After playing with Pixelmator Pro for two days, I can honestly say it is not a big improvement compared to Pixelmator.
Don't get me wrong Pixelmator Pro is good. Still, it's not necessarily better than Pixelmator and worth “upgrading”.
Hear me out:
For example the new UI works against the user all the time. To keep the UI simple, many things are kept well hidden. For example sharing a saved an user preset needs the knowledge to drag it out of Pixcelmator Pro window. Struggling with the UI is also to be blamed on the icons. Icons are too small and sadly colored greyish and thin lined. I have good eyes, still I have to watch very closely what the icons represents. Yes, if you wait 2 seconds the names are shown. This feels funky and not very nice imo. It is very counterproductive for sure. I urge the coders to make this again colorful icons like Pixelmator or at least more bright/outstanding from the black background. That would be a big improvement. Some icons have a small triangle in the bottom right corner. Clicking on that tiny triangle is troublesome at times. The mouse pointer needs to be firmly onto the small pixel sized triangle to see the menu with additional tools. It is really frustrating to handle. Maybe a right click on the whole icon would work much better.
And that is the main problem with Pixelmator Pro, everything needs to be explorer with trial and error to find out if it works (or not). Another thing I don't like is the Original button. Good idea but it doesn't work nicely when you are using a trackpad. You need to click and hold the button which is more difficult to do with a trackpad. This is purely useful when you are using a (magic)mouse.
Of course, ones you get customized with all features and the new UI, things will smooth out a bit. Still, a good UI should be easy and intuitive to use not by exploration. Certainly not the strongest part of Pixelmator Pro.
The big deal with this new version is having everything packed into one window. This may seem clean to work with but again it can be counterproductive too. For example you cannot compare and work two or more images on one screen. With Pixelmator you can open several images and display them at the same time. I really miss this in Pixelmator Pro! Maybe a feature like Affinity Photo to put them side-by-side could help.
Sizable left and right panes cover the image at times and can be distracting to say the least, even if they are semitransparent. Yes, floating windows can also clutter up screen estate, but at least you can move them around. But I do understand some users may dislike this way of working and prefer one window.
As I already pointed out, Pixelmator Pro isn't better than Pixelmator. This also applies to all available tools. There aren't much new tool s to be found. it is mostly the same stuff.
Pixelmator Pro isn't .. well .. Pro.
If I think 'Pro' regarding image editing, I think PhotoShop-a-like apps like Affinity Photo. The latter supports way more professional tools, extended layering possibilities, scalable history overview and PS plugins.
For sure Pixelmator Pro is a good buy when you do not own Pixelmator yet. It does fit the bill for simple image editing, that’s it.
If you already own Pixelmator, I am not sure $59,99 is worth it.