Product Announcement – In time for what appears to be the final shutdown of Xmarks next week, Sheep Systems of San Jose, California has published version 2.7 of BookMacster, Synkmark, Markster and Smarky, its bookmarks management apps. (The four apps are built from the same code and are updated simultaneously with the same version number.)
- Synkmark ($16.95 USD) is the app which most directly replaces Xmarks.
- BookMacster ($22.95 USD) is geared toward power users who don’t mind a little more cognitive overhead. For example, it supports bookmarks collections in multiple documents instead of a single “shoebox”.
- Smarky ($11.95 USD) is the manager for Safari bookmarks only.
- Markster ($16.95 USD) takes a different approach, providing a central store of bookmarks which is accessed directly, bypassing the built-in bookmarks of web browsers. Markster users can sync with the browsers’ bookmarks, but only manually.
“To our knowledge, our four apps are the only non-Apple apps that can properly sync with Safari bookmarks in iCloud,” says Sheep Systems’ Chief Engineer Jerry Krinock. “And most users nowadays *are* using iCloud for Safari, because iCloud is the only way to sync Safari bookmarks on iOS devices.”
Unlike Xmarks, these apps do not sync your bookmarks to a Sheep Systems server. “We work in *tandem* with iCloud, Firefox Sync, *Sign In* to Google and Opera Sync”, Krinock explains. “There is no sense duplicating services built into web browsers, which most users are using at least one of anyhow.”
Instead of funding its operations by pushing featured websites, Sheep Systems “pays its bills the old-fashioned way, by selling the apps.” BookMacster, Synkmark and Smarky get frequent updates due to frequent changes in web browsers, and occasionally Sheep Systems charges for major upgrades. The last such upgrade was in October 2015.
These native Mac apps offer additional manual management tools not found in web apps: sorting alphabetically, finding and eliminating duplicates, find, search and replace, removing URL “cruft”, changing insecure bookmarks to https://, and, of course, verifying that bookmarks still work.
The main change in version 2.7 is elimination of the Selection menu, moving its items into the Edit menu, and adding missing actions to it. Krinock continues, “Contextual menus, which are accessed by performing a secondary click (most people hold down the ‘control’ key) on a target item, should offer the same actions available in the main Edit menu. But many apps challenge users’ muscle memory because there are some actions available in the main Edit menu but not in the contextual menu, and others vice versa. Version 2.7 gets that right in our apps. Users get the same actions whether they hit the main Edit menu, or the contextual menu.”
New users will be prompted to get an anonymous 3-day Demo license after using one of the apps. A second Demo license may be obtained, providing six total demo days. The apps work in macOS 10.10, 10.11, 10.12 or 10.13.