Acorn image editor gets UI overhaul, non-destructive filtersFlying Meat Software (a.k.a. Gus Mueller) has released Acorn 4, the latest major update to its image editing software for OS X. Acorn 4 sports a new user interface, support for non-destructive filters, dramatically improved vector tools and enhancements to performance, among many other changes.

Acorn 4 is aimed at Mac users who need to edit images but don't necessarily need the extensive (and expensive) capabilities of Adobe Photoshop. It sports support for Macs with Retina displays, features masking, text tools, "Instant Alpha" for removing backgrounds and other content, multistop gradients, lots of nifty vector tools, PSD import and export and more.

To incorporate non-destructive filters, Mueller has merged layer styles and filters together. You can create chains of filters just like before, but you can remove them later if you change your mind, without altering the base image. And if you like to manipulate image tone and colors using curves, that's a new feature of Acorn 4 as well. New shape tools have been added, and a new filter HUD lets you manipulate radius and center points for filters.

Acorn 4 is normally $49.99, but Flying Meat is offering the app for $29.99 through May to give people an excuse to upgrade. The software's available both in the Mac App Store and direct from Flying Meat's web site.

If you've given it a try, let me know how you think it compares to the previous version, and to other photo editors you've used.

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