Title-free Touché

November 29th, 2016

I have been impressed by the response to Touché, my macOS utility for testing Apple’s Touch Bar without the need for Xcode.

What’s surprised the most is the number of people asking for minor usability changes. These are not the kinds of things you fret about when you’re using a utility here and there for a quick test, but when you are committing to run a utility full time:

  • It should move out of the way when the Dock appears
  • It should slide off and on the screen like the old Control Strip
  • It should be oriented vertically to stick on one side of the screen
  • It should be a menu-bar icon, instead of appearing in the Dock
  • It should appear correctly in full-screen apps
  • It should position itself under menus so it can be kept at the top of the screen
  • It should support hiding the title bar in the Touch Bar window

I made Touché as a sort of gift to developers, designers, and yes, end-users who want to check out Apple’s Touch Bar. I didn’t anticipate it might garner a comparable amount of feature requests as my other software does!

I am probably not going to be able to put a ton of time into supporting Touché or adding to its feature set. I like the simplicity of it, and I have a lot of other work to put the majority of my time into. However, I pick one item off that list: Touché 1.1 now supports an option to hide the Touch Bar window’s title bar.


Introducing Touché

November 14th, 2016

When Apple announced the new MacBook Pros, featuring a hardware Touch Bar above the keyboard, I was immediately intrigued.

Apple provided a “simulator” to developers, so they can get a sense for how the Touch Bar works, and test their own apps with the Touch Bar, without having to buy a new MacBook Pro.

The simulator is cool, but I immediately noticed a few shortcomings:

  • You have to download Xcode to use it.
  • It’s cumbersome to activate and deactivate.
  • Taking screenshots of the Touch Bar is awkward.

Touché is my answer to those shortcomings. If you’re an everyday user who just wants to play around with the Touch Bar concept, a developer who wants a an easy way to toggle the virtual Touch Bar off and on, or a designer who needs to share screenshots from the Touch Bar frequently, then I think you’re going to love Touché.

Touché is free for all to download and use. I hope you like it.

Automatic Window Tabbing

September 24th, 2016

I wrote recently that there were no known problems with our apps on macOS Sierra. It turned out I had overlooked one subtle aspect of the update, which did have a negative impact on two Red Sweater apps.

Automatic window tabs grant the ability to almost all apps on the Mac to organize multiple documents in tabs, the way you have been able to do for a long time in Safari.

Unfortunately this functionality doesn’t lend itself perfectly to MarsEdit or Black Ink. In MarsEdit, it permits tabbing in the main window, where it doesn’t make much sense, and also creates a confusing arrangement of tabs in document windows, because the preview window and main document each get their own separate tabs. In Black Ink, the issue is worse, because enabling tabs and pushing the “+” button causes a crash in the app.

I have updated these apps to disable automatic window tabbing functionality. “Check for Updates” or download the latest version from the Black Ink or MarsEdit home pages. Updates for the Mac App Store are awaiting review by Apple.

I’ll be looking into the tabbing functionality in the future to see if I can adapt it to the apps without causing unwanted side-effects.

macOS Sierra Compatibility

September 20th, 2016

macOS Sierra (12.0) went live today.

There are no known issues with any of Red Sweater’s apps on the new OS.

I have been running macOS Sierra on my personal development Mac for several months, and it’s been a pretty solid update both with respect to Red Sweater apps and with respect to most other software that I run.

That said, please do drop me a line if you run into anything unexpected.