Aura 3Monday 21 July, 2017
I'm pleased to release Aura 3 today, a free upgrade for everyone who's purchased Aura in the past.
So, what's changed? Most of the stuff is behind the scenes – for those that care Aura is now built using Swift 4, the latest version of Apple's new programming language.
On the front end, there has been some visual polish, particularly in subtle areas like translucency effects, the spacing and layout of the fonts and some better color choices for the dark and light themes.
- if you have added more than one account, the account is now marked by a color on the right hand side. These colors are automatically assigned, you'll see them in the preferences next to the name of the Gmail account
- swipe to delete/archive has gone. Swiping on a laptop was always a cumbersome move, and on a desktop it's next to impossible unless you have a Magic Mouse. Instead, you can now delete or archive multiple messages at a time. Far easier and there the keyboard shortcuts that you would expect to select all or multiple messages without using the mouse.
- Aura is resizable! Just drag the bottom edge of the window to make it larger or smaller.
Lastly, no small amount of bugs have been fixed and performance increased all round. I hope everyone updates and as ever, you can reach me at email@example.com.
Notification Downtime (approx 6 hours)Wednesday 26 April, 2017
An automated certificate renewal didn't complete correctly today - and for around 6 hours from 2AM GMT till 8AM notifications weren't delivered.
Apologies to anyone who was affected today. I try very hard to keep Aura as available as possible, and will be changing the renewal process so this can't happen again.
Aura Pricing ChangeThursday 13 April, 2017
I decided three months ago to test a new pricing model for Aura. I thought that a subscription model would be a good way to lower the initial cost and keep providing updates for everyone with no further charges. Today, I'm ending this experiment and going back to a one-off charge. Aura will cost $9.99 after one month of use. Everyone who had a subscription will not be billed again and will have full use of the app indefinitely.
I've had lots of feedback that users don't like subscriptions because they feel like they are renting the app and not owning it – I completely understand this, and I've realized that I feel the same way.
I don't know what I'll do yet about updates and new releases, but I'm figuring this out as I go. Thanks to everyone who wrote to me about this.
Aura Removed From App StoreFriday 3 March, 2017
As promised, Aura has now been removed from the App Store.
There are several reasons for this and I want to explain a few.
faster updates. Although the App Store improved drastically last year, it still slows down development and launch cycles. I try to improve Aura continuously and the App Review process slows this down.
clunky subscription process. While there is now a way to offer free trials, the App Store receipt validation and trial process is poorly implemented, servers are slow to validate and I have no way to gift subscriptions or offer variable length trials.
lower charges. Apple takes 30% of every sale. It has become less and less clear how Apple can justify this cost. Search and discovery has not improved and the Mac App Store is a graveyard of abandoned applications. Pulling Aura out means I get to pass on these savings to you.
not having to deal with iTunes Connect. My stress levels have dropped and my outlook on life has improved. Any other iOS developers out there will understand.
Remember to e-mail me your receipt if you've purchased Aura before and I'll set you up with free year of Aura 2.
Aura 2Tuesday 21 February, 2017
Aura 2 is now available. This is a big update, and Aura is becoming an even more powerful way to work with your Gmail.
So, what's new?
- real time notifications. You'll get notifications instantly, not 30 seconds or 1 minute after the e-mail arrives
- synchronisation. If you read a message in the browser, it will automatically mark as read in Aura
- a unified inbox right in your menu bar. New messages can be opened, archived and deleted right from your menu bar.
- powerful search, across all your accounts. You can even use Gmail search operators like from:, subject: and has:attachment
- starred messages
- Aura displays the number of messages in a conversation
- optional dark theme to match the macOS dark dock and menu bar
Aura is leaving the Mac App Store. I now believe that the store is not the best place to distribute Mac software, or the best way to provide a good experience for customers. Aura v1.3 will remain on the App Store till Friday 3 March.
While there is a free trial of Aura, there is no longer a free version. Aura is moving to subscription pricing, and after 30 days will cost $2.99 per month. After much consideration, this seems the fairest way to provide a continually improving app. I'm putting my efforts into making better software rather than launching an ad-supported or otherwise restricted version.
Everyone who purchased v1.x of Aura Pro gets Aura 2 free for one year. Just forward your App Store receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll set you up.
There is no way right now to sign up for a subscription, but I'll provide one shortly and everyone using Aura will have the opportunity to sign up before the trial runs out.
Aura updated with ‘Instant replies’Monday 25 January, 2016
You can now reply to e–mails directly from the notifications. This is a huge timesaver if you need to dash off a one–line response.
Small note to those who have Aura installed already, you may have to re-authenticate your e-mail accounts with Google. To send an e-mail for you, Aura needs one extra level of permissions to your Gmail account. The only way to get this is going through the authentication process another time.
Aura gains support for the following languages:
Aura 1.3 is free for all and available now from the Mac App Store.
Aura for El CapitanTuesday 17 November, 2015
Another update for the third month of Aura's life. Many users are asking for El Capitan support and I'm happy to announce that today's update fixes a number of bugs that were present in El Capitan.
What else is new in 1.2.0?
- Aura can open e–mail links in your choice of Gmail account
- Support for the El Capitan beta
- Aura has a global shortcut for composing a new message
- You can now set a default e–mail account. New messages will be composed in your default e–mail account
- Fixes a bug that prevented adding a new account after deletion of an existing account
- Handful of other bug fixes and performance improvements
Something I’ve been wanting to add for some time is language localisation. Today’s 1.2.0 update brings some localisation updates. French and Spanish are now supported.
Much credit goes to the beta testers, who helped tracked down some small, but difficult to trace bugs.
If you’re interested or able to beta test, please let me know at email@example.com.
Aura 1.1 releasedSaturday 25 July, 2015
Today, Aura gets a small update. Thanks to everyone who downloaded or bought Aura in the last month. I've been hugely grateful that people have found it useful.
Today's update brings a much needed improvement to the status bar. Aura will now tell you how many unread threads are in all of your inboxes. You'll also be able to get unread counts for each account in the drop down.
There's also a big round of bug fixes and improvements. This update is available right now in the App Store, so if you haven't already, go and grab it now.
Aura has lifted off!Wednesday 10 June, 2015
I'm very pleased to make available my first Mac app in the Mac App Store.
I've long needed a way to keep an eye on the new messages in my Gmail account. There used to be an official Gmail notifier, but in January last year this was discontinued.
Like many other people, I don't use a full–fledged e–mail application on the desktop, but I'd love some sort of way to know that new messages have arrived. Until now, there's been no ideal way to do this. Desktop notifications in Chrome work, but are clunky and force me to use a different browser.
Aura is my solution. It's incredibly light, fast and it does one thing well. It will watch as many Gmail accounts as you have, and discreetly notify you using OS X native notifications. There's a couple of other nice little features too. It has support for Gmail's priority inbox, so you can take advantage of Google's smart filtering and only get notifications for important messages.
Please download it and let me know what you think.