eXtensions - Friday 16 June 2017

Useful Updates to Some Image Editing Apps on Mac and iOS - Luminar, Affinity Photos and More (Amended)

apple and chopsticks


By Graham K. Rogers


A number of updates were made available to some of the apps that I use on the Mac and on iOS devices. Although it is available on the Mac App Store, I bought Macphun's excellent Luminar when it was first released directly from the developer. I am already a user of other Macphun applications (Tonality Pro, Intensify) so qualified for a discount. Not only do these work as valuable standalone editors, but they can also be used as extensions from within Apple's Photos.

Luminar had already seen one update to version 1.1 and it was given the name Luminar Pluto. With the 1.2.0 version it is now Luminar Neptune and has several new features. Macphun's information shows:

  • New Accent AI filter - Uses artificial intelligence to create stunning images with a single swipe.

  • New Quick and Awesome workspace - 3 filters for great results within seconds.

  • Plug-in integration with Creative Kit and Aurora HDR 2017.

  • Brush, Gradient and Radial Gradient tools - Dramatically faster speed yields more fluid editing.

  • Vignette filter - New Vignette Styles, Place Center & more deliver versatile options.

  • Memory management - Faster performance for large files and 5+ simultaneous open images.

  • User Interface changes - In-app animation & mode transitions make everything smoother.

  • Crop tool update - Custom crop sizes for every situation.

  • Local history - Separate history for Transform, Denoise, Clone & Stamp modes

Luminar Neptune on MacBook
Luminar/Neptune on MacBook

I just ran through this quickly on the MacBook Pro and the MacBook, both in Photos and the standalone version, and I am as impressed as ever. In the Presets panel there is a link to the MacPhun site, allowing access to downloads of more presets, both free and paid. I added a couple more to those I had already downloaded.

There was also an update to Affinity Photo for the iPad (1.6.2), with stability and bug fixes, which is not surprising just over a week after it has been in the hands of users. I am a long time user of this on the Mac, but the iPad version is tidier onscreen.

Affinity Photo
Affinity Photo on the iPad Pro

On the Mac, tools can be moved about because (in normal use) there is more screen area available. On the iPad, this is limited and there was obviously a lot of thought as to the way the tools were placed.

Later news: in an email from Serif, the developers of Affinity, it was announced that the introductory price ($19.99) is to be continued for a further two weeks.

Affinity Photo
Affinity Photo on the Mac

Also updated was Polarr Photo which has some new filters and an EXIF bug fix (4.0.2); and remember, both of these iOS apps have Mac versions, so work can be synchronised. I do this via iCloud.

Polarr on iPhone SE
Polarr Photo on the iPhone SE

While I am on iOS updates, Printastic has been updated too and is now on version 6.6.1. This allows users to order books and other printed items from the iOS device. I have done this a couple of times and last year sent books of my vacation trip to the UK in book form to three members of my family.

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)



Made on Mac

For further information, e-mail to

Back to eXtensions
Back to Home Page

All content copyright © G. K. Rogers 2017