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Press release

Affinity apps accelerate with macOS Big Sur and native M1 support

Affinity creative apps are ready to go on Apple’s new macOS Big Sur—and primed to deliver superfast performance on Macs with M1 chips.

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

Affinity Designer running on macOS Big Sur

Ashley Hewson, Managing Director of Affinity developer Serif, says: “We’re proud that our Affinity apps are leading the way once again, this time in offering full native support for Apple’s new M1 chip.

“The architecture of the chip, 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. When you have unified memory it allows much faster handling of these complex documents.”

Serif was one of the developers to receive the DTK from Apple, to be able to develop for M1 before launch. It didn’t take long to get Affinity apps running natively on the new hardware.

“Our fully-featured iPad apps already take advantage of very similar architecture on the A-series chips, so it actually only took us a day to port our Mac version to run natively on M1,” adds Hewson.

“In fact, ever since developing for iPad, we’d always hoped that chips with this architecture would eventually come to Mac, so we’re very excited that day is finally here.”

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

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.

“We have seen speed increases of over 3x faster running on the new MacBook Air. It just makes our apps run faster, smoother and feel more responsive than ever before.”

Existing users of Affinity apps on macOS can download Affinity 1.8.6 for free. Users adopting macOS Big Sur will notice some tweaks to the UI and app icons to match the new styling of macOS Big Sur.

macOS icons have been updated to reflect Big Sur styling

For more information about Affinity apps go to https://affinity.serif.com

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About Serif

Serif launched in 1987 and built up a reputation for quality and reliability based on an award-winning range of software for PC – low-cost alternatives to high-end publishing and graphics packages.

However, in addition to being locked into Windows, years of development meant the software was becoming bloated, hard to maintain and unable to exploit the capabilities of the latest hardware.

Instead, the focus of development switched to a next-generation suite of lean, super-fast apps for creative professionals using Mac, Windows and iPad. The change meant throwing away all the old code and starting from scratch and it took almost five years until Affinity Designer, the first Affinity app, was released in 2014.

Affinity Photo followed in 2015 and the launch of Affinity Publisher in 2019 means Serif now boasts a full creative suite of applications covering photo editing, graphic design and desktop publishing. Affinity apps have won some of the biggest awards in the industry, gained plaudits from reviewers, and been adopted by over two million customers worldwide.

Serif employs around 70 people at its HQ in Nottingham, UK.

Press contact

John Atkin
Head of PR
john@serif.com

Affinity apps are available for review on request.

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