Default Folder X 5.7 is ready for Ventura

September 26th, 2022

Version 5.7 of Default Folder X is now available, delivering compatibility with macOS 13 Ventura! It also adds integration with Find Any File so you can start a search from a file dialog, and addresses a number of issues such as problems with iCloud and Microsoft OneDrive.

If you’re running a very old version of macOS, however, I have some disappointing news. Default Folder X now requires macOS 10.13 High Sierra or later to run. Apple’s Xcode tools no longer support building software for versions of macOS prior to High Sierra, so I don’t have a way of providing support back to macOS 10.9 anymore. You can still use Default Folder X 5.6.6 on older systems, and it’ll continue to work as well there as it always has.

With that caveat, I encourage you to use Default Folder X 5.7 even if you’re not running Ventura, as it fixes issues when running on earlier versions of macOS as well. Check the Default Folder X Release page for a full list of changes.

Note that there are still a few rough edges as of Ventura’s sixth public beta. When giving Default Folder X permission for Automation, Full Disk Access, etc, you’ll have to enter your password (or Touch ID) more than once. I apologize for this – it’s due to a bug in Ventura’s new System Settings app. I’ve submitted the bug to Apple, but don’t expect to see it fixed before macOS 13.0 ships. As usual, I’ll revisit this and other less visible workarounds for Ventura’s quirks as Apple fixes them.

If you haven’t tried Default Folder X, grab a copy to see how much more convenient Open and Save dialogs can be! And if you’re already running it, just choose “Check for Update” from its menu in your menu bar to download the new version – and thanks for your support!

Jettison 1.8.5 brings Ventura compatibility, more notifications, improved disk remounting

September 1st, 2022

Version 1.8.5 of Jettison is available. It delivers compatibility with macOS 13 Ventura, while also including a number of other improvements on all supported versions of macOS.

Mounting of disks is quicker, and for those of you using shared volumes from a file server or NAS, it’s more reliable as well. A notification is now also displayed when disks are remounted, so you know it’s no longer safe to unplug them – make sure to use Jettison’s menu in your menu bar to eject them again before disconnecting them! And for the few people that use RAM disks these days, Jettison recognizes that they’re not external disks and will not eject them when your Mac goes to sleep.

There are also tweaks to the user interface to improve your experience, error reporting and handling has been improved, and more information is logged internally for troubleshooting purposes. All in all, the changes should improve many people’s experience with Jettison.

For a full list of changes and download links, visit the Jettison release page. If you’re already running Jettison, just choose “Check for Updates…” from its menu in your menu bar to get the new version.

MacGeekGab: A helpful podcast with a mention of Default Folder X

August 10th, 2022

A mention of Default Folder X on episode 940 of MacGeekGab reminded me (yet again) about this useful podcast, hosted by Dave Hamilton and John F. Braun. Their goal with each episode is for everyone to learn at least 5 new things about working with their Mac, iPhone, or associated bits, and they almost always succeed. I highly recommend their podcast if you’re into Mac tips and tricks!

More updates for Ventura: App Tamer 2.7.4 and HistoryHound 2.3.3

July 29th, 2022

As Apple continues to refine macOS 13 Ventura before its official release, I’m getting all of St. Clair Software’s apps up to speed on it. While both App Tamer and HistoryHound worked on the latest public beta versions of Ventura, there were a number of details that needed to be addressed.

Version 2.7.4 of App Tamer understands Ventura’s new security restrictions for Login Items and will ask you to approve its helper application when necessary. This release also fixes a bug in App Tamer’s window handling, and corrects a problem with a checkbox not being enabled in the settings for slowing down an app.

Because someone’s going to ask, the now-correctly-enabled checkbox is the “Also slow this app when it’s in front” feature. Even if you’re familiar with App Tamer, you may not have seen this as it only shows up when you hold down the Option key. As its name implies, this checkbox will slow down an app even when it’s frontmost. That’s usually not something you want to do, as it can make the app harder to use, but there are situations where it does make sense.

HistoryHound 2.3.3 is also available now, adapting its prompts for Full Disk Access permission so they work smoothly on Ventura. This update also adds some features, including support for the Orion web browser and new filters that you can use to narrow down searches of your browser history.

Oh, and to be consistent with Ventura, any references to “Preferences” in both apps now refer to “Settings” when you’re running on Ventura, because that’s what they’re called in the new, modern Mac world. Full details and download links are available on the App Tamer release page and the HistoryHound release page. The updates are free if you’ve already got a license for the app in question.

Default Folder X 5.7 public beta 2 gets in sync with Ventura

July 27th, 2022

Among other things, the second public beta of Default Folder X 5.7, otherwise known as version 5.7b2, adopts Ventura‘s use of the term “Settings” rather than “Preferences.” Seems like that wouldn’t be a big deal, right? It turns out that those terms occur more frequently than you’d think in various dialogs and error messages, and have to be substituted on the fly to match the version of macOS you’re running. So I spent a couple of days bringing all that into conformance, then testing and localizing, and now it DFX fits in properly on Ventura.

Version 5.7b2 also adds a couple more interesting things, like support for Thomas Tempelmann’s Find Any File application. When you’re in an Open or Save dialog, you can now search with Find Any File from Default Folder X’s utility menu.

Find Any File can be helpful because it performs an exhaustive search based on a file’s name, modification date, and other filesystem properties. While Spotlight indexes these same properties as well as the contents of documents, it won’t always find all files – Spotlight omits the contents of some folders, as well as files contained within application packages and other special locations.

Default Folder X 5.7b2 also fixes a problem with its Recent File and Recent Folder tracking on Microsoft OneDrive that could result in files or folders being listed twice when they’re updated on OneDrive.

If you’re already running an earlier beta of Default Folder X 5.7, just choose “Check for Update” from its menu in your menu bar. If you’re not, head over to the Default Folder X Testing page to download a copy!

Default Folder X 5.7b1: Smoothing out the Ventura experience

July 8th, 2022

There’s a new public beta release of Default Folder X available: version 5.7b1. It’s compatible with Apple’s latest pre-release version of macOS 13 Ventura, and includes some fixes to work more smoothly with the new System Settings app, which is Ventura’s replacement for System Preferences.

System Settings is still rough around the edges, so there are a few quirks in the flow of granting Default Folder X the various privacy permissions it needs. Most notably, you’ll need to authenticate for each separate permission you give it (Accessibility, Full Disk Access, and Screen Recording). This is because System Settings doesn’t reliably set the state of the Privacy & Security controls if it’s already running when an app requests to be added. As a result, Default Folder X has to quit System Settings before it asks for each permission, or the little switch next to its icon will do nothing to the underlying setting when you turn it on and off. That means that instead of supplying your admin password or Touch ID once and turning on all the necessary switches all in one go, you’ll see the System Settings window go away, then come back, asking for admin permissions each time. Hopefully, this bug in System Settings will be resolved before Ventura ships and I can remove this little dance.

Default Folder X 5.7b1 also fixes a minor bug when running under Ventura and on older versions of macOS. There were circumstances in which Default Folder X could mistake your home folder for your iCloud Drive folder, showing the wrong name in the path menu that appears above the file listing in Open and Save dialogs. That’s been fixed.

Release notes and download links are available on the Default Folder X Testing page, or if you’re running a previous beta of Default Folder X 5.7, just choose “Check for Update” from its menu in your menu bar.

It’s the little things: App Tamer 2.7.3 fixes icon spacing and kernel_task CPU usage

July 5th, 2022

Version 2.7.3 of App Tamer is now available, fixing a couple of problems.

First, my apologies to folks using versions of macOS older than Big Sur: Changes in the last App Tamer update tightened up the spacing of its menu bar icon to comply with modifications Apple made to Monterey and Big Sur. Unfortunately, it also did that on pre-Big Sur systems, often making its icon too close to adjacent ones in the menu bar. I’ve fixed that in 2.7.3.

Second, internal changes that Apple made in macOS resulted in App Tamer reporting the CPU usage of one particular process – kernel_task – incorrectly. App Tamer would show either zero or astronomical values for kernel_task’s processor use, neither of which was correct. In App Tamer’s defense, the system’s approved public API was supplying those numbers and it dutifully reported them without prejudice. Some hunting around in the macOS source code (thank you Apple for making darwin Open Source!) revealed an alternate method that correctly reports the CPU usage of all processes, including kernel_task. So that fix is now available in App Tamer, making it a reliable source of CPU information for all processes again.

As usual, release notes and download links are on the App Tamer release page, or if you’re already using App Tamer, just choose “Check for Update” from its menu. This update is free if you’ve already purchased an App Tamer 2.x license.

It’s that time of year again! Default Folder X 5.7d3

June 10th, 2022

It’s June, and you know what that means! Well, maybe you don’t… Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) is held at the beginning of June every year, and Apple traditionally uses the conference to introduce the next version of all of its operating systems. This year is no different, so developers world-wide (see what I did there?) are downloading and running the first early test version of macOS 13 “Ventura”.

And because Default Folder X works so closely with the operating system, it needs to be updated to support each new version. So there’s now a public pre-release build of Default Folder X 5.7 that’s available for folks who are running Ventura. For those of you who are accustomed to Default Folder X’s quick navigation and file management, this will keep you from getting frustrated while testing or developing on Ventura 😁

A download link, release notes and a list of known problems are on the Default Folder X Testing page. I’ve also rolled in a few fixes for other issues that affect both Ventura and past versions of macOS, so check the release notes for details about those, too.

Default Folder X 5.6.5 improves Finder-click, compatibility with Path Finder and ForkLift, recent file tracking, and more

May 25th, 2022

Version 5.6.5 of Default Folder X is now available for download. It includes a number of improvements and bug fixes.

First, Default Folder X now recognizes files that you upload using a web browser or attach to an email as “recently used,” even if they haven’t actually been modified or opened. They’ll appear in DFX’s Recent Files menu so you can quickly get back to them.

Also, this release improves the way it handles Save As dialogs in Big Sur and Monterey. When a Save dialog is presented as a sheet, Default Folder X will emphasize the Finder windows behind it by drawing them darker as you mouse over them, but will leave the title-bar area of the sheet’s parent window unemphasized. This is done so you can still drag the window by its title bar to move it (and its attached Save dialog) around on the screen. It looks like this:

The “Downloads” window in the Finder is shown darkened behind a Save As sheet

Clear as mud, right? I’ll be the first to admit that it looks damned weird, but given that the Big Sur / Monterey implementation of sheets is a giant step backward in usability, I didn’t have a lot to work with. This method gives you the best access to your Finder windows while still allowing you to move the window (even though the new sheet UI implies that you can’t move it by graying it out).

And while we’re discussing Finder-click, version 5.6.5 fixes a problem with the way Default Folder X tracked the windows of Path Finder and ForkLift. They sometimes wouldn’t be recognized by the Finder-click feature because, in my drive to get the best performance, there was a case where I just optimized them out of existence. That’s been corrected.

Various bugs have also been fixed in the way Default Folder X handles Finder comments, cloud-synced folders, the icon of the Finder itself, and Save dialogs in macOS Sierra.

Release notes and download links are on the Default Folder X release page. Or if you’re already running Default Folder X, just choose “Check for Update” from its menu in your menu bar.

App Tamer 2.7.2 fine tunes its menu bar icon, fixes installation problem

May 11th, 2022

A new release of App Tamer is available for download! Version 2.7.2 incorporates a number of fixes to tighten up the layout of the text in App Tamer’s menu bar icon, and improves its compatibility with Bartender‘s multiple options for the spacing of menu bar icons. It also corrects a bug that could result in App Tamer’s helper app failing to install correctly on some Macs.

And relevant to App Tamer users using M1 Macs: Howard Oakley at The Eclectic Light Company has done his usual thorough benchmarking work and determined that the efficiency cores on Apple’s M1 processors use a shocking 70% less energy than the performance cores when doing the same amount of work (thanks Howard!). Why do we care? Because App Tamer lets you automatically run apps on those efficiency cores when they’re in the background, so can markedly reduce the amount of power used by your M1 Mac!

As usual, this update is free for anyone who already has a license for App Tamer 2.x. Details and download links are on the App Tamer Release Page.