The first version of Tags was released almost exactly a year ago! Tags, we like to believe, did hit a nerve of showing how “file organization” can work much more effectively, if you are willing to let go of the old file/folder paradigm. We thought much of the work of explaining the concept of tags had been done by others, especially web applications such as flickr, delicious etc. The tags concept definitely went mainstream with Gmail, which finally got rid of folders for good in their interface. When we set out to create a simple tagging solution for the desktop we had no idea how difficult it would turn out to be to create an app that intends to fundamentally change the way you interact with files on your computer. Once Tags was done and released we noticed that we had to first sell the abstract concept of tagging itself, which is quite difficult to put into words (try explaining tagging to your mother!) That being said, the release of Tags last year did not go unnoticed, it was picked up by a number of great people and publications, here just to name a few:
- TUAW: http://www.tuaw.com/2009/01/19/tags-takes-organization-to-a-new-level/ (special thanks to Brett Terpstra, he has not only spread the word about Tags but has given more valuable feedback on how to improve the app than anyone)
- Techcrunch: http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/20/tags-is-the-organization-tool-for-mac-users-who-have-obsessive-compulsive-disorder/
- Daring Fireball: http://daringfireball.net/linked/2009/02/06/tags
We have spent almost the entire year working on creating the next generation of Tags. We are very happy with the release and think it’s a major step for Tags and its future. No stone was left unturned when working on the upgrade. We completely rethought the UI, changed the back-end and added a ton of new features. The most important new features to mention are:
Search interface: We realized that although tags are an excellent way to find the files you are looking for, in reality you also need the full text search that spotlight supplies in many cases. This is why we set out to replace the spotlight UI completely and simply making it better. The idea was to take what people are used to and love, the standard spotlight interface, and add great tags search support and some other features that we felt spotlight should have had since day 1.
Tag Browser: The new Tag Browser was created completely from scratch, and is designed to give you a way to manipulate existing tags on your system.. rename them, delete them, etc. as well as creating a fast and intuitive look at all the tags and their associated files on yourMac.
It took us much longer than expected. We ended up adding more and more features, and polishing, and adding more features, and polishing some more etc..
This in combination with the release of Snow Leopard which also resulted in a lot of things having to be redone..to make a long story short, we have learned our lesson. You will not have to wait for an update this long in the future.
So what’s next?
As with any major product released, the Tags 2 update will not please everyone. Some may miss features and some may be unhappy with some of the changes.
The good thing is that it doesn’t stop here. We plan to release updates for Tags in a more constant manner in the following months. A couple of exciting things are already on our list and we are eager to hear your feedback and comments on Tags 2.
We hope you enjoy Tags!