Under The Microscope

Archive for December, 2020

All Rogue Amoeba Apps Now Have Official Support for the New M1 Macs

As of today, our entire product line now has support for Apple’s newest M chip-based Macs. The latest versions of our software now run natively on the new Apple Silicon-powered machines, to provide the best possible performance on this impressive new hardware. If you’ve already got an M chip-based Mac, just download the latest versions of our products and you should be all set.

We do suggest that those with critical setups take things slow in moving to a new Mac, as we’re still watching for any unexpected edge cases. Just as it’s smart to wait to update your OS, switching to brand-new hardware should be done with some amount of caution, especially when it comes to production environments.

A Note on Getting ACE Authorized for M1 Chip-Based Macs

As we noted in previous posts, a bit more setup is required to install our audio handling extension “ACE”, used by Airfoil, Audio Hijack, Loopback, Piezo, and SoundSource. Those apps will guide you through the necessary steps to get up and running, but if you need more assistance, we have a comprehensive step-by-step guide as well.

Fortunately, this process is quick, and it only needs to be done once. After you’ve authorized ACE on your Mac, future updates will be lightning-fast.

Full Big Sur Compatibility on Intel-Based Macs

In addition to providing initial support for M chip-based Macs, our latest updates also have full support for Intel-based Macs running MacOS 11 (Big Sur). We first unveiled Big Sur-compatible updates in early November, prior to Apple’s official release, to ensure that early adopters could continue to make use of our tools. However, we always want to perform extensive testing and vetting before we recommend a new OS for widespread usage.

Having now had the time to do that, we’re confident in recommending our apps for all users running Big Sur, including those in production environments. If you’re ready to update your Mac to Big Sur, our software is ready for you.

A Strenuous Season of Releases

Since fall began less than three months ago, we’ve released an astonishing 49 updates across our product line. That’s actually more new versions than we shipped in the entire year of 2019. These updates added features, squashed bugs, and most importantly, brought support for both Apple’s new operating system and their new Mac hardware. Worth noting, every single one of those updates was free for current customers.

We’re now looking forward to a well-deserved break as 2020 ends, and to getting back to a more reasonable update schedule after that. Rest assured, however, we remain hard at work adding new functionality and fixing bugs. We’ll have plenty more to announce in 2021, so stay tuned.

Motion Blur with CSS

Earlier this month, we celebrated our designer Neale for his fifth anniversary here at Rogue Amoeba. Most of Neale’s great work is easy to see in our apps and on our site, but he recently had a very cool idea that we haven’t yet found a use for. While experimenting, he hit on an idea to do a realistic motion blur effect in HTML/CSS.

I was a bit shocked to find that nobody had really attempted this before. There were some less realistic takes, but my technique more closely resembles how video compositors like After Effects achieve motion blur.

Neale decided to pitch this idea to the popular blog “CSS-Tricks”, where it was accepted for publication. Check out the full article, straightforwardly titled “How to Create a Realistic Motion Blur with CSS Transitions”, where you can see it in action. It’s a very neat trick, and one we just might see more of in the future.

Half A Decade Looking Great

It’s once again time to celebrate an employee milestone here at Rogue Amoeba. Today, we want to honor our designer Neale Van Fleet, who recently hit the five year mark working with us. We’re beyond delighted to celebrate his tenure thus far, which includes countless contributions.

Neale’s Work

As the sole designer here at Rogue Amoeba, Neale is in charge of just about everything visual. Whether it’s artwork for our blog posts, the design of our web site, or the user interfaces of our applications, you’ve definitely been touched by Neale’s tremendous work.

Since joining us in 2015, he’s made every single one of our products better. That works has included the creation of tremendously well-received new designs for apps including Loopback:

and SoundSource:

Neale also took charge of our company rebranding, an important effort which produced a more polished logo and brand that still retains a sense of fun.

Neale has also overhauled nearly every corner of our website, added helpful introductory tours to every product we make, powered our Instagram account, and so much more.

A small sample of images from the Rogue Amoeba Instagram account

He’s even written articles for this very blog, and those posts are some of my favorites. In particular, I love his reviews whenever we unveil a major new design, such as his recent look at “The Design of SoundSource 5”.

Neale has produced stellar work while being a great teammate. What more could we ask for?

Looking to the Heavens

Speaking of stellar, let’s briefly discuss Neale’s anniversary gift. To celebrating a five year anniversary, we like to find a personalized gift that will mean something to the recipient. While working on his Everywhere School project, Neale made particular note of some astronomy streams he’d watched with his son. On top of that, Neale and his family recently acquired a small cabin out away from his home city of Montreal.

Those two things inspired us to find what we hoped would be the perfect gift: A top-notch telescope.

Happily, this gift turned out very well indeed. While Neale already had a borrowed telescope, it was low-end, and needed to go back to its owner eventually. Now, Neale has a vastly superior telescope to call his own. It even features a computerized stand, which solves one of the most annoying problems of using a telescope, aiming it at tiny objects millions upon millions of miles away. It should provide many years of stargazing delight.


Since joining Rogue Amoeba, Neale has had a dramatic influence on the appearance and feel of everything we do. Whenever I step back and look at our website or our products, I’m blown away by the level of quality and attention to detail that are a direct result of Neale’s efforts.

Speaking for both the Rogue Amoeba team, and our entire user base, thank you, Neale! We’re delighted with what you’ve done since joining us, and we hope for many more fruitful years together.

P.S. We’re Still Hiring

Once again, a celebration post is coinciding with job openings here at Rogue Amoeba. In addition to the Mac software developer we’ve had open for a bit (we’re taking our time there), we also have an open role for a new Support tech, which we’d like to fill soon.

If you’re interested in joining our team, see our Jobs page, then get in touch. We just might be celebrating you in a few years.

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