Adobe rival Serif unleashes powerful new Affinity Photo 2 creative suite

Screenshot of new Affinity V2 creative software apps
(Image credit: Serif)

Serif has unveiled a major upgrade to its Affinity creative suite, bringing big changes to the company's best graphic design software and photo editor tools. 

Known as Affinity Version 2 - it’s a sequel, after all - the bundle features what Serif dubs “reimagined versions” of vector graphics illustrator Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo, and Affinity Publisher.

Alongside the overhauled desktop tools, the company is also bringing its popular DTP software to iPad.  

What’s new in Affinity V2? 

Each of the three creative apps has seen a wealth of new features and improvements. 

Affinity Designer 2 boasts non-destructive vector warps, a smart X-ray viewer, and shape-building and knife tools for true hands-on creativity. AutoCAD and DXF files can now be imported into Designer, too. 

Affinity Photo 2 introduces non-destructive RAW file processing - which will catch the eye of Adobe Lightroom users (not to mention users of Lightroom alternatives). It also offers enhanced masking tools and JPEG XL support. 

Affinity Publisher 2 features the ability to join multiple files together as separate chapters, footnotes for academics, and auto-flow tools. According to Serif, performance has also been improved for those working on more complex projects. 

Almost all features found in the desktop apps make their way to the iPad version, with only a handful of exceptions. The UI, though, has been especially designed for touch-based digital artistry. It’s led to the arrival of a radial control panel, a quick menu accessed with a three-finger swipe, and a compact mode for making the most of the limited screen real estate.

"We have worked tirelessly to not only include many of the new features our customers have been asking for, but a whole host of usability and workflow improvements to make the apps more productive than ever. We think Affinity users both old and new are going to love it," said Ashley Hewson, Managing Director of Serif.

Affinity V2 tools are available now as standalone apps for a one-off fee - handy for users looking for a subscription-free Adobe Photoshop alternative and alternatives to Adobe Illustrator. A newly launched Universal License unlocks all three apps for Windows, Mac, and iPad devices for the discounted price. 

However, Serif admitted there are no upgrade routes for existing Affinity users; they’ll have to buy Version 2 like everyone else.

Steve Clark
B2B Editor - Creative & Hardware

Steve is TechRadar Pro’s B2B Editor for Creative & Hardware. He explores the apps and devices for individuals and organizations that thrive on design and innovation. A former journalist at Web User magazine, he's covered software and hardware news, reviews, features, and guides. He's previously worked on content for Microsoft, Sony, and countless SaaS & product design firms. Once upon a time, he wrote commercials and movie trailers. Relentless champion of the Oxford comma.