Frequently Asked Questions
If you run an app—such as Little Snitch—that monitors net connections, you may notice that some Many Tricks' apps open a connection on port 80. Why do we do that, you may ask? First, relax: we are not phoning home to check licenses or anything like that. In fact, the apps that make this outbound connection don't have any licenses to check. Here's what's going on...
First, you should only see this activity in apps purchased from the Mac App Store (excluding, of course, using any of the internet-based features in our apps). That's because only the Mac App Store versions of our apps include a News feature. The News page is just a screenful of information about the app, including release notes, getting started details, and info on how to contact us.
This page is actually not in the app; it's a web page hosted on our site, and that's why our Mac App Store apps make the connection to our server. They compare the version of the news page that they last displayed with the version on our server. If there's a newer one on the server, it's (optionally, based on user settings) displayed to the user, after loading from our site.
Why do we only do this with our Mac App Store applications? Because we have no other way of contacting these customers, in the event of (for example) a critical bug fix. If something like that were to occur, we have the News mechanism in place to reach out to those customers. As noted above, the News service is completely optional -- at the lower right corner of the News window, you can uncheck the "Automatically show news updates in the menu bar" box, and you won't see any news updates.