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Pixelmator Photo announces controversial switch to subscription model.

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Developers of one of the most popular iOS photo editing applications, Pixelmator Photo, have just announced a switch from upfront payment to a subscription model, where it will now only provide options for monthly and annual subscriptions.

The app, famous for its desktop-class yet intuitive and iPad or iPhone-friendly tools, has jumped from an original cost of only $7.99 to $54.99 for a lifetime license. Alternatively, users can choose between a monthly subscription for $4.99 or an annual one for $23.99, saving a significant amount in the short term but not so much over a course of multiple years. Existing users who have already bought the application for the original price can continue using the app with unlimited access without any subscription needed.

What’s Pixelmator Photo?

Pixelmator Photo is commonly confused with the original Pixelmator app for iOS, although it differs vastly in terms of usability and available tools. The app, optimized for usage on iPads and iPhones by taking advantage of all of the best iOS features (not to mention high-end iPhone cameras), allows for quick and easy color adjustments, adding of filters, and even removing unwanted people and objects from scenes.

The introduction of machine learning technologies even allows for automatic photo enhancements with a single tap. Algorithms study over 20,000 different images that have been manually enhanced by professional photographers and apply the most suitable adjustments to the user’s photographs in an amazing yet subtle manner. Not happy with the automatic enhancements? It’s always possible to adjust each setting manually for your ideal results.

Pixelmator Photo should not be confused with the standard Pixelmator app, which can improve colors to a limited extent and doesn’t include certain tools and features such as machine learning, filters, or raw support, although it does support drawing and adding text on top of photos through an extensive retouch tool.

Why the switch to subscription pricing?

According to the blog posted by the developers on 17 August, the main reason for switching was ultimately financially motivated. Small upfront payments from each user weren’t quite near as much as was being spent on the development of each of the major updates.

The Apple store also does not support providing trial periods for paid apps, and a user that might be interested in the features might be hesitant to purchase an app without any prior usage or idea of its interface. On the other hand, a subscription-based system allows for a multi-day trial period, where users can download the app for free and test its features for free over a limited trial week before investing in the app.

On the upside, users who either purchase a lifetime license or invest in a monthly or annual subscription before 3 December 2022 receive an additional discount for the upcoming Pixelmator Pro- one of the best photo editing applications for Mac to date.

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