For years, one of the most popular OS X FTP applications has been Transmit. Panic’s FTP workhorse is so well regarded and robust, it’s engine was even chosen by Apple to power the FTP upload feature built-in to iWeb.
But OS X has gone through a lot of changes since Transmit 3 was first introduced and the app is starting to show its age. Enter Transmit 4!
This latest update adds a completely new user interface, innovative new features like Transmit Disk as well as a slew of customisation options. I was fortunate enough to be a beta tester for version 4, so I’ve had a few weeks to play with the new version – here are some of my thoughts.
Panic is know for their sleek user interface design and attention to detail and Transmit 4 is no exception. First off, the biggest change of them all: A NEW TRUCK!
But the logo isn’t all that has been refreshed: The entire app feels brand new. Most UI elements have been given a 2010 update and the interface feels a lot tidier.
Selecting a server puts you into a familiar file browsing mode – more on that below:
Buttons and features are usually exactly where you would expect to find them and unobtrusive animations and pretty icons round out the package and give the app a nice touch of Panic personality. Here are a few bits of eye candy I noticed during testing:
An FTP client fundamentally has two jobs: show me my remote files and allow me to move files between my local and remote storage. To accomplish that, an FTP application has to replicate a lot of the functionality of a regular file browser, so users can browser their local files as well as their remote files.
Transmit 4 offers single and dual file-browser layouts, (rearrangable!) tabs and the icon, llist, column and cover flow viewing styles you are familiar with from the Finder. But it also has a few additional tricks up its sleeve, that you won’t find in the Finder.
Here are some of the more interesting file browsing options:
Places give you quick access to commonly used folders.
Places is really useful, but the way you add locations by dragging them to the breadcrumb area is a bit unconventional. Once you’ve figured it out though, it quickly became one of my favourite Transmit 4 features.
Transmit 4 offers enough view options to suit almost anyone’s preferred file browsing style. Whether you perfer to work with multiple windows, tabs, split layouts, column view etc – Transmit 4 has got you covered. While it’s debatable whether most users need so many options, file browsing habits are usually so ingrained that it was probably a good idea for Panic to include as many options as they could.
Most of the time, I find myself uploading files to the same place over and over again. Transmit has a number of ways that give you an easy way to send a file to your FTP server straight from the finder:
TransmitDisk is a nifty new feature, that uses MacFUSE to allow you to mount your FTP server as a volume that the Finder can see. Once mounted, you can interact with your FTP folders like you would with a drive on your local network.
In my experience this worked fairly well, but occasionally felt a little bit more sluggish than using Transmit’s own file browser – but your mileage may vary.
Overall this is a great upgrade to an already very useful application. The new features are well thought out and make working with your FTP server a lot easier and faster. While this isn’t a revolutionary upgrade, it is solid enough to make it worth your while.
You can buy or upgrade to Transmit 4 in the Panic Online Store.