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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 19 March 2018

OmniFocus 2.12.1 — After recently updating its task management app to version 2.12, the Omni Group quickly released OmniFocus 2.12.1 to address an important database migration issue. OmniFocus 2.12 for the Mac (and OmniFocus 2.22 or 2.22.1 for iOS) required migration to a new database format. If you performed that migration and had previously set a distinct encryption passphrase, verify that the distinct passphrase is still in place because a keychain management bug in the previous version may have re-linked the encryption passphrase to the sync password.

OmniFocus 2.12.1 also fixes a bug where the next instance of a repeating item was not created when entering the completion date in the outline, addresses a hang when completing projects using the Complete toolbar button, and resolves a crash that occurred completing items in Quick Entry. ($39.99 new for Standard and $79.99 for Pro from the Omni Group Web site, $39.99 for Standard from Mac App Store with in-app purchase option to upgrade to Pro, 31.9 MB, release notes, 10.12+)

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Retrospect 15.0 — Retrospect Inc. has released Retrospect 15, a major new release of the backup software that introduces email protection and the BackupBot artificial intelligence feature. Retrospect 15 can now back up IMAP email accounts to a local or cloud destination, restore a lost email message or account, and help users migrate from one service to another more easily.

With BackupBot, Retrospect can create an entire backup strategy for all available sources to a selected destination in a single click. It schedules backups to optimize the backup window and uses a linear regression algorithm to predict future storage needs. Retrospect 15 also introduces Data Hooks — extensible dashboard plugins that provide data on all aspects of the backup process — and backups for remote employees.

Retrospect 15 costs $49 for Retrospect Solo, which protects a single non-server computer and its external hard drives, and $119 for Retrospect Desktop, which covers one non-server Mac and up to five additional Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. You can upgrade to Retrospect 15 from versions 13 and 14 at a reduced price — check your upgrade price by entering your license into this wizard. If you have a currently active Annual Support and Maintenance agreement, your upgrade is free. ($49 for Solo and
$119 for Desktop new, upgrade pricing available, 189 MB, release notes, 10.6.8+)

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Microsoft Office 2016 16.11 — Microsoft has released version 16.11 of its Office 2016 application suite with improvements to the Outlook email app. The update lets you insert tables in messages and calendar events, schedule events across different time zones, and add a second time zone to monitor. It also fixes a Daylight Saving Time bug and enables you to increase or decrease the font size in the sidebar, message list, and reading pane.

Word gets an improved Focus Mode, which opens at your set zoom level and shows the page number while you scroll. PowerPoint receives embedded font capability, ensuring that presentations look consistent on all computers. Excel addresses a vulnerability that could allow an attacker to bypass certain security restrictions. ($149.99 for one-time purchase, $99.99/$69.99 annual subscription options, free update through Microsoft AutoUpdate, release notes, 10.10+)

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Slack for Mac 3.1Slack has released version 3.1 of its Mac desktop client with improvements and bug fixes for the group messaging system and collaboration tool (see “Slack for Mac 3.0,” 9 December 2017). The release adds a notification to inform you of completed downloads, uses a more legible font for Japanese localizations, launches at startup with “less extraneous loading screen action, and fewer fanfares,” ensures unread message badges don’t linger too long, and fixes a bug that caused the app to perform poorly after making too many text substitutions. Slack no longer lets you
designate a folder other than Downloads to store downloaded files, but the option to set different download folders will return in a future update. (Free from Slack and the Mac App Store, 71.3 MB, release notes, 10.9+)

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