Volitans Software

The Future of SMART Utility

This is an update on a post I did about a year ago, regarding SMART Utility and 10.4 support. As the Apple OS landscape has changed, I have solidified the roadmap going forward. I wanted to share my thoughts on that roadmap.

First, let me start with some numbers. SMART Utility collects anonymous system information on an opt in basis. I looked at the OS that SMART Utility was running for users that reported in the last month. Less than 1% were on 10.4. Only 8% were on 10.5. The overwhelming majority(91%) was running 10.6 (42%) or 10.7(49%). Because all development work is trade-offs, I had to decide where to spend the majority of the work. Anything below 10.6 seems like lost time due to the small numbers remaining.

There is also the issue of the development tools. Apple stopped support 10.5 in Xcode 4, and Xcode 3 doesn’t run that well on 10.7. With the release on 10.8, and its requirement to use Xcode 4 to use app signing, that makes the ability to support 10.5 even harder. I want to upgrade to using Xcode 4, especially since Xcode 3 probably won’t even run on 10.8.

So, with those two issues in mind, here is the support roadmap:

  • Active development on version 3.1 is underway now. There will be some major changes, especially to the stability and operation of the user interface. One big new feature is email notifications, a much requested feature. The other big change is that version 3.1 will not run on 10.4. Version 3.0.2 will last version that will run on 10.4. Because development has already commenced on version 3.1, it will still run on version 10.5. Future bug fixes (3.1.1, 3.1.2, etc) will also. Version 3.1 may not be fully compatible with 10.8.
  • Features for version 3.2 are slowing being decided. But one thing that is already decided is that version 3.2 will not run on 10.5 (or PPCs). Version 3.1.x will be the last to run on 10.5. However, version 3.2 will be fully compatible with 10.8. I’m excited to be able to use a lot of the new APIs that were introduced with 10.6 and 10.7.
  • Version 4.0 may not support 10.6, depending on the support Xcode 4.4 has for 10.6.

I hope that all makes sense, and please feel free to contact me with comments and suggestions at mbutch@volitans-software.com.