Acorn 4 For Mac

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Developer(s)Flying Meat Inc.
Initial releaseSeptember 10, 2007; 13 years ago
Stable release6.5.3 (November 20, 2019; 10 months ago[1]) [±]
Operating systemmacOS
TypeRaster graphics editor

Acorn is a raster graphic editor for macOS developed by August Mueller of Flying Meat Inc, based out of Mukilteo, Washington, United States. Acorn was first released on September 10, 2007[2] and was built upon the framework of a previous image editing application of Flying Meat Inc., FlySketch.[3]

The V16X and RidePlayer offer a suite of features like advanced network synchronization, integrated show control, and multi-track polyphonic audio playback that make even the toughest parades simple to implement. RISC OS / r ɪ s k oʊ ˈ ɛ s / is a computer operating system originally designed by Acorn Computers Ltd in Cambridge, England.First released in 1987, it was designed to run on the ARM chipset, which Acorn had designed concurrently for use in its new line of Archimedes personal computers.

Acorn makes extensive use of Apple's Core Image framework for its image processing,.[4][5] The native file format of Acorn is .acorn. Acorn combines vector drawing with bitmap editing,[6] and has been described as an alternative to Photoshop.[7] Key features of Acorn include image filters, a custom color picker, a brush designer, and image editing tools such as crop, erase, paint, select, pan, zoom, move, clone, smudge, dodge, and burn.[8]

We make amazing apps for the Mac. The image editor for humans. More info download. Flexible, super charged, batch image processing for your Mac.

Major Features[edit]

Acorn Slippers are designed for comfort and made for apres-anything. Whether you're looking for our iconic Spa Thongs and Slipper Socks or just want to relax in some the most comfortable slippers you'll ever own, Acorn has the perfect pair just for you. Version 6.0.4: New: Oh hey did you notice that Acorn can now open up HEIF images taken by your fancy new iPhones when run on 10.13? Even Acorn 5 can do that, but who cares about that because you’re running the obviously superior Acorn 6.

  • Layers based editing
  • Layer masks and blending modes
  • Multi-layer screenshots [9]
  • Nondestructive stackable filters[10]
  • Curves and levels
  • Multi-stop live gradients
  • Scriptable [11]
  • Automator support [11]
  • Built in brush designer to create custom brushes
  • Photoshop brush import
  • Vector shapes, Bézier pen tool, and text tools
  • Shape processor
  • Circle text tool
  • RAW image import
  • Multiple selection tools including quick mask and magic wand
  • Smart layer export
  • Web export
  • Guides, grids, rulers, and snapping
  • Native support for Apple’s retina displays
  • Color profile management
  • Deep color image support
  • Documentation online and in ePub format
  • Runs on Metal 2[12]

Version history[edit]

VersionInitial Release DateOS CompatibilityNotable Features
1.0 - 1.5.5[13][14]September 10, 200710.4 - 10.10[15]Initial release;[16] brush designer,[14] fancy crop, open and save JPEG 2000 images
2.0 - 2.6.5[13]September 13, 200910.6 - 10.10 [15]Layered screenshots, rulers, RAW image support, 64 bit support, touchup tools, JSTalk scripting support, AppleScript support, layer groups, guides and snapping, layer masks, WebP
3.0 - 3.5.2[13]April 12, 201110.6 - 10.10 [15]Layer styles,[17] quick mask, instant alpha,[9] live multi-stop gradients, new filters, add/subtract points on Bézier curves, full screen support, autosave and versions, retina canvas support,[18] smart layer export, web export scaling, new blending modes [19]
4.0 - 4.5.7[13]May 2, 201310.8 - 10.12 [15]Nondestructive stackable filters,[7] curves adjustment,[11] vector line join style, multi-layer selection,[10] save selection with file, CMYK support when saving as JPEG and TIFF, editable image depth, sharing support, soft eraser, live font updates, live blending updates, share extension for Photos
5.0 - 5.6[13]August 20, 201510.10+ [15]Shape processor, nondestructive curves and levels, improved PDF import, Photoshop brush import, image metadata editing, basic SVG support, deep color image support, circle text tool, new color picker, improved color management[20]
6.0 - 6.3.3[13]July 10, 201710.11+ [15]Text on a path, clone tool works across layers and images, new Web Export features, smart layer export settings palette, new Bézier tools, color profiles, make shape from selection [21]

Reviews and awards[edit]

  • Houston Chronicle Acorn 4 review[22]
  • The 25 Best Alternatives to Photoshop[23]
  • Macworld Editor's Choice Award 2009[24]
  • Mac App Store Best Apps of 2013[25]
  • Mac App Store Best Apps of 2015
  • 50 Mac Essentials #46 [6]
  • Acorn 5: Tom's Mac Software Pick [26]
  • Clash of the Image Editors: Acorn vs Pixelmator[27]
  • Acorn 4 Macworld Review [7]
  • Acorn 4 The Verge Review [11]
  • 16 Essential Photo Editor Apps [28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^'Acorn Release Notes'. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  2. ^Kim, Arnold (September 10, 2007). 'New Mac Image Editor Acorn'. MacRumors. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  3. ^Viticci, Frederico (December 18, 2012). 'Mac Stories Interviews Gus Mueller'. MacStories. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  4. ^Lee, Mike; Meyers, Scott (2009). Learn Mac OS X Snow Leopard. New York, NY: Apress. p. 572. ISBN978-1-4302-1947-7.
  5. ^Mueller, August (August 21, 2015). 'Acorn, OS 10.11 El Capitan and You'. FlyingMeatBlog. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  6. ^ abTurbell, Giles (February 21, 2012). 'Acorn is a Fine Image Editor for Everyone'. CultofMac. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  7. ^ abcFriedman, Lex (May 1, 2013). 'Review: Acorn 4 adds impressive features and a smart new look'. MacWorld. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  8. ^'Best Mac Photo Editing Software'. TopTenReviews. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  9. ^ abGirard, David (October 30, 2011). 'The seed of something great: Acorn 3.1 reviewed'. ArsTechnica. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  10. ^ abSumra, Husain (May 2, 2013). 'Acorn 4 image editor adds improved speed, enhanced user interface, and more'. MacRumors. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  11. ^ abcdBlagdon, Jeff (May 2, 2013). 'Review: Acorn 4 flies through image editing with new filter UI, improved speed, and curves'. TheVerge. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  12. ^'Acorn Feature List'. Flying Meat Inc. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  13. ^ abcdef'Acorn Release Notes'. Flying Meat Inc. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  14. ^ abBerka, Justin (January 5, 2009). 'Mac-based image editor Acorn bumped to version 1.5'. ArsTechnica. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  15. ^ abcdef'Acorn FAQ'. Flying Meat Inc. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  16. ^Chartier, David (September 10, 2007). 'Acorn? The OS X image editor we've been waiting for'. ArsTechnica. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  17. ^Turnbull, Giles (April 20, 2011). 'Acorn image editor updated with new features, special price'. CultofMac. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  18. ^Sorrel, Charlie (June 22, 2012). 'Acorn 3.3 to get awesome 'retina canvas''. CultofMac. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  19. ^Smith, Barrie. 'Acorn Version 3.5.1 Image Editing Software'. DigitalPhotographySchool. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  20. ^Keller, Joseph (August 20, 2015). 'Acorn 5 for Mac arrives to let you take control of shapes'. iMore. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  21. ^'Acorn 6'. July 10, 2015. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  22. ^'Acorn image editor worth scooping up'. The Houston Chronicle. February 19, 2015. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  23. ^Gibbs, Samuel (May 6, 2013). 'The 25 Best Alternatives to Photoshop'. The Guardian. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  24. ^'25th Annual Editor's Choice'. MacWorld. December 10, 2009. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  25. ^Viticci, Frederico (December 17, 2013). 'Apple Posts 'Best of 2013' iTunes Lists'. MacStories. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  26. ^Nelson, Tom (August 29, 2016). 'Acorn 5: Tom's Mac Software Pick'. LifeWire. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  27. ^Lobo, Pedro (July 5, 2013). 'Clash of the Image Editors: Acorn vs Pixelmator'. MacAppstorm. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  28. ^Stewart, Craig (August 4, 2016). '16 essential photo editor apps'. CreativeBloq. Retrieved January 9, 2017.

External links[edit]

Acorn 4 For Mac Pro

Retrieved from ''
May 3, 2013

This has been a pretty awesome week for Acorn 4. Tons of great press, 4.5 mice, App Store Editor's Pick, amazing sales, and just great excitement around the newest pixel nut.

Here's how the past week unfolded.

Getting the Server Ready

Before the launch I had to get the server ready for the massive number of hits I was hoping it would get. When we released Acorn 3 I was caught completely off guard by the amount of people visiting the site. I've been linked to by major publications before including Daring Fireball on a number of occasions, and my server always held up admirably. But with the release of Acorn 3 so many folks were hitting my server that there were a couple of minutes where it was unresponsive. I had to quickly reconfigure things to make it load faster.

Acorn 4 For Mac

But this time I was ready. When folks visited Acorn 4's site on launch day, the only piece of data loaded from my server was the HTML for the page. Everything else was hosted on Amazon S3. Images, CSS, JavaScript files - everything. And it worked beautifully. The page loaded super fast at all times and the server didn't even break a sweat.

Timing the Release

Acorn was set to be released on Thursday, May 2nd. Releasing an app on my own site is a very simple process. I move some files around and it's launched. But when you want to release an application in Apple's App Store, you set an availability date and then it starts rolling out at 12:01 AM on that date. Easy enough, right? There's one little problem. It releases at 12:01 AM… but in what time zone? Well, it turns out all of them. People in New Zealand would be getting Acorn 4 about 19 hours before folks on the west coast.

There are a number of reasons why this isn't great. The first is that if Acorn shows up for folks in NZ, they would then be tempted to start singing its praises on Twitter. People in different time zones would then look for Acorn 4 and not find it. We would start getting hit with questions like 'where the hell is it, why can't I buy it, why are you excluding us, you suck!”, etc. A rolling release like that would make for a whole lot of work when we're already too busy trying to tie up loose ends.

Another big problem was that a number of news sites had embargoed press releases that were set to expire on Wednesday night. I really didn't want news sites that didn't already know about Acorn 4 to get a jump on the publications that couldn't publish because of our agreement.

I was chatting about this problem with a friend when all of a sudden a solution hit me. I could set the release to May 3rd, and then when I was ready I could just push the release date back to May 1st! Since May 1st was already here (and gone in some time zones) Acorn 4 would roll out everywhere at the same time, which was exactly what I wanted.

So that's what I did. At 7:30 PM on Wednesday I set the release date for Acorn 4 to May 1st and Apple's servers started doing their thing. I actually gave the App Store a 30 minute head start on the release because I wanted to make sure it was there and ready immediately when the Acorn 4 site went live. Then at 8:00 PM on Wednesday I pushed the Acorn 4 site, updated the Flying Meat store, and the embargoes were lifted.

Holy Crap Everyone Loves Acorn 4!

Macworld had a great review of Acorn and gave it 4.5 stars! Acorn 4 adds impressive features and a smart new look

Jeff Blagdon from The Verge interviewed me a few days before and had a great review of Acorn 4 as well: Acorn 4 flies through image editing with new filter UI, improved speed, and curves. I even have my own tag on The Verge now!

Acorn 4 For Mac Os

MacStories wins the trigger finger award for publishing 4.7 seconds after the announcement: Acorn 4.0 Brings Non-Destructive Filters, Updated Interface, And More

Acorn 4 Mac

Daring Fireball had great things to say about Acorn 4 as well: 'An almost unbelievably great update to Flying Meat’s already-great image editor for the Mac'. And holy crap, when John Gruber links to your site, you better be ready for a ton of hits.

Ars Technica had a great announcement as well:OS X image editor Acorn hits version 4 with 150 new features.

Mac Rumors had a write-up too! I believe this is the first time Flying Meat has been mentioned there, which was nice to see since I visit that site quite often. Acorn 4 Image Editor Adds Improved Speed, Enhanced User Interface and More

Even non-tech sites were picking up on it, such as the Houston Chronicle! Acorn image editor worth scooping up.

I could keep on listing the reviews and posts about it- but you get the idea. I was pretty floored at the attention Acorn was receiving.

App Store Editor's Choice

And then at about 1:00 PM PST time on Thursday May 2nd, Acorn 4 was front and center on the Mac App Store with the coveted 'Editor's Choice' award for the week. Sweeeeeeeeeet. Needless to say, Acorn's App Store ranking shot through the roof.

Adobe Creative Cloud

A couple of days later on Monday May 6th, Adobe announced that Photoshop and their other CS products were to become subscription only. With Acorn in the news and Adobe announcing this giant change, people who hadn't looked at Acorn before certainly were now. We received a ton of questions, the requests for Photoshop specific features shot up, and the focus of attention on Acorn grew a bit more.

It's flattering that people consider Acorn a worthy competitor to Photoshop now. And certainly for some things Acorn is up to the task. But as I've written in the past, it isn't Acorn's goal to be a Photoshop clone. There are obviously a number of features that both products are going to share since both are image editors, but I really don't want to ape what PS does. What's the point of that other than being a cheaper imitation?

Acorn is fundamentally different and I want it to find its own way forward. I believe this will make Acorn better suited than Photoshop for some things, but not everything.

As an aside- John Nack was in Seattle last night and came out to the local Cocoa programmer's meet up and I got to chat with him for a bit. John works for Adobe and was at one time the senior product manager for Photoshop, so it's always fun to talk to him about what's going on in the industry. But it's weird. I just can't manage to put it in my head that I'm competing with Photoshop or Adobe or this guy who was sitting across the table from me in any way. People just seem to want this story to happen, which I guess I understand. Industry drama can be fun sometimes.

So What's Next?

Acorn 4 For Mac Shortcut

Updates of course! There are a bunch of features that I wanted to get into Acorn 4 that just didn't happen in time, and there are bug fixes that need to be done as well.

Acorn 4 For Mac Computers

Be sure to stay tuned because Acorn is just going to get better. If you haven't purchased Acorn 4 yet, you better jump on it soon. The temporary discount is only going to last till the end of May.