Remember MacPaint? That’s the app that started a digital graphics revolution back in the last century. At one time MacPaint and MacWrite had a $195 price tag. Eventually MacPaint made its way to Claris (an Apple subsidiary), languished for many years, then died of natural causes and neglect in 1998.
What if Apple had continued to develop MacPaint? What would MacPaint look like today?
While a number of inexpensive apps aim to replicate or one up MacPaint’s best, I suspect that MacPaint today would look more like PaintSupreme.
The elegant but powerful Mac app does far more than MacPaint, and much more than similarly priced paint and drawing apps today. Tools are arranged in the left Sidebar, right Sidebar, and top Toolbar. These are not MacPaint-like tools.
PaintSupreme is layer-based with typical options to merge, group, or lock layers. The editing tools are also common– lasso, ellipse, freehand, as well as brushes, pens, gradients, clone, and paint bucket tools. Even text controls are simple and straightforward.
PaintSupreme is surprisingly powerful, mixing bitmap tools with vector shapes and other tools. Rulers and guides make it easy to align elements. And it’s loaded with filters and effects which work on graphics and photos.
As much as I believe MacPaint, had Apple continued development for a couple of decades, would look and function like PaintSupreme, one thing is drastically different than anything Apple would have allowed.
It runs on Windows and Linux as well as Mac OS X. This is a pleasant, affordable app despite the dark, professionals-only look.