Looking for a Photoshop alternative? UK-based software company, Serif, has released the latest version of its creative software suite, comprising Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer and Affinity Publisher.

The Version 2.1 updates of the software, which is a good alternative if you don’t want to subscribe to Photoshop and Lightroom, apply simultaneously to all three Affinity products on all three platforms –  so updated features on Mac or Windows PC are available in the iPad versions too. Key updates include usability enhancements to guides, layers, assets, warping, strokes, text, and brushes, with almost all commonly-used features improved, according to the company.

Affinity Creative Suite 2.1 at a glance

• Affinity Photo – a photo editing and raster painting program

• Affinity Designer – a vector graphic design and illustration application

• Affinity Publisher – page layout software, including StudioLink, a unique way of using the editing tools from the two other Affinity products

Affinity Photo 2.1 tweaks

With Affinity Photo 2.1, you can now choose both WebP and JPEG XL as export file types from the batch export dialog box.

Serif Affinity Photo 2.1 crop

Serif Affinity Photo 2.1’s crop tools have been enhanced

Crop tool functionality has also been improved in Affinity Photo 2.1. If you have a pixel selection active, the Crop Tool will now set a minimum fit around the selection you have. Also after a crop, the current zoom level will be maintained, rather than automatically zooming to fit.

Serif Affinity Photo 2.1 iPad Photos integration

There is also closer integration with the iPad Photos App

When browsing your photos, either to open or place an image, all apps now use the inbuilt iPadOS Photos app rather than Serif’s bespoke browser as before. This will automatically take advantage of any new features the iPad Photos app adds in the future.

In addition, the The Measure Tool and Area Tool, which were both added to Affinity Designer in V2, are now available in both Photo and Publisher. These enable you to more accurately place images on a page layout so they blend with other elements.

See Serif’s guide to the full list of all the changes in Affinity 2.1.

‘Sometimes a very small improvement can make a huge difference and give somebody their best experience of using Affinity,’ said Serif CEO, Ashley Hewson. ‘Because of the unique way Affinity products work together, every update has to be applied to all our products on all platforms. That means all the powerful features of our Mac and Windows PC versions are available at your fingertips on iPad, fully optimised for the best touch experience.’

Affinity 2.1 is available as a free update to users who already own version 2.0. For new customers, Mac or Windows PC versions of V2.1 are available for a one-off payment of $69.99 /£67.99, while the iPad versions are $18.49 / £17.99.

A universal license is also available, with all three products on all three platforms available for $164.99 / £159.99. See the company’s website for more.

Photo-editing is a crucial part of the modern photography experience, so check out our five-star review of Affinity Photo 2 – and if you are tired of paying a subscription to Adobe, our round-up of the best subscription-free photo editing software.

Further reading
Best free photo-editing software for computers and mobile
Best software for black and white editing
Affinity Photo 2 review