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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 But we know that it’s not fair to pay for old outdated tech, so we included a free license for Witch 4 for anyone who wanted to move to the new Witch (though doing so meant leaving the Mac App Store for future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; this screenshot is from my MacBook Air, which is running Catalina:

We have no control over the system requirements, and we do not like that we’re potentially deceiving customers (even though they’d get a free Witch 4 license, they may not understand that, and feel ripped off).

In addition, it’s been three years since we released Witch 4, which is a very generous “sunset period” for the prior release. Hence, it’s time for Witch 3 to retire from the Mac App Store.

How to get your free Witch 4 license

If you bought Witch 3 from the Mac App Store after October 1st, 2016, and would like to get your free Witch 4 license, start by downloading our Crossgrade Assistant. Launch it, and you’ll see a standard “file open” dialog. Navigate to the Applications folder, select Witch, then click the “Choose App or Receipt File” button. If all goes well, you’ll see this dialog…

Fill that form with your name and a valid email address—that’s where your license file information will be sent—then click Submit. You’ll then receive an email with a license file download link; download the license file and make a backup somewhere.

If you haven’t done so already, download and install Witch 4, then double-click the license file you downloaded earlier. You should now be a licensed Witch 4 user.

If you have any troubles with the process—or no longer have Witch 3 installed but believe you’re qualified for the free Witch 4 license—just open a trouble ticket and we’ll get it figured out.

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. You can read through this post for the details on the problems and what we think is going on, but if you’re having 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.

Name Mangler 2 and macOS Catalina: End of the road

Monday, August 5th, 2019

For those of you still running Name Mangler version 2—version 3 was released over six years ago—just a heads up that you’ll have to choose between Name Mangler 2 and macOS Catalina when it ships this fall: Catalina won’t support 32-bit apps, and Name Mangler 2 is a 32-bit app. Name Mangler 3, of course, is a 64-bit application, and runs fine in macOS Catalina.

So if you use Name Mangler and want to run macOS Catalina this fall, you’ll have to upgrade to Name Mangler 3. How do you do that? The process differs depending on whether you originally bought Name Mangler 2 from us, or from the Mac App Store.

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Leech 3.1.4—the pi release—is out

Friday, May 10th, 2019

Leech 3.1.4 is out with a couple of fixes. First, certain web servers were accepting URLs that didn’t lead to a file, but didn’t return an error. As a result, Leech would think the download succeeded, yet all you’d see in your Downloads folder was a file whose name ended with .leech—and if you have Leech set to clear successful downloads, it would also vanish from the window. Leech 3.14 is smarter about this, and no longer considers a successful connection the same as a successful download.

The other fix involved a scrolling issue in Mojave where part of the list would disappear on scroll, at least until you resized the window a bit.

Direct customers can update within the app by checking for updates, or by downloading a new copy of the app from the Leech web page. App Store customers should see the update in the App Store app soon, if not already.

Witch 4.3.3 released

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

Witch 4.3.3 is out today with two fixes. First, Safari 12.1 changed the way it does tabs—to a way we’ve never seen before—and broke Witch’s tab support for Safari; that’s fixed now. Second, we’ve improved compatibility with Chrome Canary.

You can get the new version by using the in-app updater, or by downloading a new version from the Witch page.

Butler 4.3.2 released

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

Butler 4.3.2 is out with only two changes—so no need to link to the release notes, but I will anyway. (And yes, that’s the same intro I used for Butler 4.3.1’s blog post.)

The first change is that Volumes Smart Items now sort alphabetically; the second is that Firefox bookmarks once again work in Butler (after you take this extra step). Thanks to Tony C. for asking about the Firefox bookmarks, which made us take another look.

You can get the new version by using the in-app updater, or by downloading a new version from the Butler page.