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Apple M1 chip icon

Affinity 1.8.6: ready to go on Apple’s new macOS Big Sur and primed to deliver superfast performance on Macs with M1 chips


Available now, our 1.8.6 update for macOS is ready to tap straight into the potential of Apple’s next generation of Macs, allowing Affinity app users to do more, faster.

We’re thrilled to share that the 1.8.6 update for the macOS versions of our apps is fully compatible with Apple’s latest macOS update, Big Sur, and is also optimized for M1—Apple’s newly-launched chip, specifically designed for the Mac.

Affinity Designer running on macOS Big Sur

This is great news for our users because the architecture of the M1, particularly having such a high-performance GPU with unified memory with the CPU, is perfect for professional creative applications. The advantages are particularly noticeable when working on documents with thousands of pixel layers, vector objects and text. Edits to pixel layers are best handled on the GPU, while vector and text on the CPU, so when you have unified memory, it allows much faster handling of these complex documents.

Our fully-featured iPad apps already take advantage of very similar architecture on the A-series chips and ever since developing for iPad, we’d always hoped that chips with this architecture would eventually come to Mac—and now they have.

Our developers were lucky enough to receive the DTK from Apple so we could prime all our apps for M1 before launch and get them up and running natively on the new hardware, making Affinity apps the first professional creative applications to offer native M1 support.

Affinity apps are the first professional creative applications to offer native M1 support

With our apps now primed for this transition, Mac customers with M1 can expect a more responsive user experience with respect to painting, pixel editing, filter effects, document rendering and more. It also enables many more elements like adjustment layers and live filters to be maintained before performance suffers—allowing for a more non-destructive workflow, even on the most complex of documents.

To sum it up, M1 makes our apps run faster, smoother and feel more responsive than ever before (we’ve already even seen speed increases of over 3x faster running on the new MacBook Air). It’s definitely a big step forward for Mac, and we can’t wait to see how the rest of the Mac range develops with Apple silicon in the future.

The new Affinity icons for macOS, which have been updated to match the new styling of macOS Big Sur

If you own the apps already, make sure you download 1.8.6 today for free, otherwise head over to our homepage to learn more about our professional creative software.

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