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Skitch co-founder talks 2.0 changes, asks user sufferance


Fans of Plasq's Skitch screenshot utility for the Mac were intrigued when Evernote acquired the product at the end of 2011 (a pairing first suggested way back in 2008). They were charged with anticipation when the 2.0 version came out this September. And many were furiously, storm-the-barricades incensed when it turned out that the revised app had shaved away many of the key workflow features users depended on.

Keith Lang, one of the fathers of Skitch, is proud of the work his team has done on 2.0, but he also recognizes that they've left many of its legacy users in the lurch with the new version's changes. In a blog post on Evernote's site, he acknowledges that the 2.0 redesign "underestimated how deeply ingrained Skitch had become in many people's daily workflows and how disruptive changes to the product could be." Lang's new commitment to Skitch's users: "I'd like you to know that we're going to fix it."

Some of the app's key capabilities -- a menu bar shortcut, multiple file formats in the drag-and-drop tool -- are already back in the 2.02 version. Some other popular favorites (automatic sharing of URLs and support for FTP/SFTP uploading, both vital for website authors and bloggers) will be returning soon.

Lang points out that the long, long arc of Skitch's development with a very small core team (the product remained in "public beta" for three years before going 1.0) meant that underneath the surface, the app was being "held together by five years of duct tape and good intentions." The dramatic changes necessary to modernize the app's internals were accompanied by a rethinking of the UI and feature set to try and simplify the Skitch experience. "[We] re-thought much of how Skitch for Mac looked and worked. We didn't get it all right, and we're certainly not done," says Lang.

To make sure that no Skitch users are fighting an uphill battle with the 2.0 app while improvements are made and features restored/rethought, Lang points to the free download of Skitch 1.x that is still available. Alternatives to Skitch include Techsmith's Jing and Snagit, Gyazo, Snaplr and Monosnap. The built-in Preview application on OS X Mountain Lion also includes screenshot, annotation and sharing tools.

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