Bee v2.3

Mon 18 January 2016 — Releases

Bee v2.3 has just been released! If you are running OS X 10.11 El Capitan, the first thing you will notice is that Bee's UI is now using the new San Francisco typeface throughout.

This wasn't an easy undertaking as Bee uses several custom frameworks and its own plugin architecture, and they all need to work together to draw each issue's custom UI.

The results speak for themselves! Line heights, font sizes and other metrics were all reviewed to overhaul the interface and ensure the new typeface was integrated well.

The other major change is that Bee now indicates unread status alongside the left-hand side of an issue. It is discrete yet visible when needed. This is just the groundwork for some more features which are still in the works.

v2.3 is of course a free update. Enjoy keeping on top of your issues with Bee!

Bee on El Capitan

Bee v2.0

Fri 07 November 2014 — Releases

Bee v2.0 is out now! There's a whole host of under-the-hood performance improvements, but the main thing you'll notice is the refreshed UI for OS X 10.10 Yosemite. Bee is now faster and lighter.

As well, there are exciting improvements and features still to come with the new v2 base which will be released in the coming months.

And notably, v2.0 is a free upgrade for all existing users. Enjoy staying on top of your issues with Bee!

Bee on Yosemite

Bee v1.9

Sun 24 August 2014 — Releases

Bee v1.9 is out now. The release notes for v1.9 are smaller than usual for a major release and whilst there are a couple of notable new features and fixes, the majority of changes have been happening under the hood.

Bee is being prepped for Yosemite support and for the support of additional issue trackers.

A large number of features have been added over the past several months on the journey to v1.9. These features are entirely the result of user feedback. Bee's goal is to be an integral part of your software development toolchain and this is only possible by implementing workflow enhancements suggested by you.

Here are the features which have been added during the journey from v1.8 to v1.9:

  • Added placeholder text when inserting a new timesheet entry.
  • URL Scheme to show the New Item Window for a specific project (bee://newitem?project=).
  • URL Scheme for opening items now allows multiple identifiers to be passed (e.g. bee://item?id=&id=...)
  • Log work directly from an item by hitting Command-Shift-L (will jump to today's date if its in range).
  • Re-introduced Smart Sleep functionality - pauses your active item when your Mac goes to sleep (configure in Preferences).
  • Optimisations for operations involving large data-sets (e.g. searching for related FogBugz cases in large projects).
  • "Tag Name" Smart List rule now searches within tags as sets, e.g. a "None" rule for "triaged" will filter out all items which contain 1 or more tags with "triaged" in them even if that item has multiple tags.
  • "Priority Name" Smart List rule.
  • Item contextual menu for adding a new sub-item.
  • In the New Item Window, when switching between lists - your previously entered content is kept for the new list's fields.
  • JIRA Agile, "Estimation Statistic" Smart List rule for filtering out issues which have or don't have their Estimation Statistic set (story points, original time estimate, etc.).
  • JIRA Agile, Sprints field in details pane for viewing and changing issue sprints.
  • Increased search results limit.
  • Disabled group header progress bar by default.
  • FogBugz, Smart Pause now backdates time logs to the time at which you left your computer idle (consistent with JIRA behaviour).
  • FogBugz, adjusting time logs will update all other affected time logs for that day, and will delete overlapping time logs if they are no longer needed (same behaviour as web site).
  • FogBugz, Smart List rule for "Replied to Email", to filter emails which you have replied to (you'll need to manually synchronize your existing lists for this to behave as expected).
  • JIRA, when manually refreshing an issue, if the issue is deleted server-side, it is also deleted from Bee.
  • JIRA, when transitioning an issue to a closed state (as defined in list properties), automatically pause and submit the currently active work log first if there is one.
  • JIRA, able to submit a comment with project role visibility (you'll need to manually synchronize your existing lists to view the available project roles whilst commenting).
  • GitHub, updates all issue events and comments after a transition.
  • JIRA, added Resolution field.
  • JIRA, user-group comment visibility options are now available.
  • GitHub, doesn't show repos which have issues disabled.
  • FogBugz, now able to edit case notes (you'll need to manually synchronize your existing lists first, for this to behave as expected).
  • Added global keyboard shortcut for showing Timesheet window.
  • JIRA, Bee now only stores worklogs which belong to the currently logged-in user.
  • JIRA, comment visibility is now shown when viewing comments on an issue (you'll need to synchronize your list manually before old comments are able to show this).
  • GitHub, detects if a repo has been renamed and adjusts settings in Bee transparently and automatically.
  • Opening an item from the Short List now automatically closes the Short List.
  • JIRA custom fields which are textareas are now displayed as rendered HTML.
  • GitHub, assigns a random color to newly created labels.
  • Search results now search within item names with an additional reversed wildcard search for more possible matches.
  • Increased live-search results limit.
  • Can drag attachments into the comment and events area (JIRA, FogBugz).
  • When inserting a new timesheet entry, the popover is shown only after you have selected an item.
  • 'Today' group is highlighted in an alternate colour in the Timesheet window.
  • Short List Preferences now has an option for changing the time elapsed to show the current session rather than the aggregate time spent on the item.
  • JIRA Agile, flags on issues are synced now.

Bee v1.8: Timesheets

Fri 30 May 2014 — Releases

This latest release of Bee brings with it a much requested feature: timesheets!

FogBugz and JIRA have sophisticated time tracking built-in. Bee takes advantage of this fact and introduces a fun, new and intuitive way of interacting with your logged time.

If you're using the Notes or GitHub plugins, you can still log your work in Bee. However your work will stay local to your system as those services do not have server-side time tracking functionality.

Here's a short clip running through the various actions of the new Timesheet window:


The timeline runs along the left-hand side of the Timesheet window and describes your day. Clocks indicate the start of tasks, and gray circles indicate gaps in your timeline where you may have taken a break.

If you mouseover a gap, the gap duration will be shown.

Date Range Picker

Clicking the calendar icon in the titlebar reveals a calendar popover from where you can click and drag to select a range of dates to view.

CSV Export

At the far right of the Timesheet window titlebar, the export button allows you to export the currently viewed dates to a CSV file.

Creating time entries

To log work, you can click on the + button in the right-hand side of the date header. Then simply start typing to locate your task, then populate the remaining fields.

Editing time entries

Simply double-click an entry to edit it. Mousing over entries will also show you the delete button on the far right-hand side, allowing you to delete the entry.

Time Management

With Bee's Smart Pause, inline workflow buttons, The Short List and now the Timesheet window - Bee is now a formiddable part of your toolchain if you want to know and track where your time is being spent.

By taking advantage of your existing server-side setup, you don't need to sign up for yet another service.

Release notes

As always, check out the Bee release notes for all the other great features and fixes that made it into this release.

Bee v1.7: Create Smarter

Tue 06 May 2014 — Releases

Bee is getting smarter with each update. In v1.7 Bee now remembers values you type or select in each field during item creation. This makes a huge difference when creating multiple items, or as a way to set up an ad hoc template for your new items.

E.g. If you always create items with a particular assigned user, Bee will remember the assigned user and pre-populate that field for you each time.

URL Schemes

Adding to the URL schemes that Bee already supports, there is now a new scheme to integrate Bee search with your favourite tools.

Simply use bee://search?query=<URL encoded search query>.

OS X Service

After installing v1.7 you can now select arbitrary text anywhere on your Mac and open it in Bee if it is a valid item identifier. Here's an example with a JIRA email notification:

JIRA Email notification

The Short List

The Short List lists your Next items as well as the items you've worked on recently. You can now adjust this behaviour in Preferences to only include your Next items:

Short List Preferences

And as always...

Check out the Bee release notes for all the other great features and fixes that made it into this release.

Bee v1.6: Hierarchies evolved

Tue 15 April 2014 — Releases

Bee v1.6 includes substantial improvements in stability, performance and usability. It also enhances the way lists which include sub-tasks or sub-cases are displayed.


Your items sometimes appear in hierarchies (sub-tasks, nested cases). Prior to Bee v1.6, the entire hierarchy was always preserved showing you just the top level. This was confusing.

Now, all items are displayed flat in the list regardless of their position in their hierarchy. Nested items deep inside their hierarchy gain a button which allows you to peek at their hierarchy and their position in the hierarchy. Once the hierarchy is toggled, you can reorder items or create new sub-items within the toggled tree - it is fully active!

These kind of quick actions are simply not possible in the web UI and is another example of how using Bee enhances your productivity.

Here's a quick clip demonstrating this new behaviour:

Pasting Images and more Display Options

You can now paste images into an item and Bee will convert your image to a PNG and attach it, ready for uploading.

There are also options now for toggling tags which appear within the list on/off. You can also toggle the Range Labels on/off. (Range Labels are the interspersed labels which indicate ranges such as 'Updated just now' or 'Created 10 minutes ago'.)

Bee <3 CocoaPods

Wed 26 March 2014 — News

CocoaPods (the open source dependancy manager for Objective-C) is having a Bug Bash to help clear out the issues in their backlog. The top contributors will have an opportunity to win licenses for some of the best software available on the Mac today:

  • AppCode - The alternative Objective-C IDE.
  • Bee - Mac issue tracker supporting GitHub Issues, FogBugz and JIRA.
  • Dash - Instantly access developer documentation.
  • GIFBrewery - The best tool for converting MP4 to .gif.
  • Reveal - The best way to explore the iOS view hierarchy.

I'm very proud that Bee is amongst this list of esteemed titles and also happy that I'm able to support such a worthwhile open source project.

Bee v1.5: Custom Notifications and Issue Links

Tue 18 March 2014 — Releases

Bee v1.5. This is the biggest release so far! Here's a run-through of some of the new things that Bee does to make you more productive at work.

Custom Notifications

One of Bee's most popular features are the notifications that are displayed whenever your teammates conduct activity on your issue tracker. Now you can customise exactly which notifications you see.

Just open the Preferences window (Command-,) and construct rules to filter out any unwanted notifications.

Custom Notifications

JIRA Issue Links and FogBugz Related Cases

I'm pleased to say that these frequently requested features are now available.

If you're using JIRA, you can now create, edit and delete issue links. Epic links are also enhanced allowing you to click through to view the epic, as well as add and remove issues from the epic itself.

If you're using FogBugz, you can now view all the related cases and easily click-through to them. You can also view other emails that the current sender has sent you.

A smaller enhancement that makes all the difference is that item windows open in a cascaded fashion. This makes its a lot nicer when you're navigating through a handful of linked issues.

Here's a short clip demonstrating issue links:

GitHub Task Lists, Issue Autocomplete and Commit Comments

Support for Task Lists is now available. Clicking on a checkbox does what you'd expect and updates the issue accordingly.

Task Lists

Typing '#' in the body field or in the comment box now gives you an autocomplete menu so you can easily reference other issues.

And comments on commits are now shown along with the other usual events and comments.

Smart Pause

Smart Pause will pause your active task after you've left your Mac idle for a configurable length of time. 'Idle' in this case means no keyboard or mouse input.

The cool thing is, Smart Pause will also backdate your current worklog to the time before you left your Mac and send that worklog to your server. When you return to your Mac and start interacting with it again, Smart Pause will automatically being timing on the task you left it on.

Smart Pause is fully configurable via the Preferences window (Command-,) and is disabled by default.

Smart Pause

Notes in Markdown

And one more thing! Your Notes list is now automatically highlighted in Markdown as you type:

Markdown Support

Next Up

All of these features were requested by you.

To send feedback whether it be feature requests or bug reports - just go to the Help menu and click 'Send Feedback'.

Work is already well underway for the next release which will include performance enhancements as well as more Smart List rules.

This was a quick run-through of some of the bigger features in v1.5. For a more thorough breakdown, take a look at the Bee release notes which detail the extent of the changes.

What's New In Bee v1.4?

Wed 12 February 2014 — Releases

Bee v1.4 just hit the App Store and is also available via the web site. The major feature in this release is something that has been frequently requested: file upload support!

There's a completely new UI for viewing file attachments and JIRA and FogBugz now support uploading and emailing files.

File Attachments

When an issue or case has file attachments, they're displayed inline with the other fields. You can click on a file to view it with QuickLook (and if it hasn't been downloaded yet - it will download and then open in QuickLook automatically).

To add new files, simply drag and drop them into the details pane. Or you can click the attachment icon to bring up the standard open sheet. The same behaviour works for the Global Create Window and also for the FogBugz reply and forward email windows.

To delete files, hover over the preview image and click the round delete button in the top-right (only JIRA supports this feature currently). Your changes will not take affect until you hit 'Save' at the bottom of the form as per usual.

Its simple and clean and works exactly as you'd expect.

Here's a quick clip showing off the new animations and interaction of the file attachments UI:

URL Scheme

You can now right-click the item identifier in the details pane to copy a Bee URL. This is a URL scheme which you can then pass around to your teammates e.g. via iMessage. Also handy for scripting.

Copy Bee URL

The URL scheme is of the format:

bee://item?id=<item identifier>&project=<project name>

The project parameter is optional however it is needed if you have multiple items in different projects with the same identifiers.

Other Features for Workflow

Other noteworthy features include:

  • A new keyboard shortcut to jump straight to the comment window to reply to the viewed item (Command-Shift-r).
  • Command-clicking any link will now open that link directly in your web browser, rather than showing you the popover window.
  • You can now specify fields to always be hidden by clicking the item menu and navigating to 'Always Hidden Fields'.
    • This is useful for some JIRA projects which have lengthy template fields and would be better off unseen.
  • New grouping options to Group by Group and to Group by Smart List.
    • This means you can now have a single stream of items underneath a Group, instead of having your items broken up by project groups.
  • When grouping the list, Bee now automatically collects groups with similar names and combines them into 1 group.
    • E.g. useful when viewing a Smart List and there are multiple projects with the same type of: "Issue" and you want to Group by Type.

More to Come

A lot more features are in the pipeline so stay tuned. Fast release cycles are still the best way to move Bee forward and will continue to occur.

The best way to keep informed is via @thebeeapp on Twitter where previews of new or in-development features are sometimes shown.

And as always, the release notes give short summaries on the new features and fixes.

What's New In Bee v1.3?

Wed 29 January 2014 — Releases

Bee v1.3 is out now in both the web site and the App Store, and I just wanted to give a short rundown on some of the exciting new features that have emerged in this release. This is the biggest release in a while in terms of new features, with the major feature being inline username autocompletion which a lot of users have asked for.

The current release cycle of Bee is 1-2 weeks which is evident when you look at the release notes. The advantage of shorter release cycles is that user feedback can be addressed immediately - a lot of the features mentioned below are a direct result of feedback.

Inline username autocompletion

When using Bee with JIRA and GitHub servers, you can now autocomplete usernames in comment boxes or description fields. Both JIRA and GitHub lists support using @ within your text to bring up the autocomplete menu, and JIRA additionally supports the JIRA text format of [~ to indicate the start of a linked username. This is all presented in a beautifully animated fashion.

JIRA Favourite Filters as lists

You can now add filters you define inside of JIRA to Bee. This is a great way to further customise Bee lists with your own JQL queries. Just make sure the filter is marked as a Favourite Filter inside of JIRA. When you add a new list inside of Bee, just scroll down to the last section which shows you all of your JIRA filters:

JIRA Favourite Filters

More animations when moving items around

This is particularly visible when using a JIRA Agile project. Now whenever someone makes changes on the site, they're reflected immediately in an animated fashion once you get back to Bee. And when you bump issues from column to column or backlog to sprint, you get to see your issues rearrange themselves. Here's a quick clip:

FogBugz email attachments

Bee now displays your email image attachments inside of your emails, similar to the web site. Bee also lets you use QuickLook to easily view the images and open them in Preview.

FogBugz Email Attachments

JIRA linked issues

When you click on a link inside of Bee that leads to another issue, that issue is opened inside of Bee rather than taking you to the web site. This behaviour has also been available to GitHub users for some time, but has now been made available to JIRA users as well.

Always visible fields

You can now indicate which fields you want to remain always visible. This was built as a result of feedback for people heavily relying on labels inside of GitHub and wanting to always have that field quickly accessible. To toggle fields to be always visible, you can go to the item menu and navigate to the 'Always Visible Fields' submenu.

Always Visible Fields

Hand grab cursor for web popover

This is a small feature but I thought it would be worth mentioning because it helps indicate a separate feature that a lot of people weren't aware of. When viewing content inside of a web popover inside of Bee, you can just tear off the popover from the bottom bar and have it pop out into its own little window you can keep around for reference. Here it is in action:

Remaining Items group visibility

When you group items inside of Bee, sometimes there are items leftover which don't fit into the grouping option you've chosen. E.g. you want to group by labels but not all your items have been labelled. These leftover items are displaying in a 'Remaining Items' group at the end of your list. Now there's an option for you to toggle this on and off. Handy if you don't want the extra visual noise and are not concerned about remaining items. Also useful for JIRA Agile projects when grouping by Column or Sprint.

Remaining Items Visibility

These are just some of the features which have surfaced in the latest version of Bee. You can read about the rest of the features and fixes on the release notes page which are always kept in tune with app updates.