Pixelmator developers are set to launch a major updated edition next week.

Pixelmator 1.6 is going to be the latest version and some of the new features are: Layer Groups, support for social networks, direct import from external devices.

It would also get some other features like new transforming tools, a redesigned printing engine and new automator actions.

However, the focus is largely on improving the performance aspects to boost the speed of the application.

The developers claim that the app would start twice as fast. It would also open images faster than rival applications like Adobe Photoshop. The painting engine is also much faster in this new version compared to previous ones.

Pixelmator is one of the better alternatives to Photoshop on Apple Mac OS X platform. It costs USD 60. This update would be free for existing owners.