Thursday, May 23rd, 2024 Posted by Jim Thacker

Serif releases Affinity Photo 2.5

Serif has released Affinity Photo 2.5, the latest version of its image editing and digital painting software.

The update – the first since Serif was acquired by Canva in March – adds native support for ARM64 processors, including the new Snapdragon X Elite and Snapdragon X Plus chips in the upcoming Copilot+ Windows laptops.

Other changes include a new tool for adding QR codes to images, and improvements to typography workflow, including support for variable fonts.

The update was released alongside version 2.5 of Serif’s other Affinity products, vector design software Affinity Designer 2.5 and page layout tool Affinity Publisher 2.5.

Native support for ARM64 processors, such as those in Copilot+ Windows laptops
Affinity Photo 2.5 introduces native support for ARM64 processors, such as the Snapdragon X Elite and Snapdragon X Plus chips in the upcoming Copilot+ laptops.

A new generation of Windows PCs based on ARM processors, rather than conventional x86/x64 AMD and Intel CPUs, the Copilot+ products are being promoted by Microsoft as the “fastest, most intelligent Windows PCs ever built”.

The PCs – including Microsoft’s own new Surface Pro and Surface Laptop, and third-party laptops from Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Samsung – are targeted at AI workloads, including the generative AI toolsets in graphics software.

The 2.5 update will allow Affinity Photo to perform at its “full potential” on ARM64 devices, improving interactivity during tasks like painting and applying filters, although Serif doesn’t put a figure on the speed boost from running natively, as opposed to using Windows 11’s new Prism emulation engine.

ARM64 processors are also supported natively in Adobe’s Photoshop and Lightroom, and Microsoft’s launch event showed DaVinci Resolve Studio running on a Copilot+ PC.

New QR code tool generates QR codes inside images
Other new features in Affinity Photo 2.5 include the QR code tool.

It generates QR codes that can be added to images, with the option to launch websites, social media or emails when the codes are scanned.

The codes can then be manipulated like any other image layer: the video above shows a perspective transform being applied to one without affecting its functionality.

Improvements to typography workflows
The 2.5 release also improves typography workflows, with the old Typography pop-up becoming a full interface panel, and visual confirmation when rescaling text frames.

Affinity Photo also now supports variable fonts, making it possible to adjust properties like size, weight, width and slant continuously, rather than having to select fixed values.

Price and availability
Affinity Photo 2.5 is available for Windows 10+, macOS 10.15+ and iPadOS 15.0+. The update is free to registered users of version 2.x.

New perpetual licences of the desktop edition cost $69.99; the iPad edition costs $18.49. A Universal License, which includes all of the Affinity apps, costs $164.99.

Read an overview of the new features in Affinity Photo on the product website

Read a full list of new features in all the Affinity 2.5 updates in the online release notes

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