Switching to an evolutionary app update model

May 18th, 2021 by Rob Griffiths

Many Tricks has been in business a long time—Peter’s first shareware Mac app was released in 2003 (I joined Many Tricks in 2010). Over those nearly 20 years, the software business has changed dramatically—programs are now apps, Apple decided that “free with ads” is a good business model for developers to pursue, and the Mac’s operating system is now free.

While we’ve adapted our business a bit over that time (we do call them apps now, usually), there’s one thing that feels very out of date: How we keep our business in business. Up until today, that was done through an “old school” software business model that relied on new customers and occasional paid upgrades.

First things first: We are not moving to a subscription model, which seems to be all the rage these days, as neither Peter nor I are fans of software subscriptions. So what is the new model? Here’s the tl;dr version:

In our old model, features were held back to create major updates worth purchasing. In our new model, features are released when they’re ready, and you decide if and when to pay for an update.

As for why we’re making the switch and how it’ll work, read on.

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Name Mangler 3.7.1 is out

April 28th, 2021 by Rob Griffiths

Name Mangler 3.7.1 is out with some general UI improvements, a fix for a rare crasher, and Name Mangler will no longer randomize names when you drag in a manually sorted list of files.

App Store users should see the update now or shortly; direct users can update from within the app or by downloading a fresh copy of the app from our site.

Desktop Curtain 3.1.2 released

April 26th, 2021 by Rob Griffiths

Desktop Curtain 3.1.2 is out with a couple of fixes.

In both the App Store and direct versions of the app, the isolate frontmost window feature should now work properly on macOS Big Sur. And for direct users, Spaces support has returned—it appears we accidentally disabled it a while back, but just heard about the problem yesterday. Sorry!

We are not allowed to include Spaces support in the App Store version; if you want Spaces support, please follow the instructions in this blog post to Crossgrade to the direct version.

App Store users should see the update in the Mac App Store app soon, if not now; direct users can update in-app or by downloading a new copy from the Desktop Curtain web page.

Menuwhere 2.1 released—keyboard lovers rejoice!

April 24th, 2021 by Rob Griffiths

Menuwhere 2.1 is out with one great improvement and one new feature. First, the great improvement: Responsiveness when using the keyboard is now much better. Much much better—even in apps like Safari that were slow before, you should see very rapid responses to your typing.

The new feature is somewhat esoteric, but it should make some menus in certain apps work in Menuwhere. More specifically, menus whose menu items rely on selected text. Here’s how we explained it in Menuwhere’s help:

The Advanced tab of Menuwhere’s preference has a new “Preload menus” box that needs a bit of an explanation. You should only have to use this box if both of the following conditions are true:

  1. You use an app that contains a menu whose functionality is dependent on selected text—the Text menu in BBEdit, as listed in that box, is one such menu.
  2. Those menus are not working by default in Menuwhere.

If both of those conditions are true, you can add the app and the menu name to this box, as shown by the two apps we’ve already listed—just add a comma and then the name of the app (as seen when you hover over its Dock icon), the greater-than symbol, and the name of the menu.

With that entry in place, those menus should now work from Menuwhere. If you run into any that don’t, please let us know.

As always, you can update in-app, or by downloading a fresh copy of the app from the Menuwhere page.

Menuwhere 2.0 is out

April 22nd, 2021 by Rob Griffiths

Yes, 2.0. Yes, 1.0 was yesterday. But yesterday, we had basically one main feature (menus under the mouse!). Today, we have two new major features, and one new minor feature, so we think the 2.0 is merited—and don’t worry, this is not a paid upgrade!

So what’s new? The first big new feature is an “all apps” menu option: Define a separate hot key, and Menuwhere will show you all the menus from all your apps:

Tip: If you activate the top-level entry (the app name), then Menuwhere will switch to that app.

The second major new feature is that you can now customize the size of the text in the menus, from 10 to 30 points—check out the Menuwhere web page if you’d like to see a comparison image. If you find the default menu size too small or too big, you’ll love this feature.

The small new feature is that in macOS Big Sur, you can set Menuwhere to Dark or Light mode independent of the setting of your system’s appearance. There are some other minor bug fixes, too, which you can read about in the release notes.

Thanks everyone for the great feedback on the app; we’ve got a nice list of stuff to work on for future releases—and no, 3.0 is not coming out tomorrow.

Introducing Menuwhere: The menu where you are

April 21st, 2021 by Rob Griffiths

Say hello to Menuwhere, Many Tricks’ newest app. This handy $3 utility puts the frontmost app’s menu bar into a pop-up menu at your mouse’s location—say goodbye to those long trips to the menu bar; the main menu is now just a hot key away:

Once onscreen, you can navigate the menus by typing letters in the names of the menu items you wish to access (then pressing Enter), or by using the arrow keys and Enter, or even via the mouse.

If you’re a long-time Mac user, you’re probably aware of similar apps from the past…which is why we wrote Menuwhere, because those apps are all in the past. Menuwhere is here now, fully supported, 64-bit and Universal—it runs natively on Apple Silicon and Intel.

As this is a Many Tricks app, though, we didn’t stop at just displaying the menu under the mouse cursor.

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Leech 3.1.6 released

April 6th, 2021 by Rob Griffiths

Leech 3.1.6 is out. There aren’t any new features, but this release reduces CPU usage while downloading multiple small files, and fixes a problem with filenames when downloading from certain servers. We’ve also improved Leech’s Dark Mode support.

You could read the release notes, but really, that’s all you’ll find there.

Customers who purchased directly from us can update within the app, or by downloading a fresh copy from the Leech web page. App Store customers should see the update in the App Store app—if not now, then very shortly.

Butler 4.4 is at your (Universal) service

March 9th, 2021 by Rob Griffiths

That’s right, Butler 4.4 is now a Universal app, running natively on both Intel and Apple Silicon Macs. (This means that all of our apps are now Universal.)

Butler can finally control the Music app, and we improved a few other things that you can read about in the release notes.

Butler is also our oldest app, and during its lifespan, it’s gone from Motorola to 32-bit Intel to 64-bit Intel to Apple Silicon. That’s quite the evolution!

As always, update in the app itself, or download a fresh copy from the Butler page on our site.

Desktop Curtain 3.1 revealed

March 4th, 2021 by Rob Griffiths

Desktop Curtain 3.1 is out today, and like many of its relatives in our app family, it too has joined the Universal world—Desktop Curtain is now a native app on both Intel and Apple Silicon Macs. In addition, we’ve cleaned up the interface for the new Big Sur design language, and its icon now fits in with the others as well.

Direct users can update in-app, or download a fresh copy of the app from our site (you won’t lose your settings). App Store users should see the update in the App Store app.

App Store users: If you updated to 3.1, please update again to 3.1.1, as we fixed a regression that was affecting some users. Sorry about that.

Keymou and Key Codes updated…and a birthday!

March 2nd, 2021 by Rob Griffiths

Keymou 1.2.9 is now a universal app built for both Apple Silicon and Intel Macs. It’s also got a shiny new icon, and its interface now feels more at home on Big Sur.

Key Codes 2.2.1 also has a new icon, which is really all that’s changed in this update.

Direct users can update in-app, or by downloading a new copy of the app(s) from our site; App Store users should see the updates in the Mac App Store app, if not yet then very shortly.

Oh wait, did I say something about a birthday?! Yes, I did. No, not a person’s birthday, an app’s birthday: Moom is 10 years old today!

In celebration of this milestone, Moom is on sale for 50% off (just $5.00 in US currency) for the next five days. So if you or someone you know has been thinking about buying Moom, these next five days would be an excellent time to do so.

So happy birthday, Moom…and many more!