Dropzone 3 featured in the Mac App Store Get Productive sale

January 31st, 2015

60percent-sale

For a limited time, you can grab Dropzone 3 for only 2 USD (60% off) as Dropzone is being featured by Apple on the Mac App Store as part of the Get Productive sale. Don’t miss out. Click here to buy Dropzone 3 on the Mac App Store.

Also, here are a few of my other favourite apps also participating in the sale (all at least 50% off):

  • MindNode Pro – I love this app, I used in the early stages of planning for Dropzone 3.
  • Clear – This is my goto app for shopping lists and TODO lists. The iOS version is also currently on sale. A beautifully designed app.
  • Byword – A fantastic Markdown writing app.

Grab Dropzone 3 and these other great apps before the sale ends.

Dropzone 3.2.3 Released and a New Feature Demo

October 31st, 2014

Here at Aptonic I’ve been busy getting Dropzone 3 working well under Yosemite and making sure all the actions are working correctly. A big update has just been released (version 3.2.3) via Sparkle for the non-Mac App Store version. The update has also been submitted for Mac App Store review and will be available for update on the Mac App Store shortly. Yosemite is now fully supported in this version.

There’s also a great new feature added in Dropzone 3.2.3 that allows you to open the Dropzone grid by dragging files to the top of the screen. This is huge usability win – I’ve made a short video to show you:

Another feature new in Dropzone 3.2.3 is support for Yosemite dark mode. If you haven’t tried dark mode, you can activate it in the System Preferences in the general tab as shown below:

enable-dark-mode

sta479rd-mode dark-mode
Standard Yosemite Dark Mode

If you’re using the Mac App Store version and want to update now you can switch to the non-Mac App Store version by downloading it from here and moving it to your applications folder replacing your existing App Store version. When you run it, it will detect you purchased already on the Mac App Store and register you automatically. Full details on this process are given here. Note that you have to run the Mac App Store version at least once first for this transition to work.

Here’s the full release notes for Dropzone 3.2.2 and 3.2.3. The Mac App Store version will combine both these updates.

Updates in Dropzone 3.2.2

  • OS X Yosemite now fully supported
  • Added Yosemite dark mode
  • You can now drag files or text to the top of the screen to open the Dropzone grid
  • Updated Amazon S3 action to use the official aws-sdk gem, support uploading of multiple files and work under Yosemite
  • Bundled fog, excon, aws-sdk and other gems
  • Fixed bug where ‘Updates Installed Successfully’ alert would show before action updates finished installing
  • Added video to splash screen showing grid activation by dragging to top of screen
  • Added warning that actions that depend on Ruby 2 cannot work under OS X 10.8
  • Added app_version task variable with the current Dropzone version
  • Fixed bug where calling $dz.error still showed success in status item
  • Fixed bug where action config window popped up if SkipValidation: Yes metadata field was set and fields were left blank
  • Fixed bug where leaving a field blank on a SkipValidation: Yes action caused keychain errors
  • Fixed bug where AuthScope, SkipValidation and RubyPath metadata fields were not copied when doing Copy & Edit on an action
  • Fixed rare bug in rsync lib where dragging files with unicode names from Safari could cause breakage
  • Fixed bug where add action alerts displayed behind add action popup menu

Updates in Dropzone 3.2.3

  • Fixed bug where ‘Update Installed Successfully’ alert showed after installing an action and then editing it
  • Fixed bug in FTP action where holding option to zip files before upload failed under Yosemite
  • Fixed issue where some Preferences button text was being cut off under Yosemite
  • Fixed bug where drawing artifacts showed underneath the grid under Yosemite
  • Fixed bug where grid showed in incorrect position after resuming from sleep under Yosemite
  • Improved $dz.inputbox API method
  • Updated FastSpring payments SDK
  • Fixed issue where FastSpring WebView showed lines through the view when scrolling
  • Made User Actions preferences panel taller if you have more than 6 actions added
  • Fixed bug where the status item would become highlighted when moving the mouse between screens under Yosemite
  • Fixed some OAuth flow issues with the Imgur action
  • Updated Imgur and Save text action to use $dz.inputbox method
  • Bundled rest-client and httparty gems

New Dropzone 3 actions released

September 18th, 2014

Wanted to let you know about some new actions and action updates released recently for Dropzone 3.

Google Drive

icon

You can easily upload files to your Google Drive account by dragging them onto this action. Simply drop the file or files you want to upload onto the action and then choose which folder in your Google Drive you want to put the files in. Major thanks to Alexandru Chirițescu for his hard work developing this action.

You can install this action from here.
Note that this action requires a minimum of Dropzone version 3.2.1 to work, for more info on this see the note at the end of this blog post.

Google Image Search

icon

The idea for this action came from a customer on the Aptonic forums. You can drop and image on it and then it shows the Google Image search results for that image in your browser. You can also drop multiple files on it and the search results will open in separate tabs.

You can install this action from here.

Send iMessage With Attachment to Phone Number

icon

This one was another great idea from a customer. The use case was a father who wanted to send pictures regularly of his son to a particular phone number (his grandparents) using iMessage. After you add this action to your grid, drag a file onto it and it will prompt you for the phone number (which is then saved) – you can also have multiple instances of the action with different phone numbers and you can send multiple files with it at once.

You can install this action from here.

Zip Files

icon

This was a popular action in Dropzone 2 and its now been updated for Dropzone 3. When you add it to your grid you’ll be asked which folder you want the zip archives placed. You can then drop files or folders onto it and they will be zipped.

You can install this action from here.
Note that this action requires a minimum of Dropzone version 3.2.1 to work, for more info on this see the note at the end of this blog post.

Say Text

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This is a really simple but handy action. You drop text on it and it reads it aloud to you using the system voice.

You can install this action from here.

Print (Updated and Improved)

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This action has always been a bit troublesome. At the start I developed it to be a really quick and dirty way to print a file and it originally only supported printing image and PDF files but many people requested support for more file formats (Especially MS Office docs). I originally did a bit of a hack to make Word/Excel/PPT docs print – they used to be rendered by capturing and printing the QuickLook preview so the formatting tended to be pretty terrible. I’ve now updated this action to actually open the appropriate MS Office app (such as MS Word), tell it to print using AppleScript and then close. This seems to be working better.

You can install this action from here.

Dropzone 3.2.1 Note

Due to recent API improvements the Google Drive and Zip Files actions require a minimum of Dropzone version 3.2.1 to work. The non-Mac App Store version of Dropzone 3.2.1 has already been released and the Mac App Store version will be updated to 3.2.1 soon. If you’re using the Mac App Store version and want to get the 3.2.1 update now you can switch to the non-Mac App Store version by downloading it from here and moving it to your applications folder replacing your existing App Store version. When you run it, it will detect you purchased already on the Mac App Store and register you automatically. Full details on this process are given here. Note that you have to run the Mac App Store version at least once first for this transition to work.

TwitPic Action Removed

Twitpic will be shutting down September 25th so the TwitPic action has been removed from the main actions list and will no longer work after this date. Fortunately there are many other alternatives such as the built in Imgur action Dropzone 3 ships with or the ImageShack action.

If you have feedback on the new actions or have an idea for a great action, let us know in the comments below!

Dropzone 3 Updates

September 10th, 2014

dropzone3-updates

Time for some news and updates regarding Dropzone 3.

The launch was a great success. Apple featured the app on the front page of the Mac App Store in the ‘Best New Apps’ category and Dropzone made it to the #1 paid app in the productivity category. I’m also super thrilled that you’ve given Dropzone 3 a perfect five star rating on the Mac App Store. Thanks so much for your incredible support!

awesome

Meanwhile, I have been coding non-stop and have already released several big maintenance updates to Dropzone 3. The latest version is Dropzone 3.2.1 and it is being released right now as a Sparkle update if you use the non-Mac App Store version. The Mac App Store version of Dropzone is currently still 3.2.0. Version 3.2.1 will be released on the App Store in the next week or two after App Store approval. You can update from the Updates tab in the Dropzone 3 preferences if you’re running the non-Mac App Store version.

If you’re using the Mac App Store version and want to get the 3.2.1 update now you can switch to the non-Mac App Store version by downloading it from here and moving it to your applications folder replacing your existing App Store version. When you run it, it will detect you purchased already on the Mac App Store and register you automatically. Full details on this process are given here. Note that you have to run the Mac App Store version at least once first for this transition to work.

As well as many general fixes, Dropzone 3.2.x adds preliminary Yosemite support. There are still a few Yosemite related bugs, but I’m working through them and expect to have Yosemite fully supported on time for its release.

yosemite

I will also be announcing some new actions for Dropzone later this week.
Full release notes for 3.2.1 and 3.2.0 are provided below:
 
Updates in Dropzone 3.2.1

  • Added RubyPath action metadata field so you can bring your own ruby
  • ActionFile metadata field values now get trimmed of whitespace during parsing
  • Fixed rare issue where grid did not animate opening the grid correctly
  • Fixed issue where the copy action would move instead of copy if destination was on external drive
  • Added new $dz.inputbox API method
  • Added new $dz.read_clipboard API method to get contents of clipboard
  • Added a SkipValidation metadata field to make OptionsNIB fields optional
  • Fixed issue where rsync lib would call $dz.begin with the same message multiple times
  • Fixed issue where the Save Text action would not work with certain filenames or folder names
  • Made the MinimumVersion metadata field work
  • Made the CurlUploader library more flexible
  • Made $dz.finish optional
  • Now shows unzipping progress when installing a zipped action bundle
  • Fixed a memory leak when tasks were run
  • Added a field to specify the Amazon S3 server endpoint
  • Added a GoogleAuth OptionsNIB
  • Added a Follow on Twitter and mailing list subscribe to the splash screen

Updates in Dropzone 3.2.0

  • Preliminary OS X 10.10 support
  • Fixed issue where where going to full screen app caused dragging to menu item to stop working under 10.8
  • Made dragging items to the menu item smoother and more reliable
  • Fixed issue where hyphens were not being allowed in S3 bucket names
  • Fixed crash when copying an action and having an empty name, creator URL or description
  • Added back Install Application OptionsNIB
  • You can now use the option key in toggle grid shortcut
  • Made it so ENV['path'] gets set in user actions as well as ENV['EXTRA_PATH']
  • Fixed issue where upload URL was not being quoted properly in curl_uploader.rb lib
  • Now sets http_proxy and https_proxy when running tasks so command line tools such as curl will use proxy if required

On the wall at Aptonic

August 31st, 2014

One of my friends runs a picture framing business in Christchurch and they just framed this nice poster for Dropzone 3. I’m really happy with how it turned out.

If you need something framed be sure to check them out.

Dropzone-3-framed

Dropzone 3 Launched

July 1st, 2014

dropzone3

Today I’m thrilled to announce the launch of Dropzone 3. This is an update two years in the making and is the biggest update to Dropzone ever.
If you haven’t already, you should first checkout the brand new website and watch the launch video. After that, come back here for a more detailed overview of what’s new.

Redesigned Grid

First of all, the grid has been totally redesigned. As you can see below, it has been split up into 4 different sections. There’s now a FOLDERS / APPS section an ACTIONS section and a TASK PROGRESS section as well as Add to Grid and Drop Bar at the top.

Dropzone-Hero2

Adding actions to the grid is now much faster and easier. You can simply drag a folder, app or action onto the ‘Add to Grid’ area or use the new quick menu which you access by clicking on the white plus in the top left of the grid:

add-actions

Updated Preferences

The preferences have been simplified. If you’re a Dropzone 2 user, you will notice that the ‘Destinations’ tab has gone. This is because adding, removing editing and rearranging actions is all now done directly in the grid. A new ‘Toggle grid’ shortcut key as been added. This can be used system wide to open and close the grid and is especially useful when you need to drag to the grid from a fullscreen app where the menu bar is hidden.

preferences

user-actions

A new ‘User Actions’ tab has been added. This shows the actions that you currently have installed. If you want to create your own modified action based on an existing action you can click the ‘Copy & Edit’ button. You can also delete actions you’re no longer using and reveal an action dzbundle folder in the Finder. Reveal can be useful if you want to make a copy of the dzbundle for distribution or if you want to modify an action bundle directly. There’s also a new ‘Check for Updates’ button in the bottom left, clicking this does a check to see if there are any newer versions of your actions available to install. Dropzone can now download and install the updated versions for you automatically. Note that auto-updating of actions is currently not available in the Mac App Store version due to app store rules.

The updates tab is for controlling sparkle updater preferences and in the license tab you can register with your serial number or purchase a license for Dropzone 3. Note that the Updates and License tab are not shown in the app store version of the app as updates and licensing are managed through the app store.

Quick Install Actions

The currently available actions for Dropzone 3 can be installed from https://aptonic.com/dropzone3/actions

In Dropzone 2, you had to download and install actions manually but in Dropzone 3 you can simply click the ‘Install’ link underneath the action you want to install and the action will be automatically downloaded and installed as show below:

quick-install

This is achieved using the new URL scheme which allows any action in the GitHub user actions repository to be installed by visiting the URL dropzone://action where action is the name of the action you want to install. For example visiting the URL dropzone://Print would quick install the Print action (as long as you have Dropzone 3 installed).

Imgur Image Sharing

imgur

Dropzone 3 comes with a new built-in action for sharing images with Imgur – a popular image sharing service. You can use this action to share images anonymously or by linking to your Imgur account. To use it, simply drop a single image or multiple images onto the Imgur action in your grid. If you drop a single image then the image is uploaded and the URL is placed on the clipboard. If you drop multiple images then you’ll be asked to enter an album name and the images will be uploaded to that album and the album URL will be placed on the clipboard. There’s complete instructions and a demo of this here.

Drop Bar

If you’ve used Yoink, DragThing, DragonDrop or Dropshelf then you’ll understand how to use Drop Bar. It provides a temporary holding area to store files you know you’ll want to use later. Here’s a short video showing Drop Bar in action:

Here are some example situations where Drop Bar can come in handy:

1) You want to gather several files that are in different locations into a group and then copy them to a particular folder. Normally you would need to create a temporary folder to store the files, but using Drop Bar you can simply drag each file onto a Drop Bar stack and then drag the stack either onto a Dropzone 3 action or onto another folder or app.

2) You want to gather certain images from a website or from several websites. You can drag each image from your web browser onto the Dropzone 3 menu item and then onto a Drop Bar stack and then drag this stack of files to where you want them.

3) You have an app open (e.g. iPhone or iTunes) in fullscreen mode and want to move certain files to a folder in Finder. You can find each file and then drag it onto Drop Bar (press F3 to activate Dropzone 3 when in fullscreen apps) and then drag the Drop Bar stacks off into the Finder folder to copy the files. This is quicker and easier than activating exposé and trying to find the correct window to drag to for each item.

Note that when you drag files onto Drop Bar, it simply creates a reference to that file – it doesn’t copy or move it from it’s original location or do anything with it until you drag it off Drop Bar. Therefore you need to keep the original file around even after dragging it onto Drop Bar. Some users have requested that Drop Bar have an option to take its own copy of a dragged files so that the original item can be trashed afterwards. I am considering adding an option for this in a future version.

Action Right-click Menus

This seems like a small thing but it actually turns out to be a huge win in terms of usability. In Dropzone 2 if you wanted to change an actions settings you had to first open the preferences and then find the action you wanted to edit in a list. Now it’s much simpler – you can simply right click on an action in your grid to show a popup menu and then click edit.

right-click

The right-click menu also allows you to remove actions, reveal folders in the Finder and even develop new actions based on already existing actions by using the ‘Copy and Edit Script’ option.

The right-click menu serves another purpose as well. If there’s a problem with an action (such as a missing folder or invalid metadata) then the action will show at a lower opacity with a question mark over it. If this happens, you can right click on the action to see what the issue is:

right-click2

Circles

The Circles feature from Dropzone 2 has been removed for now. This was mostly due to time constraints, but also because there were some very conflicting views from customers on Circles. Many people disliked them and disabled them immediately but just as many loved the feature and are disappointed it’s gone. They had some difficult technical and UX issues, such as accidental activation if your mouse got to close to the edge of the screen and a lot of difficult issues in dual monitor configurations. Personally I find them useful but they are also a huge nuisance to maintain from a technical perspective. For now, if you really still want them, you can run both Dropzone 2 and Dropzone 3 at the same time without ill effects – this is what I’m doing currently. It’s reasonably likely I’ll end up re-adding them in some shape or form in a future update.

Sandboxing

There are two slightly different versions of Dropzone 3 available – The Mac App Store version which runs sandboxed and the non-Mac App Store version which runs unsandboxed. Sandboxing is now required for all apps distributed via the Mac App Store and it places limits on what an app can do. Sandboxed apps can only write to certain folders and can’t use AppleScript as well as several other restrictions.

The two versions of Dropzone 3 will work the same out of the box and sandboxing only becomes an issue when installing certain add-on actions for Dropzone 3. If you’re using the Mac App Store version of Dropzone 3 then initially you’re limited to installing the actions listed on this page. If using the non-Mac App Store version then you can install the full list of actions shown here. If you purchased Dropzone 3 from the Mac App Store and want to use an action that is not compatible with sandboxing then I have provided an easy solution: You can switch to the non-Mac App Store version by downloading it from here and moving it to your applications folder replacing your existing App Store version. When you run it, it will detect you purchased already on the Mac App Store and register you automatically. Full details on this process are given here. Note that you have to run the Mac App Store version at least once first for this transition to work. Therefore it doesn’t matter if you purchase Dropzone 3 from the Mac App Store or direct from us. You can easily switch between the two versions if you need to.

Upgrade Pricing

If you have a Dropzone 2 serial then you’re eligible for a half price upgrade (only $5) to Dropzone 3 from our online store. Just make sure you select the ‘Dropzone 3 Upgrade Pricing’ option during checkout. I’m also offering a half price discount on the Mac App Store during the first few weeks after launch to give users who purchased Dropzone 2 in the Mac App Store an opportunity to upgrade to Dropzone 3. Beyond this few week window I’m unfortunately not able to provide App Store purchasers of Dropzone 2 a discounted upgrade as the Mac App Store does not support upgrade pricing. Although if you purchased Dropzone 2 in the past few months then by all means email me and I’m sure we can work something out.

More Coming Soon

As well as the new features, lots has changed behind the scenes as well – Dropzone 3 now uses FMDB with a SQLite database instead of Core Data and the codebase has been updated to use ARC. If you don’t know what any of this means, don’t worry – the end result for you will be a faster, more stable app that receives frequent updates. I’m really excited about the future of Dropzone and am looking forward to sharing many new actions and features with you in the coming months.

Thanks for your continued support of Aptonic and I hope you enjoy the app. Let me know if you have any feedback!

WWDC Awesome… And Dropzone updated to support OS X Mavericks

July 13th, 2013

wwdc13

A few weeks ago I attended Apples World Wide Developer conference (WWDC) in San Francisco. I can honestly say it was the most amazing experience of my life. I met many amazing people and came back totally reinspired and full of new ideas for advancing Dropzone.

At WWDC, Apple announced OS X Mavericks (OS X 10.9) and provided developers with a beta version of the OS. Apparently Apple has run out of cats to name OS X after and will instead name future OS X releases after famous locations around California. They are starting with Mavericks which is a famous surfing beach.

Since I was actually in California for the conference, me and a friend rented a car and drove from San Francisco down to Mavericks to see what the fuss was about. I’ve included a map below to show where Mavericks is – it’s about a half hours drive south from downtown San Francisco.


 
Based on Apples marketing images for Mavericks, we were hoping to see some pretty sweet surfing waves coloured the perfect hue of deep blue and green:

Mavericks-Waves

But the reality was more like this:

Mavericks-Beach

Although Mavericks was a perfectly nice beach it wasn’t so different from the many other beaches I’ve visited. It was rather overcast when we arrived and there was lots of seaweed. Apparently the big surfing waves actually break about half a mile offshore and then only in the Winter when the conditions are just right. Our hopes of sighting a Mavericks wave of Apple marketing proportions were soon dashed. Ah well.

So, now that I’ve travelled to Mavericks – it’s time to make Dropzone support it (a whole lot less fun, I can assure you). Although Mavericks is still far from the final consumer version, I’ve just released an update (Dropzone 2.8) that adds preliminary support. The OS is still under heavy development so it’s possible that more issues will arise in Dropzone in future Mavericks betas. As of Developer Preview 5 though, Dropzone is working well.

If you’re running the non-Mac App Store version, you can click on the Updates tab in the Dropzone preferences and then click the ‘Check Now’ button to upgrade:

update 2

If you’re on the Mac App Store version – I have submitted 2.8 to the Mac App Store for review and it should be available in a week or two. You will be able to update from the Updates tab in Mac App Store app when the update is approved if you’re on this version. This update also works great on OS X 10.6, 10.7 and 10.8 and you should still upgrade if you’re not running Mavericks as there are other general bugfixes in this version.

Update: Dropzone 2.8 is now available on the Mac App Store.

If you haven’t tried Dropzone before, you can download a free trial from here.

I’d love to hear if Dropzone 2.8 is working well for you under Mavericks if you’re running the developer preview. Please get in touch with me via email or post on the Aptonic forum if you have any issues with this version.

I leave you with this short video I took on my iPhone 5 at Mavericks:

Dropzone 2.6 Released

April 30th, 2013

circles

Dropzone 2.6 has just been released via the Mac App Store and is also available for direct download customers. This version includes several visual tweaks including a shiny new Circles design. If using the Mac App Store version you can update from the Updates tab of the App Store app. If using the direct version you can update from the Updates tab in the Dropzone Preferences.

Also new in this version is the ability to specify a specific Amazon S3 folder inside a bucket to upload to. You can set this up when adding or editing a Amazon S3 destination (see below).

S3Folder

An issue with Amazon S3 uploading has also been resolved where uploading a file with the same name caused the original to be overwritten. Files with the same name are now given a -1 -2 -3 suffix. If you’d like to try setting up Amazon S3 with Dropzone there’s a comprehensive guide available here.

The other major issue addressed in this update is a problem where Dropzone would cause Macbook Pros with both integrated and discrete graphics systems to always use the discrete graphics which resulted in shortened battery life. This issue is now resolved and now only integrated graphics is required for Dropzone.

This is a free update for all existing Dropzone customers.

Dropzone 2.5 Released

February 21st, 2013

2.5

Dropzone 2.5 has now been released on the Mac App Store and is also available for direct customers. This version adds Retina display support and many bugfixes.

If you use the Mac App Store version of Dropzone you can update from the Updates tab of the Mac App Store. The direct version should prompt you to upgrade automatically.

Let us know if you have any issues.

Announcing Tweetifier

December 14th, 2012

Over the past few months, I’ve been hard at work developing new app – It’s called Tweetifier and is for notifying you when you get new mentions on Twitter and also displaying stats about your accounts. It’s available in the Mac App Store now for $2. Check out the app website here.

You can view Tweetifier in the app store here.

I’ve also written a much longer blog post over at my personal blog on the process involved in making the app. If you’re interested, check that out here.

If you try Tweetifier please let me know what you think of it!