Tag archive: release

Tags 2.0 released

Tags 2.0Tags 2.0, a major rewrite of the file system tagging solution from Gravity Apps, has been released. This update feels like a completely different application; gone are the stylized custom interface elements of old, replaced by a HUD-style window (for tagging items), a standard 3-pane window for browsing tags, and a Spotlight-like search bar. The underlying tagging system is apparently also changed (while still supporting OpenMeta), although I couldn’t find any details about what specifically has changed. In addition to the cosmetic changes, the program now offers support for many more applications and has apparently been improved in other, less obvious ways (though the developers are pretty scant with the details.

Tags 2.0 requires 10.6 and is a free update for licensed users of Tags 1.0 (although you do have to manually choose to register it, as they have added a one-time activation over the internet). Although I’m unsure if Tags still has a place in my personal workflow, this is definitely an update worthy of attention if you’ve been looking for a tagging solution for your Snow Leopard machine that’s a bit simpler to use than Leap. For slightly more info about the update, see the 2.0 release announcement.

Yojimbo 2.0 released

Yojimbo 2.0Yojimbo 2.0, the next version of the oh-so-simple file library from Bare Bones Software, was released today. Feature highlights include an improved Quick Input panel, the ability to tag and otherwise categorize PDFs when you “print to Yojimbo”, an improved drop dock with customizable contents and tag collections (that will apply the tags they filter for when you drop an item on them), and scads of improvements to the basic tagging system. Although I knew it was aiming for simplicity, Yojimbo has always felt like it sacrificed too much in an attempt to attain that goal. Tags can now be renamed, combined, and otherwise manipulated through the new tag and label manager. Additionally, instead of creating a collection for every tag Yojimbo now features a “tag explorer” that shows you related tags and allows easy filtering for items across the database.

Yojimbo 2.0 is a $20 upgrade for existing users, and costs $39 for new users. If you purchased Yojimbo on or after January 1, 2009, version 2.0 is a free upgrade. The program now requires OS 10.5.7 or higher (including 10.6). If you’ve been looking for an easy way to store notes, URLs, PDFs, application license information, passwords, and much more without the overhead and complexity of other solutions, Yojimbo has always been a great option, and with version 2.0′s improvements to the tag browsing system, I highly recommend giving Yojimbo’s free 30 day demo a try. For more information about the update, see the release notes.

Punakea 1.0 released

PunakeaAfter one of the longest public beta periods I’ve experienced outside of Google, Punakea has finally been released. Priced at $25, Punakea 1.0 brings numerous enhancements over previous versions. The biggest difference is that Punakea now uses OpenMeta for its tag storage instead of fantastically convoluted Spolight comments. Additional improvements include the ability to Quick Look your results when browsing through tagged files, a HUD-style tagger, a global hotkey for accessing said tagger from the Finder or your web browser, and numerous bugfixes.

For more information about Punakea’s 1.0 release and subsequent move from free to shareware, see the blog posts on the first 1.0 release candidate, final pricing, and the 1.0 announcement. Release notes are also available.

Ironic Software releases Fresh

FreshIronic Software yesterday released Fresh, a small utility for helping you to locate and act on the most recently added or modified files on your computer. When invoked, Fresh shows you two lists: on the top are your most recently added or modified files and on the bottom is the “cooler” where you can store files that you need to repeatedly access. Fresh also has an embedded version of Ironic Software’s free Tagit application, allowing you to tag and rate your files using OpenMeta without needing to run both programs (or even have Tagit installed).

Fresh is one of those fantastic pieces of software that targets a common problem (“where the heck is that file I was just working on?”) and provides a simple, elegant solution that you can start using within seconds of downloading the program. Even if you’re uninterested in the tagging features (which I admit I’m personally unlikely to use; I prefer Tags), Fresh is an application that will slip easily into your workflow, likely making you wonder after a day or two how you ever lived without. Fresh offers a 21 day free trial, and costs $9 to register.

Fontcase released

FontcaseBohemian Software yesterday released Fontcase, a font manager for OS X that features a beautiful interface, tagging, and most other standard font manager features (previewing, examining all the characters for a given font, comparing fonts, etc.). I’m pretty excited about Fontcase. A month or two ago I was looking for a font manager (as a frontend web developer I find myself accruing more and more fonts), but none of the offerings on the market were as simple and elegant as I was hoping. I ended up just sticking with Font Book and wishing that there were a font manager that supported tagging and smart groups. Lo and behold, my wish is granted in Fontcase.

Aside from its extremely pleasant interface, Fontcase offers a surprisingly wide spread of features for a 1.0 release, including importing smart groups and so forth from Linotype’s FontExplorer X, local network sharing of fonts, the ability to print font previews, and more. Although the lack of any sort of Adobe plugins for auto font activation may make the program less appealing for true power users, Fontcase is a very appealing option to those like myself who need a better tool than Font Book but aren’t interested in spending an arm and a leg. Fontcase is available for a 14 day trial, and costs €35 / $46, with family and business packs available as well.

Tags released

TagsYesterday Gravity Apps released a new file system tagging solution called, simply enough, Tags. Even after playing with it for less than a day, I can say definitively that Tags is the most elegant and easy to use tagging solution available on the Mac, and I strongly recommend that anyone interested in a generic file tagging solution give it a try. Using an approach to tagging reminiscent of Quicksilver, Tags allows you to tag virtually anything on your computer by invoking a single hotkey (control-space by default). And when I say virtually anything, I mean exactly that: files in Finder, emails in Mail, addresses in Address Book, bookmarks in Safari, photos in iPhoto, and the list goes on. Once you’ve tagged a few files you can find them easily simply by hitting the hotkey twice and using Tags’ searching interface, by creating a Smart Folder from within Tags, or simply by prefacing the tag with “tag:” in a Spotlight search. This is the first application I’ve used where tagging items and then searching for them in Spotlight just felt like magic; Gravity Apps has obviously paid very close attention to making Tags a first class OS X citizen.

The best news, however, is that besides being beautiful and so easy to use my tech-challenged grandmother could probably figure it out, Tags doesn’t use Spotlight comments or any other such hackery to accomplish its tagging. It instead uses extended attributes in a way that is compatible (or possibly identical) with OpenMeta, the open source tagging framework recently released by Ironic Software and incorporated into their photo tag browser Deep. For anyone who has been frustrated with the numerous limitations of Spotlight comment tagging, this is fantastic news indeed. Tags is available as a free trial from the Tags website, and when you’re ready to buy is priced at $29.

Things 1.0 released

ThingsAfter months of semi-public and public betas, Things has finally been released! Things is a beautiful and slim-lined task manager that relies on tagging to allow you to add just as much information to your tasks as you need. I’ve been using it since the early semi-public alphas, and it is one of my favorite examples of tagging done right and a staple of my workflow.

Things’ visual appeal should be obvious, but there’s also some recently added features worth noting. One of my favorites is that Things has always sorted tasks based on the tags you’re filtering by, but as of the release candidates the Today view doesn’t segregate tasks by project so you can organize tags by priority across projects simply by tagging them. Other note-worthy features since I last posted about Things are a refined interface, global searching across the entire library, an iPhone app that at last supports tags, and a much clearer delineation between projects and areas. I strongly recommend Things for anyone who finds OmniFocus too complex and TaskPaper too limiting. Things is available for $49.95; for more information about recent new features see the release notes.

Ironic Software releases Deep 1.0

DeepIronic Software, makers of Yep and Leap, yesterday released a new image searching and tagging program called Deep. Deep offers a unique approach to image searching by combining filtering by tags/keywords, location, size, and aspect ratio with color palette matching. As you build your search in the top portion of the window, the results are displayed in a carousel below with navigation reminiscent of cover flow. As with Leap, tags include not only keywords that you’ve assigned to your images, but folder names, as well, providing you with a very complete list of keywords even if you’ve never tagged a photo. Unlike Leap and Yep, however, Deep is not focused on organizing photos. Although you can add tags to a photo, the program’s primary focus is on finding photos that are similar to one another, leaving the task of organizing, importing, or editing those photos in the first place up to software better equipped for the job. Interestingly, Deep doesn’t use a database; all of its metadata (including tags and color data) is included inside the extended attributes of your image files.

The awesomeness of Deep does come at a cost, however: Deep not only requires Leopard, but is Intel-only. It will not run on PowerPCs. Deep is available for $34 or as part of a package deal with Yep and Leap for $69, and the application includes a 21 day free trial. Definitely check out the manual for some very useful tips and tricks on using the software; although Deep is simple enough to pick up and use immediately (or almost immediately, given the need to index the colors of the images on your hard drive), there’s definitely more to the program than meets the eye.

TaskPaper 2.0 released

TaskPaperIn case you’ve been living in a box, the three most compelling options in the world of Mac task managers are: Things (if you like a simple, beautiful interface), OmniFocus (if you need lots of powerful features), and TaskPaper. TaskPaper eschews the standard feature bloat of GTD applications and provides instead the minimum tools you need to manage your tasks easily and effectively. TaskPaper task lists are plain text (so you can take and edit them just about anywhere) but enhanced with features like automatic formatting, archival of completed tasks, and easy filtering/searching of your task list. TaskPaper 2.0 adds a fantastic new search system (watch the screencast), a Things-style quick entry window to add tasks from anywhere on your computer, drag and drop organizing, a customizable theme system, Applescript support, and an even more attractive user interface.

I strongly recommend TaskPaper even to people who think their needs are met by more complicated software. There is nothing like using a minimalist tool like TaskPaper for a couple of weeks to learn exactly what features you can live without and which you desperately need in a task manager, and for many people TaskPaper will be the solution that finally gets out of their way and lets them complete their tasks rather than fiddling with them. TaskPaper 2.0 is a free upgrade to users of TaskPaper 1 (although it now requires OS 10.5), or is available for $29.95 with a free trial.

Lighthouse Keeper released

Lighthouse KeeperFor those software developers amongst us, you may be interested to note that M Cubed Software has released Lighthouse Keeper 1.0. Similar to PackRat, Lighthouse Keeper is little more than a desktop frontend to an existing web application, in this case the issue tracker Lighthouse. Lighthouse Keeper offers the ability to manage your Lighthouse projects without needing a site-specific browser or similar solution, as well as adding offline access to your Lighthouse-tracked issues and the ability to quickly add an issue with a system-wide hotkey. And, of course, tagging is a primary organizational offering of Lighthouse Keeper. Lighthouse Keeper is available as a free demo with a registration fee of €30.

I find it intriguing that the number of desktop frontends to subscription-driven web apps is increasing. Certainly for those people who use these web apps, a desktop companion that allows offline access (among other perks) would be fantastic, but for the vast majority of users the application is barely worth a cursory glance. Unless you have a Lighthouse account, you can’t even run Lighthouse Keeper to put it through its paces; the first thing you see when you launch it is a sheet that requires you to fill in your Lighthouse account details or quit. I think to some extent applications like this are approaching from the wrong direction: we don’t need desktop frontends to specific web apps; what we need are desktop applications with full functionality that can also tie into one or more web apps. Perhaps such functionality will make its way into Lighthouse Keeper down the road, but for now the program will only be of interest to those already using, or thinking seriously of adopting, Lighthouse.

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