February 2020 by Tobias Günther

What's New in Tower for Mac

With Tower 4 for Mac being out the door, you might be wondering what you've missed since we shipped version 3. The answer: a lot!

We published 15 releases since then - adding new features, improving existing ones, and increasing Tower's performance. Here's a quick roundup of some of these powerful new features and improvements.

Performance Tuning

Being a native macOS application from day one, Tower had always been pretty good in terms of performance and stability. But "pretty good" never cut it for us... which is why we decided to invest heavily in getting more power out of Tower.

Especially bigger Git repositories with thousands of remote branches, tags, etc. now benefit significantly from our work in this area: opening such a repository, displaying the working copy, loading changesets, and many other actions are up to 5x faster than before!

We will never stop to fine-tune and improve performance. But in its current state, Tower is a very powerful and responsive macOS application.

User Profiles

Many developers maintain multiple identities. Before your imagination starts to run wild: I'm talking about different committer identities and email addresses 😉 One profile for work, another one for side projects, and maybe yet another one for an OpenSource project...

To make maintaining and switching these identities easier, we introduced User Profiles in version 3.4. Since then, a new tab in Tower's preferences dialog lets you create and edit profiles. These can be used to quickly switch between different committer identities - just for a single commit or generally for a certain repository.

GPG Support

Support for GPG had been on our wishlist for quite some time. But if you know our philosophy a bit, you also know that we're careful not to rush things: instead of releasing something half-baked, we invest the time and effort to ship something great.

With version 3.5, we were finally able to present a seamless, thought-out integration in Tower. You can now sign commits and tags, see which commits have been signed and by who, and connect GPG keys with your User Profiles - all right from within the app.

If you're using it in your work, you'll want to read more about the GPG integration in Tower in our help.

Dark Mode

When Apple announced the introduction of a "Dark Mode" in macOS 10.14, we knew we wanted to have this in Tower as soon as possible. And the countless Tweets and emails from users let us know we were on the right track. 💌

This is why, as soon as macOS Mojave was out, Tower was available in a brand-new dark theme. And it really looks awesome!

Image Diffing

Version control with Git has become more and more popular among designers (and design-conscious developers, of course). That's why we wanted to make working with visual assets in Git repositories easier and more rewarding.

Since version 3.1, Tower supports image diffs for a variety of formats (PNG, JPG, GIF, BMP, TIFF, JPEG2000, HEIC). This functionality is available both in the Working Copy and in our various history / changeset views. Although the current state of this feature is already great, we have lots of ideas to extend and improve this in the future.

Undo with CMD+Z

And finally, with version 4 of Tower for Mac, we've reached another huge milestone in our mission to make version control with Git easier and more productive for everyone. Why, you ask? Because undoing mistakes in your daily work has now become as easy as pressing CMD+Z!

One of the best things about Git has always been that it offers so many ways to undo mistakes. But depending on what exactly you want to undo, this might involve a series of quite complex commands - and thereby the risk of doing more damage than repair...
Tower 4 for Mac finally unlocks this huge potential: no matter if you're trying to undo the catastrophic effects of a mind-bending interactive rebase or simply the deletion of a branch - it's all available with a simple keyboard shortcut we all know and love.

The new Undo feature allows you to undo almost anything, from Rebases to Resets, from Commits to Merge Conflicts

Here are some of the many scenarios where you can use this:

  • Undo deleting a branch or tag
  • Undo merging two branches
  • Undo checking out a branch
  • Undo deleting files
  • Undo committing changes
  • Undo a rebase (or an interactive rebase)
  • Undo publishing a branch on a remote
  • Undo staging/unstaging changes
  • ...and much more!

In other words: averting disaster is now as easy as undoing a change in your text editor with CMD+Z.

Standing on the Shoulders of a Giant 3.0

When we talk about recent feature additions and improvements, we should be careful not to forget one thing: the great foundation that the launch of version 3.0 brought us. Interactive Rebase, Quick Actions, Pull Requests, Reflog, Navigation and countless other features and improvements paved the way for a whole new Tower app.

Thanks to all of our users for joining us on this journey. If you haven't already, make sure to update your Tower app to version 4 - and have fun undoing mistakes!


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