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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 But we know that it’s not fair to pay for old outdated tech, so we included a free license for Witch 4 for anyone who wanted to move to the new Witch (though doing so meant leaving the Mac App Store for future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.

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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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.

Witch 4.3.2 released

Thursday, January 31st, 2019

Witch 4.3.2 is out. There aren’t a ton of changes in this version (release notes), but one of them could prove very useful: Witch’s status menu item will now tell you when secure input mode is enabled. (To see this, you need to have at least one switcher enabled in the menu bar.)

Why would you want to know this? Because if you have Witch set to use Command-Tab, we can’t capture those keys when secure input mode is active, and you’ll see the stock macOS switcher instead. Now Witch can (usually) tell you which app invoked secure input.

We also squashed a bug that caused some Chrome tabs not to respond to the ‘w’ key.

Updates are available within the Witch System Preferences panel, or you can just download a full new version from our site.

Witch 4.3.1 released

Thursday, November 8th, 2018

Witch 4.3.1 is out. As with today’s Moom update, this is primarily a bug fix release…and also like today’s Moom update, Witch also gets a nice new icon. (You may not notice when looking at Witch in System Preferences, as it’s much smaller there.)

As always, you’ll find a full list of changes in the release notes. In today’s release, Witch gains support for Mojave’s Dark Mode (yes, just like Moom did, too), and we worked around an issue switching between Chrome tabs and windows across displays and/or when using full screen windows. We also fixed a memory leak that was affecting some users.

Check for the update in-app via About tab in Witch’s settings, or just download a new copy of the app from the Witch web page.

We’ve updated a number of our apps…

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018

Following on the heels of Butler, Keymou, Moom, and Witch, we’ve updated the rest of our main app suite (excluding Name Mangler). As always, you can find the updates within the app or by downloading a new version (direct customers), or in the Mac App Store app (App Store customers). Here’s a little bit about what’s new in each app…

Desktop Curtain 3.0.8

Some behind the scenes changes, and a fix for an annoying bug that could cause Desktop Curtain to stall for a few seconds after clicking a Desktop-covering curtain. [Release Notes]

Leech 3.1.2

We’ve rewritten the Leech extension to work with the new rules of Safari 12, and added support for Full Screen and Split View modes. [Release Notes]

Resolutionator 1.1.2

Fixed a long delay before the menu appeared for those using dynamic desktop images in Mojave, and Resolutionator now supports Dark Mode in macOS Mojave. [Release Notes]

Time Sink 2.0.1

We’ve added a checkbox so you can include windows from menu bar apps, fixed a bug that broke Time Sink on 10.9.5, and the Escape key can now be used to cancel interval dragging in the Activity Report window. [Release Notes]

Usher 1.1.17

Yes, it’s no longer for sale, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get updated. This update adds more fields to the CSV export, you can search for ‘or more’ star ratings by adding a plus (***+), and we fixed a preview-related crash when previewing a huge number of movies. And oh yes, if you use Smart Playlists with subdivisions, try selecting more than one subdivision—notice the search bar now lets you see the Union and Intersection of those selections. [Release Notes]

All of these updates are live now, though App Store customers may not see them just yet—but they should show as available very soon now.

Witch 4.3 gains Touch Bar support

Monday, September 24th, 2018

Witch 4.3 is out, with a couple new features as well as the usual bug fixes and improvements. You can read release notes page for the full list, but here are a few highlights…

  • Touch Bar support: If you have a Touch Bar equipped Mac, you’ll notice a new application switcher in your Touch Bar when the Witch panel is onscreen.
  • The ‘e’ key will open the selected item in the switcher, making it easy to use the switcher with just one hand.
  • Restored support for tabs in Chrome, which Chrome broke with their new UI in Chrome 69.
  • Search is now always active, but not included when cycling through listed entries in the switcher. (There’s a new pref that lets you include Search in the cycle—but pressing ‘s’ always works to bring up the search field.)
  • Witch 4 is now Mojave-ready, as we tweaked a couple things to make Witch work better in Apple’s latest macOS release.

Update from within the app (About panel, Check Now button), or by downloading a fresh copy from the Witch web page.

Witch 4.2 released

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

Witch 4.2 is now in the wild, and it contains a lot of goodies for a little “dot one” release. The release notes page has a summary of everything, including some nice new features. Here’s a brief summary on how to use a couple of the new features—the help file has more detail, including screenshots.

See active app’s icon in the menu bar: If you’re using the “Show in menu bar” checkbox to see Witch’s actions in the menu bar, you can now have the icon reflect the frontmost app, in place of the standard Witch icon. Hold down the Option key when selecting the Witch menu item, and the Preferences entry will change to Reflect Frontmost App. Select that to see the frontmost app’s icon in the menu bar (and a checkbox next to the frontmost app in the list).

Control frontmost window’s tab handling: Hold down the Option key while clicking the Mode pop-up in the “List tabs” section of an action, and the pop-up menu changes to indicate that the selection will only affect the frontmost window.

For example, if you want the frontmost window to always treat tabs as windows (i.e. list them separately in the switcher), hold down the Option key, click the Mode pop-up button, then select Frontmost Window: Treat Tabs as Windows from the pop-up menu. You can then select a different behavior (by not holding the Option key) for non-frontmost windows.

On the bug fix front, Witch 4.2 should resolve the occasional crash issue that a small number of users were seeing, gets rid of the annoying phantom Login item some of you were seeing, and greatly—and I do mean greatly—improves the quality of the mini window previews, if you use that feature. There’s lots more goodness in this release, so check for updates and install Witch 4.2 today.

Witch 4.1 released

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

Witch 4.1 is out, and the big news here is badges: You can now see Mail’s unread message count on Mail icons in the Witch switcher panel. Witch also has a soon-to-be-public API that other developers can use to make it simple to send badge data to other apps, including Witch—hopefully we’ll see more badges coming to Witch in the future.

In addition to the badges, we did a ton of work to improve Witch’s speed when working with slow-to-respond (to Witch’s queries) apps. We’ve also improved cross-Space window switching, and we found and fixed a memory leak that could make Witch’s RAM usage balloon if you used a lot of window previews.

You can find other goodness in the Witch release notes, and you can update to Witch 4.1 either via the in-app updater, or by downloading a fresh copy from the Witch page (you won’t lose your settings).