These are the five top tools and features Photoshop needs that Affinity Photo has

Tips & Techniques

Until just a few short years ago, pretty much the only serious player in the game when it photo editing was Photoshop. Sure, there was always GIMP, but it hasn’t ever really been a serious contender (sorry, but it’s true). But in those last few years, we’ve seen quite a few potential hopefuls come up and really eat a chunk of Adobe’s share.

One of the biggest names amongst them has been Affinity Photo, which offers many similar features to Photoshop, but also has a few unique tricks up its sleeve. Tricks that some people wish Adobe would pay attention to and add to Photoshop – at least according to this wish list from the Abbey Esparza at Photo Manipulation.

I have both Photoshop and Affinity Photo, and while I admit that I still go into Photoshop the majority of the time, Affinity Photo definitely has a few advantages. The biggest of which being its real-time previews for almost all of its filters and effects. As in, they literally update as you’re sliding the sliders. You don’t slide the slider, let go and then wait for the preview to be generated as you often do with Photoshop (for things that even have a preview option).

And that’s sort of the first one in Abbey’s list. She wants real-time previews when making things like gradients – which have no preview option whatsoever in Photoshop. But that’s not the only thing on her list.

  • A better gradient tool with real-time previews
  • Built-in frequency separation features
  • A better brushes system with colour image brushes
  • Saving history states out to the PSD file so you can shut down, come back the next day and undo if you want to
  • A fully-featured iPad app that offers everything it does on the desktop

These are all features that Affinity Photo has and Photoshop doesn’t. And some of them, in particular the way the gradient tool works, as well as the option to use full-colour images as brush stamps, seem like features that should have existed in Photoshop years ago.

But they’re not.

I’d never suggest Adobe flat out “steal” features from other applications, even if Abbey admits that that’s exactly what she’s suggesting, but some of these features really are things that Photoshop should have had a long time ago. They’re features that I saw people asking for even before Affinity Photo existed.

What features have you seen in other applications that you wish Photoshop had?

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