He spent weeks & months trying out different UI and actions, finally coming up with the 'shake-your-cursor' action. It seems trivial now that you see it but it was something none of his potential users could imagine. And since then, he's been refining the app constantly to get it to its current state, including the rotating background and optimal thumbnail for a variety of mimetypes. I'm so glad to see the app finally getting the attention it deserves.
Not exactly the most novel thing...
I'm hardly a fan of Aero Shake though, wish they used the gesture for this on Windows. :-)
Drag, think... doh! wiggle, store. Dig, dig, find, unstore, drop.
That wiggle makes all the difference. Come to think of it, I might unconsciously wiggle things while I'm trying to remember where I meant to drag them to.
Kudos to the developer. Just a (very) minor change will make it better for me: slightly less opacity for the pop up window. On an 11inch Macbook Air, I think it'll help. I just bought the app, it's fantastic and worth every penny.
Then I watched the video and now I'm taking out my credit card. I want this. It is actually useful.
"does anything like this exist for windows?"
Not the exact same but if you start to drag then you can alt-tab to focus the application where you want to drop (if you can't see it already)
He has another really neat and surprisingly useful app on the AppStore: Lidpop - http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lidpop/id441887602?mt=12 - "Lidpop makes your Macintosh play a sound when it sleeps or wakes up. Close the lid with a resounding clank or a happy slide whistle. Open it back up with a laugh or a whimsical chime — it's up to you. Lidpop brings a dash of personality to your computer."
When I open my Air, Scotty (Star Trek) says "Hello Computer" and when I shut it down, Vader (Star Wars) says "Nooooooooo." I know it seems trifling but always brings a smile to my face wherever I am, including work meetings.
Note: my wake-up sound is currently the boot sound effect form OS/2 Warp 4, just because I love weird, retro-computing goodness.
Also, if anyone is suffering on a quest for "nooo", hint: vader_14.mp3
You might want to consider not having a free trial. I watched the video, was sold, went to click buy, then saw the trial button. Still went to buy, but almost clicked the trial out of habit.
Edit: Wow, 45 seconds later it's already installed and working seamlessly. Took me all of 1.5 seconds to figure out how to shake on a touchpad, and now it feels second nature. I'll repeat, great work and congrats on getting fireballed.
The free trial is actually an entire non-App Store version with its own in-app purchase -- I chronicled the experience at http://writing.markchristian.org/2012/03/30/make-your-own-ap... in the hopes of sharing the knowledge with other potential indie devs.
Does the mac appstore allow you to track where your sales come from? Do you get the majority from people linking to your site or discovering the app through the store?
I vaguely remember seeing something about this app on HN before, but I don't really remember what it does exactly. Based on all the comments here, it sounds like you made a screencast that does a great job of demonstrating the product. Unfortunately, by redirecting the traffic, I can't see that screencast (and the App Store screenshots don't really demonstrate what the app does).
This product might very well be perfect for me, but I don't know because I can't see the video of it in action because of the redirect.
Just something to think about.
tl;dr: if you can make it work in 10.6.8, I think you might get some more $love$ from some of us.
It currently doesn't require any Lion specific APIs, but I plan on updating it in the future to make use of the nice flocking icons while dragging, and that will require Lion.
a quick question... my Mac cannot be upgraded to Lion. Is there a slight possibility of making it work for Snow Leopard?
And if not - I would like to know - just for general interest :) - what is the blocker.
Summary so far: Daring Fireball's traffic is so intense that it's almost scary. :)
Edit: here's an App Store link for people to check it out - http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/dragondrop/id499148234?mt=12
Let me know what else you'd like to know. :)
I can't get the gesture to work reliably on a (magic) trackpad, and with a mouse I usually don't bother to use D&D. Also, you cannot stash things and then move them to the desktop, which is my #1 use case. If you put things into Dragon Drop, then reveal the desktop, the Dragon Drop window will move out of sight too.
RE: showing up when you show the desktop — this is a good feature request, and I will see if I can make it happen. It may not be possible.
The demo for example talks about putting a picture in an email. I would currently right click -> copy. Go to email -> paste. Is this really easier?
The clipboard utility I find most useful is ditto , which has a nice history and shortcuts for pasting from your history.
Disclaimer: I'm a windows user, so maybe I missed something.
 - http://ditto-cp.sourceforge.net/
Windows and Mac lets you drag objects and drop them on target. This works in normal scenario where the object you are trying to drag and the target are easy to identify. It gets very difficult if your target is hard to reach. This app has a brilliant new UI which makes those drag-n-drop operations super easy.
Please see the demo video to understand the app:
In windows at least: http://superuser.com/a/252104
I can think of only a few scenarios where dropping is the only option and pasting isn't available - but clearly those scenarios were real pain points for people!
So, yes, they are equivalent (in certain situations, drag and drop can be a move or whatever else is appropriate). But copy/paste is the alternative. So is cp at a Terminal command line.
Any ways - congrats; but not for me :-)
Anyway, extremely interesting to see, so thanks for not all downvoting my ignorance immediately!
Well done as well to the OP for battling and getting his app released. Seems as though the hard work is paying off!
E.g. let's say you have a word document, if you drag and drop it on an open Word window, it will open it. You can't do copy/paste to open the document. If you have an FTP client with drag and drop support, you can drop a file to upload it to the FTP server. In general, a program can attach its own meaning to drag and drop which could be different from copy/paste.
I probably do this three-four times a day - and it's one of the few miserable parts of my OS X existence.
The ROI for this app will be measured for me in about one day of frustration that I no longer have to deal with - the "shake to get clipboard" is brilliant. Just the toolbar drop alone would have been sufficient to make me happy.
Thank you so much - I don't recall ever being so pleased with something new. So worth $5. Brilliant.
I wrote this up a few weeks ago to help give other developers their own plan B in case of similar difficulties: http://writing.markchristian.org/2012/03/30/make-your-own-ap...
Apple rejected it for "interfering" with a standard system operation. What ultimately got me in was an email I wrote pointing out that the app PopClip (a great utility from @pilotmoon) was in the store and also enhanced a system behaviour.
Also: RSS where?
I just hope it works as I expect.
Navigating the filesystem is so 2011 :)
edit: would be cool if you could post an update here on just how you did after you were fireball'd _and_ HN'd!
Anything else you'd like to know about the traffic? Open kimono.
I love how this solution fits perfectly into an existing workflow, though. Now if only it were cumulative ... ;)
EDIT: I should also note this grew out of a little command line utility for unix: https://github.com/iaindooley/pickdrop/
Sounds like DnD's "wiggle" is a nice innovation.
Is this useful on the trackpad? It seem to be about 50% accurate on my magic trackpad when shaking back and forth.
Also, what do you mean by "under the mouse?"
How about showing the window if I don't move the mouse for 2 seconds instead? That'd be easier and a better UX IMO since it would mimic spring loading.
If you're having trouble activating it, try drawing small circles with your cursor, rather than just shaking back and forth. Some people find that easier. (That being said, I developed it on a Magic Trackpad, so the shaking does work -- it just depends on your personal mousing style).
I hope this helps. :)
I personally never drag-and-drop unless it is the only way to get something done. Copy and Paste via the keyboard is faster and far easier to use. It also gives you all the time you need to navigate wherever you need to go.
Further to that, because I switch between platforms multiple times per day I just can't deal with the weird keyboard mappings on the Mac. Weird, of course, from the perspective of any other platform. If you are only on Mac it is very likely that everything else feels weird to you. I get it.
For example, I wanted copy and paste to be Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V. I wanted the editor in Xcode to behave like most other editors behave in other platforms and IDE's. I'm old school, for me the keyboard can be far faster than going for the mouse/touchpad/trackball all the time.
My solution was to install KeyRemap4Macbook (no affiliation) and make the Mac keyboard mimic Windows/Linux keyboard and mappings as much as possible.
I won't be buying your app, but great job. Like it a lot. Apple should buy it off you and integrate it into the OS. It's that good.
C/c/p is better than what came before it (it was invented at PARC in the early 1970s, and the alternative was much more mode-ful, something like vim), but is still too unfriendly for novices and too limited for experienced users. Unfortunately, it is so ubiquitous that it has forced all users to learn it, forced all software to implement it, and crowded out alternative approaches, even in contexts like file managers where the concept doesn’t really make sense. The best we can typically hope for is extensions of the typical c/c/p interaction which work like other implementations in the simple case but have some extra functionality for experienced users. These are usually entirely undiscoverable, and still share most of the problems of the traditional c/c/p.
The grab-something-and-move-it interface is OK for "normal" users. I would suspect that most techies might be far more inclined to figure out how to avoid miles of drag-and-drop action by using the keyboard.
There's another element to this. Our systems have, at a minimum, two 24 inch monitors and most have three 24 inch monitors. Drag-and-drop gets pretty old once you start to have to cruise around so much real-estate.
Beyond that c/c/p, per your own data point, has been around since the early 70's. That makes it a convention that's been around for possibly over 40 years. I think people get it.
This, of course, extends to operating almost any software. If someone is using it with any regularity it'd be crazy to mouse all over the menu system to get things done. The keyboard is far more efficient. This is particularly the case when macros can be programmed and invoked.
In general terms, I agree: For grandma, drag and drop is great and she is not likely to learn any keyboard shortcut at all. For anyone who is not a casual or lightweight computer user there's a whole other layer to the UI --via the keyboard-- that makes for better driving.
Dragondrop is a great tool. I was sincere when I said that Apple should buy it and integrate it into the OS. Not for me and those like me, but for the benefit of others for whom the grab-and-do-something interface is the only option.
Personally, I wish we used some kind of mashup/spinoff/extension of DragThing, Quicksilver, drag-and-drop for this sort of thing: flexible, letting us do more with the stuff in it than just paste it back, accessible from both keyboard and mouse ideally from anywhere on the screen, persistent and non-destructive. It’s a non-trivial problem, because we need something that scales from novices up through experts. But there’s a very large design space here, and most of it has been ignored for 30 years because the existing non-ideal conventions have ossified.
It’s exciting to see even tiny new ideas, like the utility being discussed in this conversation.
To follow your thought here: with all that tremendous quantity of monitor space available, we really should be devoting some chunk of it to showing what’s on the clipboard, or at least that there’s something there.
I could see that. Microsoft tried something like that with a stack-based (presumption) clipboard in Office. I don't think it worked very well. I thought it was confusing for most. You went from copy-this-and-then-paste-it to having to select what you wanted to paste. Simple is better in this case.
I can think of no instance where I explicitly needed to know what was in the clipboard. Now, admittedly, this is me, a single data point and not a casual user. I am sure it is different for casual users. In fact, I am sure that most of them don't have a clue that ctrl-c/v/x/z exist.
As for devoting screen real-estate for showing clipboard content. I can't really get a feel for the idea because I don't feel that I need it. In some cases I know that I don't want to give up any screen real-estate to anything other the the application/s currently running. For example, my EDA package uses three screens very well. I don't want to see anything else while doing this work. Again, just me.
But, I'm an Emacs user, so c/c/p is instinctual. If everyone grew up using Emacs people would probably be writing papers about how chaining keystrokes is some sort of deeply evolved human skill.
Many of the problems here intersect with the problems of our current files + hierarchical filesystem + semi-spatial file browser + open/save dialog system for dealing with “content” in general. Ideally, a generally more intuitive and flexible basis for these problems would be built, and the replacement for c/c/p would integrate with these other tools. That’s sort of wishful thinking though. (Well, the idea of replacing c/c/p is also probably wishful thinking. Systemically different approaches like the Canon Cat word processor are all pretty much dead by now.)
Also, maybe bloat but can u add plug-in system so we can have things like a right click with send to twitter, imgur, pastebin, etc?
im sure you can think long and hard about a better user experience than a right click, maybe whatever 'providers' you choose can appear as a logo to the right of the main dragondrop box, and you can drop on them if u want to upload to them. Or if you drop it in the regular dragondrop box, u can just click on the relevant logo.
Also can you add a buffer of say the last 10 or so items copied, like a stack. That way if i am composing something i can chuck a load of things in dragondrop then yank them back in reverse order, or all at once.
Oh yeah and maybe can do other stuff with this buffer, like zipping if its a loada files. You can then drag the zipped file off, or concatenating PDFs if its a load of pdfs. Or uploading an imgur album if its a load of pictures. Watch out for that bloat :p
Anyways just some ideas man, good luck great app. I'm sure it can be even better!
Thanks for making this - anything that improves my Mac's drag&drop and copy&paste functionality is worth at least $5.
Did I miss something in the video?
Partially Apple's fault, undoubtedly, but are you deliberately redirecting people to the App Store? Or is that some freebie that comes with embedding an App Store link/banner?
I could see this same gestural/persistent-floaty trick being useful on iOS (and similar full-screen foreground or touch environments) as well.
(Though, reserving a side of the screen as a clip-dock would be an obvious touch-OS alternative, and might work better on touch screens than it would on a desktop. On the desktop, the corners and edge are already heavily colonized with meaning.)
That is always a good sign.
In general, the sandbox doesn't cause us any problems, because we already write our temporary data to the proper sandboxed location, and dragging a file into an app is one of the approved sandbox interactions. However, enabling the sandbox DOES break QuickLook icon fetching for some types of objects (most notably volumes, which show up as folders). This seems to be a bug in NSWorkspace that I hope will be addressed in the future.
Nice work and congrats on the Daring Fireball mention.
I wonder (judging from other comments) if people know the hack whereby you can start a d'n'd and then use command-tab to switch apps while dragging. Saves a lot of grief.
But the Dragon Drop is way sexier.
is there some kind of minimum-wiggle-movement i have to hit in order for drangdrop to get activated?
Or one could say it's not a 'Preview window', don't expect it to behave.
CEO - CharitySub.org