I knew that when Evernote purchased Skitch they were destined to screw it up.
Sure enough, it didn’t take long.
First they started pushing people to use Evernote accounts. Skitch had done this too, insisting that you keep a Skitch.com account in your ‘sharing’ options, even if you had no interest in actually using Skitch.com.
For a while, Skitch.app would actually create an Evernote and a Skitch entry in the Share preferences, and every time you deleted them, Skitch would come right back and re-create them. Because why should users get to decide what to do with software they install on their own computers?
*Clearly* Evernote knows best.
First they shut down Skitch.com…
Well, that wasn’t enough for the fine folks at Evernote. One of the things I liked best about Skitch was the ability to share images though my own server. Why? Because companies like Skitch have a habit of going bankrupt, either financially or morally.
Sure enough, Evernote decided once again that they know what’s best for you, and so they announced (in an email to customers):
Sharing in Skitch will go through the Evernote Service, which means that you will be able to access your Skitch notes on any computer, phone, or tablet you use.
What Evernote wants to sell you is the idea that it’s better to use Evernote for sharing your images because then you can access them anywhere.
Of course, “that’s a bunch of horse hooey,” as we say out here in farm country.
You could access your images from your computer, phone, or tablet if they were on an SFTP/FTP site. Evernote just doesn’t want you doing it that way. They want you to do it through Evernote, which will give them more control and (one assumes) the ability to display ads around your content. Because who wouldn’t want that?
As of October 10, 2012, the Skitch.com website will be archived. You will no longer be able to sign into Skitch.com as of that date.
OK, fine, I understand that they have their own web service and they don’t want to manage two of them. I guess we all should have seen the writing on the wall there.
How This Affects You
Your public and secret images will remain accessible and the links to these will not change.
Wow, that’s decent of them.
If you have private images, then you will no longer be able to access them after October 10, 2012. You can easily download all of your private images to your computer using the link below. Once downloaded, we recommend adding them to your Evernote account so that they’re easy for you to access any time.
Wow, that’s not decent of them.
Look, I understand not wanting to let people add content to Skitch.com. If they want to upload content to a server that isn’t in their control, well, hey, these are the chances that you take.
But if they are keeping the “public” and “secret” images, why not keep the private images too?
Well, the answer is that they don’t want to, and they don’t have to. After all, it’s a free service — even though there are people, like myself, who paid Skitch to be able to use all of the features of the software back when they used a “freemium” (gross) model.
OK, well, at least I can still save my own images to my own server.
Oh wait, no I can’t.
Earlier today Evernote pushed Skitch version 2.0. They’re getting heavy rotation in the Mac App Store, even being featured as an “Editors’ Choice” app. (Gee, why would you release a new version of your app the same day as a new version of iOS and right before the new iPhones come out? Could it be that you knew these changes were going to go over like a leaky-3-bean-burrito-with-extra-chili-fart in church? I’m probably being cynical. It was probably just a coincidence.)
Whatever the reason, users aren’t nearly as excited as the Mac App Store’s Editors. Reviews are overwhelmingly negative, and not just in the usual “CHANGE BAD!” reaction you might expect, but an entire list of features which have been simply removed and changes which make the app more difficult to use.
Here are some highly rated comments on the new version:
“I can’t run it in the background anymore. There’s no icon in the menu bar. There’s no global shortcut key. There’s no automatic copy link to clipboard. Why do I want to use this thing again? You’ve taken away all the features that made me a Skitch user.”
“I loved Skitch and used it all the time. I downloaded this new version today and it’s a huge step backwards. Now I’m forced to have Skitch in my dock? You took away the ability to have it run in the menu bar? No FTP options? No thanks. What’s really sad is that I actually paid for Skitch back when the app store was selling it. It’s a sad day indeed.”
“Downloader beware! This changes Skitch substantially. No more menubar functionality. Forced use of dock icon. New clunky interface. I Time Machine’d this back to the better (older) version. Make sure you have a back-up, or better yet, skip this [version] all together.”
There are 145 reviews for this version; 105 of them are one star.
My “favorite” new “feature” of Skitch 2.0: good news! Now you won’t have to worry about setting up your own S/FTP accounts on Skitch. Because you can’t.
See, when Evernote said “Sharing in Skitch will go through the Evernote Service” it might have sounded like they were just saying that they are closing down Skitch.com, but what they apparently what they meant was “Sharing will go through Evernote because all of your other options are being taken away.“
Stop the App Store upgrade prompt
Fortunately I saved my copy of Skitch (version 1.0.12) after hearing Daniel Jalkut (developer at Red Sweater Software best known for MarsEdit and FastScripts) mention that a brief stint with Skitch 2.0 had sent him back to Skitch version 1.
The only problem is that the Mac App Store app kept telling me that Skitch needs to be updated. I even went into my Purchases list and ‘hid’ Skitch, but still App Store kept telling me that it wanted to update Skitch.
I seem to have found a solution, which was to quit Skitch.app, and then locate the app in /Applications/ using the Finder. Once there, I Control-clicked on the app and chose “Show Package Contents”:
And then open the ‘Contents’ folder, and I found a folder named _MASReceipt:
I loved that folder to the trash, and now the Mac App Store no longer prompts me to update the app.
As far as I can tell, the app continues to function just fine without the _MASReceipt folder.
N.B. Terminal nerds like myself will prefer to use something like:
sudo rm -rfv /Applications/Skitch.app/Contents/_MASReceipt
Version 1.07 is still available
You can still download version 1.07 from Skitch.com. I believe that version 1.0.7 was the last version before it went “Mac App Store only.” The changelog for versions after 1.07 make it appear that the only bugs they were fixing were about Evernote integration.
Note that version 1.07 still requires that you have a Skitch.com account in the ‘Sharing’ options, or else it will just automatically re-create it anyway.
One wonders what the app will do once the Skitch servers are no longer accessible, since the app refuses to even function without one.
The future of Skitch
I certainly hope that the folks at Evernote reconsider their decision to remove every method of sharing that isn’t based through Evernote.com…
But I’m not counting on it.
In fact, I think this is their vision for the app: it will be a way to push content directly at their service.
I’m sure that sounds great if you work for Evernote, but it’s pretty terrible for users.
I guess it’s time to start looking for a new quick image/screenshot editor. I liked Skitch not because it was a great app, but it was sufficient for what I needed most of the time. Hopefully somewhere out there is a developer who understands will take advantage of this opportunity to give users back what they have lost with Skitch 2.
Skitch 2.0 is like Skitch 1.0 without all those pesky “features” originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 20 Sep 2012 08:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.