Mac App Store

In my app ScreenFloat, I use the command line tool screencapture via NSTask to create screenshots. On OS X El Capitan and earlier versions of Apple’s operating system, this worked perfectly fine. Now, on macOS Sierra, I’ve been getting reports that screenshot creation didn’t work anymore, so I investigated.

At first I thought it might be the keyboard shortcut API that has undergone some changes, but that doesn’t seem to be the case, as I saw something actually occurred when I pressed the keyboard shortcut – Xcode’s console printed:

screencapture: cannot run two interactive screen captures at a time

Since I was absolutely sure I’m not launching screencapture via NSTasktwice, I took to to see if anything unusual was reported there. And there it was:

Sandbox Violation of ScreenFloat on macOS SierraThe output in when trying to launch an interactive screencapture with NSTask.

deny mach-register

So registering a global Mach service is denied on macOS Sierra. In the back of my mind, I remembered a temporary exception entitlement, but it wasn’t quite the same – I tried adding it to ScreenFloat’s entitlements file, with as its value (this temporary entitlement expects an array of string values), but that didn’t help – the same denial and console output occurred. On a hunch, I tried using … instead of … and – tada – it worked!

So I’m all set, right? Well…

Temporary Exception Entitlements

Apple offers a couple of temporary exception entitlements. They may or may not be granted to your app during Apple’s review process. But going through the list, it’s clear that … is nowhere to be found, so it’s kind of a private entitlement – which makes it even less likely for it to be granted to your app.

Digging Further

Seeing as the sandbox denial points explicitly to, not just generally, I tried creating a non-interactive screencapture session with NSTask. To my surprise, it worked – without the entitlement.

So I tried a different command line utility – which. (which will return the executable path to the given command line utility, for example, which screencapture would return /usr/sbin/screencapture). Again, it worked. And again, without the entitlement.

It makes me believe (and hope) that the behavior we see for is not desired, so I’ve filed a bug report with Apple in the hopes that they can set the record straight soon.

For now, I hope ScreenFloat will be granted the temporary entitlement just so it is functional again on macOS Sierra for the time being. However, if this is in fact the desired behavior, I will have to write my own screencapture utility so ScreenFloat can remain on the Mac App Store.

Bug Reporting

For anyone who’s interested or in a position to view it, here’s the bug report I’ve filed with Apple: rdar://27610157. I do hope to get an answer soon.

Update August 2nd, 2016

As I stated above, isn’t documented anywhere. Which is also the reason you get an error when trying to submit an app with such an entitlement to iTunes Connect:


So, no dice on the temporary exception. Having to write my own screenshot utility seems more and more likely. I hope I can make it in time for macOS Sierra.

Update September 9th, 2016

The temporary exception is now valid and will go through to Apple’s App Review without a hitch. My own solution is not necessary at this time, but I’m still going to be working on it – you never know.


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Yoink Mac App Icon

I’m happy to tell you that today, Yoink 3.2 is available for download from the Mac App Store.
It’s a free upgrade for everyone who’s purchased it before.
You can download a 15-day trial for the app here, even if you’ve tried it before.

What Is Yoink?

Yoink simplifies and improves drag and drop on your Mac.


It simplifies drag and drop by providing a temporary place for files you drag, so you can navigate more easily to the destination of the files.
It’s especially useful when trying to move or copy files between different windows, Spaces or (fullscreen) applications.

Moving a file with Yoink

When you start moving a file in Finder, or app-content like an image from a website, Yoink appears at the edge of your screen, offering a temporary place for you to drag the files to.
Without having to keep the mouse button pressed, you can now get to the destination of your file quicker and easier.


Drag and drop is improved in several ways, including:

  • Collect multiple files from different locations you’d like to move to one destination without having to go back and forth
  • Split up a multiple-files-drag so you can move files to different places without having to go back and forth
  • Copy files to multiple locations more efficiently


You can customize Yoink’s behavior so it fits in perfectly with your workflow. Aside from having to option to show it at either edge of your screen (at the top, center or bottom), you can set it up to only appear when you drag files to the edge of your screen or to appear directly at your mouse cursor when you start dragging, making drag and drop even faster.

Yoink appearing at the mouse cursor

For applications where you don’t need Yoink, add them to a “blacklist”, so Yoink doesn’t interfere with your work.
A keyboard shortcut (by default, F5) lets you manually show or hide it, should you need it anyways.

What’s New in Yoink 3.2?

Force Touch Support

Force Touch in Yoink allows for quick actions, i.e. selecting all files, revealing files in Finder, QuickLooking files, splitting up Stacks and pinning files to Yoink, all available with one Force Click.

Yoink's Force Touch Preferences

For instance, Force Touch makes dragging out all files at once a much nicer process than before. Force Click onto one file and all are selected. Ease up one pressure level and start to drag, and you’ll drag all files instantly.
Additionally, Yoink can give you haptic feedback when dragging to it, so you know when you’ve entered Yoink’s window with files.

Deletion Warning

Yoink does not keep a copy of the files you add to it behind the scenes, so it’s important for users to know that if they Trash a file that’s in Yoink, it will be gone if it’s deleted.

Trash warning in Yoink 3.2

This one-time-per-app-launch warning notifies the user about what’s going on.

UI Enhancements

In previous versions of Yoink, when you moved your mouse cursor over a file, this happened:

Yoink 3 Icon Behavior

Some users felt that this results in a moving target (as the icon moves away), and that is definitely a bad user experience (in my defence, I didn’t think of it creating a moving target, because not only the icon, but also the background can be dragged).
Anyway, point taken, I’ve changed it to a simpler, and in the end calmer, animation:

Yoink 3.2 Icon Animation

What you can also see in the two GIFs above, I’ve changed the lock icon so it’s easier to tell if a file is pinned to Yoink or not.
Speaking of the lock, I’ve added a new animation that will let you know that the file can not be removed because it’s currently pinned to Yoink:

Yoink Lock Icon Jiggle

Further Improvements

  • File paths can be copied from Yoink’s contextual menu
  • Reduce Motion Setting
  • Text snippets can now contain images
  • Performance and resource management improvements when accepting files, dragging files out, clearing all items, splitting up stacks, opening the “Open With” menu
  • When Yoink is shown on a different screen than the mouse cursor, the keyboard shortcut (by default, F5) summons it to the screen of the cursor
  • Yoink reflects changes in the Finder’s “Show all filename extensions” setting
  • Mails dragged from Yoink work again with all applications. To create an event in iCal from a mail message, keep the option-key pressed as you drag the mail out of Yoink
  • When a file is re-saved in Finder, Yoink updates its QuickLook Preview Icon
  • When a snippet is added to Yoink, it has a proper filename instead of “Snippet”
  • And many more improvements and bug fixes throughout the application

Pricing and Availability

Yoink 3.2 is available for purchase on the Mac App Store for the price of $6.99 / £4.99 / €6,99.
It is a free update for existing customers of the app.
You can download a free, 15-day demo version here, even if you’ve tried Yoink before.
Yoink runs on Macs with OS X Lion 10.7.3 or newer. OS X Yosemite or newer is recommended.

If you’re interested in writing about Yoink, you can download the press kit here, which contains screenshots, links to a short video and further information. Promo codes are available to members of the press at press (at) eternalstorms (dot) at.

Yoink Usage Tips

To get the most out of Yoink, I’m collecting useful tips and tricks for you on this website.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you and to see what you think about Yoink 3.2. If you like the app, please consider leaving a little review on the Mac App Store, it would help me out a lot!
Should you have trouble with it or have any feedback or questions, please be sure to get in touch, I’d love to hear from you! Thank you.

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Thank you 🙂

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