Acorn 3.0 Review: Huge additional features. Great price. I’m sold.

Acorn 3.0 Review: Huge additional features. Great price. I’m sold.

Flying Meat released Acorn 3.0 earlier this week, and if you’re on a Mac and aren’t using this slick and simple Photoshop alternative — then you’re missing out. Big time.

Acorn is perfect for someone who wants to work with images but doesn’t want to spend countless hours learning how to use Adobe’s flagship offering. Acorn has always delivered simplicity — and it has added a slew of new features in the jump from 2.0 to its latest version.

One of my favourite new features is the ability to grab a layered screenshot right from within Acorn. I’ve been so used to grabbing screenshots using the old Shift-Apple-4 key combination and then opening an image editor to crop it and make any other alterations. Now users can open Acorn, grab whatever screenshots they want from inside the application and start modifying all in one place. The layering option is fantastic, as it allows the user to remove any unwanted windows from whatever image they are working on. This is a huge time-saver and really increases Acorn’s utility.

Another big improvement is the ability to save customized presets for cropping images. So when I prep images for use at The Next Web, for example, I can now save the sizes that I commonly use and apply them to any images I choose. I distinctly recall thinking to myself just this week that having this feature would save me a ton of time in image prep. Looks like Flying Meat read my mind.

I discussed layered screenshots earlier, but Acorn 3.0 also boasts the ability to apply non-destructive effects to any of your layers. This feature really allows users to have the freedom to manipulate images however they want without altering the original. It’s great to see this kind of feature brought to an image editor like Acorn, as it has been added to some of the less expensive video editors on the market. Acorn has really stepped it up with this addition, along with the ability to “chain” together effects.

That said, if you’re a Photshop user already and just want to use Acorn when you’re in a pinch, the improved support for loading PSD images is a bonus. The export functionality has seen some improvements as well, so you can have files coming from Acorn and open them in Photoshop — layers and all.

The additional features mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg. Flying Meat has added a ton to this latest release. There are over 50 new features and changes that make Acorn even better than before.

For now, I’m off to keep exploring Acorn 3.0 — but first I’m going to uninstall all of my other image editors. I don’t need them anymore. Acorn was a great application already — and now it’s all I’ll ever need.

Acorn 3.0 is $29.99 and available from the Mac App Store or directly from Flying Meat’s website. Users of Acorn 2.0 can upgrade for only $19.99 from either source as well.

Read next: Apple reconfirms their confirmation that the white iPhone 4 will arrive this spring