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A year later... Are there any alternatives to Ember

over 5 years ago from , Senior Product Designer

A year ago I asked for alternatives for Ember (Mac App) but there actually were none. I'm still looking for a solution that helps me collect (visual) bookmarks, images and animations for inspiration and maybe even sharing. And no, Pinterest or Evernote are not an option for me. ;)

I actually thought Octobox did a great job but a couple of days ago I read that they're shutting down as well.

Who's got some ideas?

55 comments

  • Tim Knight, over 5 years ago

    Toby, I've been in the same position. I actually just started using Pixave yesterday and it seems to hit everything I need. It has collections, tags, notes, and you can import right from a URL. Unlike Ember it also has a "browse by color" feature so you can navigate through the images primary colors. It's not free, but unlike Ember it's only $10. It supports PDF and also Apple Mail's "Markup" to draw annotations.

    I submitted a feature request to them that they include a delay function for on the web capture (like Paparazzi! does), but other than that I'm enjoying it.

    6 points
    • Toby Negele, over 5 years ago

      Just downloaded it. Looks promising even though I was hoping to maybe find an online/in-browser solution to get rid of the pain of syncing and backing up my library.

      0 points
      • Tim Knight, over 5 years ago

        Personally I'm just storing my Pixave library on Dropbox but Google Drive or whatever else is a viable option. Just change your storage location in the preferences.

        0 points
        • Valentin VicaValentin Vica, over 5 years ago

          Hey Tim, what are the sharing capabilities in Pixave like? My biggest gripe with Ember is not being able to easily share a collection.

          0 points
          • Tim Knight, 5 years ago

            It really depends on what you mean by sharing. You can export and gather the information from a single collection, but there isn't a way to share a collection individually with another user of Pixave. After using the tool for awhile it definitely has it's downsides. The annotation features need work and I'd love to see a better export to PDF (because they have an epub export, but seriously wtf? epub??)

            0 points
  • Benjamin Berger, over 5 years ago

    Do you guys know about https://dragdis.com ?

    Never tried it, but It sounds like what you are looking for

    4 points
    • Sunneva JohSunneva Joh, 5 years ago

      Dragdis is as close as one can get to the old 'icebergs' experience (which was perfect in every single way, damn those guys) but dragdis hasn't yet added drag n drop from desktop - that's a big minus for me - and last time I asked them about it they said that feature won't be coming soon cause it's more difficult to make ?!?!

      1 point
    • Whitney Helpert, 5 years ago

      0 points
  • Eli SchiffEli Schiff, 5 years ago

    Curious, why don't you want to use ember?

    4 points
    • Toby NegeleToby Negele, 5 years ago

      I've been using it for quite some time but lost my entire library both with iCloud and Dropbox backup twice.

      3 points
      • ポール ウェッブポール ウェッブ, 5 years ago

        Yikes!

        2 points
      • Eli SchiffEli Schiff, 5 years ago

        Sounds awful. Have you reached out to the Realmac people? Is this a known issue that just has not been solved?

        1 point
      • Mark Shiel, 5 years ago

        Curious why you don't have time machine or a better backup system in place?

        Surely that's what you need to fix, rather than finding an alternative to Ember? If that's the only reason for looking for an alternative.

        Plus the lack of such system will bite you in the ass in other ways, given time.

        -1 points
        • Toby NegeleToby Negele, 5 years ago

          The problem is not backing it up it's syncing the library across devices. Ember does that via Dropbox/iCloud.

          1 point
  • Chris Cacioppe, over 5 years ago

    http://www.pixa-app.com

    I've been using Pixa for a couple of years. I'll admit the UI and the feature set hasn't changed in a pretty long time but it has a few features that make it win over every thing else for me.

    A: Live Folders. Apps that create their own little library piss me off. If that developer stops supporting the app or if the library gets corrupted your pretty screwed - back in the day i used iPhoto and that burnt me several times.

    Pixa allows you to create your own folder structure in dropbox or whatever and it simply references the contents in that folder. This is great as you can organise things the way you like drop in images directly into Pixa or into the folder structure, and pow it's all good homies.

    This is also sweet for teams, you can have a shared source library on dropbox and everyone runs pixa.. your all looking at the same stuff and adding to the same library.

    B: Projects So your working on a new project and you want to collect some samples from your library to keep you focused and inspired. Thats where projects come in.

    It's like a meta folder that references anything in your library in any place, that allows you to create a mood board without having to duplicate files or create a new folder in your source folder structure - trust me its sweet.

    C: Tabs You can have multiple tabs open that display different folders or projects. Its great for times when you want to jump around your library but keep certain things open at the same time.

    All of these features keep me using Pixa. I wish they did a bit of a visual refresh tho.

    And if you're wondering I don't work at Pixa/Shiny Frog.

    3 points
    • Ethan Clark, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

      +1 for Pixa. It stands out from the competition.

      Live Folder is a great feature. I've bought the new cool kid Pixave on App Store. After realise it doesn't have that, I remove it. This feature works fast and auto-update within few seconds after changes in Finder.

      Pixa can do better with Live Folder by making it auto collapse and expand when user click it to keep the sidebar neater and easier for user to navigate. It's also a bit delay when scrolling on a long list of folders. This can be improved as well.

      Projects. It's a pity that I can't drag an image when viewing it to projects in the sidebar. I have to back to the grid view.

      Shortcuts. We can asign most of regular actions to a keyboard shortcut. It's a very nice feature.

      Other features in my wishlist for version 2.0:

      • simle edit functions like crop, filters, rotation.
      • native Mac gestures.
      • Availabitily to save 1:1 ratio when viewing images. It's very helpful when I viewing a folder with full page screenshots.

      As its Twitter said, we maybe have to wait for a long time for the next version.

      2 points
      • Toby Negele, over 5 years ago

        i think Pixa is a great alternative. What bugs me though is the lack of support/updates.

        0 points
      • Chris Aalid, over 5 years ago

        I use pixa and ended up mapping F5 to view 1:1. I think it's called "View Full Size" in the menu.

        0 points
      • Florian GrauFlorian Grau, over 5 years ago

        +1 for Pixa

        My favorite feature is the genius extension for Safari and Chrome, which presents you with all the images on a given site and you can select all the files you want to import.

        Unless someone else is coming up with that feature I don't see myself switch anytime soon.

        Btw: Shinyfrog is allegedly working on a v2.

        0 points
  • Jesse C.Jesse C., 5 years ago

    Aww, I didn't know Octobox was closing down!

    I used Stache for a while but I stopped using it once http://inboardapp.com/ came out of beta. In Stache it doesn't save screenshots but rather it shows live previews of the URLs you've saved. What this means for me is that often sites change so what I originally wanted to save is now gone. Also, I don't like loading webpages when I just want to look through static screenshots.

    Stache is more polished and has an iOS app (which admittedly I have but never really used). You can export as archive and screenshot as well if that's useful to you.

    Inboard is dead simple and does all I need. I hope they don't try and be Ember and add a million neat but probably not terribly useful features. With Inboard, my only complain is that the capture screenshot from a browser is often quite bad and I end up using a Chrome screenshot extension.

    I had a look at Pixave that Tim posted above and honestly, it looks better than Inboard and cheaper by about $10! It doesn't appear to have a trial version though so I haven't tried it out yet.

    Honestly, if someone wrote a simple open source JS app that ran locally and displayed images and had basic tags/collections, that would be perfect.

    3 points
    • Daniel GoldenDaniel Golden, 5 years ago

      +1 for inboard

      3 points
    • Toby Negele, 5 years ago

      Inboard looks really great! The only issue I have with it is that I can't sync/backup my library i.e. in dropbox. I use two different machines for work and at home and want my library in sync across devices. That's why I thought a in -browser solution might be better.

      2 points
      • Jesse C.Jesse C., 5 years ago

        Me too, at the moment I'm just toughing it out and having it only on my main machine. They creators of Inboard have mentioned that they're considering or are actually working on sync but I have no idea of an ETA.

        1 point
    • Oliver WatersOliver Waters, 5 years ago

      Thanks for the Stache mention Jesse. Just wanted to make a few corrections. It does save screenshots, as well as a web archive of the site at the time of bookmarking. The live preview is a 'quick-look' of the site at present. Full details can be found at http://getstache.com.

      0 points
  • Toby Negele, over 1 year ago

    Just recently discovered this tool called Eagle. It's amazing!!! https://en.eagle.cool/

    2 points
  • Anwar ChoukahAnwar Choukah, 5 years ago

    Very interesting thread.. I need to get something like this and am not bothered at all whether the interface has changed in the last year or not, as long as it looks good and works well.

    Needs:

    • sync (probably Dropbox, but Box or Google Drive or whatever would be nice as I could use the free tier for nothing but that rather than clog up my Dropbox with thousands of files)
    • tagging – auto tagging/file format separation (vector/bitmap/screenshots/colour/etc.)
    • folder support – I don't want to be locked in to some proprietary file system
    • list view

    Might give Pixa a go...

    2 points
    • Chris Aalid, 5 years ago

      Pixa is great but doesn't support EPS, even though I think it still says that on the app store.

      It looks like Pixave, mentioned above, does support EPS (if it was saved in the right way).

      0 points
      • Anwar ChoukahAnwar Choukah, 5 years ago

        Looks like I've got some testing to do:) Thanks for the suggestion!

        0 points
      • Anwar ChoukahAnwar Choukah, 5 years ago

        Right, I decided to give Pixave on the App Store a go.

        There was no demo available, but at the very reasonable (cheap, really) price of £7.99, I just bought it.

        First impressions in bullet-points:

        • Dark mode only. This is a problem when viewing black pngs/svgs with a transparent background
        • Only OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) and above – rules out my work Mac
        • It should sync. So far, I'm trying out a Box solution (see below)
        • Tags seem OK, but that's going to take regular upkeep

        My system, however, seems.. alright..

        • Organise the Box (free 10GB account) folder into:
        • Box Sync
          • "The Goods"
            • "Icons"
            • "Textures"
            • "UI-Kits"
        • Use Box account for only this (luckily, I also have Backblaze so everything's backed up)
        • Should be able to use different apps with a view of something working on Windows as well. (Sorry, I've never used a Linux machine...)

        So far, so good, though – going to blow on.

        0 points
      • Anwar ChoukahAnwar Choukah, 5 years ago

        Right, I decided to give Pixave on the App Store a go.

        There was no demo available, but at the very reasonable (cheap, really) price of £7.99, I just bought it.

        First impressions in bullet-points:

        • Dark mode only. This is a problem when viewing black pngs/svgs with a transparent background
        • Only OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) and above – rules out my work Mac
        • It should sync. So far, I'm trying out a Box solution (see below)
        • Tags seem OK, but that's going to take regular upkeep

        My system, however, seems.. alright..

        • Organise the Box (free 10GB account) folder into:
        • Box Sync
          • "The Goods"
            • "Icons"
            • "Textures"
            • "UI-Kits"
        • Use Box account for only this (luckily, I also have Backblaze so everything's backed up)
        • Should be able to use different apps with a view of something working on Windows as well. (Sorry, I've never used a Linux machine...)

        So far, so good, though – going to plow on.

        0 points
  • Kevin NgKevin Ng, 5 years ago

    Still searching, but happy with Dropmark from Oak Studios currently: http://www.dropmark.com/

    2 points
  • Robin RaszkaRobin Raszka, over 5 years ago

    Photos

    1 point
  • Account deleted over 5 years ago

    Any particular reason why Pinterest or Evernote are not options?

    1 point
    • Toby Negele, over 5 years ago

      Both of them simply have different usecases for me and I don't want to mix services/tools.

      2 points
    • Chris Aalid, over 5 years ago

      I tried to save inspiration stuff / full page web screenshots in Evernote for a bit. This was during my phase when I wanted to really get into it as my all-in-one thing for that, code snippets, tasks, inspiration, etc.

      Ended up being kinda painful and didn't really work as well. Pinterest is a little better now that you can search across your boards (ie, you can add things like #dark #colorful, etc to your pins so you can emulate a tagging system).

      0 points
  • Melih Kayar, over 2 years ago

    Guys I spent hours to find a good ember alternative. I've tried Dropmark: (There's no mac application) Web App is not useful. Pocket: You can't categorize Pixa: Too old Pixave: There's no iPhone App Dragdis, curator, moodboard, inboard, Pinterest, stumbledupon(mix) and many more...

    Finally, I've found "raindrop.io" today. I think headquarters in Russia and I presume there's not a big team behind it. So, there's a risk to put all your ideas over there and all of a sudden the guy may decide not to continue working on it. But other than that it's the closest service to Ember so far. It has Web Application, Mac App and iPhone App(You can't upload photos from iPhone which I hate) but I'd give this a shot. If more people start using it, there's a chance that they'll improve more.

    Hope you'll find it helpful ;)

    0 points
  • Robin RaszkaRobin Raszka, over 3 years ago

    Dropmark

    0 points
  • David GalletlyDavid Galletly, over 4 years ago

    Pixave v2 is to be released on March 7th as a free upgrade (I think). The developer just posted a preview on YouTube.

    It's nice to see someone still working something.

    0 points
  • Michael Kalus, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    Well nearly another year later, I tried really all of those mentioned Apps. But I stayed now on Pixave. It's possibility to put the library into a cloud provider, the feature to make interconnected folders/collections, huge meta info viewer, tags, auto color fetcher, live filter, more than enough share, save, filter and export options and the really nice UI convinced me.

    What I'm really missing an browser extension but it is possible to add images via drag&drop or copy&paste from the browser window into pixave. But would be nicer to have a one-click option inside the browser.

    0 points
  • zifeixu85 xuzifeixu85 xu, almost 5 years ago

    Pixave looks really great!

    0 points
  • Sasha Goldstein, 5 years ago (edited 5 years ago )

    Niice doesn't work for me - super slow searching.

    Dragdis is incredibly appealing but only works with Chrome

    Pixa is too outdated and feature heavy for simple inspiration and mood boards

    Pixave is nice-looking, but too feature heavy for simple inspiration and mood boards

    What I REALLY want is something with the simplicity of Inboard, with Pixa's Smart Folder feature so I can run it on top of a dropbox folder that is mounted via Expandrive.

    For now, going with Inboard and the trying a reverse version of the cloud workaround described here. Will update with my experience in a couple of weeks: http://www.jordanisip.com/config?frameUrl=/journal/2015/2/11/how-to-backup-inboard-with-dropbox

    0 points
  • Ire AderinokunIre Aderinokun, over 5 years ago

    Stache is pretty great!

    it allows you to organise bookmarks by collections, folders, etc. Plus it has visual thumbnails for each bookmark

    0 points
  • Chris ArmstrongChris Armstrong, over 5 years ago

    Have you tried http://niice.co? We have two-way Dropbox Sync, drag and drop bulk upload, a browser plugin and iOS app :)

    We also have a built-in search stream; and you can add your own sources from Tumblr, Instagram or Dribbble.

    0 points
  • Niclas Hellberg, over 5 years ago

    I'm really happy with Pixa (http://www.pixa-app.com/). I wanted a simple app with the option to select a library folder in my dropbox.

    Also Inboard (http://inboardapp.com/) looked really promising to me. I didn't start using it because back then it wasn't possible to put the library to a custom folder in my dropbox. Maybe today it is possible. Will try it later.

    0 points
  • Bryce York, over 5 years ago

    I've been using stashboard.com and loving it.

    IMPORTANT: judge it by the video, not the landing page.

    The actual page does a terrible job of selling it's features but the video really demonstrates how it would fit into your workflow.

    I used it to replace the neverending Screenshots folder in my dropbox account.

    It even holds videos.

    0 points
  • Thomas LoizeauThomas Loizeau, 5 years ago

    I've been using Dragdis for quite some time now. It's web based only, but it's an amazing app, it offers everything I could hope for a bookmarks and inspirations app. You can drag&drop text, link, images, videos, ... And I really like the way it displays your folder. You should give it a try, and the full version is rather cheap ($5/month).

    There is also Niice who offer the same kind of service, but only for visuals and you can add stuff from your computer directly.

    But I couldn't live without Dragdis anymore.

    0 points
  • Andy LeverenzAndy Leverenz, 5 years ago

    Not saying it's an amazing solution, but the built-in tagging system on your Mac can probably do what some of these apps already do. It's just more to set up from the get-go. Something to consider if you're not interested in spending any extra money.

    0 points
  • Christoph OChristoph O, over 5 years ago

    Wookmark - a side project of mine since 2010 for the very purpose of saving design and inspiration. It's a continuous work in progress, but I'd love for people to check it out and give feedback.

    0 points
  • Shaun MoynihanShaun Moynihan, 5 years ago

    There were alternatives available before and after the release of Ember. Most notable:

    Dragdis https://dragdis.com/ Inboard http://inboardapp.com/ Scrapd http://scrapd.nl/

    0 points