Together and macOS Sierra

June 30th, 2016 by Steve Harris

Apple announced macOS Sierra at WWDC on June 13. Sierra introduces a new feature where iCloud Drive can make your Desktop and Documents folders available on all your Macs.

If you are using Together from the Mac App Store and store your libraries in iCloud, you should either avoid storing your library folder in your Documents or Desktop folders, or not use that feature. Together works with iCloud directly, so this feature would both interfere with Together’s iCloud support and double the space used on iCloud.

In addition, iCloud Drive can corrupt any library stored in iCloud Drive, whether or not it is stored in iCloud, should more than one Mac attempt modifying the library at the same time. You should not expect iCloud Drive to work as a method of sharing Together libraries across Macs, and you will not be able to open those libraries in Together for iOS.

To move your library:

  • Choose File > Library > Show Library in Finder from the menu
  • Quit Together
  • Move the folder that contains your [Library name].trlib file to a new location
  • Double-click the [Library name].trlib file to open that library in the app again

After the release of macOS Sierra, Mac apps sold outside the Mac App Store will be able to use iCloud properly. Together 3.6 will both support that and ensure that libraries will not be corrupted by iCloud Drive.

Feeder 3.2

May 16th, 2016 by Steve Harris

Feeder IconFeeder 3.2 is now available. This versions adds drafts, improves the editor, accessibility and updates support for publishing and sharing to social media sites.

Drafts

Feeder can now save drafts of items for later publication, including changes to items that are already in the feed. New and edited items are now autosaved as drafts and listed in the new Drafts section of the main window. When you close an editing window, you can choose to keep it as a draft or save it to the feed. Existing items in the feed will show a draft icon next to the title in the list, and editing those items will edit the draft, not the feed version.

Drafts do not need to be valid until you save them to the feed, which allows for partially complete items — e.g. you can fill out an enclosure’s URL without knowing its size. If you try to save an item to the feed that doesn’t validate, Feeder will offer to save a draft instead.

Unlike the autosaving in previous versions of Feeder 3, drafts are now stored in the library folder, so if that folder is shared with other Macs via Dropbox or iCloud Drive, etc, the draft will be available on all Macs using that library and you will always be working on the latest version.

Editor & Accessibility Improvements

In addition to drafts, the item editor has a number of improvements that are related to accessibility, but are useful in general. There are now separate Editor menu items to perform tasks like choosing enclosure files and fetching attributes, which would otherwise be performed by clicking the gear icon next to the field. There is also a “New Item With Enclosure” item in the File menu, which could previously only be accomplished by dragging and dropping the enclosure file on the list. Various other parts of the app have been updated to be more accessible in a descriptive way too.

OS X Changes

Many parts of the app have been updated to use new technologies in OS X, including publishing to Amazon S3 and WebDAV, sending pings, Facebook, Twitter, URL shortening, downloading and reloading feeds, fetching enclosure details, thumbnail generation and posting to WordPress blogs. These changes are essential to keep Feeder working on future versions of OS X. You should not notice any difference in the functionality, but please get in touch if something stops working for you.

Other Changes

The landscape list has been updated to show columns other than “Title” in grey, matching what you see in Finder windows, and dates are now formatted consistently with the rest of the app. The appearance of the server browser has been improved, and there are various other minor improvements and fixes across the app. See the release notes for full details.

Availability

Feeder 3.2 is a free upgrade for all Feeder 3 customers and is available now on the Mac App Store and directly from this site. Upgrades from Feeder 2 are available exclusively from this site for $24.99. The version from this site also works as a 15 day trial, which can be tried before purchasing or upgrading.

Together 1.5 for iPad and iPhone

April 7th, 2016 by Steve Harris

Together for iPad and iPhone IconTogether 1.5 for iPad and iPhone is available today. This version improves the document picker, working with items, and background updates for iCloud libraries, along with various other improvements.

Working with Items

Notes and any editable text stationery (rich text, plain text, etc) are now created in place instead of in a sheet, so you can access all the features you expect, and empty new notes are automatically removed when you navigate away, just like the Mac app.

You can now also create folders, groups and labels when working with those items too, so if you are in the Info popover and need a new label, you can create it there. The same applies when moving items to folders or adding items to groups.

There are a number of other improvements for working with items too. Swiping items in the list will show more options, depending on the group or list being shown, so you can remove items from a group, folder, label or favorites.

You can now also paste unformatted text into notes and rich text documents. When opening item links, Spotlight search results or using handoff, if the item isn’t in the current library, but the library is on your device, Together will offer to switch to that library and then open the item.

Document Picker

In Together 1.5, the document picker has been improved so that you can now see your tags and search for items, as in the app itself.

Together’s document picker extension was introduced in version 1.4 to access Together libraries from within other apps on your iPhone or iPad in the same way you access files on iCloud Drive. Using the document picker you can, for example, open a Pages document stored in Together’s library from within Pages. When Pages saves your changes, they’ll be sent to iCloud and updated in Together on all your Macs and iOS devices, even when Together isn’t running.

iCloud

Together 1.5 will now continue sending updates to iCloud when the app isn’t active. Previously if you switched apps before Together had a chance to complete saving an item to iCloud, the changes couldn’t be saved until you opened the app again. Together can now also process incoming iCloud changes when the app isn’t active, so in most cases they’ll already be in your library by the time you switch back.

The transition to CloudKit in Together 1.4 for iOS and Together 3.5 for Mac back in January has been a huge success. Together users stored over 1 million items on iCloud in the first 60 days alone, including many large libraries (e.g. 20GB, 30GB) working smoothly across Macs and iOS devices. Now the app has control over the process, the iCloud-related issues that plagued earlier versions, such as crashes and corruption have been eliminated. Finally, iCloud is the powerful, robust and secure cloud storage platform it always promised to be.

It’s not possible to mass beta test Mac apps that use iCloud, and testing the iOS app alone wouldn’t be effective, so thanks to everyone for their patience while I’ve ironed out wrinkles and addressed oversights during the first few months.

Availability

Together 1.5 requires iOS 9 or later, costs $9.99 from the App Store and is a free update for all existing users. See the release notes for a full list of changes.

Together 3.5 for Mac is available from the Mac App Store and requires OS X El Capitan. A 15-day trial of Together for Mac is also available from this site, but does not include iCloud, because Apple restricts that to apps sold through the Mac App Store.

ScreenCastsOnline Tutorial for Together for Mac and iOS

March 4th, 2016 by Steve Harris

Allison Sheridan (of NosillaCast Mac Podcast) has created a combined tutorial for Together 3 for Mac and Together for iPhone and iPad for ScreenCastsOnline.

Together tutorial on ScreenCastsOnline

In the tutorial, Allison covers all the essential getting started steps for using Together, including:

  • Together Layout
  • Import Files & Folders
  • Organize with Folders and Groups
  • More Import Options
  • Import Using the Shelf
  • Creating New Documents
  • Create Stationery
  • Linking Documents
  • Organizing With Metadata
  • View Options
  • Preferences
  • Together for iOS
  • Encrypting Items
  • Share Sheets

This clear and comprehensive tutorial (along with many others like it) is available to all existing ScreenCastsOnline members, as well as to non-members for purchase in the new ScreenCastsOnline Showcase App for iPad and iPhone.

Links:

Together iCloud Update

January 12th, 2016 by Steve Harris

Together 3.5 for Mac and Together 1.4 for iPad and iPhone are now available, with completely rewritten iCloud integration. Together 3.5 for Mac also includes swipe-to-delete for items, a new medium size for the portrait list and improvements for auto import, label creation and search, along with various other improvements. Together 1.4 also includes a document picker for accessing Together libraries in other apps.

Together 3.5 Screenshot

iCloud

iCloud integration has been completely rewritten to make it more flexible, responsive and reliable.

iCloud libraries are now stored in regular folders rather than on iCloud Drive, and have the same features as local libraries, such as linked files and auto import. You can now see progress for iCloud activity and Together can let you know when there is a problem.

When you open an existing iCloud Drive library you will be offered to upgrade. Upgrading moves the files from iCloud Drive to a folder on your Mac, then uploads them to Together’s new cloud database. The upgrade can be postponed until a convenient time.

Togetehr 3.5 iCloud Upgrade sheet

Since the release of Together 3 for Mac in 2013, Together used systems based on iCloud Core Data and iCloud Drive to share libraries, where everything was handled by iCloud. Unfortunately, that had no way of showing overall progress or reporting errors in the app, and it was not possible for me to fix iCloud-related bugs and crashes.

Together now communicates with iCloud directly using CloudKit, the same system Apple use in their own apps such as Photos and Notes on iOS 9 and El Capitan. All new iCloud libraries created on Mac and iOS will use the new system.

Together 1.4 for iPad and iPhone

Together for iPad and iPhone 1.4 is required to use the new iCloud libraries on iOS, includes a new document picker extension for accessing Together libraries in other apps, along with some other improvements.

Currently the iCloud library upgrade cannot be initiated on iOS devices. To perform the upgrade, all files need to be downloaded then uploaded again while Together is running, so this is best done on Mac — iCloud Drive on OS X downloads all files automatically, so your Mac will already have them.

The library upgrade will be offered to iOS app users who do not use the Mac version in a later release. In the meantime, if you do not have Together for Mac, you can effectively upgrade an iCloud Drive library on iOS by making the library local then moving it back to iCloud by tapping Libraries above the list and editing the current library.

Auto Import

Together for Mac can now exclude certain files from getting automatically imported with flexible rules that can be specified in its new Auto Import preferences.

Together presents the structure of your Together library in the Finder, and saving a file to one of these folders will import it into the corresponding place in the app. While Together ignores known temporary and hidden files, some more esoteric apps can create temporary and support files that Together wouldn’t recognise as such.

This kind of problem can now be avoided. The rules can exclude files with names that match exactly, start, contain or end with certain terms, along with blocking specific file extensions.

More Improvements

Together 3.5 also includes swipe to delete for items in the portrait and landscape lists, a new medium size for the portrait list, the ability to create labels directly from the toolbar, an option to exclude the Trash when searching, and other minor fixes and improvements.

Getting Help

If you encounter any problems, please check the Together for Mac or the Together for iOS support pages to check for known issues or get in touch for assistance.

Availability

Together 3.5 for Mac requires El Capitan and is a free upgrade for all existing Together 3.x customers. A 15-day trial of Together for Mac is available from this site, but iCloud is only available in the Mac App Store version.

Together 1.4 for iPad and iPhone requires iOS 9 or later, is a free upgrade for existing customers or $9.99 from the App Store.