Lots has been going on at Realmac HQ, and it's been far too long since I last gave an update on our products. This blog post will set the scene for the coming months, and should hopefully answer any questions you have about the future of our products.
First up, I want to talk about RapidWeaver.
RapidWeaver has and always will be our flagship app, it's the one that really got the company off the ground way back in 2002. Over the last year or so RapidWeaver has gone from strength to strength with consistent monthly updates, and a thriving ecosystem. The RapidWeaver Community site has been continually improved with new features, new training videos, and even a weekly podcast.
We're hard at work on RapidWeaver 7, and hope to have an early preview out for developers and users later this year. All in all, its a great time to be a RapidWeaver user.
Next I want to talk about our online blogging system, Typed.com.
Typed.com has been doing really well since its public launch earlier in the year. Just like RapidWeaver it's seen regular updates, and is moving at an incredible pace (WordPress and Ghost watch out!). Just last week we added theme support allowing users to choose between five gorgeous responsive themes. Later this year we'll have a full theme SDK available so you can build and design your own themes. We're hoping this will kick-start a third-party theming industry - just like RapidWeaver.
Clear is a great product, it's used and loved by people all over the world. However, one of the things that has been plaguing Clear is a reliable sync engine. We know our users have suffered because we chose to go with iCloud. But I have good news for you: fixing sync has been a high priority for us for quite some time now. Over the last few months we've been working on transitioning from the current iCloud sync (which uses iCloud Drive, previously iCloud Documents & Data) to use the newer CloudKit technology. Initial signs indicate that this will make sync a lot more reliable. It will also be our last attempt at sticking with Apple's cloud sync technology.
I don't have a timeframe for when we'll ship this new sync update, but I just wanted to let you know that it's in the works. After we've "fixed sync", we'll be back to adding new features and more timely updates to Clear.
And while we're on the subject of sync, we should talk about Ember…
Ember for Mac
Ember is an app that we all love dearly here at Realmac HQ, and was the second major product we built after RapidWeaver (it used to be known as LittleSnapper). We really wanted to build Ember 2 - in fact, we've already invested many, many months of work into it. Unfortunately it turned out to be a much bigger task than we can currently manage. In short, it's not making enough revenue to support a full time developer (never mind the design, support and management it requires).
Because Ember is not a fully sustainable product, we've put Ember 2 on hold for now. This also means we can't look at moving from iCloud to CloudKit to fix the sync issues that currently affect Ember. To make matters worse Dropbox are also deprecating the sync service we're using in April 2016…
At this point in-time we're suggesting that all customers move to a local (Mac) based library within Ember. To do this, make a backup of your library and switch to using the local library. "Ember > Library > On My Mac". You should then re-import your library back into Ember.
This will allow you to continue to use Ember without any interruption. If you're experiencing the missing thumbnail issue, please use the beta over on the forum and follow the instructions there.
We're working on an update now that will remove the sync service from the product, and resolve any remaining thumbnail issues. I know this is annoying (and we hate it as much as you do), but sync is hard especially when you're dealing with huge amounts of data and relying on third-part sync services. We're doing the best we can.
If you're an existing Ember user, here's what you need to know:
- We're removing sync (iCloud & Dropbox) from Ember later this year.
- If you're happy to keep your library locally on your Mac, then you can safely continue to use Ember for the foreseeable future.
- We'll be removing Ember from the Mac App Store shortly, this will lower the cost of maintenance and allow us to release more frequent updates.
- All future updates will be direct.
- If you're a Mac App Store customer and would like to move to the direct version, just drop us an email and we'll get you setup with the direct version.
- If you've purchased Ember directly from us in the last ~3 months and no longer want to use it, please get in touch and we can issue you with a refund.
- If you'd like a Mac App Store refund, you'll need to request one from Apple (sorry, there's nothing we can do on this front).
We’ll continue to support Ember 1.x, and push out maintenance updates to keep it running smoothly. We can’t guarantee that any new features will be added this year, but it's our plan to push out smaller updates as and when time permits.
Sorry I don't have better news on Ember for you, but please know that we'll do our best to keep it updated and working.
And finally I have some exciting news about our two other products…
DeepDreamer & Typed for Mac
As of today 71Squared will be taking over DeepDreamer & Typed for Mac. And yes, I know when apps get acquired or moved to another developer it can be worrying, but we're doing everything we can to make sure this is a smooth transition.
I know 71Squared have big plans for both apps, and once the dust settles and the transition is complete you'll start to see plenty of regular updates. As part of the transition Typed for Mac will be changing it's name to Focused for Mac, this is mainly due to the name conflicting with our online service.
I also remain invested in their continued success so will be helping out with the roadmap and plans for both products. So in short, if you're a DeepDreamer or Focused (aka Typed) user you've got a lot to look forward!
Q: Will I have to re-purchase either app?
A: Of course not, your existing license for each product will be transferred and remain valid.
Q: Why has the name of Typed changed?
A: To avoid continued confusion with our online blogging service of the same name.
Q: Will Focused for Mac be able to publish to Typed.com?
A: Yes, once the public API is available.
Have a Question or Want to Send Some Feedback?
I hope that has given you a good idea about where we are with all our apps, and our near future plans.
If you do have any questions of concerns about any of our products please drop me an email. We'll be updating our website over the coming weeks to reflect the changes I've announced today. All questions relating to Focused and Deep Dreamer should be sent to 71Squared.
Going forward into 2016 Realmac Software will be 100% focused on RapidWeaver, Clear, and Typed.com — We're confident that we can continue to make these products some of the best in the world.
Thanks for your continued support. I really do appreciate it.