanced" features through plug-ins.
  • Reply 10 of 15
    The lines between the apps are getting a little blurred but the following is still largely true. Apps like Aperture and Lightroom are "finishing" apps. They're akin to some of the basic controls that a developer had when processing film. They're used by photographers to adjust a range of parameters on entire images with only ocassional red-eye or spot healing if required. Plug-ins that add filters can add fancy effects but are mainly used on the whole image.



    Photoshop and to a lesser extent Pixelmator are image editors used by graphic artists not photographers. They are used to create and manipulate images in many ways, moving beyond applying simple effects to the image as a whole. A photographer is not a graphic artist and has neither the inclination, time or training to fuss about in Photoshop.



    So therefore, Aperture isn't really Apple's Photoshop. Pixelmator could fill the gap to some degree with the addition of many pro features but I personally would rather it stay lighter and cheaper. I think the main advantage of Pixelmator is its use of Apple's CoreImage framework, which is supported by the GPU and are generally much faster than Adobe's comparable filters. You can also download or create your own additional CoreImage filters using the Quartz Composer if you have the time and know-how. The CoreImage framework is designed by Apple as an efficient and relatively easy way to access core system and GPU tasks (hence the Core in CoreImage) for programming. Unless Photoshop reprograms all their filters into CoreImage, they're really going to struggle on the Mac when competitors like Pixelmator come along.
  • Reply 11 of 15
    yamayama Posts: 427member
    Adobe is moving towards their own GPU acceleration code in CS4 though.



    As far as I know, the filters aren't accelerated yet, just the canvas rotation and scrolling. Adobe have made noises about adding acceleration for image blending in the future. Maybe in CS5 perhaps?



    Still, if they'd gone with Core Image, they could have had non-destructive GPU accelerated filters back in 2005!
  • Reply 12 of 15
    That's exactly right! That's about the time that they should've started rewriting the Adobe suite from scratch! Then they could have something which would ensure their dominance for the next 10 years but right now that is looking very shaky indeed!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by yama View Post


    Adobe is moving towards their own GPU acceleration code in CS4 though.



    As far as I know, the filters aren't accelerated yet, just the canvas rotation and scrolling. Adobe have made noises about adding acceleration for image blending in the future. Maybe in CS5 perhaps?



    Still, if they'd gone with Core Image, they could have had non-destructive GPU accelerated filters back in 2005!



  • Reply 13 of 15
    yamayama Posts: 427member
    Well the problem is, December 2005 was when they bought over Macromedia.



    They effectively killed the only major competition they had.
  • Reply 14 of 15
    irelandireland Posts: 17,491member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Synthetic Frost View Post


    With Adobe's poor reputation on staying with the times and subpar disposition towards OS X? Are you mad? That'd bring Apple's quality bar down 4 notches.



    Buying them could change both those things, particularly their disposition towards OS X. Buying them allows Apple to work on flash on their terms. Buying them enables Apple to take the best parts of Lightroom and the best parts of Aperture to combine them to make something remarkable. Buying them would allow Apple to make CS4 or 5 fully tailored for Mac OS X, it would be like Pixelmator 5.0
  • Reply 15 of 15
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Buying them could change both those things, particularly their disposition towards OS X. Buying them allows Apple to work on flash on their terms. Buying them enables Apple to take the best parts of Lightroom and the best parts of Aperture to combine them to make something remarkable. Buying them would allow Apple to make CS4 or 5 fully tailored for Mac OS X, it would be like Pixelmator 5.0



    Could, but wouldn't. Adobe's employees would still act like Adobe employees.
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