Affinity's newest update shows it's business as usual after Canva buy-out

Affinity Designer, Publisher, and Photo v2.5 on a range of devices
(Image credit: Affinity)

Ever since Canva announced its surprise acquisition of Affinity in March 2024, we were wondering what the company had planned for the platform. Now we have an answer. 

First, Affinity is seeing the launch of a big new update, version 2.5, across its Designer, Publisher, and Photo software - the first since Canva’s multi-million dollar purchase, and according to Affinity, “represents a continued commitment to add key new features” even under new management. 

Secondly, announced at this year’s Canva Create, comes news that the graphic design software line-up, like Canva Pro, will be made available free to schools and nonprofits. 

What’s new in Affinity 2.5?

Affinity is promising a range of new editing options for professionals. This includes a QR code creator and variable font support for text design across all apps. Coming to desktop publishing software Designer is a new Stroke Width Tool for editing the pressure profile of curves, as well as enhancements for the Pencil Tool for smoother curves. 

“Affinity 2.5 introduces yet another batch of new features and fixes to improve workflow. Continual updates remain at the heart of the Affinity ethos and we are already working hard on the next set of additions,” said Ashley Hewson, Affinity CEO. The message here is: it’s business as usual. 

The software can now also boast of being ‘the first creative software with end-to-end native ARM support’, offering full native support for the Snapdragon X Elite chip. Affinity users with access to machines packing the new processor are promised a more responsive experience when working on basic editing or multi-layered documents. Highlighting jobs like painting, pixel editing, and document rendering, according to Hewson, “the advantages will be particularly noticeable when working on documents with thousands of vector objects.”

Pricing remained the primary issue for users, who champion Affinity’s one-off fees over subscription plans like those offered by Adobe and Canva. Buy it once, own it for life. An attractive proposal, which has so far been guaranteed by both companies in a joint statement released shortly after the acquisition. 

On that score, there have been no major changes for most users. Affinity’s beloved perpetual licenses remain, the threat of subscription plans hangs ever-present. But there is a big change for charities and academia. 

From today, teachers, schools and non-profit organizations can join a waitlist to get Affinity for free. No details when licenses will be available, though Canva said these are expected in the coming months. 

Affinity Version 2.5 is available free to all existing users now. 

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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.