TotalFinder is cool, but the main feature, the tabs, is already present in the new OS X 10.9 (Mavericks). We like that Apple finally implemented tabs into Finder by default, but that also means serious hit for our business. The math is simple: in the future, not that many people will be interested in buying TotalFinder when they can get tabs for free from Apple. Also TotalFinder idea has been “cloned” by XtraFinder guys. They did a good job, competition is good, but for us it means competing with decent free alternative which is an uphill battle.
For existing users (and for myself) I want to keep TotalFinder compatible and up-to-date, but I also started looking into new ideas what could be built for you guys as our next product.
In BinaryAge we are a bunch of guys specialised in reverse engineering and hacking standard OS X apps/components. But we can do also pretty much anything else on the web, in system programming, games, you name it.
What software is missing in your life? Let’s discuss it!
This is part an answer to your question but also a comment about how you sell and brand your product…
I think a key market for you is new Mac users coming from Windows. For an ex-Windows user like me, simple things like folders on top are massive in terms of familiarity, even more than the tabs. I’m surprised you don’t push this aspect a little harder - is there an issue that longtime Mac users would perceive making Finder more Windows-like as a negative? (My personal view is that Explorer is one of only a few things in Windows that is clearly better than its Mac equivalent - Finder feels very underdone compared to Windows’ file management).
Extending that line of thought leads to some possible answers - there are other things that are better done in Windows. The whole Aero snap thing in Windows is way better for managing windows, for example. I use an add-on called Flexiglass to reproduce Aero snap and also more flexible / intuitive close, maximise and minimise behaviour, but it doesn’t seem as stable as Total Finder (it seems to crash and need restarting quite often) and I would like an all-in-one option, since layering multiple OS plugins seems a recipe for trouble.
So I suppose I’m suggesting a broader OSX enhancement that covers a few of windows’ better features like:
folders on top
icon size sliders at the top of windows in icon view
button to go up one folder level in nested folders
Aero snap style windows management (drag to left to fill half screen etc)
secondary click red button to close
secondary click green button to maximise to full screen
windows style cut and paste
windows style dock previews
(some of these are obviously already in TotalFinder).
If TotalFinder incorporated those, the whole package becomes quite compelling, even without the selling point of tabs.
If you really want to hit a home run (assuming this is in your ballpark!), please consider creating an excellent Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or workflow management program. Please don’t think I’m talking about some dusty business package; I mean an OS X-flavored, beautiful, intuitive program that lets small businesses from one-person to medium-sized track appointments, email, contacts, tasks and projects. There are dozens of task management apps, but they’re frankly next to useless without connection to everything else that makes a creative business (even a one-person shop) run. You may think this kind of thing is available all over the app store and all over the Web. Do you know how many native OS X programs handle this job? One: Daylite. And the only reason it’s successful is because it has no competition. It’s terribly buggy and always has been, crashing frequently both on its desktop app and its iOS app. This program would be similar to (but better than) the old Microsoft Entourage, which is no longer offered. It would either feature a rock-solid plug-in for Apple Mail, or better, handle mail internally. Anything could be linked to anything: contacts, emails, tasks, appointments, notes. Tasks could be organized into projects. And it wouldn’t just exist in the cloud, requiring an always-on Internet connection. It would be a real app. OmniFocus does some of this (not contacts, not email automatically, not contacts). Insightly does most of this – but only in your browser and only with constant upsell nagging. Jumsoft made something like this that was woefully underpowered. Please think hard about this: I can’t imagine why no one smart has jumped into this near-vacuum. You’d certainly have one customer – and evangelist! Thanks for reading.
Double click the title bar to HIDE an application rather than minimize (if enabled)
Change the middle (yellow) button in the title bar on top left of all applications to HIDE rather than minimize.
Change the right (green) button to ALWAYS maximize to full screen. I currently use Divvy for this but it should just work always.
I find minimize to be among the most useless and poorly thought out features in OS X as you can’t easily identify the minimized applications in the Dock and you can’t restore them using the keyboard without doing an insane keyboard combination that I think only I know. (Cmd+Tab until the application with the minimized window is highlighted. Then while still holding cmd, press option at the same time, continue pressing option and release cmd and the minimized window with be restored - silliness)
Two things. First, as others have mentioned, TotalFinder still has many capabilities not present in Mavericks, foremost (to me) being Folders on Top. This and dual windows are almost worth the price of Total Finder. So, although tabs are present in Mavericks, TF still has a reason to exist. You might find a drop in price will be necessary, but I don’t think it needs to be free.
Second, two (pretty far out there, I realize) ideas: one, a good occasion card (birthday, annniversary, etc.) program. Hallmark on the Mac is awful, and there’s no one else playing. This is one I’ve never understood — the Mac is made for a program like this.
Two, a Quicken replacement. There are several out there, but, again, none of them are all that good, or as easy to use, as Quicken. The world would beat a path to your door if you pulled this off, but it’s admittedly a pretty lofty idea.
There are a lot of note applications for mac, but until now I couldn’t find a single one which would allow me to sync through an open standard (I use memotoo as my cloud sync provider). So if you could hack the OS X app to allow this, or create an even better notes app which would allow us to sync with the cloud provider of our choice I would be interested;
I hope/believe soon we will have an explosion of devices we can connect to our TV and transmit information through Miracast and DIAL (used by Chromecast) protocols. I don’t believe however Apple will develop soon in OS X the ability to use this protocols, as it has its own protocol (AirPlay). If you could make OS X work with this future devices, I think you would have a great market in front of you. Also, being able to display content received through Miracast and DIAL would be interesting.
I feel Folders on Top and Window Shade should be part of TotalFinder and/or TotalSpaces. Or maybe combined into another app?
One killer app would be something to tame the Notification Center. Making notifications appear untreated would be cool.
Another could wrangle the menubar a la Bartender.
Another killer app would add Aero Windows 7 snap to Finder or tiling or creative patterns.
There are things Apple missed in Mavericks’ interface and any of them are an opportunity to create a new app.
I don’t understand, that You think TotalFinder has lost it’s mojo. The “new” tabbed Finder in Mavericks is almost useless. And I doubt, tabs were the No.1-reason for people to use TF. TotalFinder has “A” dual pane, “B” folders on top an “C” copy&paste. 3 good reasons to continue TotalFinder.
+1 for nacho’s suggestion. When on Windows, I sometimes use a tool called TeraCopy to copy large files or across a network. More reliable than Explorer’s built-in copy for the same reasons nacho mentioned, and it can verify after copy, pause a copy in progress, etc. I haven’t found anything quite like it for OS X and I think it would be nice to have it, especially for working with network drives and removable media where the copy operations are less reliable and more time consuming. I’d buy it.
Tilted Tabs: An idea for TotalFinder - In a move to make TotalFinder’s tabs more useful than the tabs that Apple finally added… Turn the tabs sideways - I’ve got a LOT of tabs, and I can’t really read them very well because they’re squished together with all the other tabs. If the tabs were tilted/turned sideways at an angle. You’d end up with a more distinctive look (cocked/tilted/cocky/different), a more functional tab (allowing more of the tab label/text to be displayed vertically), a design feature that’s different than the Apple implementation, and a ‘new’ feature (from an old feature) that makes the TotalFinder tabs better than the Apple implementation.
If you want to get fancy, you could make the tilting more severe (starting out horizontal and approaching vertical) as the number of tabs increases relative to the size of the finder window as compared to the desktop size. This tilting effect could occur automatically as the window is resized, or more tabs are added.
Stand Out Tabs: Another Idea for TotalFinder - In a move to make TotalFinder’s tabs more useful than the tabs that Apple finally added… Make the active tab ‘Stand Out’ - I’ve got a LOT of tabs, and I can’t always tell which tab I’m currently using because they all blend together too easily. Looking for the lines that indicate which tab is active is a bit difficult. Perhaps you could use U/I shadows to make the active tab ‘Stand Out’. Make it ‘pop’ forward so a user can clearly and easily see which tab (or tabs if two are merged / connected) is being used. You could even make that particular tab a little bigger, making the tab’s label easier to read.
This would have the effect of making TotalFinder’s tabs more distinctive and more functional that Apple’s implementation of the tabbed finder interface. Keep TotalFinder cutting edge - Keep the core functionality that Apple has finally implemented, but make TotalFinder’s implementation Better than the standard implementation.