A few minor (non App Store) updates…

August 9th, 2016 by Rob Griffiths

We’ve released updates to a few of our apps. These are all quite minor changes; you can read the release notes for each if you’re interested in the nitty-gritty.

We did add a new AppleScript command to Resolutionator, if you’d like to control your display’s resolution via AppleScript … and Witch includes a blurred-translucent background option. To see it, either select the Default item on the Presets pop-up on the Appearance tab, or uncheck the Background color box on that same tab.

  1. Butler 4.1.21 4.1.22 [release notes]
  2. Desktop Curtain 3.0.7 [release notes]
  3. Resolutionator 1.1 [release notes]
  4. Witch 3.9.9 [release notes]

Why aren’t there any App Store updates for those apps that are in the App Store? Because these changes only affect the direct versions of Desktop Curtain and Witch (we fixed some stuff related to the new crossgrade feature). Witch’s blur background may come in a future App Store update, though, if the App Store review team doesn’t deem it a new feature. Remember you can freely crossgrade to the direct version of Witch today if you want the blur!

As always, you can update via the in-app updater, or just download a fresh copy of the app from our web site. (If you happen to be running the macOS Sierra public beta, you’ll need to download Butler and Resolutionator from our site this time only, as we had to fix a Sierra-specific update issue.)


Update: Butler just got bumped to version 4.1.22 to fix two bugs in 4.1.21. Sorry about those!

Desktop Curtain 3.0.6 released

August 4th, 2016 by Rob Griffiths

Today’s release of Desktop Curtain 3.0.6 marks our second straight update that removes a feature for App Store users. And just like the Witch 3.9.8 update, the App Store version of Desktop Curtain has lost Spaces support. (See the linked Witch 3.9.8 post for the nitty-gritty on why we had to do this … and keep reading this post to see how you can regain Spaces support.)

Other changes in this update are mainly behind-the-scenes, but there is a nice new retina menu bar icon and Desktop Curtain now uses our new in-app help system. Direct users can update via the in-app updater, or by downloading a new copy from our web site. App Store users should see the update in the App Store app shortly, if not now.

To help those who use the App Store version of Desktop Curtain and rely on Spaces, Desktop Curtain has gained a new skill, just like Witch did: The ability for App Store users to freely and permanently crossgrade to the direct version of Desktop Curtain, which continues to support Spaces.

If you’d like to freely crossgrade to the direct version, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Install and run the App Store version of Desktop Curtain at least once. (You’ve hopefully done this many times, given you bought the app at some point.)

  2. Quit the App Store version, and install the version from our site. As long as you’ve run the App Store version once, you can replace the App Store version with the direct version, or you can install the direct version in another location if you’d prefer to keep both around.

  3. Launch the direct version of Desktop Curtain, and display its license window. If you run Desktop Curtain as a normal app, go to Desktop Curtain > License in the menus. If you run in menu bar mode, as most do, click the menu bar icon then select License. If you happen to use Faceless mode, you’ll need to temporarily switch to one of the other modes first.

  4. When the license window appears, it should state that the app is licensed to Anon McAppStore. This is our normal “temporary” license for App Store users, as explained in this blog post.

  5. Right-click (or Control-click if you’re old school) on the license file image, and you’ll see a single contextual menu item:

  6. Select “Request permanent crossgrade…” and a new dialog will appear:

    Enter your name and email address, then click Submit.

  7. After a bit of processing time (Desktop Curtain is talking to our server to verify your App Store license and generate your direct license), you’ll get a confirmation dialog, telling you that your license is enroute.

  8. When the license email arrives, follow its instructions to license Desktop Curtain in your name—all you need to do is click the link in the email, double-click the resulting downloaded file (if your browser doesn’t unzip it automatically), and then drag the now-unzipped license file to the “Anon McAppStore” license window in Desktop Curtain, which should still be open.

You should now see the license in your name; if so, you’re done! If not, well … if you have any difficulties with the crossgrade, please use any of the methods (support ticket, Twitter, email) on the Desktop Curtain support page to get in touch with us, and we’ll help you complete the crossgrade.

Witch 3.9.8 released

July 27th, 2016 by Rob Griffiths

Witch 3.9.8 is now out, with some bug fixes and behind-the-scenes updates for macOS Sierra. You can read up on all the changes in the official Witch release notes. Direct users can update via in-app updates, or by downloading a fresh copy from our site.

App Store users should see the update shortly in the App Store application. However, for App Store users of Witch, there’s more that we need to discuss: We had to remove Spaces support from the App Store version of Witch.

If you don’t use Spaces, this change won’t affect you at all. If you don’t use the App Store version of Witch, this change won’t affect you at all. But if you do use Spaces and the App Store version of Witch, you’re probably pretty angry with us right now. Thankfully, we have a free and easy solution for those of you in this bucket: Migrate to the direct version with a full in-your-own-name license file.

Read on for the details on why we had to remove Spaces support, and for how to migrate to the direct version of Witch.

Why Spaces support went away

Why did we have to remove Spaces support from the App Store version of Witch? In order to support Spaces, Witch uses a private API to list windows on other Spaces. Using private APIs is a no-no for App Store apps. We knew this going in, but also knew that Spaces support was important for our users. We had gotten away with it for a while, but an older Witch App Store update was rejected due to the private API usage.

Since that rejection, we’ve been looking for a solution to providing Spaces support for App Store Witch users … and unfortunately, we couldn’t find one: The only way we can get the window information we need from other Spaces is to use the private API. And that means that only the direct version of Witch supports Spaces, because we can use the private API. But App Store Witch no longer supports Spaces.

How to migrate to the direct version

First off, this migration isn’t like the temporary crossgrades we’ve provided for many of our App Store apps; it’s a full real license for the direct version of Witch, complete with Spaces support.

If you’d like to migrate to the direct version (any App Store customer can do so, not just those who use Spaces), here’s what you need to do, in both condensed and expanded form…

Condensed form

Run the App Store version of Witch at least once, then download Witch and install it. Once installed, open the Witch System Preferences panel and right-click on the “Anon McAppStore” license on the About tab. Select the only entry in the menu that appears, enter your name and email address in the dialog that appears, then click Submit. When you receive your license email, follow its instructions to install your permanent Witch license.

Expanded form

  1. In case you haven’t done so before, install Witch from the App Store and run it once. If you’ve already done this (more than likely, you have), open Witch’s settings and uncheck the “enable Witch” box, so that Witch isn’t running.

  2. Quit Witch.

  3. Download Witch directly from our site, and install it. (Please see the footnote on using the direct version of Witch if you’ve never installed a third-party System Preferences panel before.)

  4. Open System Preferences and click on the Witch icon near the bottom of the window. Once Witch’s main window appears, click on the About tab.

  5. You should see a temporary “Anon McAppStore” license image, as long as you’ve run the App Store version of Witch once. Right-click (or Control-click, if you’re old school) on the image, and a single-line contextual menu entry will appear:

  6. Select “Request permanent crossgrade…” and a new dialog will appear:

    Enter your name and email address, then click Submit.

  7. After a bit of processing time (Witch is talking to our server to verify your App Store license and generate your direct license), you’ll get a confirmation dialog, telling you that your license is enroute.

  8. When the license email arrives, follow its instructions to license Witch in your name—all you need to do is click the link in the email, double-click the resulting downloaded file (if your browser doesn’t unzip it automatically), and then drag the now-unzipped license file to the “Anon McAppStore” window in Witch’s About tab, which should still be open.

If you have any difficulties with the crossgrade, please use any of the methods (support ticket, Twitter, email) on the Witch support page to get in touch with us, and we’ll help you complete the crossgrade.



Footnote

The direct version of Witch isn’t a standalone application; it’s a third-party System Preferences panel. Once installed, you manage Witch’s settings and on/off state via its icon in the System Preferences window; Witch will appear at the end of the list of Apple-provided panels:

If you’ve never installed a third-party System Preferences panel before, here’s how to do it…

Start by downloading Witch from our site; you’ll wind up with a disk image (.dmg) file. Double-click the disk image, and it will mount in Finder like an external hard drive. Double-click the Witch disk image in Finder’s sidebar, and you’ll see this window:

Double-click on Witch.prefpane, and OS X will ask you how you’d like it to be installed:

If you’d like to use Witch across all user accounts, make sure you choose “Install for all users of this computer.” Once installed, click the “Enable Witch” checkbox, and you’ll see this dialog:

witchdaemon is the actual process behind Witch, and you’re granting it permission to run. If you don’t click Open, Witch will not work.

Witch is now installed, but to get it fully functional, you also have to grant accessibility system access to both the System Preferences application itself and to witchdaemon. The process for doing this is detailed in the Tips and Tricks section of Witch’s help; just click the ? icon on the Witch System Preferences panel, and go to the Tips and Tricks page. For Mavericks and newer, read the section labeled “Enabling Witch in OS X Mavericks.”

Name Mangler 3.3.7 released

July 25th, 2016 by Rob Griffiths

Name Mangler 3.3.7 is out, and it’s got some bug fixes and one nice neat new feature: Right-click on any entry in the file list area, and you can use a contextual menu to reveal the selected file in Finder. You can read about all the other exciting bug fixes on the official Name Mangler release notes page.

This release also fixes an issue that prevented the App Store version of Name Mangler from working on the Sierra Public Beta (the direct version always worked).

App Store users should be seeing the update shortly, and direct users can update either via the in-app updater, or by downloading a fresh copy from the Name Mangler web page.

Leech 3.1 released

June 15th, 2016 by Rob Griffiths

We’ve just released Leech 3.1, which includes a few nice new features:

  • Specify a custom user agent (in Advanced prefs)
  • Set Leech to run at login (also in Advanced prefs)
  • Extract URLs from a text file and add to queue

The change log details a few other fixes and improvements, too.

As usual, direct customers can get the update via in-app updating, or by downloading a fresh copy of the app. App Store buyers should see the update in the App Store app—if not now, then very shortly.

Usher 1.1.14 released

May 4th, 2016 by Rob Griffiths

Usher has reached version 1.1.14. The biggest news in this version is that the App Store and indie versions are back in sync.

Beyond that, the Help files have much more content, and Usher is now using our improved help system with much better navigation and search—plus all screenshots have (finally) been retinaized. You can read the release notes for the nitty-gritty on 1.1.14, if you prefer the trees to the forest.

Direct users can update via the in-app updater, or by downloading a full version from our web site. App Store users should see the update now (or shortly, if not now) in the App Store app.

The new Many Tricks’ end user license agreement

April 28th, 2016 by Rob Griffiths

Ever since Peter and I relaunched Many Tricks in 2010, we’ve never had an official software license agreement. The closest thing we’ve had is this blog post, which explains limits on the use of our apps across multiple Macs (tl;dr: Use them on as many Macs as you personally use). However, we’ve never had an actual end user license agreement (EULA) that spells out the legal license you agree to when you purchase one of our apps.

Well, we have one now—it’s also permanently linked in the sidebar here, and will be accessible from within our apps. And a really big thanks to Rich Siegel at Bare Bones Software, who generously agreed to let us use his document as a starting point. I found the Bare Bones EULA to be well written, brief, and easily understood; hopefully our version, which has only minor changes, is still all of those things.

After six years, why did we suddenly need an EULA? The truth is we probably should have had one from day one, but never really felt the need. Recently, however, we’ve received inquiries from government agencies and larger companies interested in buying our apps … and many of these customers aren’t allowed to purchase our apps unless we have an actual legal license agreement. So now we do.

Note that this doesn’t change anything relative to the usage of our apps; we still allow you to use one license to install our apps on as many Macs as you personally use. We just needed to have a formal legal software license for larger customers and government agencies.

Leech turns three…version three, that is

April 13th, 2016 by Rob Griffiths

Say hello to Leech 3, a major update to our easy-to-use download manager. You can download a free trial to take it for a test drive right now.

We took what was good in Leech—simple UI, powerful rules, long-term history, etc.—and added lots of good stuff that our users have requested:

  • Accelerate downloads: Open simultaneous connections—to servers that support this feature—to speed up downloads.
  • Limit bandwidth: If you don’t want Leech to use all your bandwidth, don’t worry; you can tell it how much bandwidth to use.
  • Schedule downloads: Set a schedule for Leech to start and stop its operations, so you can download overnight, for instance.
  • Multiple run modes: Leech can run in your Dock, in your menu bar, or in a new hybrid mode where it’s in both spots at once.

Head on over to the Leech product page to read all about this goodness, and more (like auto-sorting downloads into dated folders, for example).

Purchasing Leech 3

Leech 3 is available now for $6 … oh, right, nearly forgot this tidbit: it’s available directly from us, of course, or for the first time ever, in the Mac App Store. The two versions are functionally identical, though the App Store version is (as required) sandboxed.

Note that anyone who purchased Leech 2 after November 1st, 2015 already has a Leech 3 license; check for upgrades within the app, and you’ll be up and running with a fully licensed copy of Leech 3.

Leech 2 owners: Typically, you’d expect to be eligible for upgrade pricing as an existing owner. In this case, given the app’s very low price, we decided against offering Leech 3 upgrade pricing. This is not a general change in our business practices, just the realities of offering a fully-featured app at a low price point.

Moom and Name Mangler updated

April 7th, 2016 by Rob Griffiths

Final update: Moom 3.2.5 has been released on the App Store; this fixes the drag-to-display bug and all App Store users should now update.

Update: If you have the App Store version of Moom, and if you use multiple displays, then please don’t update to Moom 3.2.4—we just found and fixed an issue with moving windows to other displays. The Moom version on our site has been updated to 3.2.5, and we’re in the middle of submitting an App Store update.

As mentioned in the release notes, I’m terribly sorry for the inconvenience. This was entirely my fault. —Peter


Hot on the heels of our recent Time Sink and Keymo updates come two larger updates: Moom 3.2.4 and Name Mangler 3.3.6.

These releases re-sync the versions numbers between the App Store and direct versions, and both feature some bug fixes and general improvements. You can read the details in the release notes for Moom and Name Mangler, respectively.

The big news in both versions (and coming soon to all our other apps) is our totally rewritten help system. You can read all about the new help system in the linked blog post, but the key bits are that search and navigation are now much nicer, and the window is a real (non-floating!) OS X window that’s visible to apps like Witch.

Direct customers can get the Moom and Name Mangler updates via the in-app updater, or by downloading the full versions from our site. App Store customers should see the updates in their App Store app—if not now, then shortly.

Announcing our new in-app help system

April 7th, 2016 by Rob Griffiths

Starting with our recent update to Keymo, we rolled out a new help system. We developed this new system to solve some aggravations we were having with Apple’s built-in help system, and to provide our users with a better help experience. This new help system will be rolling out to all our apps in the very near future.

Here’s a quick peek at the first screen of Moom’s new help:

Moom's new help

There are many aspects to our new help system that should make in-app help work much better for our users—some new features, some existing features working better, and a revamped look and feel.

First off, there’s a new navigation system, as seen in the image at right. Click the “hamburger” menu on any page, and this handy drop-down makes it simple to get wherever you need to go.

The current section is always marked with a checkmark, so you’ll know exactly which page you’re on when you activate the menu.

The help window is also now a normal OS X window, not the “I will block everything!” floating window of Apple’s help system.

Our new help window is also visible to apps—like our own Witch—that list open windows; the built-in help viewer windows aren’t visible to Witch.

Like the built-in help viewer, the text in the help window is resizable—just press ⌘-Minus (smaller) and ⌘-Plus (larger) to resize. The help system will remember your preferred size even if you close and reopen its window. (It will reset to the default size if you quit and relaunch the app.)

Our help system features two types of search. The first, and to me the most useful, is the ability to search the entire help system from within the app’s Help menu. (Note that you must be running the app in “normal” mode to use this search—otherwise, it won’t have menus!)

To use the help-wide search, select the Help menu within the app, then just type in the search box. You’ll see matches for any menu items, and then any help pages that contain your search term:

Search all

Select one of the matches from the Help Topics section, and help will open to that page, with the matching term already highlighted.

You can also search the current help page by pressing ⌘-F; this drops down a standard OS X search box. Type your search, and the first match will be highlighted on the page:

Find on page

Press ⌘-G and help will jump to and highlight the next match; repeat as necessary until you find the section you need. One nice bonus feature here is that if there are no matches on the current page, the help system will display a list of other help pages that do contain a match:

Find on other pages

Right-click on any open area of a page, and a handy contextual menu appears. You can use this to go back and forward between previously opened pages—though it’s easier to use the arrow buttons at the top of the window, or ⌘ and the left and right arrows if you prefer the keyboard.

There’s also a Reload button—this is there primarily for our use when writing help, but if you find yourself looking at a blank page, this may force the content to be reloaded.

But really, the important thing in the contextual menu is the ability to print help pages. Select Print… from the contextual menu, and a standard OS X print dialog appears:

If you’re an admirer of dead trees, click the Print button to send the output to your printer. But you may find it more useful to click the PDF button, and save a copy of the help page to PDF format—you could then add it to iBooks to read anywhere, for example.

We hope you find the new help system, well, helpful. We have plans to enhance it further in the future, but for now, it’s already a great improvement (for both us and you) over the old system.