32 bits, 64 bits, whatever it takes…

A few worried looks have come our way lately, from folks wondering whether Audiobook Builder and CheckBook Pro will be ready before Apple requires all Mac App Store updates support 64-bit in June of 2018.  Don’t worry, friends.  Things are both simpler and more complicated than they seem.

Here’s Apple’s most recent statement:

At WWDC 2017, we announced new apps submitted to the Mac App Store must support 64-bit starting January 2018, and Mac app updates and existing apps must support 64-bit starting June 2018. If you distribute your apps outside the Mac App Store, we highly recommend distributing 64-bit binaries to make sure your users can continue to run your apps on future versions of macOS. macOS High Sierra will be the last macOS release to support 32-bit apps without compromise.

Boiled down, Apple will require all new Mac App Store applications include 64-bit support in January of 2018, and all Mac App Store updates include 64-bit support in June of 2018. 32-bit applications will continue to work as usual in macOS 10.13 High Sierra as well as whatever comes after, though Apple mentions the possibility of compromise.  We think that compromise will be minimal or unnoticeable for many applications.

Let’s compare this to what’s been happening on iOS and get a clearer picture:  for the last two years, iOS has warned that running a 32-bit app might impact performance.  In most cases, performance wasn’t affected and 32-bit apps kept trucking.  Still, this fall, iOS 11 will put the kibosh on 32-bit for good.  We expect the 32-bit party on macOS to end in about the same way. A couple of years of warnings with no real performance issues before something like macOS 10.15 in 2019 sends 32-bit to the history books.

It’s kind of a non-issue for the next two years.

So how does this play into our roadmap for Audiobook Builder and CheckBook Pro?

We tidied up a few things and, in addition to check printing, the latest pre-release build of CheckBook Pro 2.6 has that sweet, sweet 64-bit goodness.  When 2.6 is released you can grab the update and everything’s groovy.  Regular CheckBook users will get the 64-bit part sans check printing.

Audiobook Builder has a slightly more complicated path.  We’ll level with you:  It makes extensive use of QuickTime 7, which won’t survive macOS’s move to 64-bit-only, and that’s a major rub.  Our plan has always been to make Audiobook Builder 2.0 the point where we migrate from QuickTime 7 to something more future-proof.  The catch is that’ll mean a few months of re-engineering the “Builder” part of the application – and we won’t have the resources for that until both CheckBook Pro 2.6 and CheckBook for iOS are out.  We’re about to begin the yearly scramble to update all our applications for the next major macOS release, and we’ll have another scramble just like this one same time next year.  Some years the scramble is quick and painless, and some years not so much.  All of that means Audiobook Builder 2.0 has to be pushed out to mid to late 2018, at least.  Just remember 32-bit applications will continue to work until then.  You’ve got Apple’s word on that.

Questions or feedback for us?  Get in touch at support@splasm.com and we’ll get you taken care of!

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A touch more color coming in CheckBook 2.6

Since the dawn of the CheckBook Era, our use of color has been about helping folks identify Deposits vs. Debits at a glance, without thinking too hard.  So when we added the running balance column years ago we decided to not color the individual balance figures because we thought it’d look a little messy, unkempt even, a bit more rainbow stew than helping hand.

Besides, we thought, a negative balance has a negative symbol.

That should do, we thought.


Symbols work in different ways for different people.  Same thing with color.  Some are just fine with symbols, some need colored amounts.  It’s really easy to tell when you miss the mark on something like that, when “should do” doesn’t quite, cause you tend to get a few messages here and there about it.  Sometimes more than a few.

True story.

And by Jobs, when CheckBook 2.6 is ready we’re gonna give our folks what they need.


A touch of color in CheckBook Pro 2.6

A touch of color in CheckBook Pro 2.6

A touch more color in CheckBook Pro 2.6

A touch more color in CheckBook Pro 2.6

That should do.

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CheckBook & CheckBook Pro 2.5.15 Ready For General Consumption

What’s new?

Well, besides the fixes, this release comes with a big new feature that’s been oft-requested over the years:  you can now copy & paste Entries between Accounts (and even to other applications, like TextEdit or Numbers).  Heck, if you’re a CheckBook Pro user, you can even drag & drop.  At long last, if you happen to throw down some Entries and look up only to find you’re in the wrong Account, you can do something about it.  Works for Schedules, too.  All that power comes without a way to undo, though, so be careful out there!

Get the update!

CheckBook folks:  splasm.com/checkbook/update.html

CheckBook Pro people:  splasm.com/checkbookpro/update.html

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Audiobook Builder tells me it’s unable to eject a CD because something’s still using it. Wha?

Have you seen a message like this after importing a CD?

Audiobook Builder 1.5.6
 Unable to eject disk
The disk or some of its contents may be in use by another application.
Disk:  I Am the Pretty Little Audiobook That Haunts Your Subway Commute [Disc 13]

It’s been on our radar for quite a while but we were flat stumped because it never happened on any of our Macs.

Until yesterday.  A very helpful user reported the error and almost immediately they realized it was only happening when their Mac’s display went to sleep during the import.  So we set a Mac to let its displays sleep after 1 minute and bingo!

A couple of hours of testing on various versions of macOS later and now we know:  since OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion no process can eject a CD while the display is asleep without resorting to brute force.  We’re not brutish so…

Wait.  Are we?

Of course not.  And so a most elegant fix is on the way:  Audiobook Builder 1.5.7 will prevent the display from sleeping while it’s importing a disc, but not while it’s waiting for the next disc.  That way it’ll be able to eject discs just like old times – and your display will still sleep if, while waiting for the next disc, your Mac is left idle the requisite time per your Energy Saver settings.

The fix is already in a pre-release build you can download right now if you’d like.  Shoot us a message at support@splasm.com and we’ll get you set up.  Otherwise, the official 1.5.7 release should be out in a matter of weeks.

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Apple to allow developers to respond to App Store reviews – and more!

The Loop reports Apple will not only allow developers to respond to reviews, they’re also rolling out an API that brings in-app rating and review to every user’s fingertips while preventing developer abuse.  It’s not quite what we asked for over five years ago as tech support issues – which can start off a bit hostile – will still face the public before developers have a chance to respond and they’ll remain visible, coloring an application’s story without any accountability, unless users remember to remove them.  That’s OK.  This is a great and much-needed move in a direction that helps users, developers, and Apple.  Win-win-win!  Thank you for finally taking this part of application development and deployment on the App Store seriously, Apple!

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Audiobook Builder doesn’t like Dropbox

Turns out adding files to an Audiobook Builder project stored in Dropbox will probably not work so well.  Things get dicey when we ask QuickTime to flatten the incoming files to new MOV files inside the project, so it’s likely QuickTime and Dropbox are contending for these new files as they’re being created and/or all the original data is added to them.  For now, as of Audiobook Builder 1.5.6 (and like 1.5.7), it’s best to store your projects outside of Dropbox for best results ;).

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