Affinity Designer is the first full-spec vector graphics app for the iPad. It has a set of features to match the previously available Mac and PC versions – and that its creators say allows it to take on Adobe Illustrator – so that you can create vector-based art and designs wherever you are.
Of course, Affinity Designer for iPad is the first pro vector app that runs on a tablet – that’s Adobe Illustrator if you install it on a Microsoft Surface Pro, Wacom MobileStudio Pro or one of a a very many Windows tablet. But developer Serif says that Affinity Designer has an interface that’s been designed first-and-foremost for use with a stylus and multi-touch gestures, rather than a keyboard and mouse (and stylus).
All of the Apple’s Pencil’s abilities are supported, so you can draw, paint and edit with support for how much pressure you apply and how you tilt the stylus. Standard multi-touch gestures work – including hold-and-drag and pinch-and-zoom, but there are app-specific gestures to speed up how you work. These range from using your fingers to select multiple objects to using pinch when selecting layers in the Layers panel to group them.
Serif says that running on tablet hardware rather than laptop or desktop doesn’t impair performance. The company says that you won’t find the application to be more sluggish on the iPad, compared to the desktop version.
If you’re drawing in an environment that’s not conducive to smooth strokes – a train or plane for example – you can turn on Pencil stabilisation, which automatically smooths your lines. You can, of course, turn it off for a rougher feel to your linework.
Affinity Designer for iPad has all of tools you expect from a pro-level vector graphics app – paths, curves, artboards (above), gradients (below), masks and clipping layers, adjustment layers, full typographic control over text with character and paragraph styles.
There’s also a set of non-vector creative tools, including over 100 brushes.
Under the hood is a 16-bit-per-channel colour engine with end-to-end support for CMYK, ICC colour management and even spot colours.
Affinity Designer for iPad doesn’t just have its eye on Adobe Illustrator users, it wants digital designers that are currently using Sketch to check it out – with the Symbols panel providing quick access to reusable elements.
Affinity Designer for iPad follows its Photoshop-competitor Affinity Photo onto Apple’s tablet platform. The company’s third pro creative application, InDesign-rival Affinity Publisher, will be coming the iPad later this year, Serif also announced.
The app costs £19.99, US$19.99 or 21,99€ from the Apple App Store – though initially it’s being sold for 30% off. You can learn more in Serif’s video below.