The popular Darkroom photo editing app for iPhone and iPad has been updated this weekend with major under-the-hood performance improvements. This includes a rebuilt depth engine, RAW editing improvements, and much more.

The Darkroom developers say that the rendering engine has been rebuilt to “dramatically improve the performance, stability, and reliability” of photo editing in the app. The year-long process impacted 50% of the Darkroom code, bringing improvements to performance throughout many features in the app.

The new depth engine is said to provide a much smoother and accurate blur editing engine similar to what you’ll find in the Photos app:

  • We rebuilt our depth engine to provide a much more performant and accurate blur editing experiences that matches the Photos app. Now when you open a Portrait photo, we match the simulated aperture that the photo was captured by, and when available, we use the same blend of available depth images to provide a very high quality editable Portrait image that the system camera does.

RAW editing stability has also been dramatically improved to be faster, smoother, and more reliable:

  • For the past year, RAW editing stability has been our top reported issue across all platforms. The bad news was that fixing it would require a massive, yearlong effort. The good news is we did just that. Starting now, the entire end-to-end RAW editing experience is revamped to be much faster, smoother, and more stable.

With those improvements also comes better transitioning into and out-of RAW images:

  • We’ve made the transition into and out-of RAW images much lighter and more smooth, improved the performance of all editing operations, and added support for pixel-level zoom on all RAW images.

There are also other improvements to zoom, Darkroom’s interface, and performance in the photo grid:

  • Increased the zoom range 5x allowing you to sport check small regions of the image efficiently.
  • The interface is now much more responsive and won’t slow down as you perform more expensive rendering operations.
  • Improved the performance of the photo grid, showing higher quality, more accurate thumbnails. No more black tiles!

You can download Darkroom on the App Store for free with an in-app $3.99 per month or $19.99 per year subscription to unlock all of the features.

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