CM PDF Page Extractor v1.0.4 Released

We are pleased to announce the release of CM PDF Page Extractor v1.0.4 on the Apple’s App Store.

This update addresses two issues, crashing when handling some PDF files and the Sandboxing Requirement laid down by Apple.

For the first issue, the application was using multi-threading when handling the page extractor and at times, these causes the app to crash when handling complex pdf pages. As such, we have disabled the multi-threading feature which appears to address the issue. You should not experience any significant degrading of performance. The only thing is that you may not have the ability to stop the app while it is doing the processing.

The second issue is a requirement issue which requires all apps sold on the Apple’s App Store to be sandboxed for OS X 10.7 Lion users. The dateline for this is November 2011 but we decided to work on this first and get it out of the way so that we can concentrate on feature enhancement. The sandboxing requirement does require a major rewrite on how files are handled within the app as natively, the app would not have any permission to access any files to read or to write outside of its ecosystem. It cannot handle any files on your computer and the only way for it to handle them is for the user to specify which file or folder where it can access files in, this is done by having the user Drag and Drop files to the application or by using the File Dialogs.

What sandboxing means to the user, the significant change is that as a OS X 10.7 Lion user, you will need to specify the “Save In” folder each time you launch the application so as to grant the application permission to write files to the folder. The permission is only valid until you shut down your computer or the application. As such, we moved the “Save In” settings out of the Preference Tab into the Main Window.

If you do encounter any issues or have a suggestion as to improve the app, feel free to email us at support@batchimage.com .

Thank you very much for your support.

CM Batch Photo Resizer v1.0.9 (Mac) Updated

We are pleased to announce the immediate release of CM Batch Photo Resizer v1.0.9 for Mac on the Apple’s App Store.

This update contains two major changes, improved error checking and compliance to the Apple’s App Store’s Sandboxing requirement.

In the past, if CM Batch Photo Resizer encounter a photo which is malformed or faulty, it would prompt a blank pop up screen and crashes the application. This issue could be caused because of a mismatch file extension, malformed header, corrupted file or encoding which CM Batch Photo Resizer cannot handle. Now the application when it encounters such issues would echo the error messages within the Status Box at the bottom right hand order. This would allow the application to continue processing the rest of the images on the list while skipping those it cannot handle.

As for the Sandboxing requirement, this only applies to OS X 10.7 Lion users. Apple has set the dateline for all apps sold on the App Store to be sandboxed by November for future updates. We decided to comply with the Sandboxing requirement early so that we could on one hand, get that issue out of the way and it also allows us to concentrate on features updates. Sandboxing requires us to rewrite a huge portion of the application to work in its ecosystem. Natively, the application would have no access to any files outside its sandboxed area so it cannot read or write any files. All access to files and folders would need to be explicitly specified by the user by using the Open and Save File Dialogs or by doing a Drag and Drop. That is the only way files can be added to this ecosystem.

What Sandboxing means to you as the user is that now you would have to always specify the “Save In” location each time you launch the application. This is the only way the application will be granted permission to write to that folder. As such, we have moved the “Save In” settings option to the main screen out of the Preference/Settings Page.

If you do encounter any issues or have any suggestions to improve the application, feel free to contact us by emailing us at support@batchimage.com . We would certainly love to here from you.

ComboTIFF v1.0.5 (Mac) Update

We are pleased to announce the immediate release of ComboTIFF v1.0.5.

The is a compliance update for the Apple’s App Store Sandboxing requirement. Although, Apple’s dateline for the Sandboxing requirement is for the beginning of November 2011, we thought it would be best to get that out of the way so that we could actually look into enhancing the application further.

The only significant changes you would see is that the Save Settings option is now on the main screen and that you will need to specify the folder you want to save in each time you launch the app.

What Sandboxing does is that the App would now have to run in its own ecosystem which is distant from the other applications and would have no access to any files outside its ecosystem. This technically means that on its own, it cannot read any files or write any files. As an exception, the user would need to always tell the application which files it can access and where it can write too. This permission is lost each time you close the app or shut down the computer.

This will require us to do some major rewrite within the application to support this requirement.

We apologized if this may cause some inconvenience to you but we do not have much choice in this matter. The Sandboxing requirement is only applicable to OS X 10.7 Lion users.

This update is available on the App Store and if you do encounter any issues or have any suggestions to improve the application, please feel free to contact us at support@batchimage.com

Enjoy!

CM TIFF 2 PDF v1.0.5 Update

We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of CM TIFF 2 PDF v1.0.5 on the Apple App Store.

The Update contains several enhancements which includes

* The inclusion of “Resize to (%)” option which allows you to resize the tiff files before inclusion in the PDF output file

* The inclusion of “Picture Quality” option which allows you to determine the JPEG and PNG image quality that would be saved in the PDF output file.

The above options would substantially reduce the file size of the output file.

One major fundamental internal is the Sandboxing of the Application which is a requirement of the Apple App Store for OS X Lion. So far OS X 10.7 Lion users, what this means for CM TIFF 2 PDF is that each time you launch CM TIFF 2 PDF, you will need to select the folder to save the output PDF in. This is no longer saved for OS X Lion users. This does not affect Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard users.

Thank you once again for your patience and hope you enjoy using CM TIFF 2 PDF. As always, if you do encounter any issues or have any suggestions to improve this app, please feel free to contact us as support@batchimage.com

You can get the free update to CM TIFF 2 PDF from the App Store using the App Store App.

CM Note Keeper 1.1.1 (Mac) Update

We are pleased to announce the update of CM Note Keeper 1.1.1.

The update contains several fundamental updates which includes

* Fixing the bug which causes the “Index” column not to hide when it is set not to display
* Added the Duplicate Note feature so that you can duplicate an existing note in the application
* Added the Speak feature which allows to take advantage of the Text-to-Speech feature of the Mac OS
* Added the automatic saving of the resizing of columns and app.

The other fundamental changes is this application has been internally modified to comply to the Sandboxing requirement set by Apple. Sandboxing means that the application would no longer have the ability to work outside its sandbox area, thus meaning that by default, it cannot modify files without the user’s explicit permission. With this, the auto saving option has been disabled for OS X Lion users until we could find a way to resolve this.

This also means that the database used with CM Note Keeper would no longer be kept within the ~/Library/Application Support but in the sandboxed area. To preserve all your notes, CM Note Keeper would move the database to the sandboxed area during the first run. Exporting and Importing notes are still implemented but requires you to specifically determine which file and location to load and save them.

As always, you can update the copy of CM Note Keeper from the App Store.

If you encounter any issues or have any suggestions, please feel free to email us at support@batchimage.com

Enjoy!

Mac Apps Delays

We submitted our Mac Applications to the App Store for review on September 6th 2011 and they promptly went into review between September 10th and 12th 2011. However, as yet, they have not got back to us as to whether the updates have been approved or rejected.

From our observations in the Apple Developers’ Forum, we are not the only ones who are experiencing these delays. Although we would love to get the updates to you as quickly as possible, the Apple’s review process is out of our control.

We have submitted a status report from Apple in regards to the delay but are not very optimistic about the reply. We certainly hope that they would work on revamping their review process for your benefits.

We will update you once we have a reply from them.

A Note on Windows 8

Microsoft is currently working on the next major upgrade to the Windows Operating System, currently called Windows 8. This comes with a radical redesign to support not only PC but also Windows Phone and Tablets.

Before last week, there were several speculations that Microsoft would be dropping Win32 apps in support of Metro UI based HTML5 applications. However, that does not seems to be the case when Microsoft revealed more information about Windows 8 and provided a Developer Build version of Windows 8 for testing. This build is far from release and is probably at least 6 months to a year before it is prime for mass release.

There are probably many comments about Windows 8 new interface but that is not the topic of this post. We were able to put Windows 8 and our Windows applications to a test and we are happy to announce that they work as they do in Windows 7. Nothing basically changed as far as our applications experience goes. So in short, your investment is safe.

However with that said, although Windows 8 supports the upcoming Windows Phone and Tablets, our applications would not run on those platform. These devices are not based on the standard Intel/AMD CPU but rather on the ARM Processor which is radically different. Currently, only Metro Applications would run on those devices. The ARM Processors are nowhere as powerful as the current Intel/AMD CPU and their designs would not be practical for resource-hungry applications such as image processing. We may consider porting over some less intensive applications in the future but for the time being, we will wait for more information from Microsoft as anything can change on Windows 8.

Mac Apps and Lion

Over the last several months, we have been working hard in the background to cater to the changes which OS X 10.7 Lion introduced and subsequently the Sandboxing requirements of the App Store.

For the Lion Compatibility, we had to change the underlying framework from Carbon to Cocoa. Some of the visible changes which were implemented are the Full Screen Support and the ability to resize from all sides of the apps. However during the transition, some of the features may not work the same as before or suddenly stop working. We are in the midst of ironing out all the reported issues.

The Sandboxing requirements is a little more complex. The concept of Sandboxing is a nice idea as it means that any application must work within the boundary of a virtual sandbox and would not be allowed to access files or devices outside the sandbox. This means that apps which are sandboxed would not be able access any files without the user’s explicit permission and intervention. Basically for a file to be accessed, the user would need to select the file(s) and to save the output, the user would need to select the location to save the files in. The heightened permissions would only be active for as long as the app is running. Once shut down, the app would lose this permissions and the user would need to reselect the files and folders again. The only files the app can handle are within the sandbox which are files stored separately from what the user can access. The only time the app can handle external user files are when the users explicitly grant the permissions.

Our CM Note Keeper stores your notes in a database which used to exist in the ~/Library/Application Support/ folder. This was the requirement set up by Apple but with Lion, all the database would need to be located in the user’s Containers folder. To reduce the inconvenience to our users, when you first run the app in OS X Lion, the app would move the database into the sandbox container. You could still Backup and Restore the database to an external folder.

Before all these get too confusing, what this means to our users is that we can no longer implement the “Save In Directory” option as the permission to save to that folder would no longer be granted to the apps without having the user re-select that folder. So for our Lion users, this means that you will need to reselect the “Save In Directory” before you hit the “Process All” button. For CM Note Keeper, it means that the “Auto Save” option would no longer work. We understand your frustration but we will certainly monitor the development from Apple and once they allow us to handle this as it was, we will definitely implement it.

We have submitted all our apps with the said Sandboxing requirement ahead of November 2011. This will allow us to refine the apps along the way so that the transition would be transparent to our customers.

We understand that these changes brings about issues to our users and we apologized for the inconvenience caused as we understand the number of negative reviews left on the App Store. We will be addressing them as soon as we can. If you do encounter any issues, please drop us an email and we will have the issue fixed.

Thank you once again for your patience.

JBatch It v5.11, Batch It v5.19 and Batch It Pro v4.15 Released

We are pleased to announce the release of JBatch It v5.11, Batch It v5.19 and Batch It Pro v4.15. This update contains a critical bug fix which involved the Text Caption option when used with the Add in Border option checked. This causes a white rectangular space on the left hand side. This issues does not affect any options where the Add in Border option is unchecked.