Sunday, December 18, 2011

Growl goes paid and why I upgraded

AppId is over the quota
AppId is over the quota
By Jason D. O'Grady | November 14, 2011, 12:01am PST

Summary: Growl was previously free, but version 1.3 now costs $1.99 from the Mac App Store. Here’s why it’s worth it.

If you use a Mac, odds are you have Growl installed.

Growl is a notification system for Mac OS X that allows applications to display on-screen alerts.

Growl was previously free but version 1.3, released November 3, now costs $1.99 from the Mac App Store.

Growl team leads Christopher Forsythe and Rudy Richter outlined the major changes in a blog post:

Growl is no longer free to download - Growl as a paid application allows for good changes. We now have people working on Growl full time. Money earned through purchases in the App Store go directly to benefiting Growl. Growl is now available in the App Store at a cost of $1.99 US (different in other regions). Without changing to this paid Growl model, Growl would have died off and would no longer be around to use at all. Growl is however still Open Source, there is more on that later in this post.…but you don’t need Growl installed to get notifications. - When developers update their application to support Growl 1.3, Growl will no longer be required for them to display a notification to you. Think of these updated applications as Growl, and the Growl application as Growl Pro. The Growl 1.3 SDK includes a framework which can display a notification, even if Growl is not available. Developers use the same API. Please see our documentation in the SDK regarding Mist.Growl 1.2 and older will not work with Sandboxed applications - Sandboxing is meant to protect users from bad things happening (which is a good thing!), but it has consequences for applications which are doing good things too (like Growl). Apple announced this summer that Sandboxing is a requirement for all applications in the Mac App Store. As our developers who went to WWDC this year quickly realized, the impending Sandboxing requirement would have broken Growl entirely for applications in the App Store, for everyone, without a large amount of changes. Growl 1.3 introduces support for Sandboxed applications.Out-of-date applications don’t work with Growl 1.3 - Due to the changes in Growl 1.3 in order to get Growl into the App Store, some applications currently do not work with Growl and will need to be updated. Some applications have already updated to address this problem. If you are a developer who requires assistance with these changes, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help. Users can use Growl Version Detective to help mitigate this problem, but long term changes need to come from developers.Growl has always been, and will always be, open source - Growl has always been Open Source, and will remain Open Source for as long as people want to be able to modify the code. The source for Growl is available at our our Google Code Hosting project, under the BSD license.

My favorite feature in Growl 1.3 is its in-app whitelist.

Previously, when an app was annoying me with too many Growl notifications, I had to hunt down the right setting in the offending application. But now, you can easily toggle an apps ability to Growl in Settings > Applications.

So, are you buying?

Jason O'Grady+ is a journalist and author specializing in mobile technology. He has published six books on Apple and mobile gadgets and his PowerPage blog has been publishing for over 15 years.

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