(Pocket-lint) - Affinity has become one of the first publishers to update its apps for Apple's new M1-based Macs. The company says it has seen speed increases of around 3x on the new MacBoook Air. 

The company also claims that elements like adjustment layers and live filters can be maintained before performance suffers - enabling "a more non-destructive workflow, even on the most complex of documents".

The Affinity 1.8.6 update for macOS is now available for users of Affinity Designer, Photo and Publisher. There's no word from rival Adobe when it might update its Creative Cloud suite of apps, although Apple trailed the fact Lightroom and Photoshop support wasv fairly imminent during its Apple Silicon keynote. 

The update also features some tweaks to the UI and app icons to match the new styling of macOS Big Sur.

Ashley Hewson, Managing Director of Affinity developer Serif, says: "We’re proud that our Affinity apps are leading the way once again, this time in offering full native support for Apple’s new M1 chip.

"The architecture of the chip, particularly having such a high-performance GPU with unified memory with the CPU, is perfect for professional creative applications.

"The advantages are particularly noticeable when working on documents with thousands of pixel layers, vector objects and text. Edits to pixel layers are best handled on the GPU, while vector and text on the CPU. When you have unified memory it allows much faster handling of these complex documents."

Serif says that its work on iPad apps helped with the transition: "Our fully-featured iPad apps already take advantage of very similar architecture on the A-series chips, so it actually only took us a day to port our Mac version to run natively on M1," adds Hewson.

"In fact, ever since developing for iPad, we’d always hoped that chips with this architecture would eventually come to Mac, so we’re very excited that day is finally here."

Writing by Dan Grabham.