Affinity updates its apps bringing a significant performance increase

Affinity is probably a name many of you haven’t heard of, but maybe you should look into them. The company makes photo editing software and other programs. Basically, Affinity is a direct competitor to Adobe’s editing software, and it’s just as good if not better.

Affinity Photo is a replacement for Photoshop, Designer is a replacement for Illustrator, and Publisher is a replacement for InDesign. Affinity does not have a replacement for Lightroom right now, but I use ON1 Photo Raw for that. Basically, Affinity apps are much more affordable than Adobe’s kingdom, and it works just as well. But I digress.

Today, the company pushed out a major update to its macOS apps, which brings a significant performance increase. The update boosts performance up to 10x for some tasks, and Affinity accomplished this with a complete rewrite of memory management.

These apps should now be able to handle massive documents better and offer near-instant load times, faster scrolling, and smoother live editing. Here’s what the Affinity blog had to say about this update:

Affinity Publisher

Affinity 1.10 (which you can download now!) is our biggest performance update ever, and with the improvements being placed right at the heart of the software, it’s an update that all users will benefit from. So whether you’re using Affinity on Mac, Windows PC or iPad, you’ll be able to do more, faster.

The first area of focus has been memory management in Affinity Publisher. This has had a complete re-write, and now enables huge documents—even with thousands of pages and many gigabytes’ worth of linked images—to offer instant loading times, smooth live editing and super-fast scroll, pan and zoom across whole files.

In Affinity Designer, our main area of focus was the rendering engine and seeing how we could improve the handling of highly complex documents, potentially with hundreds of thousands of objects or layers. While it’s not the norm for users to create designs with so many layers, we were seeing many examples of PDFs being imported into Designer (generated in a CAD app or similar for example) with those high numbers of objects, and so this was something we wanted to account for.

Our hard work in this area has really paid off though, and documents are now rendering up to ten times faster in 1.10 than before. While this incredible improvement is particularly noticeable on more complex, massive documents, working with less complex documents is remarkably smoother and snappier as well.

Affinity Photo has also had many performance tweaks, most importantly in adding some greater efficiency in the way that layers are blended together. This new approach gives options to maintain slick performance even after building up highly complex compositions—all while retaining a non-destructive workflow.