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Yosemite and Karelia: We’re Ready

Half-Dome In Yosemite from pdphoto.org

Ever since Apple previewed OS X Yosemite earlier this year, we looked forward to announcing our apps are ready for Yosemite almost as much as we looked forward to Yosemite itself. Today brings us both things!

Yesterday, Apple released Yosemite along with a few goodies. (We’re all drooling over the new iMacs!) Today, we’re pleased to release updates that ensure Yosemite compatibility, and let you know all our apps are ready!

Sandvox: All summer, we worked on Sandvox to make it shine under Yosemite. While version 2.9 (released a couple of weeks ago) works fine with Yosemite, the just released version, 2.9.1, takes care of a few extra, minor issues. If you are upgrading to Yosemite, we recommend updating to Sandvox 2.9.1 as well. And why not — it’s a free update if you have any 2.x version of Sandvox already.

If you bought Sandvox from the Mac App Store, go there to get your new version. (You’ll find it in the Updates tab.) If you got it directly from Karelia, just choose “Check for Updates…” from the Sandvox menu so it can install the new version.

The Hit List: We’ve just released version 1.1.6 of The Hit List for Mac. Minor changes — the only thing you’ll probably notice is a revamped date picker — but it’s an important update for everyone, and critical if you’re running Yosemite. (Please note that we had to drop support for OS X 10.6 in this revision, so if you are still using Snow Leopard, you are fine staying with 1.1.5.)

The Hit List 1.1.6 is available for download from our own website immediately, or updating directly from the app. We have submitted 1.1.6 to the Mac App Store and expect approval in the next week or so. Check out The Hit List’s Twitter feed for the latest developments!

Tangerine, recently updated to version 1.4.2, runs just fine under Yosemite; we didn’t need any special compatibility changes. You’ll be fine moving over to Yosemite with this app.

Our biggest change for Yosemite is on our smallest app! The handy music utility “I Love Stars” needed a big face-lift, so we decided to redesign it, and rename it, for Yosemite. Version 5.0 is now called “Stars” and it’s better than ever!

Stars takes advantage of Yosemite’s gorgeous new user interface (in both regular and “dark” modes) and makes it super-easy to play and rate your iTunes tracks. Besides looking better than ever, Stars now allows you to “scrub” around in a track; it also interfaces with iTunes’ hidden half-star rating ability. Just open the preferences window from Stars for finer control of your music ratings.

Stars is available today exclusively on the Mac App Store, and exclusively for Yosemite. And it’s only $2.99. How can you pass that up?

With all our apps, we’re planning on more updates to take further advantage of Yosemite’s features and bold new look. Stay tuned!

Vimeo or Publishing Performance? You decide.

We released a new version of Sandvox today, which is significantly more than a maintenance release with a three-digit version number. Which of the improvements is your favorite, will be up to you to decide.

Maintenance

Before discussing the most noticeable improvements, it’s worth mentioning the stuff you don't see. Under the hood, we have the regular maintenance fixes you would expect. Also, Sandvox 2.9 preliminarily addresses compatibility issues with Yosemite, which will continue to be addressed as developer seeds are released.

Publishing

Something you'll notice when you publish -- we’ve revamped our publishing engine quite a bit. In day-to-day use, you may notice a few niceties:

During publishing, if a problem is encountered, it will be directly reported to you, rather than you having to keep your eyes peeled for any warning icons in the list of files uploaded. Also in that list of files, we’ve avoided the little annoyance where folders could occasionally appear to progress backwards!

Sandvox has long handled the ability to stop publishing midway through, perhaps because you suddenly spotted a typo that needs correcting, or want to move your laptop to a different wi-fi network. The next time you publish, Sandvox does its best to carry on from the same point. We’ve tweaked the handling of this slightly, so that should you click the Stop button, Sandvox will first finish uploading the current file. This avoids the annoyance of an incomplete version of that file sitting on your server, potentially confusing any visitors who come across it! And of course, if you need to, clicking the Stop button again will make Sandvox stop immediately.

In recent versions of Sandvox, we added support for FTP publishing to use TLS/SSL when available. This is a technology used to secure the connection to an FTP server. In version 2.9 we’ve expanded this support. Host setup now sports extra choices of protocol:

  • FTP with TLS/SSL
  • FTP with Implicit SSL
  • WebDAV with HTTPS

As ever, you should choose the protocol and other settings your hosting provider recommends. The secure connection types are indicated by a little padlock icon; when connecting using them, Sandvox first authenticates the identity of the server, to make sure it’s genuine.

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 9.00.31 AM

And last but not least, we’re re-using FTP and SFTP connections when possible, which will result in better publishing performance. Yipee!

Vimeo

For video, this release includes a built-in object for embedding Vimeo videos on your site. While YouTube is still immensely popular, Vimeo has proved itself to be a worthy channel for high-end video.

The discussions comparing the competing services are robust and passionate, particularly in creative circles. We must admit there are a number of features, a genuine design focus, and a certain approach to their business, which make Vimeo a very compelling preference.

To provide an example, we will leave you with this beautiful time-lapse video from DakotaLapse.


Progress on The Hit List

We’d like to take a minute to give you an update about The Hit List, specifically in regard to timing, and where we are with the app. Our primary commitment is to delivering the best products possible. Clearly, we believe in The Hit List, and we brought it in-house at Karelia to ensure that it continues to blossom and thrive.

In the few months that we’ve been working on THL, we’ve made significant progress. The Mac app and the Sync Service have actually been updated with important bug fixes, laying the groundwork for future improvements. (We have maintenance updates in various states of readiness, including one in review now.)

And our support team is doing a phenomenal job answering many first-line support questions. Those are real, tangible improvements.

In an effort to avoid vapor, we are playing things a little bit close to the vest. Also, the specific vision that we’re executing is demanding and requires our full focus. Plus, Apple’s latest WWDC announcements were fairly sizable and significant, and that has changed our internal roadmap a bit as well.

At this point, it’s safe to say that we’re not going to ship any major new versions of The Hit List, on any platform, right before Apple ships brand new OS versions. We’re very excited and looking forward to sharing our vision with you in the future. Of course, at the moment, it’s important to us that we’re heads down and coding, and really focused on bringing The Hit List to the next level.

New! Updates for The Hit List…

Today, Karelia is pleased to report that updates for The Hit List for Mac (1.1.4) and The Hit List for iPhone (1.1.5) are now available. You can check out the release notes and get to the updates from the What’s New page for The Hit List. The complete press release is also available in the Media & Press section of our site. Cheers!


Our favorite gallery….

We’ve recently updated our favorite gallery at SandvoxSites.com. If you’re not familiar with it, it is a gallery of websites built with Sandvox, described in the words of their creators.

Before SandvoxSites, the only way we would run across sites built with Sandvox was if Sandvoxers emailed us about their websites. Once SandvoxSites was up, suddenly, we were able to see how successful most people were using Sandvox. What’s more, people really put some great content out there!

It’s been truly gratifying to see so many entries, with more being added all the time. It’s been fun just to see the incredible diversity of uses for Sandvox — from events, families and clubs to businesses in just about any profession. We really enjoy watching websites get added from, literally, all over the world!

In particular, the tag cloud is an amazing way to see this. It’s a simple tag cloud, really only capable of showing the most popular tags. But for someone with an interest in, say, education, they can use the tag cloud to see the different approaches that different teachers have used to present information.

Seeing Sandvox websites in action also helps guide us in the development of Sandvox. Take a minute out to stroll through the new SandvoxSites gallery and see what people have created. Of course, if you’ve built a website with Sandvox, and you haven’t already, we invite you to add your site. We’d love to see it.