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DaisyDisk 3, Mac App Store upgrades and related issues

Since the release of DaisyDisk 3 many Mac App Store users complained about lost functionality and inability to scan the disks as they’re used to be. Here’s a short explanation about what’s going on and what we’re doing about this.

As you may already know, some time ago Apple introduced app sandboxing as an extra security measure. In theory, isolating applications prevents hackers from getting your private data or ruining your system, but in practice it has certain drawbacks for both users and developers. The main problem is that from now on all Mac App Store apps are isolated and can’t access most locations on your Mac without clearly receiving your permission. This permission can be provided through the familiar Open panel or by dragging and dropping a file, folder or disk to the app’s main window.

So, what could we do?

  1. Leave Mac App Store without updates. In this case App Store users would get a two year old version, which never gets updated. Some developers have already done this.
  2. Remove DaisyDisk from the Mac App Store entirely and only sell it from our site. Technically it’s the easiest solution, which could have saved us months of work.
  3. Adopt sandboxing for Mac App Store version and omit one for standalone version. This means having to do a lot of extra work just to release a free update to the existing app.

The easiest way to apply sandboxing could have been turning the app into a manually populated drop area where in order to view the disk’s capacity or even name one would have to add it first. For many it’s a solution, not for us.

Our problem is that we haven’t spent enough time on current implementation (it’s been finished in a rush) and haven’t tested it too good on real-world cases, so the result is quite confusing. The release version of DaisyDisk 3 is the 4th major iteration of the design, 3 previous ones have been rejected during review process and in fact we’ve spent much more time on app sandbox than we’d liked (we tried at least ten different versions of the UI):

Some of the early sandbox UI prototypes

We’ve just submitted DaisyDisk 3.0.1 with the following sandbox UI (actual screenshot):

DaisyDisk 3.0.1

DaisyDisk 3.0.1

Future updates will likely see even better design. What’s important is a fact that we cannot magically make all your disks just scan as before: DaisyDisk simply doesn’t have permission to access your disks. That’s the face we have to deal with, but we’ll do our best to make the upgrade experience as smooth as possible.

What can you do right now? Drag and drop Macintosh HD to the DaisyDisk’s window to let the app scan all your disks and, if you ask it to, delete files. This is a one time action. Alternatively download and run DaisyDisk version from our site. It can work alongside with the one from Mac App Store, it’s not sandboxed and has more features which cannot be included into the Mac App Store edition. If you installed DaisyDisk 3 from the Mac App Store, standalone version will pick up registration information automatically, so you’ll always have all the features without paying extra, no matter where you purchased the application.

Thanks for your patience.

Taras @Software Ambience

Tags: Announce