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See window titles in Time Sink 2.1 in macOS Catalina

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

Time Sink 2.1 is out for both App Store (hopefully out now or very soon) and direct customers (definitely out now). This release has one very important fix for macOS Catalina users, as well as one directly-related new feature.

The “fix” (though it wasn’t anything in our code that was broken) is that Time Sink can once again see and track individual windows in macOS Catalina.

When macOS Catalina was released, it contained new security restrictions, and one of those restrictions is that an application is not allowed to see window titles unless the app is registered as a screen recording application. So that’s basically what Time Sink does: It registers as a screen recording application, but it does not record your screen. (Note: Due to App Store restrictions, the App Store version of Time Sink does this slightly differently, though the end result is the same: Trackable window titles but no screen recording.)

Please read the remainder of this post for specific instructions on how this feature works for direct and App Store versions of Time Sink, as the initial setup process is slightly different for each version.

So what about the new feature?

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Witch 4.3.5 returns to the dark side in Catalina

Monday, December 23rd, 2019

They say a picture is worth 1000 words, so for you Witch users on macOS Catalina…

Yes, Dark Mode support is back for Witch in macOS Catalina. We’ll apologize for earlier blaming our non-functional Dark Mode on a bug in macOS Catalina; instead, it was an undocumented change in Catalina (inverted behavior) in how third party System Preferences panels indicate they support Dark Mode.

Note: You may have to reboot to see the changes take effect—it seems macOS caches something related to Dark Mode, and a reboot will clear that cache.

That’s really it for this update, so not much need to read release notes this time around.

Moom 3.2.17 released

Monday, December 9th, 2019

Moom 3.2.17 is out—it’s a “behind the scenes” update that addresses a possible issue where Moom’s settings for the green button’s hover behavior aren’t reset when Moom is quit.

In addition, we fixed some minor redrawing issues related to multi-step actions, and added Plexamp to Moom’s blacklist—Moom’s pop-up menu otherwise appears when hovering over Plexamp’s window, even though it lacks a green button.

That’s about all you’ll find on the release notes page. Direct users can update in-app, or download a new copy of the app from the Moom page (you won’t lose your settings). App Store buyers should see the update in the App Store app, either now or very shortly.

Name Mangler 3.6 released

Thursday, November 14th, 2019

Name Mangler 3.6 is out now, with a couple of new features and some bug fixes.

The biggest new feature is that you can now create independent sequences based on some common metadata, such as parent folder name. Now each set of files within a folder can have a sequence number that starts with “1,” instead of continuing on across folders. (See the help file’s Renaming Actions → Sequence section for an explanation of how this works.)

We’ve also added an option for Title Case conversions to keep existing formatting for words shorter than a certain length, rather than convert them to lowercase.

There are other changes, too, so check out the release notes page for all the details.

Direct users can update in the app, or by downloading a fresh copy from the Name Mangler page; App Store buyers should see the update in the App Store app (if not already, then very shortly).

Witch 3 departs the Mac App Store

Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

When we released Witch 4 in March of 2017 (after a public beta that began in October of 2016), we made the decision to leave Witch 3 in the Mac App Store—Witch 4 can’t be in the store, because it cannot be sandboxed.

We left Witch 3 in place mainly to keep the exposure of Witch to those searching the App Store for app switchers and utilities. But we know that it’s not fair to pay for old outdated tech, so we included a free license for Witch 4 for anyone who wanted to move to the new Witch (though doing so meant leaving the Mac App Store for future updates).

With the release of Catalina, though, we’ve decided to remove Witch 3 from the Mac App Store, effective today. Why? Because Witch 3 is 32-bit code, and it will not run in macOS Catalina. Unfortunately, the App Store will lie about this if you look at the Witch 3 listing in the Mac App Store

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Moom 3.2.16 works on iPads in Catalina’s Sidecar mode

Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

For those on macOS Catalina who use their iPads via the Sidecar feature, Moom 3.2.16 should now work as expected when Sidecar is active. That is the only change, so the release notes are a pretty boring read.

Direct users should see the update available in the Updates tab in Moom’s preferences, or you can download a fresh copy of the app from the Moom page. App Store users should see the update in the App Store app—if not now, then very shortly.

Witch update fixes preferences behavior in macOS Catalina

Monday, October 14th, 2019

Witch 4.3.4 (release notes) is out today, and it resolves an issue in macOS Catalina where Witch’s preferences layout was misbehaving: The tab bar would jump around on the screen as you moved from tab to tab, sometimes getting in a state where you couldn’t see the tab bar at all.

It seems that, at some point very late in the Catalina betas, Apple disabled third party System Preference panes’ ability to resize the System Preferences window—Witch used to do this as you switched between its tabs. This update uses a fixed window size for all of the tabs, so the tab bar no longer jumps around as you switch between tabs.

Note: If Witch isn’t working for you at all in macOS Catalina, it’s most likely that you’re running into a glitch with the system’s file quarantine flag. Please read this blog post for the details and the very easy (if geeky) fix.

How to resolve Witch issues in macOS Catalina

Sunday, October 13th, 2019

Some users—including one of my two Catalina test Macs—have experienced issues using Witch in Catalina, as evidenced by a locked-up System Preferences panel or unclickable Witch interface elements.

You can read through this post for more details on the problems and what we think is going on, but if you’re having similar troubles with Witch, you most likely just want to make it work right…

The solution

The exact solution depends on whether you installed Witch for all users or just the current user (current user is the default presented by macOS during installation).

If you’re not sure how Witch was installed, navigate in Finder to your user’s Library > PreferencePanes folder. If you see Witch.prefpane, it was installed just for the current user. If there’s no Witch.prefpane there, but Witch is installed, then it was installed for all users.

Once you know how Witch was installed, quit the System Preferences application, and launch Terminal, in Applications > Utilities.

If Witch is installed for the current user, paste the following command, press Return, and then enter your admin user’s password when prompted (you must be logged in as an admin user to run these commands):

sudo xattr -d -r com.apple.quarantine ~/Library/PreferencePanes/Witch.prefPane/

If Witch is installed for all users, use this version of the command, followed by the same Return/password process as above:

sudo xattr -d -r com.apple.quarantine /Library/PreferencePanes/Witch.prefPane/

Now reopen System Preferences, switch to the Witch pane, and hopefully you’ll find yourself with a fully functional Witch app—with a couple of minor exceptions. If this solution does not work for you, please open a trouble ticket and we’ll try to figure out what’s going on.

The first exception to the “fully functional” statement is that Dark Mode support is broken. This is not our fault, and there’s nothing we can do about it until Apple fixes the bug—sorry, Dark Mode users!

The other exception is that the panel will jump around oddly as you switch between Witch’s tabs; this is something we didn’t see in testing until the final beta release. It seems Apple changed the rules, and we’re no longer allowed to resize the System Preferences panes. We’ll have an update out very shortly to address this issue. For now, if you get to a screen where you can’t see the tab bar in Witch’s panels, just jump out (by clicking the Show All icon, for example), then go back in.

Now, if you’d like the nitty-gritty on what we think is going on, keep reading…

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Ushering in a new era

Friday, September 13th, 2019

For those of you who use Usher, you’re probably well aware it’s a 32-bit application, and will stop working when macOS Catalina ships this fall. This was a key factor in our decision to retire Usher back in 2017.

But since its retirement, all has not been quiet with Usher—at least not privately. We’ve stripped out the old 32-bit QuickTime engine and replaced it with the modern AVFoundation (a.k.a. QuickTime X). This wasn’t a trivial change, but we’ve reached a point where we’d like to invite Usher users to help test what we’re calling Usher 2.

Usher 2 is a 64-bit app, ready to run in both macOS Mojave and Catalina when it ships this fall. We’d like all current Usher users—as well as others interested in the media management and playback features of Usher—to download the Usher 2 beta and give it a spin.

We’re very interested in feedback, of course. Not just does it run (we’re quite confident in that one), but what do you like, what don’t you like, what key feature that used to exist is now missing and you absolutely must have it, what other features would you like to see, etc.

What’s new in Usher 2, other than the entire engine that runs in? There’s a full list in Usher’s release notes, but here are a few highlights…

  • If Usher can’t directly open a file (that is, QuickTime X doesn’t support its codec), Usher will fall back to opening the file with its default app.
  • If you use VLC, Usher can monitor VLC’s playback progress and start the next movie in an Usher playlist when the first is done.
  • Dark mode support
  • Play movies backwards, and/or at double speed.

There’s a ton of other stuff, so do check out the release notes! We’ve also tried to predict which questions you may ask us about Usher 2…

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Moom 3.2.15 sails into Catalina

Sunday, September 1st, 2019

Moom 3.2.15 is out, and the big news is that it works with the upcoming macOS Catalina’s new green button pop-up menu, which gives access to Sidecar and other things. Using a new preference, you can choose whether you see Moom’s menu or Apple’s menu when you hover over a window’s green button:

As you can see, you can still get to the other menu by holding down the Command key. (When Moom isn’t running, the green button will always show Apple’s Sidecar pop-up menu.)

We’ve also worked around a longstanding macOS bug that causes odd window resizing after using Text to Speech or VoiceOver. There are more changes, of course, fully detailed in Moom’s release notes.

Direct users can update from within the app, or by downloading a fresh copy of the app (you won’t lose your settings) from the Moom product page. App Store buyers should see the update available in the App Store app—if not now, then very shortly.