The Shape of Everything
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February 16, 2018

Acorn 6.1 has been released.

As described last December, my goals for this release were to move to Metal 2 (on MacOS 10.13+) and to bring back some color to the UI. And I'm happy to say both happened relatively smoothly, and I even added HEIC/HEIF encoding support if you're running MacOS 10.13.4+.

I've also made some tweaks with how brushing works (it's faster now- over 160 FPS on my iMac*) and while exploring that code, I've come up with some ideas that I think will make it even smoother and faster in the future.

For the App Store version of Acorn, I've also removed the option to "purchase" a free trial for $0 via in app purchases. You can still grab the free trial off our website, and if you like it you can purchase Acorn directly from us or from the App Store.

IAPs have a lot of issues on the Mac, and provided a really crappy experience just to enable free trials. Incomplete store APIs (such as receipt refreshing), buggy / hung app store background processes (we were having to tell people to restart their computers if the purchases weren't working), 403 App Store errors when trying to purchase the trial, dialog boxes saying "Are you sure you want to spend $0?" which scared people away, and of course emails from people assuming that I was going to try and charge them after the trial was up and they wanted to cancel their "subscription".

It's not been fun.

If Apple ever implements a real way to have trials in the App Store some day, or makes other changes resulting in a nicer experience for free IAPs, we'll look at bringing it back. But for now I don't think it's worth it for Acorn.

But let's not let that overshadow this nice release. If you're not running it already, go grab Acorn 6.1 and try it out. Better, faster, smoother, stronger. And the full release notes are also available as always.

* I had to disable display sync when brushing to actually get above the MacOS's hard coded clamp of 60FPS. There's a tiny bit of tearing when this is done, but since it's around the size of the brush, it's barely noticeable. I'm curious what the frame rate would be on an iMac Pro.