Imaging app update roundup: iOS 14, Pixelmator and more.

Popular imaging applications and OSs were updated this week, just in time for the fall. Here’s a short round-up:

Apple iOS 14

Apple released iOS 14, including performance improvements to the Camera and Photos apps.

  • Performance – Photos can be shot up to 90% faster,at up to 4 frames per second.
  • Faster shooting – There’s a new “Prioritize faster shooting” toggle in the Camera section of the Settings app adapting image quality when the shutter is rapidly pressed.
  • QuickTake Video – QuickTake is now available on iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max.
  • Video mode toggles – Toggles for changing video resolution and frame rate can be done right in the Camera app in video mode.
  • Volume Up Burst Photos – A new setting lets you press the Volume Up button while the Camera app is open to take burst photos.
  • Volume Down QuickTake – If you hold down the Volume Down button with the Camera app open, you can capture a QuickTake video.
  • Selfie Mirroring – A “Mirror Front Camera” toggle lets you choose to capture mirrored selfies, which reflect the image seen in the front camera.
  • Captions – Photos on iOS supports viewing and editing captions to add context to photos and videos. Captions sync across devices with iCloud Photos.
  • Filtering – Photos can be filtered by favorites, edited, photos, and videos when in the All Photos view.
  • Album sorting – Any album can be sorted by oldest or newest first.
  • Navigation – You can zoom in and out in Albums, Favorites, Media Types, Shared Albums, and more, to make it easier to find what you’re looking for.
  • Live Photos – Live Photos taken with iOS 14 and iPadOS autoplay with improved stabilization when viewed in Years, Months, and Days.
  • Memories – Memories now shows more relevant photos and videos.
  • Zoom – You can zoom much further into photos in iOS 14 to see a closer view.


Popular imaging app VSCO has added text capabilities for subscribers. The Text tool for VSCO allows users to easily layer and juxtapose words across an image or video in a distinct format using the company’s signature VSCO Gothic font.

Motif Photos

R.R. Donnelly‘s photobook app Motif was updated to version 2.3, delivering a major upgrade to how image boxes and their relative sizes on the page are edited.

Other new features:
  • Image boxes can now be easily resized, while selected, using convenient handles on all four sides. Simply select an image to display the handles.
  • Motif’s “Magic Resize” feature conveniently resizes neighboring images as one image is resized. This feature can now be easily turned on or off using a toggle button in the upper right-hand corner of the page view. When Magic Resize is off, images can be resized without affecting their neighbors.
  • Images can now be layered on top of each other, and with their stacking order easily managed. To layer images, turn Magic Resize off, adjust image size and position as desired, and control their stack order using the Arrange menu in the image palette.

ACD Systems launches Photo Studio Ultimate 2021

ACD Systems International launches ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2021, the latest version of their flagship photo editing software. New features focus on optimizing editing precision and batch processes that make the life of photographers easier.

This year’s new features include:

  • Color Wheels and Tone Wheels – manipulate colors, highlights, midtones, and shadows with a new level of precision.
  • Text on a path and text in a frame – customize your text, including its path.
  • Refine Selection – shift or soften edges which can maximize the effect of tools like Smart Erase.
  • New and Improved Batch Rename and Resize – relaunched with a huge capability expansion – create your own templates and presets and speed up batch processes.
  • Support for GoPro – work directly with GoPro RAW images.
  • New Optimized UI and Panes – designed to enhance and streamline your editing process, take snapshots and view your full edit history.
  • Improved Quick Search – find images in large databases much faster.
  • Improved Crop and Watermark – crop multiple images to custom sizes in seconds. Add watermarks using anchor points.
  • Easier migration from Lightroom and Picasa – import face data in three clicks.

ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2021 is available with a perpetual license for $149.99 or through a subscription for $69/year. Subscriptions provide users with regular updates and upgrades of the product.

Pixelmator Pro 1.8 Lynx for macOS

Automation with AppleScript

Pixelmator Pro is now scriptable using AppleScript; users can write scripts using more than 60 application-specific commands together with all the standard AppleScript terms.

Take advantage of automation-specific commands like ‘detect face’, ‘detect QR code’ and ‘replace text’ to create powerful and versatile scripts.

Check out the Pixelmator Pro dictionary in the Script Editor app and learn more about scripting with Pixelmator Pro on our Tutorials site.

Improvements and Fixes
  • The Repair and Clone tools now work non-destructively with RAW layers, preserving all their extended dynamic range data.
  • You can now reset all changes made to RAW layers with the Transform, Repair, and Clone tools using the new Reprocess RAW command, which you can find by Control-clicking a layer in the Layers sidebar.
  • In that same shortcut menu, you’ll also find a new Export RAW command which lets you export the original RAW file directly from Pixelmator Pro.
  • The performance of the Repair tool has been improved — starting a Repair tool brushstroke should now be much faster and the tool should also be more responsive in large images.
  • The Paint tools will now start painting more quickly and responsively while the image is being scrolled, zoomed, or otherwise animated.
  • When using the Repair tool with Sidecar and Apple Pencil, it should now be a little less sensitive to pressure changes to make it easier to paint strokes with more consistent sizes.

Pixelmator Photo 1.4

Pixelmator Photo 1.4

Pixelmator released Pixelmator Photo version 1.4, adding a new ML Super Resolution tool designed to enlarge low-resolution photos with a single tap. ML Super Resolution utilizes machine learning and the processing power available in Apple iPad devices to enlarge photos, illustrations, paintings and designs while preserving and enhancing details, edges and textures.

Other updates and fixes:
  • Enlarge photos by up to 3 times while magically preserving sharpness and details using the Core ML-powered ML Super Resolution feature.
  • Quickly compare your edited photo with the original using the new split-screen comparison slider.
  • Enjoy support for the double-tap gesture of Apple Pencil.
  • Customize the double-tap gesture by tapping the More menu in the photo editing view.
  • Pixelmator Photo files are now more compatible with third-party storage providers.
  • Use ML Super Resolution in batch editing workflows — a new batch preset is also included.
  • The Hidden category from your Photos library will now be accessible from Pixelmator Photo.
  • Tapping certain areas of the Selective Color adjustment would edit the Curves adjustment. Fixed.
  • The album thumbnail would not be updated after deleting all the images from an album in the Photos browser. Fixed.

Nikon released a beta version of Webcam Utility software for MacOS

Similar to the beta version announced for Windows in August, the free software allows compatible Nikon Z series and DSLR cameras to be used as webcams.

To download the free beta software, please visit: