Introducing Sparkle 2.2

by Duncan Wilcox — June 23, 2017

We’re incredibly proud to release Sparkle 2.2 today. Sparkle 2.2 has many new features, but if we could sum it up in a few words, it’s our love letter to the MacBook Pro Touch Bar. We created a video to summarize just how much work we put into Touch Bar support, and we’d love to show it to you.

Video

Sparkle adds over 100 icons and three custom scrubbers that are specific to the Touch Bar, letting you change the configuration of elements in a very visual way. The video above shows how the element rotation control, the video poster frame scrubber and the map theme picker offer a direct preview and tactile access to each setting.

Touch Bar support doesn’t stop at how you use Sparkle though. The overhauled site settings pane now lets you set a vector icon, in addition to the standard bitmap favicon. You provide an SVG file, and Safari will use it for pinned tabs and for the Touch Bar. Conveniently, the settings pane will show a high quality preview of the icon.

New feature additions don’t stop here!

iOS 9 introduced Live Photos, a playful way to take photos with a short video and audio clip attached.

iOS 11 promises to significantly improve the effects and overall quality of Live Photos, making them an interesting creative endeavor.

With Sparkle 2.2 you can now easily add Live Photos to your website. For example here’s a Live Photo embedded in the page, hover the “live” indicator to start the video.

A less splashy new feature is the new support for several meta tags. These let you better interact with search engines and with social networks.

You are now able to integrate with search engines’ website verification, so that you can access the webmaster tools on each search engine. You can instruct search engines about which pages of your site should be visible and which shouldn’t. By enabling social network sharing you can now provide a cover image for your shared pages, and the page title and description will now be packaged in a format suitable for social network sharing (Open Graph protocol).

These new options will help boost your site’s visibility and shareability.

Of the numerous other additions, from better image compression to support for phone call links, to publishing pages in a subfolder and use of a custom authenticated mail server when sending contact forms, I’d like to single out what sounds like a minor fix but is in fact a big change.

The preview service has been improved a lot, fixing a number of glitches that were the result of tightened security in browsers over the years more than any flaw in the original design. Regardless, preview is now more efficient and faster, and preserves the scroll position when refreshing to boot!

We hope you love this update as much as we do, we’re already hard at work on exciting new features for the next Sparkle update.

As always it would be great if you could help us out spreading the word!

Finally here are the full release notes:

Sparkle is striving to become the best visual tool to create websites.

We will soon be adding more articles with example websites and more thoughts on visual web development.

Please check out the documentation for an idea on how Sparkle can help create websites visually, or download the free trial.

If you have any questions or feedback please get in touch.

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