[Release] Balsamiq Mockups 3 Public Beta!
Hello? Is anyone still reading this? After being quiet for 10 months, we can understand if you thought we had sent our developers on a long vacation somewhere... 😉
Well, we didn't. In fact, we have been working really hard on a lot of different things: see my recent Look Back at 2014 post for the nitty-gritty details.
Today marks an important milestone for our little team, we are releasing a beta version of Balsamiq Mockups 3 for Desktop, the next major version of our best-selling product.
Let's dive right in: What's new in Balsamiq Mockups 3?
In a word, lots! In many ways, this feels like the product we should have built from the beginning. It takes care of some of our longest-standing feature requests, and lays a solid foundation for exciting future developments.
Here are the "highlights" you should know about. For a more detailed list, see this article.
BMPR: a New File Format for Your Mockups Projects
Probably the biggest change in Balsamiq Mockups 3 is the transition to a new file format, called BMPR (we pronounce it bumper).
It stands for Balsamiq Mockups Project aRchive, and it contains all of the mockups, images, custom icons and symbols for a project.
BMPR files are super-easy to share, and designed for the future: we plan on adding revisions, branching and comments to them soon.
To convert your existing project folders or ZIP files downloaded from myBalsamiq into BMPR files, just head to the Project > Import menu:
A More Professional Editing Experience
Gone is the annoying flying property inspector. Now you have mockups on the left, and properties on the right. Simple, predictable and quick.
We greatly simplified how to create, manage and edit reusable Symbols.
We added a way to manage your project's assets easily, and even added a project Trash bin.
Autosave is the new norm: we always auto-save every change immediately so you won't ever lose any work, and you won't get bugged by annoying dialogs while trying to quit the app.
The full-screen presentation mode has been greatly improved too, check it out (below with every option showing):
You can also save notes for your mockups and symbols, and even open multiple project windows at the same time!
Removed Support for Rarely-Used, Support-Generating Features
Balsamiq Mockups 3 no longer runs as a desktop application on Linux. We also removed support for account assets, the BalsamiqMockups.cfg configuration file, and exporting from the command-line.
Those were tough decisions, but we think they were the right thing to do. If you have any questions about those, come talk about it on the new Balsamiq Forums: we're listening!
800+ Issues Delivered
We spent months re-architecting and refactoring the whole application, cleaning up 6-years worth of technical debt and fixing literally hundreds of bugs and feature requests in the process.
The app is noticeably faster, even with big projects.
To sum it up, let me tell you this: after getting used to v.3, going back to 2.2 feels like a HUGE step backwards. You have to use different files and save them in specific folders and save manually like some kind of animal? And what's that ugly floating thingy!?!?! Ugh. Who built this crap!!! 😉
To download Balsamiq Mockups 3 Public Beta, head to our Next Release Preview page. New builds are pushed there automatically after every check-in.
It will run side-by-side with Balsamiq Mockups 2, no need to uninstall anything.
Balsamiq Mockups 3 will be a free upgrade for existing customers (it automatically migrates the old license), and cost $89 for a single new license (a $10 increase over today's price).
We're dying to know what you think of it!
If you find any issues or have any comments, please use the Help > Send Feedback menu in Mockups to comment in the new Balsamiq Forums. We'll see you there!
Although the app is already in very good shape, we expect the public beta period to last a month or two. Once the app is SUPER-SOLID, we'll do an official release and announce it here. We also plan on bringing all the new goodness to myBalsamiq and our plugins as fast as possible, so sit tight! 2015 is going to be awesome! 🙂