The End of Ember?

Realmac Software are discontinuing support for their Ember app for iOS. This is a little disappointing. I select the majority of my software based on two requirements: necessary functionality and access to that functionality regardless of which device I happen to have to hand. This has worked out pretty well for me; parts of this very post were composed on my iPhone, iPad and MacBook. I've grown accustomed to having instant access to my files and data anywhere (at least anywhere that I can achieve a data connection). The prospect of losing this capability with Ember isn't something I like the thought of.

Ember is, in its simplest sense, an image collection tool. The useful thing about collecting images around a theme, in example for some kind of project, is being able to share them to communicate your ideas. I don't always have my MacBook with me, being able to pull out my iPad and show someone a gallery is really useful. I understand that the commercial success of the iOS apps and the development and support challenges of a multi-platform tool are frustrating, but looking at the iOS apps as a separate article and not simply an extension of the Mac app is in my opinion a mistake. My use and (given the Twitter responses) the use of many others of the Mac app is directly reliant on access to our libraries via iOS. Simply put, if I can't use Ember on iOS then it's pretty useless to me on the Mac, too.

The iOS app isn't about to just cease working, but as development continues on the Mac app the iOS app will fall further and further behind, potentially becoming incompatible entirely as Ember's functionality expands. While I have no intention to immediately ditch the application, I am going to have to keep my eyes open for good alternatives. Pinterest springs to mind, but it's an online, pseudo-social app where managing the visibility of my library would be as much effort as maintaining the library itself.

Ember is a successful app, and I imagine that those of us particularly troubled by this news are the minority. Ember for Mac isn't going anywhere, and it does go from strength to strength with each update. I simply wish they viewed the apps as a package rather than as seperate things requiring seperate justifications.

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