Affinity Designer 1.7 update is here and optimised for Apple's latest Macs - plus the Pro Display XDR

Affinity Designer is here with a big 2019 update that comes optimised for the iPad, Mac and Windows.

The latest update to Affinity Designer is here and it's the biggest one yet.

Announced today by UK software giant Serif, the latest incarnation of the vector graphics editor sees both its desktop and iPad versions pimped out with more speed, more power and a whole load of new features. The app also comes optimised for the new Apple Pro Display XDR monitor which we profiled hands-on here at this year's WWDC Apple developer conference.

Today's v1.7 upgrades mean Mac users now have end-to-end Metal compute acceleration to take full advantage of the Mac’s discrete GPU, making all raster layer and brush operations up to 10 times faster than ever before. Additionally, the apps now support multiple GPUs - whether internal or with external units connected - multiplying the performance gains further.

Windows users may be disappointed to learn there's no hardware acceleration for them just yet, but the latest update does introduce a rewritten memory management system resulting in 3x or 4x speed improvements across many tasks on Windows machines.

Dial and Pen support for Microsoft Surface devices (below) has also been significantly upgraded, giving users new ways to interact with the apps.

Affinity Designer - new update features for 2019

Also fresh to the software are new isometric controls allowing you to work directly on any isometric plane - or fit existing elements to a plane with a single click.

Vector shapes meanwhile now possess an unlimited number of strokes and fills, with more freedom to interleave different attributes and control how they are blended together. Arrowheads have been added to the stroke panel, too.

There have also been improvements to almost all vector tools, including lasso selection of modes, the pencil tool adding a sculpt mode, a new point transform tool as well as huge improvements to guides, grids and snapping.

The new 1.7 versions of both Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer are available on this link now with a 20% discount (£39.99/$39.99 desktop, £15.99/$15.99 iPad) with no subscription. Existing users can download the updated versions free.

Read next: Best drawing and painting apps for iPad

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