rooSwitch (now SwitchUp): Swap Out Any App’s Preferences in a Flash

rooSwitch is now the new SwitchUp from Irradated Software. It’s mostly the same as in our review here, but now with menu options. Our article still refers to it as rooSwitch, but if you want to try it out, SwitchUp is essentially the same app, just updated and with a new name.

Do you ever wish you could set up an app’s preferences, then create another profile with a completely different set of preferences?

rooSwitch is a unique app that does exactly that. Read on to see how you can put this incredibly useful app to work.

What Does It Do?

The concept here is something that I think lots of Mac users will be able to identify with, I know it certainly caught my attention right away.

You’ve spent valuable time setting up your various applications just the way you want them and almost never change anything because of the pain of returning it to the way it was. What if there were an easy way to save the current state of your preferences for any app, then launch a completely new preference profile with different settings?

That’s what rooSwitch sets out to do. Simply drop in an app, create a new preference profile and you’re off and running and can switch back to the old one at any time.

This may sound a little abstract and meaningless so let’s jump into some typical use cases so you can get a feel for how amazing this app really is.

rooSwitch & Sparrow Lite

Sparrow is everyone’s favorite new email client. The problem for many cheapskate users though is that the free version of Sparrow only allows you to have a single account. What if you have a work email account that you want to use during the day and a home email account that you use in the evenings? Enter rooSwitch (though rooSwitch is itself a paid app, so you’ll need more justification to use it).

Here’s the screen that you see when you launch the app:

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rooSwitch

There are a couple of important things to note here. First, notice the little “32 Switches Left” message at the top right of the window. rooSwitch is a $19 application, but you can download a free trial version, which allows you 32 total “switches” to decide whether or not the app is worth purchasing.

Next, notice how completely easy the workflow is: just drag in any app. Serious nerd Mac users like myself could probably handle copying and replacing preference files manually, but it’s definitely a pain and far beyond the scope of what your typical user knows how to accomplish. With rooSwitch, anyone can juggle multiple preference files with ease.

Once you drop on Sparrow, a “default” profile is created. Hitting the little “+” button at the bottom allows you to essentially reset the app and start over with a new user account. Now you can launch Sparrow and setup your home account and easily switch between the two in rooSwitch!

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Sparrow Lite + rooSwitch

Double clicking on a preference profile will allow you to see which files are affected and apply a custom name to each collection of settings so that you can keep them nice and organized.

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Editing a profile

rooSwitch & WriteRoom

The reason I found rooSwitch was that I was looking for a way to manage multiple color settings in WriteRoom, my minimal writing app of choice.

In WriteRoom, the default interface is very dark and reminiscent of an old school DOS terminal. I liked this a lot at first, but once I began using WriteRoom on a daily basis, this color scheme really started to cause some eye strain. Fortunately, WriteRoom is highly customizable and made it easy to switch to a lighter color scheme that is much easier on the eyes. The downside is that I’m forced to completely reconfigure the app manually every time I want to switch to a different scheme.

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WriteRoom + rooSwitch

As you can see, with rooSwitch thrown into the mix, I can manage as many color profiles as I want and easily switch between them. Sure, I’d love for this functionality to be built into WriteRoom but rooSwitch is so easy to use that it’s definitely an acceptable alternative.

Worth $19?

As you can see, rooSwitch is a highly practical utility. Further, the app functions in true Mac fashion in that it simply works, no fuss necessary. I fully expected the app to be a pain to use and half expected it to totally mess up the apps that I wanted to use it on. Instead, rooSwitch performs exactly as promised without a single hitch.

I love that there’s no awkward plugin system, since most Mac apps work the same, rooSwitch works on most Mac apps, even those built with AIR!

In my experience, there’s probably not one single rooSwitch use that will make me want to fork out the $19. However, when I consider all the implications of having this utility, it easily becomes worth the cost. Almost every app on my machine suddenly has the potential for having multiple user accounts and the ability to quickly swap between multiple complex configurations! That’s a beautiful possibility.

Conclusion

As more and more developers jump on the gold rush brought on by the Mac App Store, truly “unique” apps are quickly becoming ancient history. However, I’ve never seen an app quite like rooSwitch and thoroughly enjoyed testing it out. I give it a perfect score for identifying an actual widespread problem and offering a simple, elegant and highly functional solution.

If you’re looking for a way to easily swap out preferences in any application, be it to change color schemes or manage multiple users, give rooSwitch a download and let us know what you think.


Summary

rooSwitch lets you create and manage multiple instances of the preferences for almost any application. This makes it easy to switch between user accounts, visual themes and more.

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  • josbur

    Looks awesome!

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