Realmac Software Releases Ember – A Digital Scrapbook for Your Mac

Realmac Software, makers of great apps such as Clear, Rapidweaver, Analog, and Analog Camera, have released Ember for Mac today. Last month, Realmac detailed in a blog post what the future of LittleSnapper was and the team explained:

Over last few months, we’ve been getting a few emails asking about LittleSnapper – with some folks wondering if the app is still under development.

As it happens we’ve been heads-down-working on LittleSnapper for some time, and I’m absolutely thrilled today to dispel any rumours of the app’s demise and announce today that we’ve been hard at work on the next version of LittleSnapper: Ember for Mac.

Remember the original Ember? It was a great webapp (saved screenshot) that let you browse and add images to collections for inspiration: I used it all the time before Dribbble became so popular. Back in June of 2011, the Realmac team shut down the service and it was a major bummer for me — but it was understandable. Today, Ember is back as a Mac app, and it works great. Users of the old LittleSnapper are going to love Ember because it’s much more than a simple name change, but rather more like a ‘Pro’ version of the old software.

LittleSnapper users can easily import their libraries upon launching the new Ember app. The only thing you need to do to prepare for Ember is to make sure you’re using the most recent version of LittleSnapper, as only LittleSnapper libraries opened with LittleSnapper v1.8.5 can be imported into Ember. After that, Ember will be populated with all your goodies (Ember also supports importing multiple libraries if you need to do so).

Ember is a great place to store photos, images, drawings, websites, app screenshots, or just about any image that inspires you. Just drag, snap or import the images that you want to keep, then organize them into your own relevant collections. Ember lets you annotate the images you need to give feedback on with drawing and text tools that allow you to give feedback / edits on images; if you need to, you can rotate and crop your images so they are correctly sized and aligned.

Images can be shared via AirDrop, Messages, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, and CloudApp. In terms of library organization, tags help you sort and projects keep them all neatly organized, while smart projects work just like OS X Smart Folders — you can set the parameters on what they filter and collect.

If you’re looking for inspiration and items to add, Ember has a few options. You can use the built-in web browser (it’s responsive!) and snap from there with built-in tools; the browser has a smart element detection that automatically suggests areas to snap as you roll over a webpage. Under the Subscriptions tab, you can subscribe to a site’s RSS (like Dribbble’s popular feed) and the app will refresh the feed on launch (or manually). Ember has browser extensions that will import snaps from Chrome and Safari there is a menu bar tool for quick and easy snaps from anywhere on your Mac.

Ember can also auto-detect iPhone and iPad screenshots. Drag the PNGs from your iOS device and Ember will automatically sort them into “Phone” and “Tablet”. Preferences let you set your image and text editor of choice, plus snap shortcuts, among other things. Ember will let you open images in your default browser, use Notification Center to let you know when you have new subscription images, and many more nice little touches.

When discussing Ember’s release, Federico asked me what I thought about the lack of sync an/or iOS apps and I answered: “For me, it doesn’t come into play at all with this app because I can import iOS screens. Most of my inspiration/design browsing is from my desktop computer and, if I really need to snap a screenshot from iOS, I can save it to Dropbox so when I get home I can import it into Ember. In a way, that’s like having sync.” Now, I do think syncing ember data across Macs (via Dropbox or iCloud) would be nice but that’s not yet available but could be in a future update.

Ember is a very polished app with a fantastic UI, slick animations, full-screen mode and it’s simply a fun app to use and organize images with. If you’re a digital creative person and want to organize your screenshots, inspirational images and reference files, Ember could be what you need. Ember for Mac is available today via the Mac App Store for $49. The price may be a little steep for some, but Ember is powerful, sexy, smart, and worth every penny.