Pixelmator Update Adds OS X 10.8, Retina Display, iCloud Support

Pixelmator 2.1 Mountain Lion iCloud Retina

Powerful yet affordable image editing application Pixelmator was updated Thursday to version 2.1. The new version, available on the Mac App Store, adds support for Retina Display graphics, iCloud file syncing and backup, a new effects browser, alignment guides and, of course, Mountain Lion compatibility.

Pixelmator, first released in 2007, gained popularity as a more accessible alternative to image editing powerhouse Photoshop. At a launch price of US$59, the application offered the majority of Photoshop’s capability at a fraction of the cost.

While the application initially lacked key features found in Adobe’s software, a bevy of updates over the years has made Pixelmator a credible alternative to Photoshop for many users.

Adobe, likely in response to more affordable applications like Pixelmator, dramatically changed their software distribution strategy with the launch of Creative Cloud in May. The subscription service offers nearly all of Adobe’s software titles, a package equivalent to the $2600 “Master Collection,” for a monthly fee of $50 (or $30 for current Creative Suite owners).

Thankfully for end users, Adobe’s price pressure has resulted in Pixelmator being offered on the Mac App Store at $14.95 for, the company states, a “limited time.” Version 2.1 is also available to existing Pixelmator customers as a free upgrade.