We have a new app out today: Bronson Watermarker PDF.
It’s in the Mac App Store, and 50% off through Sunday, June 8th.
The new Bronson features a stripped-down UI that indicates where we think Mac app design is headed. Many buttons have lost their edges, relying on color and context to indicate their clickability. Title bars are integrated into the window. Animations take the place of progress bars.1
You can see more screenshots here.
The changes are more than cosmetic. Bronson has new features to protect screenplays and other documents, including password encryption and invisible watermarks.
Bronson Watermarker was our first Mac app, released January 2012. It was deliberately minimalist: one list field, five watermark styles, one checkbox. Over time, we added a button to change the font and opacity, but the app remained essentially unchanged.
It also remained kind of ugly.
Of all our apps, Bronson was starting to feel like the odd duck. It sold well, and we got appreciative emails from people who used it daily. But we weren’t proud of it.
So we took two weeks to remake it. From pixels to code, it’s an entirely new app, with almost nothing carried over from the original. We added in the features users wanted most (passwords, saved lists, better customization) and removed things that never fit quite right (image watermarking, line burn).
Removing features is a tough thing. You end up with a better, more-focused app, but users can argue that it’s a downgrade. The Mac App Store makes it especially difficult, because it replaces the original app with the new version. For almost everyone, the new Bronson is a much better app — unless you really liked what we used to do with JPGs.2
In the end, we decided to make a clean break, shipping the new version as a new app and appending PDF to the name. This let us increase the minimum OS requirements and move it from the Productivity category to Business, where it really belongs. It also means users of the old Bronson can keep their app, or choose to switch to the new one.
Through June 8th, everyone gets the upgrade price of $15. After that, it’s $30.
- WWDC is Monday, so we’ll know soon which of our guesses were correct. ↩
- It’s easy to see this conundrum with word processors and screenwriting software, which get bloated with rarely-used features. Most users wouldn’t know if you removed these vestigial bits — but some users rely on them. When was the last time you used Mail Merge? For most people, never. For some, three times since lunch. ↩