This has been a long time coming. Just as Adobe wants to move the Mac and PC graphic design and multi-media creation world onto a monthly rental scheme, I’m trying to find ways to get rid of Adobe apps forever. It’s not as easy as it may sound, but, depending on your needs, it’s doable.
First up, Photoshop. It’s the granddaddy of Mac design apps, priced like royalty, and easier to dismiss from your Mac’s app lineup than you think. Can you say, Pixelmator? It’s not Photoshop, of course. But it’s really close. If you’re a graphic design pro and you live and breath Photoshop, Pixelmator’s lunch-sized price tag may be enticing. It looks like Photoshop, it smells like Photoshop, it functions like Photoshop Lite with familiar tools, palettes, and capabilities.
Second, Illustrator and Fireworks. I stopped using the former a few years ago, and all that’s left on my Mac is Fireworks, which does yeoman service for web graphics, but little else. I’ve been looking around for a year for a non-Adobe app which can take over the reigns of Firework work, and iDraw is probably the best inexpensive solution.
To be fair, iDraw isn’t Illustrator or Fireworks. It’s somewhere in between the two heavyweights, far lighter on price (no monthly fee), but with a similar look and feel, and tools that are oh too familiar to Adobe app users. It comes with shape libraries, handles SVG, PDF, and EPS imported files, does layers with text and images, and has all the brush and pencil tools you need. And, there’s an iPad version.
There’s little to not like about the capabilities of either or both apps. Even combined you’ll pay less for complete ownership than you’d pay per month for Photoshop, Illustrator, or Fireworks. While neither app compares feature for feature to Adobe’s flagship suite apps, there is a tremendous cost to what can only be described as diminishing returns.