Apple has unveiled the winners of its annual App Store Awards, naming the best apps and games of 2023 for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It named Pixelmator’s Photomator for Mac the overall “Mac App of the Year.”
Announced in May, Photomator is a native desktop version of the photo editor first released for iPhone and iPad. The app was previously called Pixelmator Photo on mobile devices before rebranding in April.
“Photomator for Mac brings fluid navigation between photo albums and individual photos, features an extensive collection of cutting-edge color adjustments, offers powerful batch editing features, quickly makes precise selections using AI, includes Clone and Repair tools for quickly touching up photos, and much more,” Pixelmator explained when it launched Photomator for Mac.
The photo editing app includes powerful tools for editing colors and adjusting lighting and AI-powered automatic selection and masking tools, enabling precise local adjustments.
This summer, Pixelmator released Photomator 3.1, which added Smart Deband, a tool that improves color depth, which is especially helpful when working on lossy image files, like JPEGs. Pixelmator says that Smart Deband can give JPEG photos “near-RAW quality.”
Photomator is currently at version 3.2, which added full HDR workflow support and automatic HDR conversion with Smart HDR. Pixelmator has also teased part of an upcoming update that will improve the app’s file management.
Users can try the app for free, and a lifetime version is available for $70 while an annual subscription is $30.
Alongside its winners for the best apps, Apple also selected generative AI as its “Trend of the Year.”
“Apps are a reflection of culture, and in 2023, generative AI captured users’ collective imagination with its evolution unfolding in real-time. Apps started integrating AI throughout the year in a variety of ways. Although many features are still in their infancy, they gave users a chance to see, firsthand, the technology in action and come to their own conclusions about the benefits and risks,” writes Apple.
For photographers, generative AI has been a hot topic in 2023. For example, Adobe brought its Firefly generative AI technology to Photoshop in a big way, including with Generative Expand and Generative Fill. Skylum has detailed generative AI powered by Stable Diffusion coming to Luminar Neo.
Beyond these helpful image editing tools powered by generative AI, the technology also creates a lot of concern. For example, Shutterstock is granting users the ability to use AI to edit some existing stock images and the company is investing heavily in “AI photographers.” Heck, even a photojournalist has gotten in on AI, using image generators to create images for a story. And photo contests? They’re not ready for AI, even though it has fully arrived.
The complete list of all of Apple’s award-winning apps is available in the Apple Newsroom.