Announcing LaunchBar 6 Beta

LaunchBar 6 Teaser

We are proud to announce that a new major version of LaunchBar is coming soon.

At Objective Development, we’ve been hard at work on LaunchBar 6 for quite some time adding features, improving designs, refining usability and squashing the occasional bug. Before we release it to the public, though, we invite you to join the LaunchBar 6 beta program to give it a test run and help us find any remaining issues.

Head over to the LaunchBar 6 beta page to become one of our selected beta testers. At first, we will only send out a restricted number of access codes, but as the beta phase goes on, more testers will be able to get their hands on the new version.

To answer what will probably be some of your most frequently asked questions:

  • The beta testing phase will go as long as necessary, so we can’t announce a date for the final, public release yet.
  • LaunchBar 6 will be the first paid LaunchBar upgrade after more than three–and–a–half years, but we haven’t decided on the price yet.
  • A free trial version will be available.
  • If you bought LaunchBar 5 on or after March 24th, 2014 you will receive the LaunchBar 6 upgrade for free.

In the coming weeks, we will share more information and screenshots about what’s new and what’s improved.

We’re excited to show you what we’ve been up to and can’t wait to hear what you’ll have to say about the all–new LaunchBar! If you have any questions, feel free to contact us on Twitter or App.net.

Little Snitch and LaunchBar are ready for OS X Mavericks

Are you ready? We are.

Two days ago, Apple released OS X Mavericks for free on the Mac App Store. That’s great news for all Mac users.

We have even more good news for our customers: Little Snitch 3.3 and LaunchBar 5.6, both released earlier this month, are ready for OS X Mavericks. Also, both are free updates for existing customers of current versions.

Go ahead and download them here:
Little Snitch download
LaunchBar download

Where’s Little Snitch 3.2?

Those of you who pay close attention to Little Snitch’s version numbering might have wondered why there’s no Little Snitch 3.2, but a Little Snitch 3.3.

If you payed really close attention over the last few months, you might even wonder why there were a total of six Little Snitch 3.2 nightly builds (a.k.a. beta versions), but no Little Snitch 3.2 final release. (The release notes for these nightly builds even mentioned fixes related to OS X Mavericks!)

So why did we jump from Little Snitch 3.1.3 straight to Little Snitch 3.3?

The answer to these questions is pretty simple: Apple made us do it.

They didn’t call and ask us to artificially inflate the version number or anything like that. It’s just that when you download and install the new OS X Mavericks from the App Store, it specifically checks for Little Snitch “version 3.2” and earlier during the upgrade. If the OS X installer finds such a version, it moves it to the “/Incompatible Software” folder and you get an alert telling you this version of Little Snitch won’t work on that version of OS X.

To work around this, we just had to increase the version number to anything higher than 3.2. Otherwise, Little Snitch would have stopped working when you upgraded from OS X Mountain Lion to OS X Mavericks.

This isn’t an attempt by Apple to block Little Snitch or anything like that – they could do things that are much more effective than that. Instead, this should be seen as Apple making sure no software that wasn’t tested against the newest OS X release can cause troubles. And isn’t that nice?

Little Snitch 3.3 released

We just released Little Snitch 3.3 with a lot of improvements and a brand new welcome window that automatically opens after you restart your Mac to complete Little Snitch’s update:

Little Snitch Welcome Window

New users can find a concise overview of Little Snitch’s components in this window and long time users may also find a thing or two that they didn’t know about. You can access the welcome window at any time in Little Snitch Configuration’s Help menu.

Additionally, this update is ready for the upcoming OS X Mavericks release.

Check it out!

LaunchBar Action to list Safari tabs

OK, I admit it: I’m a messy person. I use things and leave them lying around. I open nearly every link in a new Safari window or tab – and leave them all lying around…

After a short time I have dozens of Safari tabs and no way of visually finding the one a need right now.

But hey – I have LaunchBar! There must be a way to use LaunchBar to navigate through the pile of Safari tabs and instantly pick the one I need.

And there is – well, there is now:

By clicking this link you can download a set of two LaunchBar Actions (written in AppleScript) that will let you display and sub-search a list of all open tabs in Safari – and then open one of them.

LaunchBar SafariTabs Action Screenshot

Installation

  1. Unpack the downloaded ZIP archive – you will get two Actions: SafariTabs.scpt and OpenSafariTab.scpt
  2. Put the two Actions in:
    ~/Library/Application Support/LaunchBar/Actions/

    (where ~ is your home directory)
    This can be a bit tricky as it’s not easy to navigate to your home directory’s Library folder. One way to do this would be to select your home directory in LaunchBar, then press cursor right while holding the Option key (this will list all files/folders in your home directory – also the Library folder) and continue from there…

  3. Now you should see the SafariTabs Action in your LaunchBar index.
    (the OpenSafariTab Action will also be visible but is only used behind the scenes)

Usage

When simply opening the SafariTabs action in LaunchBar (selecting it and pressing Return) it will list all open Safari tabs. You can then sub-search this list or simply use the cursor keys to browse it. Opening an item in the list will open the corresponding tab in Safari.

For each Safari tab the list will show its title and for the currently selected entry also (to its right) the URL. If you want to see the URL beside the title for all entries (not just the currently selected one), you need to set the “Show Details” preference setting to “Name and Details” (in the Appearance preferences of LaunchBar). Note: When sub-searching only the title is considered.

You can however also use the Action in a different way: Instead of opening it right away using Return, press the Space bar. This will open a text input field in LaunchBar. You can enter a search string there and then press Return – only the tabs matching that search string will then be listed. Note that for this search the title and the URL are considered.

Maybe this LaunchBar Action is also useful to you, even if you’re not as messy as I am…:)

Take Control of LaunchBar

Take Control of LaunchBar

It doesn’t matter if you’re new to it or if you’ve been a power user for more than ten years: there’s always something to learn about LaunchBar.

We’re proud to announce the release of Take Control of LaunchBar, an eBook written by Kirk McElhearn of Macworld and TidBITS fame.

Head over to the new LaunchBar eBook page for more information on the book and how to get it.

Happy reading!

LaunchBar 5.5.1 – Enrich Your Snippets!

Plain Text Snippets

Creating plain text snippets in LaunchBar is easy. Instant send some text to LaunchBar and invoke “Add Snippet”. That’s it.

Add Snippet

Rich Text Snippets

Creating rich text snippets is just as easy. Take an existing snippet in LaunchBar, presss ⇧↩ to open it in TextEdit, then press ⇧⌘T to convert it to Rich Text. That’s it.

Make Rich Text

You can now format the text to your heart’s content – apply different fonts, colors, and even insert pictures.

Have fun creating colorful and crazy snippets with LaunchBar!

Surfing on Mavericks’ Waves with Little Snitch

Little Snitch Mavericks

Two days ago, Apple announced the next major version of its Mac operating system at WWDC, dubbed OS X Mavericks. Developers got early access to it to make sure their apps are ready for it when it’s publicly released on the App Store this fall.

If you have access to the OS X developer preview and you’re a Little Snitch user, you might have noticed that you can’t install the current version on the new operating system. This is because Little Snitch must check for compatibility with the OS X version you’re trying to install it on. Continue reading

Introducing LaunchBar Snippets

LaunchBar 5.5 adds a new feature called “Snippets”. It’s a fast and easy way to work with often–used pieces of small text.

Now, to many power users on the Mac, snippets aren’t exactly new. They aren’t even really new to LaunchBar. “Text Clippings” could be used for much of what the new snippets do now, but that little face lift we gave them really goes a long way to making LaunchBar a serious text expansion tool. Continue reading

Instantly grab a high-res icon for any iOS app using LaunchBar

Yesterday Brett posted a ruby script to quickly fetch iOS app icons using the iTunes search API:

“As a blogger who writes about a lot of apps, I frequently need to grab artwork for iOS apps. iTunes and its web previews don’t make this an easy task, especially for high-res versions. To assist in this process, I wrote a quick script to allow me to search for an iOS app by name and instantly write its 1024px version (or the highest resolution available) to the current directory in Terminal.”

Using this script and Automator it is pretty easy to create a LaunchBar compatible service which will fetch the icon and immediately select it in LaunchBar for further processing. Continue reading