The two newest kids on the block, Pixelmator and Acorn, have both been updated to version 1.2, each carrying increased stability and new features. Ars Technica’s Infinite Loop blog has a post covering some new features – including Curves, Rulers, and more – clearly planned to keep pushing at the market currently dominated by Adobe Photoshop.
From the information I’ve read about Pixelmator’s latest update, some parts seem to have been rewritten to tie more closely into Core Image in Mac OS X, as well as to chase away some of the crashes I experienced.
Acorn adds stability to an otherwise already awesome app – great for the average Joe who doesn’t need all of the crazy complexity of a Photoshop-type app, but wants a slightly better tool than iPhoto provides (including awesome scripting capabilities, Web image tools, vector drawing, and easy manipulation of layers). These both kick Photoshop’s butt when it comes to processing ability – they use the GPU, rather than relying on the processor to perform operations.
I personally still use Photoshop for my day-to-day stuff, but anything to keep some nice competition on Adobe’s case is all right with me. If CS4 ends up being a mere upgrade to 64-bit for Windows only, with no real features, I’ll definitely consider jumping to Pixelmator when the time comes for an upgrade.