Chatology Bites the Dust With Big Sur

Speaking of Flexibits, some sad news:

After more than 7 years, Chatology is being discontinued due to major changes with Messages in the upcoming release of macOS Big Sur.

Chatology is no longer available for purchase but should continue to work on macOS Catalina and earlier.

The “major changes” are the rewrite of Apple’s Messages app in Catalyst. From the Mac’s perspective, it really is an all-new version of Messages. Messages has been through a lot of changes over the years — longtime Mac users will recall that it started life as iChat all the way back in August 2002* — a most excellent client for AIM and other instant messaging platforms. One thing iChat was never good at, though, was search, and that’s the gap Chatology filled — and in fact continues to fill for anyone not yet using Big Sur.

Search still isn’t great in Messages, but it’s a lot better than it used to be, and for me at least works pretty reliably with Messages in the Cloud. My big problem with search in Messages isn’t about finding a needle in the haystack that is one’s Messages history, it’s about the UI of the search results when it finds a lot of needles and I’m looking for one in particular. As a dedicated search tool, Chatology excelled at that sort of winnowing of results — of search within search, if you will. Messages’s built-in search doesn’t even try to be good at it.

* A good month for debuts.

Wednesday, 23 September 2020