The good news for Bare Bones Software’s Yojimbo users is that a migration path for iCloud syncing is (finally) almost ready. The bad news is that a combination of Apple’s policies means that in order to make that migration, users will have to purchase a copy from the Mac App Store.
Yojimbo and iCloud
Yojimbo is a popular information organizer app, and one of the key features for the software has been seamless integration between multiple Macs using Apple’s MobileMe service. MobileMe is being shuttered by Apple on Saturday, June 30th, and that means that Bare Bones has to move the app’s syncing abilities to iCloud if it wants to preserve that ability.
Bare Bones CEO Rich Siegel posted a note on the company’s site explaining three ways for his customers to handle the issue. One way is to use Dropbox to manage your syncing, a method that is doable but includes a little more hassle than the seamless MobileMe syncing users have had access to in the past.
Another method will be to stop using Yojimbo on multiple Macs, or just to stop using it altogether. Mr. Siegel gets props for acknowledging this when he wrote that, “We feel it’s important to acknowledge that some of our customers may be unable or unwilling to continue using Yojimbo.”
A third option, and the option that is first on his list, is to migrate to iCloud and use a new version of Yojimbo that will include support for iCloud syncing. It turns out, however, that a combination of Apple policies is going to require Yojimbo customers who bought the software directly from Bare Bones to purchase a new copy of the software from the Mac App Store if they want to take this path.
The first such policy is Apple’s requirement that all Mac apps that use iCloud be sold only and exclusively through the Mac App Store. That means that if Bare Bones wants to add iCloud support to its Mac software, it must only sell those apps with that feature through the MAS.
The second issue is that the Mac App Store doesn’t allow for upgrade pricing or offer the ability for existing owners to download a free (or discounted) version of the app. For the time being, the Mac App Store has a one-price-fits-all-scenarios reality.
From Mr. Siegel’s post:
Please note that with the release of the new version, Yojimbo will only be available in the Mac App Store. This is because Apple has decided that any applications that use iCloud for sync may only be distributed through the Mac App Store. Therefore, customers who have bought Yojimbo directly from us and wish to use iCloud to sync data will have to purchase a new version of Yojimbo from the Mac App Store.
It bears noting that current versions of Yojimbo will continue to work after MobileMe gets shut off on Saturday, they simply won’t sync across multiple Macs. For many users, this isn’t an issue, or is at least something they can work around.
Those for whom multi-Mac syncing is important will need to use the Dropbox method outlined in Mr. Siegel’s post or pony up for the new Mac App Store version that will be released in the near future. Bare Bones will have that version submitted to Apple “by the middle of this week,” and it will be on the MAS once it is approved.
Lastly, Yojimbo is already available on the Mac App Store for US$38.99—The Mac Observer is awaiting clarification from Bare Bones on how the update will work for those who have already purchased Yojimbo from the MAS. We will update this article when we have that clarification.
One more “lastly” note: Bare Bones plans, “to offer Yojimbo at a deeply discounted rate to accommodate customers who will be inconvenienced by this change.” Mr. Siegel didn’t offer specifics, but it sounds like the company will be reducing the MAS price for a limited time to give users a chance to make the change for less money.
[Update: The article was updated to explain that we were awaiting clarification on MAS update pricing. - Editor]