Mac App Store

icon most likely not final

ScreenFloat 2 has officially entered “production”.
Apart from a bit of prototyping of various new features over the last couple of months and years, not a lot has happened in regards to ScreenFloat. But I feel now is the time to finally get it done.

ScreenFloat lets you keep visual references to anything you see on your screen floating above other windows using screenshots. It’s also a screenshot organizer.

Disclaimer: Estimated Time of Arrival, Pricing

I don’t do ETAs for my own products.
I’m a solo developer, I have multiple apps that need maintenance and updates, there are just too many moving parts for me to be able to estimate basically anything. And while that may be a serious lack of managerial skill: I accept that flaw and ignore it 🤷‍♂️.

Regarding pricing, I don’t know what ScreenFloat 2 will cost yet. But I am resolved on its upgrade path: existing customers of ScreenFloat 1 will receive ScreenFloat 2 for free.

About this Journal

I thought it would be fun to chronicle my progress, struggles, successes, failures, struggles, failures, break-throughs, failures, and random stuff while developing ScreenFloat 2. That’s all.

Fundamental Decisions

Before I can start coding, there are a few decisions I have to make in order to be clear on where I want to go and what I want to achieve.

Decision 1 – Build on ScreenFloat 1’s code base, or start from scratch?

I began work on ScreenFloat 1 on March 11th, 2010.
Memory is still managed manually (for you youngster coders out there: google retain / release to know what I’m talking about).
Objective-C’s @property wasn’t even available yet back then.
It’s ancient!
In addition, it was one of my first apps, so ScreenFloat 1’s code is all over the place. And while I don’t think code has to be “pretty”, I do think it has to be readable and understandable; ScreenFloat 1 is neither.
So yes, I’ll definitely be starting ScreenFloat 2 from scratch.
Which my next decision factored into…

Decision 2 – Objective-C, or Swift?

Swift, of course. I love Objective-C (it’s got me this far), but I think by now it’s clear that the future is written in Swift. That’s not to say that if there wasn’t Swift, I wouldn’t love to continue working in Objective-C. However, with more and more frameworks being Swift only (for example, Widgets), I need to move on as well.
While this decision is of no consequence to users of the final product – a feature in an app should work no matter what language was used to program it -, it is quite consequential to me.
I began learning Swift earlier this year – my freeware developer tool BackLog is a first result of that – and I’ll continue to learn. For me, the easiest way to do that is “on the job”: to actually work on something I’m going to ship. Two birds with one stone.
Will that increase development time? Possibly.
Is it worth it? I believe so.

Decision 3 – Keep old storage model, or migrate to Core Data?

ScreenFloat 1’s “storage model” was two plist files (one for the shots library and associated metadata, and one for categories the user created in the Shots Browser) and a folder full of image files.
It worked ok, but I’d like something more sophisticated, robust and scalable.
That sounds like Core Data to me.
It’s not a new framework to me (thankfully – it is a lot to learn). I’ve been using it for a couple of internal tools, and for apps I’m maintaining for third parties.

As a side note, I do want to keep the “folder full of image files”. It makes them accessible in Finder, instead of being stored somewhere on disk in an opaque Core Data storage file.

Decision 4 – Core Data with CloudKit, or Core Data with custom iCloud/CloudKit sync?

I recently took to twitter to see what other developers thought about Core Data with built-in iCloud sync. The consensus was pretty much to stay away: it can be slow, very opaque as to what it’s doing, and thus difficult to debug.

Synchronisation is difficult to debug as it is, so I don’t want to make it any harder than it has to be.
Over the years, I’ve gained quite a bit of experience when it comes to syncing with iCloud / CloudKit (I manually sync with iCloud using CloudKit in Yoink for iPad and iPhone and Transloader), so I’m confident I’ll be able to write my own custom CloudKit sync solution for ScreenFloat 2.

Decision 5 – macOS, sure, but what about iOS/iPadOS?

ScreenFloat 2 will be available for Mac, as well as iOS/iPadOS.
So some code (most notably storage and sync) has to be able to run on all those platforms – something to consider going forward.

As with all my other apps, ScreenFloat 2 for Mac and ScreenFloat 2 for iOS will be developed for and tailored to each respective platform mostly separately, and so they will also be sold separately.

That’s it for this time.
Thank you for joining me. Feedback, input and questions are welcome: mail me, tweet me.
Take care! 🤗

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Yoink for Mac, the drag-and-drop improving utility, is now available in version 3.6.8.

What’s New?

There’s now a preference for having Yoink dynamically provide JPEG and/or PNG data for TIFF, HEIF and/or WebP image files you drag out of it.

I’ve also fixed a couple of bug fixes and made some quality-of-life improvements, like having a dedicated “Pinned Copies” sub-menu in Yoink’s contextual menu’s Clipboard History.

Where to get Yoink

Website (+ free, 30-day demo)
Mac App Store
Setapp

As always, it’s a free update for existing customers of the app.

It requires macOS Sierra 10.12 or newer and runs natively on Apple Silicon and Intel Macs.
Yoink is available in English, German, French, Italian, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Portuguese.

Enjoy 🤗

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alternate clickbaity title: the update I learned Swift and SwiftUI for.

I’m happy to announce Yoink for Mac v3.6.5’s immediate availability.
In addition to numerous quality-of-life improvements and adjustments, this update re-introduces the (judging from the inquiries I received about it) beloved Clipboard History feature, and its widget.

What’s Yoink?

Yoink offers you a temporary place (a “shelf”) for files you drag from Finder, or app-content like images from websites. It frees your hand and mouse cursor to let you more easily and quickly navigate to the destination of your files.

Yoink automatically appears at the edge of your screen when you start a drag a file, allowing you to place it there.

What’s New in Yoink v3.6.5?

Let’s talk about the most important thing first – the resurrected clipboard history and its widget.
Up until earlier this year, I had virtually no experience with Swift, let alone SwiftUI, and I was pretty happy to continue with my Objective-anCient ways.
But I realized it held me back. Things are clearly moving away from Objective-C and towards Swift, so at the beginning of this year (2022), I made a point of learning the basics of Swift as quickly as possible to have the option of using everything Apple’s platforms and APIs have to offer.

With macOS Big Sur, Apple got rid of its old-style Today Widgets (which could be written in Objective-C and a nice .xib-interface file) and brought over the new SwiftUI-style widgets from iOS. That’s why Yoink’s widget had been defunct for so long – I didn’t have the skills to replace it.

But enough chit-chat, here’s the nitty-gritty!

While the clipboard history recording still happens in Yoink itself in the background, the widget provides quick access to previous copies.
It comes in two sizes: medium and large.
The medium widget shows up to 6 copied objects, the large one up to 12.

Widget Configurability

That doesn’t sound like a lot, but you can have multiple widgets, and they can be configured to show
1) the most recent copies (medium: 1-6, large: 1-12)
2) older copies (medium: 7-12, large: 13-24)
3) oldest copies (medium: 13-18, large: 25-36)

So you can, for example, have one large and one medium widget to show the last 18 copied items, or three large widgets to show the last 36 copied items.

Apart from that, you can have the widget show only particular data types:

1) Only copied images
2) Only copied text
3) Only copied links
4) Only copied files
5) All copied items
6) Only pinned copies (pinning copied items is new in Yoink v3.6.5)

That allows the widget to be very flexible and useful.

How to use the Widget (Widget Clicks and Tricks)

– Click on an item in the widget, and it is copied to your clipboard
– Option(⌥)-click on an item, and it gets sent to Yoink so you can drag it out at a later time
– Shift(⇧)-click on an item, and it gets pinned (new in v3.6.5)
– Command(⌘)-click on an item, and it is revealed in the Clipboard History Browser (new in v3.6.5)

Pinning Items (new in v3.6.5)
A pinned item in the widget

When the Clipboard History reaches its threshold (up to 36 items), it will begin clearing out the oldest copies to make place for new ones.
In some cases, you might want to hold on to items indefinitely. That’s why you can now pin them. A pinned item will not be cleared out, unless you unpin it or delete it manually.

Clipboard History Browser (new in v3.6.5)

The history browser gives you a simple way to organize your copied items. Pin, unpin, delete, send to Yoink, copy, or clear out the entire history.

If you’d like to learn more about some of the implementation details behind this new widget, here’s a blog post for you.

What else is new in Yoink v3.6.5?

– It raises the minimum system requirements from macOS 10.10 Yosemite to macOS 10.12 Sierra.
– Instead of a TIFF file, a PNG file is created when pasting image data into Yoink.
In that vain, Yoink also transparently provides PNG and JPEG data when dragging out images of the types HEIC, HEIF or TIFF to broaden compatibility with other apps.
– It also fixes a couple of bugs and improves compatibility with, among other apps, DEVONthink, where items dragged from DEVONthink to Yoink and then out of Yoink are no longer moved, but copied, to ensure the integrity of DEVONthink’s files database.

What do I need to use Yoink for Mac?

Yoink runs natively on Apple Silicon and Intel Macs, and requires macOS Sierra 10.12 or newer.
It’s localized in English, German, French, Italian, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Portuguese.

Where can I get Yoink?

Free Demo (direct download, ~28 MB, 30 days, notarized by Apple)
Mac App Store ($7.99, one-time purchase, no in-app purchases, update free for existing customers, as it’s been the case since v1.0)
Mac Productivity Bundle (Mac App Store, 25% off Yoink, Transloader and ScreenFloat)
Setapp (subscription service with over 200 Mac apps)

Yoink is also available for iPad and iPhone

For members of the press or anyone else who is interested, here’s a press kit.

I hope you like the update. If you have any feedback or questions, please do not hesitate to write me – I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Enjoy 😊

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