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Pixelmator gets 16-bit image support for Mac Pro, and more news for January 23

Mac image and graphics editor Pixelmator has just dropped a big update to its software that further sees the app move in the direction of becoming a legitimate replacement for Photoshop. Pixelmator 3.1 "Marble," released today, adds a host of new features, the biggest of which is 16-bits-per-channel color image support when running the software on the new Mac Pro. The software also takes advantage of the Mac Pro's dual GPUs, so everything you do on it in Pixelmator is faster and smoother. Here's a list of all the optimizations for the new Mac Pro:

• Both GPUs are used simultaneously when applying effects: one for computing the effect and the other one for composition rendering.
• 16-bit per channel color images are supported.
• The image auto saving is computed in the background while image composition is being rendered.
• Optimizations made for all 4-core, 6-core, 8-core, or 12-core Intel Xeon processors for better zoom out handling and faster bitmap layer duplications.
• GCD Dispatch I/O technology and PCIe-based flash storage makes opening and exporting high resolution images faster.
• Increased memory bandwidth is fully utilized for Pixelmator operations.

Besides the new Mac Pro features, Pixelmator 3.1 adds the ability to order prints right through the app, offers a number of layer style improvements and brings a ton of other little improvements such as bringing back more than 10 effects to the app and more. Pixelmator 3.1 is a free download to existing owners of the app. Everyone else can buy it via the Mac App Store for US$29.99.

In other news:

  • Speaking of the Mac Pro, those hoping to get one will have to wait until March now, as Apple's latest desktop shipping estimate has slipped back from February.
  • Apple has released Apple releases iTunes 11.1.4. The updated iTunes adds the ability for users to view their Wish List while browsing their iTunes library. It also includes improved Arabic and Hebrew support and stability and bug fixes.
  • A research report from JDSU says owners of the iPhone 5s are using 20 percent more cellular data, on average, than their iPhone 5-owning counterparts.
  • Finally, Carl Icahn has tweeted that he's unhappy with Apple again... but he's buying a boatload of more stock. Icahn tweeted, "We feel $APPL board is doing great disservice to shareholders by not having markedly increased its buyback. In-depth letter to follow soon," right after he tweeted, "Having purchased $500 million more $AAPL shares in the last two weeks, our investment has crossed the $3 billion mark yesterday."

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