Pixelmator: The NOT READY FOR PRIMETIME Review


The Pixelmator creators have gotten a lot of press in their attempt to knock a few pegs from the Adobe Photoshop Regime and yes, the app looks fine and has lots of cool looking Apple Quartz effects and transparencies but while they may have spent hundreds of hours writing code and prettifying Pixelmator, they either should not have turned over the final 5 yards to a lawyer or maybe they should have taken a few marketing classes.

If the age-old doctor’s motto is to do no harm (probably sounds much cooler in anicent Greek), then the motto of doing business in the internet age is NOT to annoy customers because they ALWAYS have alternatives especially FREE ones.

Pixelmator is seriously flawed because they stamp a WATERMARK across your freakin’ files unless you pay up.

Now, this is fine if your app has ZERO competition or poor competition like VUESCAN (great 3rd party scanning software, slaps hundreds of the word VUESCAN across your scans unless you pay and ultimately, you do pay because it’s hundreds of times better than the Win ’98 like scanning software you normally get bundled with your scanner).

Isn’t the point of Pixemator to get you to switch from Photoshop?

How can you really tell if the app is any good if you CANNOT TELL if your final files are any good – because there is a freakin’ PIXELMATOR logo across your graphic?

We tested out five FREE online Photoshop-ish editors online and they are no better or worse than Pixelmator for casual users – so why switch when they offer MORE & UN-WATERMARKED features?

What’s the point of getting people to download your app, load it, launch it – only to say – imgine what your file would look like without our logo splayed across it? Gee thanks, I can skip 5 steps and just go one of 20 other free alternatives?

iPhoto offers casual editing features – so to compete against that, you try and make your app more annoying? (not to mention most photo sites & communities all offer the most-used 20 features inline – albeit mostly wonky and weird but it’s free and it’s there without any additional software to download and launch).

This should be a lesson to all new software writers/companies – if you want to convince someone to switch from free to your $60 app, how about letting them use it unfettered?

5 Days? 15 Days? 30 Days – then shut ‘er off but shouldn’t you trusted your own app to win converts? Will there be cheap a** b-tards who will just use it because it’s free? Well, what have you got to lose? You already have LEGAL free competitors online …

Even Adobe lets you use their apps “unfettered” for a 30-day trial* – you actually want to make Adobe seem more customer friendly? That’s the benchmark you are shooting for?

*They do like to send you pop-ups along the way and the apps do like to call home (on a Mac, just go to the WEB folder in LIBRARY>Adobe … and toss to avoid that).

Because while $60 isn’t much, it’s still a commitment that only committed users & designers might consider as an alternative to the $500+ Photoshop … again, how can they tell it’s any good if you slap a big blotch in the middle of a file … why not just put a big turd in the middle of every file that gets bigger every minute you haven’t paid for Pixelmator?

Right now, Pixelmator is essentially worthless so don’t bother – along with the fact that scaled JPEG’s don’t show you a file size (for you to decide if you want quality or size), the watermark logo in the middle of every file means they don’t really understand designers. They set out to replicate Photoshop for 10% of the cost – a worthwhile goal but they got lawyered up or confused about why someone might want to use an app or switch … maybe they will understand by the next version or not.

There’s no link because it’s pointless to look at your graphic files with their logo in it so don’t bother just yet. In the meanwhile, we have free online apps, other more customer friendly shareware apps, iPhoto, online communities and the one you know – Photoshop.

In fact, your time is much better spent reading about the history of Photoshop.


Filed under Apple Mac, Computing, Design, Marketing

5 responses to “Pixelmator: The NOT READY FOR PRIMETIME Review

  1. Kinda hard don’t you think?

    Its not that bad… Its v-1.0 afterall

    If they add some magnetic lasso tools etc, I’d buy it.

  2. “Rarrrr!”

    Vista is 32 bits, Leopard will take 64 bits out of it if Leopard can weather it has this app or not!


  3. Bill

    Aside from the watermark issue, Pixelmator is a tremendous resource hog. Simple undo operations result in tiresome beach balls-even on a fast system with lots of RAM.

  4. htiawe

    I have to agree.
    I tried out Pixelmator during the beta and loved it but there was always some things i missed that they said that they were gonna add in the v1 release.

    Well i havent even downloaded v1 because of the watermarking. I know that if i open up one picture with that watermark on then i will only be able to focus on the watermark and not see the potential of the product.

    So sad, it had such a promising future and then they throw it all away.

  5. Carl Williams

    Hmm. I downloaded it, then read this and binned it un-tried. Can’t be arsed with trialling something which is useless in its trial version.

    To be honest, I started to lean towards binning it when I read the license agreement – the web site says “we love open-source” and “pixelmator is built on 15 years of open-source development”, yet the license is decidedly against the spirit of the open source movement. Still, I thought, I can give it a go and see if it’s worth 60 bucks. But, apparently I can’t give it a go, ‘cos it plasters its logo across everything – thanks for the heads-up.

    As you say, plenty of free alternatives, including actual open-source stuff, like GIMP and CinePaint – not pretty, not very “OS X”, but they do the job and if they annoy me then I’m free to modify them.

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